In a recent blog, I discussed how it is impossible for your pet to suffer. The closest real definition of suffering is a mental belief that something that is happening shouldn’t be happening. Essentially, this means that the mind has the ability to interpret something, judge it and deem it not acceptable. When the mind does this, suffering happens. Since our pets don’t have a developed forebrain with the ability to personalize its thoughts, they cannot suffer.
I also pointed out the obvious difference between pain and suffering. Your pet may experience pain or discomfort and that is real. Paining, however, is not suffering. Your pet may experience pain in the moment, but it is incapable of personalizing the pain and will not create a mental or emotional story as the result of the pain. She may react with emotions such as fear or anxiety but, again, she will not personify the event and it may or may not show up in the next moment, without her carrying the story into the future.
Humans, however, do suffer. We have been given a great gift to be able to personalize events or experiences. From these experiences we might learn, share and remember those experiences. How we react to the experiences will determine whether we will suffer or not. In other words, each experience will present itself and we will create a story of how we feel about the experience. If we go to the park with our dog and have a great experience, our story will be one of joy and there will be no suffering. If however, we take our cat to the vet and the vet says our cat has a terminal disease, we will likely create a story that is reactive, with negative feelings, and suffering will occur.
It is not hard to see that how we interpret an experience will determine whether there is suffering or not. It is the story, not the experience, that creates the suffering. Example: I take my pet to the vet and the vet says that my pet has cancer. I create a story that resists the experience and I suffer. The next day, the vet calls and tells me that he made a mistake and that my pet does not have cancer, but an infection that can be treated. I create a new story and I no longer suffer.
What if you new absolutely that life does not make mistakes and that all life’s experiences were FOR you and not TO you. Your reaction to your most painful experiences will likely be, “Why is this happening to me?” But, imagine that you had this reaction, “Why is this happening for me?” You would go from a state of suffering to a state of wonder, without suffering. Then, why is it so hard to believe that this is not the truth? Because you are simply conditioned to believe otherwise.
What difference does all this make with regards to your pet’s health? Because your suffering has an energetic makeup that is unhealthy for you and your pet. Extended periods of suffering will not only affect your physical and mental state, but it will also have similar effects with your pet. In quantum physics, we call this energetic entanglement, a quantum law.
How can we break the habit of believing that life’s experiences are happening to us and not for us? Change your thoughts. Drop the story. Have a little faith. You can probably think back on many times that something terrible happened to you, only to find out later that it was actually really beneficial. Maybe you learned a life skill that will help you in the long run. Maybe you learned something about your true self. Maybe you gained some insight about relationships. Maybe you found a spiritual awareness that would not have revealed itself without the experience. And, maybe, the experience was for someone else’s benefit and you were just part of the divine plan.
I have worked with so many pet caretakers that were suffering when they first came into my office or talked to me on the phone. With just a small shift in perspective from resistance to allowance, made all the difference. If for no other reason than the self-love that you have for yourself and your desire not to suffer. Can you start to imagine how suffering will affect your decision making process while trying to be objective about your pet’s health problems?
Some people might think that if I take the position of allowing an experience that I might become apathetic and do nothing. This is far from the truth. If I allow the experience, eliminate unhealthy thoughts and negative emotions that create suffering, I will be open-minded to answers both intellectually and intuitively. I will allow divine guidance to move me along the pathway that I need to go; the reason for the experience in the first place. Then, when the experience is over, I will likely have learned a great life’s lesson. Or, not. It doesn’t matter. The point is to have experiences without suffering. It gets in the way and does not allow you to experience your life to the fullest.
This is how your pet lives in each moment. No thinking about thinking. No resistance to life’s events. No stories. Experiencing life to the fullest, no matter how it presents itself. Complete awareness of life being FOR them.