As I looked back on the words of wisdom Duncan offered when I was writing the book, I Want to Have the Heart of a Dog, the first thing that struck me is there’s an awful lot of “stuff” about death and dying.
However, from the perspective that we are infinite beings who never die, his words are a message of hope and the possibility of a way of being far different than the thousands of Earth years of suffering I/we have experienced.
Duncan also said, “We have broken the pattern…of abuse, betrayal and violent deaths.” “You can manifest the serenity and comfort and love.” “Give this new way of being time to settle into the bones of your physical body and become a gentle habit.”
If my human default setting is struggle and suffering, of course serenity and comfort and love will feel strange—even uncomfortable. I fight them. I resist them. To relax into these emotions—to let down my guard—seems to invite an attack.
When one of my furbabies died a few months ago, I remember telling people, “Don’t be nice to me or I’ll break down and cry.” Crying, grieving and feeling a sense of loss makes me vulnerable and open to attack—triggering the memory of abuse, betrayal and violent deaths I have experienced so many times. Yet many people want to reach out in comfort, kindness and shared sympathy.
In fact, rather than closing myself off from the kindness of others, perhaps I want this but am afraid of it because of past experiences. Perhaps this is my spirit trying to show me how to build this “gentle habit” in spite of my fear.
When Duncan said, Give this new way of being time to settle into the bones of your physical body and become a gentle habit, why did he say “gentle habit”? Does that mean quit fighting and struggling and let the Universe handle things for a while?
I rather like the idea of wrapping up this year and starting a new one with gentle habits. Be gentle with ourselves, with family and loved ones, with strangers and, of course, with the beloved furbabies who teach us so much!