Hi from Lee,
Last week I wrote about having to confront the painful reality that my 14 year old Dog Angel’s body could no longer support her life. I told you about how we made the excruciating decision to assist her spirit’s departure from her body.
Angel’s departure was a devastating loss for us. She packed such a bright and loving light into that little body of hers and we truly loved her so much. She was an integral part of our daily life so her absence from our physical reality seems massive and unending, to the point where Clifton and I both got really sick. We’re getting better now, but I’m sure it was the grief that triggered the illness for us.
I have lost so many loved ones in my life, both people and fur babies, and have certainly had a great deal of grief to overcome. My husband was murdered on Christmas Eve many years ago, and I have lost both of my parents and many good friends. All of Clifton’s family is deceased, and I can’t even tell you the number of four-legged friends who have passed on. Each loss comes with grief, which is a universally challenging thing to deal with. As someone who has healed from a great deal of grief, I recommend you have some compassion for yourself while grieving your losses.
Our society tends to overlook the effects of grief on our ability to function in the world. Many people have the attitude that “it happened and it’s time to get on with your life.” However, because the loss of someone important is a profoundly painful experience, grief seems to permeate everything. Grief can make it hard to eat, sleep, or muster much interest in the world going on around you, and can affect your judgment and behaviors. It’s not unusual to feel agitated and exhausted at the same time, or to be fine one minute and then sob unexpectedly. Many people struggle with feelings of sorrow, despair, numbness, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety, and experience a type of “funk” where you can’t focus, don’t have energy, and seem spacey or out of it.
Grief doesn’t have a time limit and often doesn’t make sense to your mind. You tell yourself that you should be ‘over it’ by now. Well-intentioned friends tell you the same. Your mental reasoning says that death is inevitable. You remind yourself that heaven is real and “they” are in a better place, but you still have to deal with that reality. Your emotions can be triggered by all kinds of things: a song, smell, time of day, or even a TV show, and it can be overwhelming.
I received solace from the wonderful people who reached out to me with cards, phone calls, flowers, books, and other gifts of compassion. I created a shrine with pictures of Angel and the cards, flowers and books I received, and lit some candles to remember her. I put her ashes and her favorite jacket on the table so I could touch her jacket, see her photos, and feel the love others had offered to me after her departure.
I share this information because at some point in our lives, we all have to deal with grief. Grief is as personal and individual as any other part of our lives. Death, divorce, or some other life-altering event (like loss of a job) can trigger intense, long-lasting emotions. Even losing something we love, like a treasured piece of jewelry, can trigger grief.
I want to share some tips that I’ve learned to help you deal with loss and overwhelming emotions. I’m not going to say I’ve mastered them all, but reminding myself of these things helps me heal.
- Accept. Your emotional reactions are real and are human. Feeling bad is a normal reaction to losing something or someone that had great meaning to you. Don’t force yourself to be or to feel differently – at least for the moment.
- Breathe. Be aware of your body’s reactions and help it overcome the lethargy. Deep breaths are calming and they allow your body to de-stress. Play your favorite music because it has been proven that song Lyrics help refocus your thoughts. Also, sway or dance with the music – movement is healing.
- Connect. Don’t seclude yourself. Grief and depression try to pull you aside and make you feel isolated. Call a loved one or dear friend and meet for lunch or coffee. Stay connected because isolation is not good for you right now. Give yourself a place where you can talk about your feelings. Your grief becomes lighter when you have someone to share it with.
- Distract. Purposely plan a get-together, dinner, or some other low-key event to help you through the lonely times (holidays, anniversaries, and other memory-triggering events).
- Enjoy… Find ways to add more enjoyment and fun into your life. Celebrate the life of the person or animal companion you lost.
- Join a Support Group if you feel it will help you deal with your grief. Support groups can be your acquaintances or other people who are in a similar situation. You can find them in your local community or online.
- Faith. Let this be a time to draw closer to your spiritual rituals and activity. Prayer and meditation strengthen your faith and reinforce your connection to your God source.
