If we clear our own baggage as our animals age, we will more easily know if they want to continue their life on the planet or they’re ready to go. And with less mental and emotional baggage, we can even accept when they change their minds to go or stay.
Clearing our own baggage is so useful
But it’s incredibly difficult because we are so attached to our animals. As they age, we usually tune in even more clearly to how much we love them and don’t want them to go.
But if you can keep “clearing your own baggage” in mind, it may help you navigate through the last part of their life. When you recognize your own needs and desires in the relationship, acknowledge them. There’s nothing wrong with your feelings. Because if you look deeply in your heart, you know you want what’s best for your animal.
What beliefs and thoughts about what’s happening to your animal are you holding onto that no longer serve you?
Clearing our baggage of being “The Fixer”
One belief that I’ve heard is that it’s your responsibility to fix them. To bring them back to health.
Can I be blunt? With tons of compassion, I have to say that it seems as if you believe you’re God in this situation. If you just find the right doctor, treatment, energy healing, it will all work out.
Let me be clear. I am not saying give up, don’t try. There are so many modalities out there. One of them may be the answer to helping your animal spend more time on the planet as they age.
But please take yourself off the hook now
This belief that you’re such an almighty powerful being that it’s your job to bring them back to health will bite you in the butt after your animal passes on. I’ve heard it from loving, decent people. They feel they failed their animal. Because they didn’t do enough. In their mind, they didn’t find the cure that was right around the corner.
Clear being the fixer before they pass!
But as far as I know, we all die eventually. And so, at some point, you’re going to hit a wall. Your beloved animal is going to pass on. I can almost hear you say, “Yes, of course I know that!”
But deep down, we deny it as long as we can. It’s so hard to bear this truth. So we give ourselves this heavy mission that at some point, we will fail at. They will be gone.
Clear being the fixer. Surround yourself with self-love. Acknowledge you’re human. As a human, you will probably be unable to keep your loved ones alive with you for the entire time you’re on the planet. Instead of believing you will prevail over all odds, shift to a softer, more comforting belief.
As you clear your baggage, remember this isn’t the end
Tell yourself you’ll do all you can to help your animal stay in their body. That is, until it doesn’t make sense anymore. At some point you notice, no one’s having fun.
And remember, it isn’t the end. Animals, like humans survive death. Releasing them from their physical body can be a blessing for them. They will be grateful once they feel the pleasure of being whole again. I guarantee it.
Laurence shares about clearing her baggage
Laurence shared this beautiful and personal experience of clearing the baggage of being “The Fixer.”
“When we got our two Labradors Retrievers almost 12 years ago, I had already been focused on nourishing food and exercise for a very long time for our family. So it was easy to include Jazz and Tug. We got Jazz as a male puppy and Tug as a 7-year-old female. They were both our first pets.
“It is only recently, after a session with Maribeth, that I painfully realized that being obsessed with their health has robbed me of the most beautiful part of my relationship with my two beautiful dogs, the soul connection, the fun, the freedom.
“Tug died at 15 with numerous health issues that should have led to a much earlier euthanasia. I wanted her to heal and die on her own. I could not make the decision to euthanize her until our vet explained to me how difficult her life was.
“Jazz started to show lameness in his back legs a while ago and again I was trying to find a healing. I desperately wanted the perfect health for him no matter his age. Our vets cannot find anything obvious, and he doesn’t show signs of pain. He is still active and enthusiastic.
“After the session with Maribeth I let go. I discovered that I was missing out on the soul connection with Jazz because I was so driven and focused on “doing the right thing” for his body, feeling over responsible about it and like a failure if I couldn’t find a solution. This was a lot for me to carry around that was in the way of our relationship.
“I now deeply enjoy our time together, so relaxed and fun, just being with each other.”
“I can see how precious this time of his life is, the adorable senior dog that smells every blade of grass and doesn’t care about exercise (but as a lab cares a lot about food!).
“It is amazing that he still walks a significant distance everyday, but he decides where, when, and at what pace. We now walk behind him!
“I realize now the weight I was carrying on my shoulders, a heavy one of “fighting disease so I could keep him longer”, instead of going with the flow and accepting that aging can be a beautiful time of life, even if the body is not perfect, accepting that his life span is much shorter than ours and that one day he won’t be with us anymore (I am not sure I have completely accepted this one yet…)
“It is amazing how much our pets teach us about ourselves and about life.”
Clearing your baggage is from the second edition of my book, “Peace in Passing: Comfort for Loving Humans During Animal Transitions,” which will available November 2021.
Do you struggle with being “The Fixer”? How will you shift this belief so you can enjoy the time you have with your beloved companion?