One year, four months and four days after losing my yoga assistant, partner in crime, canine soul mate and breath guide, Molly, I have ventured into a new relationship with Franklin………….
Last Sunday morning I woke up free as a bird. No kids, no pets. My time my own as I lounged in bed and watched the sky. A mere 4 hours later after attending a lab rescue adoption event I was once again being stared at as “mom”. Franklin has lived in at least three or four homes/settings since his birth only 5 years ago. Today marks our first week of settling in and getting to know each other. Amazing how much change there is when one new personality enters into your life – especially an 85 lb one. And where there is change, you can always look for growth and new learnings. I have already had several………………….
Franklin has many wonderful qualities. He walks well on a leash, sleeps through the night like a champ, gives great kisses (I just got one in fact, right on the face), has a sweet temperament and good breath. On the other hand, as he has gotten more comfortable he has shown some a little less endearing ……….picking up his water bowl when it is half full and pouring it out, small anxiety episodes and barking ferociously when anyone walks in or comes to the door – this in a house where no less than 50 people come in each week, typically without knocking. Oh my.
I found myself saying several times that Franklin has the potential to be a great dog, but then caught myself. He IS a great dog. He simply has some challenges he needs to work through. No different than any of us. Franklin, just like each of us, is perfect. Life with its ups and downs has just piled on some layers. But with patience and a lot of love, the perfection that I see when I look into his eyes will shine brighter and brighter. If only it was that easy to see the perfection in each other as we move through life. That recognition that the one we are looking at, like Franklin, when we can see beneath life’s layers, IS great.
We just finished working in class with the energy of earth. Earth energy relates to our sense of being safe. That everything is OK. Feeling grounded and nurtured. It is our childhood and our past. Our history. When we lose our connection with earth energy we are anxious. Fear and anxiety are symptoms. As I watched Franklin last night during an anxiety episode I realized that many of the symptoms I was witnessing, which I was concerned about during the week, will most likely fade away over time as he senses that he is now safe. That his basic needs will be met and that he can count on us as his foundation. His tribe. Once again it is no different with us. A sense of belonging, either to our biological family or our spiritual family or to the Universe at large, brings us comfort and peace. Trusting without a doubt that the Universe will always provide for our basic needs allows us to relax. And when we do……the outward symptoms gently fade away.
Everyone has of course asked about Franklin’s past. I know about his last 4 months, but everything beyond that is vague. This week I thought I should ask more questions to find out why I was seeing some of his behaviors. What caused them? Where did they come from? That I should know more about his history. But again I caught myself.
So many people have said how lucky Franklin is to be joining my family. That everything will be good for him now and all will work out. As if this present moment can somehow erase his first five years of life. And you know what? They are right! I don’t need to know his history, just as I don’t need to know yours. He doesn’t need a therapist to work through whatever he has experienced in the past. The past no longer exists. What he needs is to feel loved, trusted and held in this moment. Once more….same thing for us. Every moment is brand new and a chance for change in whatever direction we, or he, choose to take. Only we can let the past hold us…..or let it go with a long slow exhale.
Why is it so much easier to see all of this in an animal than in myself? I think it is because they are simpler. They don’t overthink everything, blame their parents, or hold a grudge. They are transparent with their feelings and don’t hold back. And they aren’t us. Yet they are such wonderful teachers.
Yes he is lucky to have me……but I am equally, if not more, lucky to have him. There are no coincidences. Thank you Universe!
Lots of exhales for Franklin,