For those that know me personally, they can attest to my generally positive outlook. Even with a naturally upbeat disposition, life can get strange and upsetting—and I suppose in times like these it’s necessary to call upon all of the tools that I teach and have diligently studied over the years.
A coyote killed my beloved pup a couple of weeks ago, and it’s brought up all sorts of issues to work through. I was outside with him at the time, and I’ve experienced a ton of self-judgment about having him outside in the dark, not keeping him closer, and not doing something, anything, differently.
The only answer is self-forgiveness. Forgiving myself for any and all of the judgments that present themselves. Forgiving myself for not being a better pet owner, forgiving myself for not installing a 10 foot fence, for not having a gun with me (although even if I had one, I don’t know that killing another animal would have really been the answer)… forgiving whatever strange (and most of the time unreasonable) judgments that surface. Most of them have an underlying theme of me being an awful person who allowed this tragedy to happen.
When I’m not judging myself, I’ve found myself judging God. Who created this food chain anyway? I mean, throw a bunch of living beings on a planet, and most will survive by eating each other? Seriously, Supreme Creator, that was kind of a twisted plan! I’m sure there is some really reasonable and divine explanation for that apparently cruel setup; I’m just having difficulty understanding it in this moment.
It’s times like these, when life becomes surreal, that we most need to open our hearts. For me, that means opening myself to receiving support and love from friends and family. Opening my heart to self-compassion and self-forgiveness. Opening my heart to the Universe—trusting that this is an important lesson, that I will ultimately serve the highest good. I want to blame someone or something, even if that person is myself, but when I tap into the higher aspects of my being, I know it’s really not about blaming anyone, but about loving everyone. Loving my dog, loving the coyote, and having compassion for the woman who did her best in an awful moment.
I stand wearing a pair of peep toe shoes to remind me to maintain an open heart—especially when it comes to my own judgments of myself.
I’d love to hear how you’ve supported yourself to move from self-judgment to self-love?
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A special thanks to Victoria Flower Photography for shooting the stunning images for this post!