Well known for Animal Speak, Anna Breytenbach tells a story of a pet who knows of his impending death. Beautifully written she explains the compassion of our furry friends and their simple view on death. Great read for anyone who has said goodbye to a family pet or is getting ready to say farewell. ‘Our Endless Essential Nature’ could offer comfort and new perspective.
Anna Breytenbach publishers the website ‘Animal Spirit’.
In my quest for continued happiness I realized sometimes people we are connected with are not good for our overall well-being. Even though beautiful souls and all in a sense sisters and brothers I struggled with how to separate myself physically and spatially if not in spirit.
Visiting less frequently, while focusing my appreciation on more positive attributes helped. But when the person I seemed to be uplifting, no matter how I tried to protect myself, continually exhausted me I looked for guidance from within. I found the answer was simple though it took time to come the conclusion. I can no longer allow another’s unhappiness or dysfunction to derail my joy. But in that it meant it was my problem. Simple, right?
How do you let someone go without hurting them, without feeling guilty? I fretted over that age old question as I remained in contact. As I stewed I now realize I was manifesting a departure.
Friendships are sometimes like walking a tight rope. Not always, but eventually someone is bound to fall. Most times it’s a casual slip from distance or change of interests. No one seems to get hurt, the rope has frayed and your bonds vanish. Sometimes someone cuts the cord. And it’s not always the one holding the scalpel, because intention is a funny thing.
Poor timing? Perfect timing? Gently asking for space has precipitated a wild reaction. As I listen to the bombardment and don’t defend what needs no defense it is easy to see that the accusations being heaped at my feet are actually the exact thing the person, I’m asking for time, mirror. I do not engage because the sweet smell of freedom beckons. The person I wanted most to establish liberty from has a pair of scissors they are hiding behind their back. They stab first then snip. The blades missed their mark though they severed the rope. “Goodbye.”
How do you let someone go without hurting them, without feeling guilty? Answer. Unless they want the same thing you can’t. I know the outburst stemmed from the person’s pain, anger, and lack of understanding. I derive no pleasure from another’s pain but I must weigh whether keeping the friendship is joyful or unhealthy. Being a caring person, I know now loving myself is first priority. Many people will likely disagree, believing you should put others before yourself and that is their right. And I hope these people are truly happy, though deep down—?
Blessing and sending love is the solution I have found to help release culpability. You can’t make yourself miserable enough to raise another out of their misery. You liberated?
I will always appreciate the beauty of this person’s soul. And I know we remain connected. No matter how sharp the scissors we are still a part of all that is.
The uncomfortable feelings fade and the glorious flag of liberation takes its place. I am lighter.
What happens when you wake up one morning and realize that you are truly happy? That you have everything you could ever want. Not only that, but you can’t remember what it felt like to be grasping and lost. Everything you thought you had to have to create joy was just a mirage.
This morning I woke up in a vortex of good feelings and abundant happiness. My choices were endlessly dancing around me, a chorus line of kicks and whoops. I stretched and smiled knowing time is my friend. I’d dreamed of magical things in my sleep… First levitating and spinning and a tasty banquet, enjoyed with my spouse, by a crackling fire soon after.
There is no fear in my declaration. I am happy. Life IS good and I’m blessed with knowing happiness is my right and wholly important to me and my health. The universe congratulates joyful souls, encouraging them to spread their wealth of happy vibes. It’s taken me years to learn this open secret. And now I know better than to berate and dwell on my slow dawning. That would be a downer.
If you would ask how I got here it might be difficult to articulate. But I’ll try… You can watch a hummingbird a thousand times. You might admire their iridescence, speed, and agility. You may wonder how they are able to fly so fast or how their feathers dazzle, flashing from moment to moment. But it is when you imagine yourself flying as them that your emotions become cued and you can really appreciate the wonder of what and who they are.
I am. I am. I am… I am what I want to be…
I can let my surrounding control me or I can be happy. When I began to find positives in what some may believe to be only negative or bleak circumstances, my baby steps moved me into realms of hope and faith. When I finally realized my intuition was a better guidance system than governmental authority, well-meaning religious figures, or social edicts my horizon brightened and expanded. Other people weren’t really what bothered me but instead it was my perceptions of situations and stories I made up in my mind. Others’ perception of me is frankly not my problem or my business. Once I understood, it doesn’t really make a difference what others think of me a yoke lifted and an incredible lightness of being encompassed and opened my heart.
I walk my own path. I am what I want to be. Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” I’m not a Buddhist but my intuition agrees wholeheartedly with this simple idea.
I know as I approach the beach I am gambling with nature.
Low, heavy, ashen clouds dare me, Gracie, and Leroy to venture onto what remains of the scant shoreline. Accepting, we dance with the grasping foamy fingers of the rising surf and I watch distant waves, swollen as watery mountains momentarily suspended as if by magic. The spell breaks, and I release a breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding, as the peak of the swell shifts and curls translucent. The awe inspiring upsurge, each as different as snowflakes, crest, and repeatedly fall in upon themselves in loud torrents of thrashing.
My four-legged friends quickly learn the word “up,” jumping onto rocks and tiptoeing along logs, Leroy’s eyes sparkling and Gracie panting with enthusiasm at each new challenge. Moving swiftly, wanting to make the full length of the beach, I’m spurred on by the thunder of the ocean and the wind pushing at my back.
The usually manageable creek crossing is a formidable falls after previous days of rain. Several rocks are inches under swift water that plummets three foot into a well of current. My pounding heart is drowned out by the roar of the encroaching sea and the raging gush before me. Courage or stupidity I set my intention for a safe crossing. A furry friend in each arm and deep rushing water under foot I step boldly, not slowing, choosing each rock without faulty. With a final leap I reach the other side exhilarated and confident knowing it is my only route of return.
Putting my dogs back on the ground together we sprint and dodge the growing surge. I shiver with delight as the wind flattens my hair competing with the ocean to be heard. Gusting, it tears the tops from the crashing waves, blowing spray high in a whirling frenzy.
Timing must be precise between pulsing surf. Dashing forward I “whoop” and the dogs run excited with the game of rounding the cliff. Two large boulders, the final leg of our journey, are in sight. The sky is now dark as thick soot and the breeze has turned to gale.
As I tap the stone and turn back I say, “We’d better keep moving.” But first I stop to give thanks to earth and this rare moment in time.
With tongues out and ears up, Leroy and Gracie are attentive to my every direction and warning. We move as a pack. It’s a beautiful and thrilling ballet. Hopping, running, and leaping we weave our way back to the path leaving the beach. Just as we reach where I’d parked large drops begin to bend the blades of grass in front of the sidewalk. Rain splats our grinning faces as I wipe the sand from my pups before depositing them in the car.
Eyes wide I behold and relish the beauty and power of all that is before me. Though I wouldn’t have to be, I am very wet before I slide into the driver’s seat because I so want to hold tight to my wild woman. She’s the one fully connected with nature, in her glory as she dances with the tide. And I know she isn’t really racing the rain; she is in concert with the clouds.