I struggle with what to say this week. And I’m trying really, really hard to find blessings in a shitstorm of a year. Thanks to our friend Rabbi Jill’s Gratitude Workbook, it may be possible to do it.
The Price of Pure Love
As Jim mentioned, we set Wyatt Ray free from his worn out earth clothes. Twelve years on three legs takes a toll on a dog. On a large German Shepherd with a lifetime of hip dysplasia, it was even worse. I’m grateful for his long, healthy, and cancer-free life, but it was gut-wrenching to make the euthanasia decision when that dog’s mind was sharp as ever. But we owed it to him. No creature should suffer a moment longer than necessary when medicine cannot help quell the pain.
Ironically, Wyatt’s decline mirrored that of my dad’s. They both had mobility challenges that increasingly caused great pain and suffering. I’d like to think that Wyatt hung on long enough for us to be okay with my Dad’s transition. But if I’m honest with myself, maybe we were just being selfish and waiting to call the vet.
Whatever the reason for arranging the appointment when we did, I know that Wyatt would never hold it against us. He loved us unconditionally, like all non-human animals. Even tough old dogs like Wyatt embody love in the purest sense of the word.
And it’s still worth the heartache.
Dogs, cats, and all non-human animals are a beeline to enlightenment, if we are able to open our eyes to their teachings. I honestly believe that animals are the only way a human ever experiences non-judgmental, pure, selfless love. It is a gift animals provide to us each and every day, and in return, we must never allow those gentle spirits to suffer the consequences of a temporary set of earth clothes.
Now, Jim and I are paying the price of loving animals we bring into our life. A mix of relief, guilt, heartbreak and sadness clouds our holiday season this year. Now more than ever I’m finding it hard to take my own advice and Be More Dog. But with Rabbi Jill’s free Gratitude Workbook on my Thanksgiving reading list, I just might get there.
Need help practicing gratitude? This is your guide.
Finding blessings in a shitstorm takes work. But it doesn’t have to be hard.
When you need help finding reasons to be thankful for in this crappy year, Grateful can help.
When you need a gentle reminder of all that you have, despite all that you’ve lost, I really encourage you to download Jill’s workbook and read it cover to cover. Then, do the exercises and see what a difference it makes.
When I found myself wishing that we could just get through the holiday BS quickly and easily, I decided to read Jill’s book and do the exercises this week. My soul needs the help. My spirit needs a jumpstart. Does yours too? Join me and let me know what you think.
And in the meantime, I hope you have the most meaningful Thanksgiving you’ve ever had. May your table overflow with good food and your hearts with gratitude for all the blessings in your life.