Saturday, May 23, 2015

A life lesson I received from a person I never expected...

In April, I had the opportunity to see one of our former presidents speak.  Well, it was more of a Q&A type session.  I never thought I'd learn a life lesson from our former president, but God continues to work on my heart and it was something profound.  Our former president was discussing some of past decisions that he had to make as president, and when his father called to talk to him, his father said, "I didn't call you to give you advice since you have many great advisers for that.  I called because I love you."  That's definitely not word-for-word, but it did get me to thinking about all of my relationships (friends, family, boyfriends) and noticed one of my faults.  I used to always want to give advice rather than just love the person.  Sometimes the best thing to do is just to love on that person and let that person figure things out; that person may not want your advice.  A few weeks ago, I asked my bible study group to pray for me to love people for the sake of loving.  I still need to work on it, but I think I've been doing a pretty good job so far.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Happy Birthday to Me

As I type this post, I have my two best friends sitting with me on the couch.  To my left, on the couch arm, is my 19 year old cat, Monty, who I received as a birthday gift many years ago, and to my right, is my almost four year old dog, Harper.  This past month has been a trial with Monty; his health is on the decline and the only thing currently working to reduce his howling episodes is pain medication.  When he is on the medication, he seems to be his old youthful self - having a spark to his walk, batting around a string, and more social.  Monty's mortality has been on my mind quite a bit because the last thing I want for him is to suffer.  With all the research that I have been doing, cats hide their pain from their owners, so I'm constantly reviewing his behavioral patterns.  I can't deny the fact that I've had a few sleepless nights in which I've cried over the thought of losing him and/or having to make the decision to euthanize him.  I have thought about the years of joy he has brought me, and how he would be by my side on some of the hardest days and nights I've faced alone.  Pets provide the best comfort because they can't talk.  They are just accepting of the situation and can tell when you need a bit of love.  So I have tried to reciprocate this to Monty this past month, as his small body deals with the pains of old age.

I have not had the opportunity to finish the blog post that I drafted on Harper.  Instead, I am creating a blog (Life After The Animal Shelter) in hopes that more people would adopt from a shelter rather than buy from a breeder.  Harper came into my life pretty swiftly, and I would not change this one bit.  People say that dogs take on the owner's personality.  I don't know if this is true, but I do know that as a rescue dog, Harper has needed a little TLC along the way.  I don't have his backstory; he came into the shelter as a stray.  Harper has provided my life structure and pushed me to come out of my comfort zone.  He has softened my heart, and I'm beginning to show signs of being a loving person again.

The past couple of years have been rather rocky for me mentally and emotionally.  I became afraid and did not know what it was like to be vulnerable around people.  I did not want to put my heart, my love, my whole being out there, even if it was just to my friends.  I was and am always disheartened when I put all of myself into a relationship (friends/significant other/family) and I only get a small portion back from the other person.  I closed myself off and put up a stone wall so I would not have to feel any pain from anybody.  I purposely kept people at a distance as I worked through my inner struggles.  It's easier to work through these struggles with a pet; they love unconditionally and comfort unconditionally.  Harper has helped more than most people realize.  No matter how many times I leave or how long I'm gone, he's always happy and overly excited when I come home.  He blossoms more each day that I have him, overcoming his fears and becoming more confident.  It's amazing what a little encouragement can do for a dog.  It's amazing what a little encouragement could do for a human being...  

About a month ago, I went out for a friend's birthday, and it reminded me of what I used to enjoy - getting to know people and hearing their stories.  As I celebrated my birthday in downtown Austin last night, I was, to a degree, surprised that I still had "it," and that I should not be afraid of people and of getting hurt.  I also realized that I have my own story to tell, and it's worth sharing.

This is my story.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year's Day!

I like and enjoy New Year’s.  I get to reflect on the past and dream for the future while being in the present.  I had a very quiet holiday season this year, and it suited me very well.  I sorted through inner turmoil and have solved many of the issues.  I am no longer going to worry about people’s perceptions of me or walk around people’s feelings.  I have no idea what is going to happen in 2015, but what I do know is that my past is no longer going to keep holding me back.  I am at a great spot and am hopeful this year. 
 
A resolution is a promise to oneself.  People make resolutions all the time for New Year’s, and I’m no different.  I have never made a promise that I did not keep.  When people ask me to promise something or for a favor, I always ask what it is for before making the commitment.  I don’t make careless resolutions either...
 
I resolve to be closer to Him so that I can be closer to you.
 
I promise to face my fears.
 
I declare to be free from my past.