As a vet for over 40 years, and having practiced from a holistic perspective the past 23 years, I could not have helped learning a few things about the people who take care of their pets. Nowadays, I do phone consultations with people all over the world, most of them who have pets that are seriously ill or have chronic diseases that have not responded to a conventional medicine approach. All of them have one goal, to have their pet heal.
However, if I took the time to ask them why they wanted their pet to heal, they would likely tell me it is because they love their pet and do not want it to suffer. It is absolutely true that they love their pet. Who doesn’t love their pet? But, if truth be told, that is not why they want their pet to get better. The truth is, that they want to be happy and they are not happy when their pet is sick, especially if they think it is soon going to die.
Now that may come as a shocker, but if we look at the truth, it is pretty easy to see. Love for our pets is unconditional. Without condition. In sickness and health. Without exception or expectation. Any exception to unconditional love would not be unconditional love and unconditional love is the only true love. So, that means, deep down inside, below the thoughts and feelings of the ego-mind, we truly love our pet unconditionally and that includes when it is sick and when it chooses to transition. We don’t stop loving our pets when they decide that they are ready to transition. Long after their body is gone, we feel their presence and the love we have for them as unconditional love, means without condition, which includes death of the physical body.
We do not like our pet being sick because it makes us unhappy and all attempts at resolving the illness is a direct attempt to make us happy. When we feel we are not succeeding or that we are not in control of the outcome, we become unhappy, making us more stressed and frustrated, more unhappiness.
We humans, experiencing life in a state of duality, judge our experiences as either positive or negative. Positive experiences make us happy while negative experiences make us unhappy. We try desperately to control life so that the happy experiences are more frequent than the unhappy experiences. It is our human nature to seek this, but it can never happen because life is always going to balance things out. Duality is the state of existence where we have to compare things in order to experience. We need to know what hot is in order to know what cold is. We can’t know happiness unless we have experienced sadness. Light and dark, heavy and light, and so on. Comparing the opposites in order to be able to have experiences. A guru once said, “We must have Hitler in order to have Mother Theresa. Life, in the human experience, is a two sided coin. It cannot exist without both a heads and a tails; a positive and negative.
The experience we have with a sick pet makes us unhappy so it is our natural response to try to resolve the problem so that we will be happy again. Sure, we want to make it more personal and call it love, but in truth, it is not and we have already discussed why. I had a client once who was miserable. She had been the caretaker of her sick mother for many years. She loved her mother unconditionally, like we all do, but the years of frustration, disruption in her life, impatience, etc., took its toll on her and she admitted that in time, she found herself resenting her mother as well as the other members of the family who did not help. She was dealing with a constant state of unhappiness and there was nothing she could do about it in spite of the fact that she truly loved her mother. When her mother finally transitioned, the daughter was left with enormous thoughts and feeling of guilt and remorse because of the negative feelings and thoughts she had about her mother during this period. These not only caused her great suffering but they covered up the truth that she loved her mother unconditionally and that her mother loved her unconditionally, no matter what happened.
If we can honestly look at the truth about our feelings when our pet is seriously ill, then we can address it and break the cycle of attempting to make ourselves happy during an unhappy experience. Drop the love thing and look at it for what it is. I have had countless clients tell me that they were sad that their pet died but in truth, they admitted that they were finally at peace with the situation, meaning that they were no longer living with the frustrations and unhappiness.
What can we do to avoid this situation? Our conditioned, human mind will tell us that there is no way that we can find happiness during this experience. It is true and that is why we need to go to a place beyond the logic of the human mind. This is where we find truth.
We identify ourselves as two different identities without realizing it. When we feel frustration, we identify ourselves as a body/mind that is having these feeling. I am having these feelings of frustration. When we are aware that our pet’s illness is making us feel bad, we are identifying ourselves as that separate state of being that is aware of what is happening to the body/mind. I, the body/mind thing, is feeling frustrated and unhappy. When you shift your focus on the awareness of the body/mind, there wil be an experience of separation, realizing that you are not actually the body/mind.
Every experience you have ever had was a combination of the experience of the body/mind as well as an awareness of that experience. Your entire life has been one changing event after another; good, bad, indifferent. The body/mind reacted to those events and the silent awareness stayed present without any response whatsoever. When you were a child, then an adolescent, then a young adult, the silent awareness, also called consciousness, never changed. It has always been the unchanging witness in your life. It is your True self and that appearance of the body/mind is but an illusion created by the creator in order to experience itself. Truth be told, you are that Creator and with that awareness, you will know that all of life is your creation and it is all a beautiful, wonderful, dreamlike reality.
When we choose to turn our attention of our state of awareness, we can witness the events in our lives and realize that the body/mind is not what we truly are and that what is happening is only happening to the body/mind. When we practice staying focused as the silent witness, then we separate ourselves from the body/mind experiences and find eternal peace and joy as our true selves and do not get wrapped up in the body/mind’s life experiences. We participate in the experiences, both good and bad but never loose site of the truth of our awareness, that comes with peace and joy, your true nature.
Think about a dream that you had. During the dream, it seemed real. You had a body and a mind and had experiences, both good and bad. Then, you woke up and realized that it was only a dream even though when you were the character in the dream you were absolutely positive that it was real. Now, imagine that you are living in a dream and at the same time you are aware that you are dreaming. That is what happens when you can keep your focus on your awareness state of mind. Then, you can participate with the dream life fully and never lose site of the fact that it is nothing but a remarkable dream. That is how we find true peace and joy that is always in the present moment.