Last Thursday, I put my sweet dog to rest. He had survived for over a year with a massive inoperable tumor on his head, and was in obvious discomfort. When it ruptured, intellectually I knew it was time.
Yet, even with this knowing, my heart couldn't embrace the decision. I wanted to hold so tightly to the permanence of our life together over the past decade; cling to the known, even if we both were in pain; his from his tumor, mine from watching him struggle.
My inner child was out last Thursday; she held his little body like a tiny baby. He stayed physically close to her heart as she denied the inevitable transition that both he and she would soon encounter.
The transition was not a smooth one.
Are transitions ever really smooth? What would have made it smoother? If I wasn't in fear? Or if he wasn't in so much pain? If I wasn't holding so damn tight to him leaving me; to this inevitable transition?
Whatever the reason, the whole experience was beyond painful and hard to digest.
Pema Chodron, in her book Comfortable with Uncertainty (2002) says, "We know that all is impermanent; we know that everything wears out. Although we can buy this truth intellectually, emotionally we have a deep-rooted aversion to it(p.27)."
Intellectually I could handle it; it made sense. But emotionally, I was a mess. I felt I was crawling out of my skin; my heart hurt so bad in the middle of the night that I thought I was going to die. At one point I wondered if this huge transition would be the death of me. I couldn't figure out exactly why....
But the way Pema explains it offers some comfort. She says, "We want permanence; we expect permanence. Our natural tendency is to seek security; we believe we can find it."(p.27).
A decade ago, I thought I had found permanence in this beautiful, innocent, unconditionally loving little creature when I went through a huge personal life transition. He was my "transition object" during that time; a security blanket. I always knew that he would be with me.
But life doesn't work that way.
Change is the only constant and truly inevitable. Again, easy to swallow intellectually, but harder on an emotional and physiological level.
As Pema says, "We experience impermanence at the everyday level as frustration. We use our daily activity as a shield against the fundamental ambiguity of our situation, expending tremendous energy trying to ward off impermanence and death."
In Buddhist teaching, we are encouraged to be free from this limited way of viewing impermanence. We are reminded of the importance of relaxing "gradually and wholeheartedly into the ordinary and obvious truth of change"(Chodrin, 2002, p. 28).
By recognizing the truth of impermanence, we are not being pessimistic or negative. Pema says, "What it means is that we begin to understand that we're not the only one who can't keep it all together" (p.28).
We realize, in our moments of connecting to inevitable change, transitions, and impermanence that we are not alone. That together, we experience suffering, strife, and struggle. But we also experience pure joy, love, laughter, truth, humility (being beautifully humble), purpose, a sense of connection, compassion, divine wisdom, and strength.
How beautiful is that impermanence!
Since Thursday, I have spent time doing daily yoga with my dear friend and Master Yogi Carrie Coppola, who reminded me during one class when she read this same passage from Pema's work of the beauty of impermanence. I have also spent a lot more time being in silence, and embracing meditative practice. As a result, I have been able to find moments where I can connect to my dog's spirit, his pure, joyful essence. I have been able to pause and reflect on the good times I had with him. I am more able this morning to envision him in pure love and health; free from suffering.
I realize that today is the beginning of the week (the often dreaded Monday), and that many, if not all of us are dealing with a full plate. Some of you may feel like your plate is full of fun and exciting things, while others may feel like your plate is full of heart-wrenching, potentially life changing stressful things (i.e., work/financial stress, addiction issues, relationship conflict, health issues; all of the above).
Whatever you are dealing with, as you walk through today's moment to moment changes and transitions, remember: YOU ARE TOTALLY WORTH IT.
Please also know that: The Divine in Me Honors the Divine in YOU.~Namasté,
Fall programming: WELCOME THE SEASON OF CHANGE!
FALL INTO HEALTH CLASS! Interested in learning how to take better care of your health; get your diet in alignment pre-holiday, learn how to get the most out of the food you eat and be in-health? Cari Junge, our Integrative Health Specialist, will be offering a health class this fall! Every Wed 7-8:30 p.m. for 8 weeks; $25 per class. (started Sept 9th, 2015); RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org;801-272-3500.
Thursdays, Rich has a new Men's Sexual/Relationship Recovery Group. Thursdays 4-6 p.m. $45 per group. 12-Week Commitment. On-going task group for men in recovery.
Candice, founder, and Carrie, Master Yogi are offering Mastering the Trauma Wound II to folks who have taken Mastering the Trauma Wound I with Candice. We will use the tools from Candice's workbook as we assist folks in settling into their bodies via yoga poses, breath work, meditationa and more. It will be truly transformative. $400 Special. One day only! Email Candice for date,time, details! email@example.com.
Welcome Jen Woj, LCSW to the Namasté team! Jen W is an LCSW, trauma therapist and Approved SOTP. We are thrilled to have her join our team. She will provide a second male SASOP™ group every Friday 9:30-11:30 a.m. starting this Friday, Sept 18th. $45 per group for Level II Sex Addicts. For details and attendance contact Candice @namasteadvice.com.
Contact info NAMASTEADVICE.COM; 801-272-3500 photo by pinterest.com