(This was written in the summer of 2020)
Self doubt is a perilous thing. It seeps in, without us even being aware, causing confusion and mayhem. Being in a contained room with my recently spayed Zelda is teaching me a lot about myself. It’s the ole mirror mirror story I often tell.
A little backstory. Zelda is a rescued dog who has some things she is working through. Not wanting me out of her eyesight, is one of them.
I remember a time when I was a little girl and it was time to go out in the world. Maybe it was nursery school or dance lessons. Regardless, the fear and screaming I remember to this day. I also remember that obsessive need to continue to check in with my mom before being encouraged outward again.
That is my Zelda. Her constant need to see me, touch me, get reassurance drives her. It saddens me, angers me and causes me to lose my cool on occasion. (In this case it was me telling her “no” very firmly and angrily which caused her to cower.)
Anytime I react in a way that I wished I had done differently (in all areas of my life), there is a wonderful healing technique that helps shift our perception so guilt and shame can be released. I have used this many times with wonderful results. So I got quiet, sat still, and in my imagination, I did a re-do. In my imagination, I changed the whole story of what happened regarding my reaction. *If interested in this process, I explained it on my podcast.
In doing this activity, I was reminded again how much I see myself in Zelda.
Instead of telling her that she is ok, I told her that WE are ok. And as I said these words to her, while loving on her and petting her, this prompted a great release and cry from me. In addition to receiving support from two of my close friends, it’s been our mantra ever since.
This morning I could see her excitement and her desire to get out. I thought about what other people do with their dog and I so wanted her to get out, somehow! This prompted a lot of doubt and questioning from myself and what I was doing. I wondered if I should take her around with me in the sling. As I brought it out and saw her shake with anxiety, and she felt my indecisiveness, I stopped and remembered.
I need to trust in myself and project that outward. Sure, animals pick up our vibes but there are reasons why she and I are in containment together. I’ve come to know Zelda. My goal is for her to heal completely from surgery with minimal stress. In addition, I want her to feel safe, loved and secure. So we are riding this out together.
The theme that keeps coming up over and over in my own life and with regard to Zelda is to slow down, have patience and give things time. We are on a healing journey. We all are in some way.
Animals are one of our greatest gifts on the planet.
Here’s to many years of laughter and joy.