I’m feeling especially grateful this Thanksgiving.
Ever since our dog, Cookie, died almost three years ago, I have been dogless. It’s not that I didn’t want another dog much sooner. Since my husband, Steve, is not the animal lover that I am, I had promised to honor his request to wait awhile before bringing another canine companion into our lives.
A few months ago, though, I began to feel it was time. I chose not to comb the humane societies or rescue operations in the area. Instead, I believed that my dog would find me. I had a deep inner belief that he/she would come to me effortlessly.
For many months, I’ve been deliberately practicing the concept of allowing. It involves letting situations and events unfold without manipulating the outcome. It necessitates openness and un-attachment to how our desires come into our lives. Allowing holds the intention, yet lets the final outcome look different than how we may have imagined it.
Allowing is the opposite of forcing. There have been many occasions and situations in which I used coercion to bring about a desired outcome. The effort and struggle to control events and make something happen, however, often left me feeling exhausted and dissatisfied.
I have come to understand that true power lies in letting go – in allowing – rather than forcing.
I didn’t have the time or the energy to launch a full-scale search for my dog. That much activity felt to me like force. I took only one action. Several months ago, I wrote down the characteristics I wanted in this new pet. I described the breed parameters, color, size, weight, cost, personality, health and age. And then I talked about them to my friends.
Last week, I received an e-mail message from a friend, stating that her dog groomer was fostering a rescued cockapoo (I wanted a no-shed breed). I went to meet the dog, fell in love, and brought her home two days later. Bella meets all of the criteria that I had established for the dog I wanted!
So, really, I’m thankful for two things this Thanksgiving. First, my heart sings with gratitude for the learning, through mentors and through my reading this past year, about the benefits of allowing. Since practicing letting go of force, I experience a depth of peace that I didn’t know was possible.
Second, I’m grateful for Bella; for this cuddly puppy that loves to sleep in my lap; for that sweet face with the dark eyes that look up at me expectantly; and for the bonding that is developing between us. I’m also grateful as I watch my non-dog-loving husband falling in love with Bella!
May you be filled with the joy of gratitude as you focus on what makes your heart sing this Thanksgiving!