Finding comfort in little things is an essential key to coping with and overcoming a sense of loss and grief. You have lost a piece of your heart and the wound will scab over, but there will always be a scar.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by loss (or if you know someone who is) please remember that grief doesn’t have a time limit. The more you can nurture yourself, the faster you will heal. When someone you loves dies, you never quite get over it; you slowly learn to go on without them, always keeping them tucked safely in your heart.
Love and Light to you,
Author of Success is an Inside Job
P.S. For anyone who hasn’t noticed, I am a deeply spiritual being. The loss of my mother last year and a few other events pushed me to let go of old ways of living and embrace a more authentic me. In being true to myself, I’ve been working on a new venture that will be born soon, which will include a brand new free ezine called: Spiritual Power Tools for Profit and Purpose. In the next few weeks, I’ll give you the link to sign up. It is my intention to continue to teach the human potential tools you’re used to me sharing, but I also want to expand. In this new venture, I’ll share the Universal wisdom I have learned in my many years of study that will assist you to live a more authentic life, and will bring more peace and prosperity to yourself and those around you.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Hi from Lee,
This is a very hard newsletter for me to write. I wasn’t able to last week because I was in so much personal agony. I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life, to put my sweet dog Angel to sleep, who I have simply adored for 14 years.
I learned so much from this animal and she actually saved mine and Clifton’s lives when she was a puppy. Our home caught on fire but because we were both sick with sinus infections and couldn’t smell anything, and had taken medication to sleep, we didn’t wake up from the smoke. Somehow, this little 5 pound puppy figured out how to get on our bed and screamed at the top of her lungs to wake us up. If it weren’t for Angel, I suspect that both Clifton and I would have died of smoke inhalation. Needless to say, she earned our love!
Preparing for Angel’s departure was emotional torture since we both loved her with all of our hearts and souls. Human relationships are complex, but your relationship with your pet is purer and simpler. When you need comfort, your dog doesn’t need the full story on how awful your day has been, it just knows you are upset and stays near you. Dogs relate to you with unconditional love. Anytime there’s a cross-species interaction, you are in the presence of something sacred and meaningful. Anyone who owns or has owed animals experiences this deep bond, which makes it very challenging to let them go.
Angel had just turned 14 and in the last few months, her health had started to seriously deteriorate. She was no longer living a quality life. We extended her life as far as we could with medical and holistic care but we couldn’t fix her medical issues. A stroke left her almost totally blind and deaf and sadly, she had Dementia, which I didn’t even know dogs could get until a few months ago. Her kidneys were failing, and old age had just set in to the point that Clifton and I were literally carrying her outside every hour.
Even when you know it’s time to let your pet go it is so painful and hard. I knew we were doing the right thing but my heart was breaking to have to make the tough decision and do the right thing for her.
I had a friend of mine gift me with an animal communicator session a few days before we let Angel go. If you haven’t worked with an Animal Communicator for your pets I will honestly say it is an amazing and enlightening experience. I have done this on and off for years with my many dogs, cats, and horses. It is real and they have profound information that is valuable to know. Once I couldn’t figure out why Angel was throwing up. The communicator told me she was allergic to eggs and when I removed them from her diet she was fine. During the last session Angel told us it was time to let her go, that her body could no longer support her staying. Even thought Angel couldn’t hear on a physical level, I know she could hear me on a spiritual level. We assured her we loved her more than anything and wanted her to go to The Rainbow Bridge where she can join me when I cross over in the future. There is no time on the other side. The session actually helped me realize I had to release the stress of trying to control this situation and I had to surrender and put it in God’s hands.
We found a wonderful Hospice Vet who came to our home last Friday at 4:30 pm and assisted Angel’s transition. Angel left the Earth plane after a great steak and mashed potatoes dinner in her own bed surround by Clifton and I holding her. I had agonized for weeks about when to have the vet come to the house. Was I doing this at the right time? The quality of her life the last week made it crystal clear that the time had come. She no longer played or enjoyed her outside walks. She clearly let me know her body had worn out. She passed very peacefully to the other side. The Cremation service was waiting for her. It was all very surreal and happened so fast but in my sad heart I know we did the right thing for Angel.
