Did you know that pets can help bring emotional and physical healing? Duh. Of course you knew that, it's not a newsflash or anything. Hence the therapy dogs. etc. But it's really early in the morning and I was awakened by a dog and just couldn't go back to sleep so I thought I'd ramble about love and commitment and feel-feels.
Put your seatbelt on, this is going to get very rambley. Now the above thought I threw out about pets actually makes me laugh a little. There are few things better than a pet who will curl up with you and snuggle when you are down. Healing indeed. However, there is a flip side that you can guess if you've ever potty trained a pet, or cleaned up after one in the middle of the night when the hoarking sound awakens you from a dead sleep. Or when my pups who might have a sour tummy want to go out at 3:00 a.m. to eat grass. This has happened to me. It's real. I don't know if it's a named syndrome or not, it probably should be.
Anyhoo, regardless of the frustrating things that go along with pup parenting, pets add love, joy, peace and snuggles to my life. And that's worth the occasional dirty work or sleepless night. Kind of like marriage, or parenting, or friendship. When we put ourselves out there, stand behind our commitments and just do the hard work in those relationships we get the dividends in return. Not necessarily the way we expect, but blessings come in very unique packages.
A person once told me that she didn't cry, ever. That she had used up all her lifetime's supply of tears years before during a rough patch in life. What I noticed as I observed her interactions was that she indeed didn't cry. But she also didn't seem to feel joy, either, or even notice the beauty in the crazy things. Oh, she politely oohed and ahhed or she seemed to love objects that were beautiful. But there was a disconnect when others in the room were near tears over cuteness or the sweetness of moments. Almost like she refused to feel anything beyond the very expected basic surface emotions that make society run properly. (ha, ha)
I'm sure this works for her. Because if she's locked that door she doesn't go in and lament the decision she's made, there are so many ways to deaden our feelings. Another gal won't get a pet because in 10 years you will have to bury it. She doesn't want to get attached. I get that, I really do. But what is the hidden price you pay for the 10 years you live without the benefits of loving something or someone that much. My daughters, as they navigate this parenting thing, are understanding loving so much it aches. I'm right there with them. The act of living, really living, is full of opportunities to experience the multi spectrum light and color show of love. As much as I want the yellows and bright oranges and brilliant greens of the emotional plane, I also need the indigos and bruised purples to fully appreciate the gift of the yellows.
Even fuzzy-headed (literally and figuratively, I was rudely awakened after all)I know the wisdom of loving and choose to experience the good, the sad, the bad and the divine in the moments gifted to me. There are so many creatures in my life to love til it hurts.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.