get a new puppy…

What helps us get over loss, get over grief? Most often suggested when one experiences the loss of a dog, is to get a new puppy. Loss is known to each of us and so is the inability to move through it easily. We are all familiar with how it feels to lose someone near to us; whether it is a pet or a dear friend or a dear relative. We long for a deep breath, as it pains us to breathe at all and the heaviness upon our chest seems unrelenting.

We literally collapse into our grief, our chest cavity contracts as if to protect the heart from further hurt. Emotional collapse is a closing down, a limiting of the aperture which feeds our heart, our lungs. When our heart energy is limited, we feel less and sometimes this is easier to live with. Over time, living with less heart energy takes a toll on the whole body, mind and spirit. As a result, systems can begin to slow down and don’t function as efficiently. Mostly, we don’t notice what we are missing, until the suffering reaches a level where we experience discomfort or symptoms. Then the body, mind and spirit gets our attention and encourages us to get relief.

Our bodies can carry lots of grief, storing it collectively throughout the body. At some point though, our body may reach its limit and the straw breaks the camel’s back. This is usually when you find your self inconsolable over the loss of a kitten you’ve only had for two months. You can’t help but notice that you are a basket-case over a relatively minor thing. You realize that the amount of grief you are feeling seems way out of proportion for the experience itself. This could be your first clue that the dam has burst and that it’s time to clean it up before it floods into your whole life.

So why does the new puppy do the trick? What key does the puppy seem to have? None other than the key to your heart. The new puppy opens your heart, just like a new baby or a new love. The new love expands the chest and allows more energy flow to the heart again. You are healed just by being in the presence of the new love. Similarily, you could begin a new project or begin something you can pour your heart into. Even the loss of a project can be replaced by beginning a new project. Placing all your dreams, visions and gratitude into the new project helps to heal the loss of old dreams and visions. Out with the old, in with the new….as in the breath, breathe out the old air, breathe in the fresh air and be healed in every breath.