Life is so different now: She is no longer there at the door when I come home to be so excited to see me. The house is painfully quiet and neat since her toys aren’t scattered everywhere. I keep thinking I hear her but it’s my imagination. It was so hard to remove all her food, toys and beds. I will miss her more than words can say because she was such a great little light in my life.
Author Marjorie Garber summed it up well with her quote: If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.
I am in heartbreak right now. It would have been selfish of me to keep her going when there was no way we could turn around the physical limitations she was facing. I know she is in doggie heaven and no longer in pain which gives me comfort. She was the sweetest most profound dog of my life, and I have had many dogs. I do not believe in death, I believe the spirit lives on, just sadly not with me on the earth plane now. Angel taught Clifton and I many life lessons. We will always love and miss her and are very grateful for our short 14 years together. Our cat is also in mourning that Angel is no longer here.
We will get another puppy for sure after we move into our new home sometime late this summer.
I want to personally thank everyone who reached out to me. It is amazing how when you are in deep grief the gesture of notes, flowers, books about dogs mean so much. I am very grateful to everyone who has reached out. It has been comforting and healing that “Animal People” understand the pain of losing your beloved pet. If you have never lost a pet it is hard to comprehend the bond.
I will leave you with this quote from Dr. Seuss and I will be honest that I am not there yet, although I will be soon. Please hug your Pets for me!
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Love and Light to you,
Author of Success is an Inside Job
P.S. This is a photo of Angel when she was about five years old sitting in my living room on the top of the sofa. I love it because she really looks like the Angel she was and now truly is.
My sincere desire is to share with you strategies to empower you and help you to gain the confidence that comes from understanding how manifesting works; to give you the tools to create whatever you want; to take your vision, your dreams, your hopes, and your fantasies and make them real.
One huge roadblock to creating prosperity is holding on to angry feelings — bearing a grudge.
As an example, Tammy is a friend of mine; she and her husband had just moved into their first home when she found out she was expecting their first child. The new house needed a complete paint job so Tammy’s father offered to come over and help her paint.
After two weeks of hard work in close quarters, Tammy and her father began to get on each other’s nerves. One day they had a raging fight where both of them said some very nasty things to each other. Her father ultimately left the house angry and refused to come back and finish painting.
They haven’t spoken to each other since the big blow-up, leaving Tammy so upset that she burst into tears at the mere thought of her father. Tammy’s husband wants her to call her father for reconciliation, but she remains adamant that it’s his place to call her. After all, she is expecting her first child and he deserted her in the middle of this huge painting job, even though she recognizes the blow up was really over a misunderstanding and nothing to argue about; she stubbornly maintains that she is right.
The problem here is that she would rather be right than have peace in her family — and this energy leak of worrying about the rift in her family is creating unhappiness for her. No matter who you are, you have some type of similar story from your own life or business. So many times, we hold on to our righteous feelings, even when it hurts us and our businesses. We are too stubborn to give in and admit that we are 50 percent of the problem.
An important rule of creating a happier, healthier, and more successful life, is to be aware of the how you are using your life energy; you are made up of mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual life energy.
If you’re using your energy holding on to past grudges, anger, guilty feelings or not letting go of negative feelings like Tammy is doing, you’re wasting your life energy. Using your life energy to hold on to negative thoughts prevents you from creating new ideas and then having the energy to take action on them.
The antidote is to forgive yourself and forgive other people. Many people have a hard time with the concept of forgiveness. But the point is that you do not have to condone what wrongs you perceive others to have done. You’re not forgiving them for them. You are giving yourself a gift by forgiving them for yourself. Forgiveness is releasing the thoughts, grudges, and anger that take up your time and energy. Through forgiveness and release of negative energy, your power of attracting good is greatly increased.
