I am participating in Reverb10 this December. Won't you join me?
December 14th | Appreciate
What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)
In the beginning, I could never have imagined it.
While all of the puppy breath and that cute round tummy and paw pads as smooth and soft as silk were more than captivating, all of that puppy goodness hadn't really prepared me for what was ahead; for how I would be forever changed because of this amazing, furry little companion that was now mine.
But it did. Forever change me, that is.
What I was not prepared for ~ in fact, which I doubt I could ever be fully prepared for ~ was the depth of that change.
What changed was my ability to fully understand the power of unconditional love. For many years, the relationship seemed to be out of whack; I felt like I was getting much more than I was giving. Not that I didn't love my dogs ~ it wasn't that at all. It was that the purity with which they loved me back somehow always seemed so much more special.
This year, as Liberty's imune system crumbled and she needed me more than she ever had before, I was able to reciprocate in a way that felt absolutely right and whole. I was able to complete that circle of unconditional love that had been evolving over the past 15 years. I was finally at a point where I could give her what she had given me.
I was able to be there for her completely both phycially and emotionally: to bathe her with special organic soap that calmed her inflamed skin; to lay down on the floor with her head in the crook of her arm and simply stroke her velvety soft ears and whisper how much I loved her in her ear; to make special food for her when she got to the point where she wouldn't eat dog food.
At the very end, I was able to make sure that she did not suffer needlessly, and that she died while in the comfort of my arms.
What the process of living with, caring for and ultimately letting go of my sweet Liberty this year taught me was more than I could have ever expected when that little golden ball of fluff was delivered to my by her breeder, Paul Kouski, on a cold December evening in 1996.
While there are countless things that I learned from and deeply appreciate about Liberty and the time we had together, the one that stood out most for me this year was being shown how to let go with supreme love.
"To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven."
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1
I struggle to find the words to convey the impact of the depth of that understanding.
Love fully & completely, and then be willing to let go.
It was a hugely powerful concept for me this year, and one for which I will be forever grateful to have experienced through such an amazing canine teacher.
Yes, what I have come to appreciate this year more than I ever thought I would, is the healing power of loving completely and then being willing to let go. It is in the genuine willingness to let go that the magic happens.
As I move forward into 2011 and beyond, the process of letting go will continue. There are people and situations and things that are a part of my life right now that won't be in 2011, not because they are inherently bad, but simply because it is time. Moving forward with a clear mind and an open heart.
Thank you, Liberty, for opening my eyes and my heart to such a profound understanding of true love.