How My Terrier Taught Mastery, A Lesson To Start 2012
Years ago, I outlined twelve or thirteen chapters for a proposed book “Everything I Learned about Prayer, I Got from My Dog.” I was convinced that dogs have an easy way of bringing out the best in us and “Maggie” was my proof.
As my beloved terrier-mix aged, I learned something more. This time, it was about desperation and love. It’s this: with love, we will, in desperation, label the slightest “improvement” from disability as” a return to health.” For instance, Maggie had days when she didn’t feel so well. She had to stop during her daily walk and lie down. Other days, she was fine and without symptoms. So, I figured, the problem had resolved. Besides, the vet couldn’t find anything wrong.
Today, Maggie still teaches me: beware of what you label as healthy; it might just as easily be fewer symptoms, not a healing. On March 17, 1997, she died in my arms of a heart attack we couldn’t diagnose, and I could no longer delude myself about her illness.
Back to the present. This week, I posted the story “You Are Not Alone, or The Wheelwright.” In this story, a wheelwright explains the difference between going forward (the working wheel has four spokes: Love, Understanding and Gratitude Energies or LUGE) and wheel breakdown. Breakdown is caused by external forces on the wheel: HIND (Hate, Ignorance, Neediness and Desperate action).
This is what I have since realized: HIND is pervasive and I have been delusional about the lack of symptoms. Now identified for me by the wheelwright, I see HIND everywhere in our social structures. For example, every day, a majority of the ga-jillions of words spoken are laden with HIND. Billions of products are sold every minute around the world because we Hate ourselves or others, are Ignorant of who we are, and feeling Needy or Desperate. Millions of corporate, institutional and governmental officials use the power of Hate, Ignorance and Neediness every day against each other and down the hierarchy. HIND is as pervasive as pollution and as destructive as hell.
Now, as I go about my daily business, this is not pleasant to think about or observe. I want this to be a happier world, a more vital culture, a more enlightened group of acquaintances and relatives. To make it so, I usually escape to my delusions. Seeing a child, I feel hope. Feeling the sun on me and seeing a blue sky above, I believe the world is okay. Getting home to my family from work, I wonder how I could be so fortunate.
This is just like it was when Maggie was sick. It’s just seeing fewer symptoms; all the while, Maggie’s heart was growing weaker. Delusion is easy. Delusion is a kind of Ignorance. I choose it because it feels better than the sad state we’re in.
So, when I look directly at the HIND that smothers us, I wonder. Am I tough enough to face it? Does my loving support have a ghost of a chance? Will I be swallowed up by the consuming horizon of HIND?
Because HIND has many symptoms, I will look at it through the metaphor of healers. Any doctor or nurse that fights disease knows that delusion, desperation and ignorance cannot heal a patient. The only real chance a patient has will come from awareness, bravery, and focused action over time. The team (patient and medical staff) has to know what the disease is, how it progresses and how it is defeated.
And all of us that read the wheelwright’s story know the diseases of a life-maligning kind: Hate, Ignorance, Neediness and Desperate action. We also know how to defeat them: with LUGE (Love, Understanding and Gratitude Energies).
For 2012, I am ridding myself of the delusion that all will be well if we keep our present course. We are not healthy! I dedicate myself to this life-wrighting therapy. It doesn’t matter how hateful others are, how ignorant institutions or individuals are, how needy I feel or how desperately my soul screams. I trust my all to Love, Understanding and Gratitude. Fear will not deter me as it has before.
I know what needs to be done:
- Clear my delusions.
- Know the nature of the disease.
- Stop HIND from killing us.
- Practice LUGE.
- Know LUGE is who we are.
- Commit to forward movement.
It’s going to be a new self in 2012! I love you, Maggie. And I am sorry I didn’t see how sick you were.
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