Giving thanks is one of the best ways to heal ourselves and our animals. For me, it’s a special version of love. We become open and vulnerable as we purposely look for and acknowledge who or what brings good or joy into our lives.
“Attitude of Gratitude” = giving thanks
These days, there are many programs to get sober. I come from the Old School 12-Step program. My first sponsors, Ginger and Anne, reminded me to make a gratitude list when I started “sharing my issues” (complaining).
For long-term sobriety and any hope of happiness, they told me to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.” That is great advice and works for everyone, no matter what our spiritual beliefs are.
And for our health, the vibration of gratitude brings beautiful energy which nourishes our body as well as our spirit.
Finding our animals companions’ “best selves”
We humans sometimes focus on what drives us nuts about our animal companions, how they disappoint us. We may negatively compare new family animals with ones who passed on. Usually, that’s our grief showing; we miss those lovely companions so much.
So I teach my UConnect students to find and remember their animal companions’ “best selves” as often as they can. Focus on the positive characteristics of their companions. And tell their companions with a heart full of gratitude about their best selves. You can do this, too.
Molly comforts Newt
My dog Molly is a chewer (She’s the smaller, brindle dog). For instance, we have learned not to leave a sock (and many objects) within her reach. It can be pretty annoying. Maybe that’s why she was rehomed a few times before she came to us.
But yesterday, I saw Molly’s “best self” emerge in a new way. I became even more in love with her.
In the afternoon, our other dog, Newt had an episode of what in people could be called PTSD. He started shaking and yipping, snuggling next to me on the couch. His head was buried into my body as he begged for comfort.
Molly had been on squirrel patrol, looking out our front window diligently to protect the house from a squirrel invasion.
But when she heard Newt, she ran over to us. She jumped up on the couch and gently touched him, asking, “Are you all right, Newt?” with a small lick. She communicated, “I’m here. I care.” Then she settled in next to Newt, who was now sandwiched between us both.
As Newt relaxed, I looked into Molly’s eyes and thanked her for caring. I told her how much I loved and appreciated her. And how lucky Newt was to have her as his doggie companion.
Plus, in case she’s still worried, I shared how she’s going to live with us for the rest of her life. Her eyes softened as she felt my love and relaxed into my acknowledging her “Best Self.”
Giving thanks for their Best Self = healing
Try this with your animal companions. Notice or remember something they’ve done that makes you love them so. See it in your mind and imagine sharing it with them as you radiate love and gratitude. Your love seeps deep into their body and soul. Imagine some part of them responding and healing – and feel your healing, too.
Tell them you see their “Best Selves”
When do you see your animal companions’ “Best Selves”? How do you let them know how loved they are?