Saturday, March 06, 2010

Dumpster diving for the soul

I've been in angel boot camp for years! The biggest lesson I've faced is learning to love myself - no matter what. I've had to learn to love myself when I'm upset - the angels say it is just truth coming to the surface in awkward ways. I've had to learn to love myself when sad - the angels say that when we're sad, we're saying we want more and that is self-love. I've had to learn to love myself when I'm cranky, tired, frustrated, or anything else I used to consider less than spiritual. At first I used to ask, "But how can I love myself when I'm cranky?" The angels would say, "When you are cranky, there are unevolved parts inside of you that want love and care, much like a child who is tired, upset, or frustrated they are throwing tantrums! Go inside of yourself and see who wants love." And so I would sit, meditate and say, "Who inside of me is cranky." Often I heard a voice answer back. "ME, you are not taking care of yourself," or "ME, you didn't speak up yesterday," or "ME, you promised me a day off and you did some work." The list goes on! And so I would negotiate with this part of myself and thus heal the frustrations.

Late last year, I had to go diving into myself again. I humorously call it "dumpster diving" when I go within myself to find the love underneath a less than loving emotion!

It had been a long day at work, and I didn't finish emails, accounting, doggie duties, etc. until late. I had no sooner sat down to eat my dinner at 8:30pm when my dog whom had just received a ton of affection started non-stop whining. He does this when I don't give hime enough attention for his tastes. Most often I tease him, ignore it, or just go about my business until he smiles and I have time to hug him some more. But this night I got SO frustrated. I looked at him and uncharacteristically spoke harshly. "Leave me alone! I'm sick of your whining! I take care of you two all day and everyone else too and all I want to do is eat dinner before bedtime. Go to bed!" My dear dogs ran off into the bedroom while I ate. Some button had been pushed... I had a hissy fit and continued to huff and puff. "All day long I give give give to you two. I wash your towels twice a day, pick up your doo doo, wake up at 3am and 5am to let you out, give you supplements, boil your eggs, pick up yor youknowwhat, boil your chicken, feed you pumpkin with your dinner so your tummies feel well, rub your butts, give you Reiki and massages, spend more money that I humanly should, and more time than I have for myself every day, just to keep you both comfortable... and you WHINE?" Bruno, my dear husky looked at me rather sheepishly, turned away, and let out a loud sigh. I could hear his thinking, "She's not getting it."

Now I felt bad. I had spoken harshly to this dog I loved with all my heart. I knew it was time to go diving into myself and see who and what was incapable of being compassionate as usual. "Ok, in there. Who is upset?" I asked. A voice answered quickly, "ME! You aren't taking care of yourself FIRST. You've slipped back into old habits and because you aren't taking care of yourself and eating before finishing your work, you are tired, frustrated, and don't want to take care of anyone else." Uh, busted! So I immediately changed my habits. Now I eat dinner by 7pm, take care of the dogs and give them a lot of love, THEN finish the office work. That works SO much better. It was a simple change. Now when my dear doggies whine I have a full heart and I can gently tease them or ignore it and not feel resentful. I went and thanked my dog for setting me straight. He broke into a huge grin and looked at the other dog as if to say, "She got it!" Lucy started smiling too and they both looked at me with fully humorous grins on their faces. I stood humbled before my teachers! Treats were definitely in order.

So when you feel anything less than happy, go diving within yourself to find what part of you is upset, scared, frustrated, etc., and what it needs to be joyful again. Joy is the natural state of the soul. Anything less is a reminder that we're not really loving ourselves somehow. Even when we get upset at another, it would be more loving to say, "We can't change them. What can we change inside of ourselves?" That is where the true power in life lies... and it is easier to change your inner world than have constant reminders that you need to do so presented by the outer world!