I was having my coffee out on the porch this morning and I was thinking about my old friend, John. John had been my best mate and confidant for many years and he decided to transition a couple of weeks ago after a long experience with cancer. When I got the news from his daughter, I was expecting it but it still sent me into a tailspin of grief.
During my coffee, I happened to be listening to some music while I was remembering some old times that John and I had; the walks in the mountains, long conversations and contemplations and spiritual practices. About that time, an old song titled, “I Know You By Heart” came on. I listened to the words and realized that this was exactly what our relationship was all about.
We all have many relationships throughout our lives, but for some reasons, only a handful allow us to connect by heart. This often happens with our pets. The relationship goes far beyond what words can describe. This is what it means when she says, “I know you by heart.” This means unconditional love. Any other requirement negates unconditional and it is no longer truly love.
Later that morning I was having my morning walk. Again, my thoughts went to John. Instead of thinking about past times and how I would never be able to have those again, I changed my mindset and started thinking about all the good times and how much I appreciated them. Instead of grieving, the new mindset lifted my spirit and opened my heart. About that time, a soft voice came into my awareness. He said, “Hey, Dennis. You know that I am always here with you.”
When we grieve a lost loved-one, like our beloved pet, it is a conditioned habit to think back about them and feel bad because they are no longer with us. This brings forth the presence of grief, sadness and other emotions. These emotions do not serve us and they are certainly not the way that our beloved pet would want us to react when we think of them. Instead, a little shift in awareness to a sense of gratitude and appreciation of the time we had with them makes all the difference in the world. Instead of grief, we feel a sense of celebration. A celebration of a beautiful life and a wonderful experience. This is what our pet would want us to feel when we think of them.
Someone once said that grieving is the last love that we can give someone that has transitioned. This is not actually true. Grief contracts the heart and love opens the heart. It is that simple. Grief is actually a conditioned emotional pattern associated more with attachment than love. Grief believes that we can become unattached, separate. Love allows us to know that we are never separate and will never be without.
Does this mean that we will not grieve? No, and we should if it arises. But, experiencing grief is of the mind and not of the heart. As long as we hold on to emotions that are associated with fear or loss, we can not experience the depth of unconditional love. To find love is not about adding something to give us love, but by dropping something in order to find the love that is within us already. If we can drop the fearful thoughts and emotions, then love will step forward into our awareness like a gentle soul that has been patiently waiting in our background for many years.
Find a way to build on your relationship with your beloved pets by remembering the words, I know you by heart. In time, it will no longer be a belief, but an awareness.