What do you do after your loved one passes away? Ease your way into loving again.
I believe that we prepare ourselves to expand our hearts once more in love each time we love. My heart dog, Laila, passed away last spring. I don't live with a dog right now and I have no immediate plans to bring a dog into my life, but it's important for me to spend time with other dogs. So many close their hearts after losing someone they deeply love. They don't want to feel the pain of loss. They doubt their ability to love again. They have many other reasons that reflect their truth in that moment.
I understand that, and I don't want to do that. I'd be out of integrity with the work I do celebrating the catalytic power of love if I said I'd never love another dog. I'm taking baby steps in my healing. We have so many opportunities to love, if we feel safe enough to risk our hearts. I'm slowly allowing myself to have new experiences. I dog sat last weekend for the beautiful being I call my stepdog (who, for those of you who know her, is doing really well), and I'm driving this Saturday to a library an hour south of my home to read to an Alaskan Malamute named Layla.
I wasn't looking to do this, believe me. An internet search on an unrelated topic eventually led me to a webpage featuring a photo of a gorgeous adult Mal who shares that very special name. My initial reaction was "Aaaarrrroooooo," followed immediately by fear of uncontrollably sobbing when we meet. This Layla is a trained therapy dog. I trust she's met many people who cry when they meet her. I'm still afraid of crying when I say her name, but I'm risking it.
Wish me luck.