Blessings to you
Regardless of what is going on in the world around you, you have the ability to create prosperity.
One of the first strategies to create prosperity is to get rid of what you don’t want in your life to make room for what you do want. It is said that nature abhors a vacuum.
To have the opportunity to attract what you do want, such as a better relationship, more attractive clothes, or furniture, you must make room for your desires to manifest.
No matter what your economic status, there are probably many possessions that you’re not using, which are just cluttering up your life and space.
If you want new clothes yet every time you go into your closet you have to pry an outfit out because there are so many clothes jammed into it, you will have no motivation to go out and invest in clothes that make you feel attractive and confident.
You must also keep in mind that you only have so much life energy. If you’re using that energy looking at garments you really don’t like, have gone out of style, or that no longer fit, you experience frustration, guilt, and/or other negative feelings. They rob you of time and energy.
If you’re living in fear of lack and tightly holding on to everything — your material possessions, your time, your love, your energy or ideas, you’re shutting yourself off from the flow of life. When you dam up a stream, the water becomes stagnant. When you close off your life, you become stagnant.
The more unwanted things clutter your life, the less room there will be for the things you want to be able to appear.
A great universal secret of prosperity is passing along to others those things you no longer need. The more you give away of your material possessions you no longer need, the more love, appreciation, praise, the world will surprise you with by increasing your abundance in all areas of your life.
Pick a different area in your home or office and give yourself permission to go through your material possessions making two piles: one to throw away, the other to either give away or sell; with what you decide to keep you will organize in a manner that makes you feel in control.
Get rid of old furniture, toys, office files, magazines, and newspapers. Clear out the junk that robs you of your energy and time whenever you see or think about it.
Unclutter your life with the tangibles and intangibles that are no longer adding to your well being. New substances, new relationships, and new opportunities do not flow easily into a cluttered environment.
When you move things, people, or situations that no longer serve you out of your life, you’re clearing the way for what you do want. It’s difficult to know what you do want until you get rid of what you don’t want or what is no longer working.
Blessings to you
Even though the weather has been crazy, and in certain parts of the country, it feels like winter won’t end, Spring is finally here this week! Spring is the renewal of our life! Before New can come in the old must be discarded. It’s the time I can look at what is old and release it to open myself up to the new.
I look at my inner and outer world. I discern what old attitudes, beliefs and outdated opinions I may be carrying around in my head that block me from seeing new solutions, opportunities, and ways to expand my business. I highly suggest that you do the same!
In addition to updating your attitudes and beliefs, you can open up your mind by releasing the unnecessary “stuff” in your office and home. The simple act of cleaning out clutter and reducing the amount of attention you give to unnecessary material objects opens your mind to new ways to live life and make your business more successful.
The best person I know for advice in the area of Organization is my good friend Barbara Hemphill who owns the Hemphill Productivity Institute in Raleigh, N.C. The following advice is from Barbara and will come in two installments (Be sure to read again next week for Part 2).
How to Make Money Cleaning Out Your Clutter
3 Principles for a Less Stressful Life
By Barbara Hemphill
- Do you like to make money?
- Is your home or office filled with things you never use?
- Are you wasting time looking for things?
- Would you like more space (physical and emotional!!) in your life?
- Do people you care about complain about the messes you make?
Research shows that 80% of what we keep we never use.
Keep nothing which you do not know to be useful, think to be beautiful, or love.
A “productive environment” is “a setting in which everything around you supports who you are and who you want to be.” Look at everything in your life – from the expired prescriptions in your medicine cabinet, the clothes you haven’t worn in year, the boxes of tax info which are well past the 7-year statute of limitations, to the piles of journals you always intended to read. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does it work?
- Do I like it?
- Does it make me feel positive about myself and my life?
- Would someone else benefit from having it?
Or consider this question: “What’s the worst possible thing that would happen if I didn’t have this?”
Blessings to you