I’m on vacation with my family this week in Maine and yesterday I was thinking a lot about my brother’s dog, Dixie. She passed last fall and this is our first time in Maine at summer without her. She used to come on long walks with us and she was always a hoot.
Dixie was, to me, a most unusual dog. She was friendly and cute, but she wasn’t particularly affectionate. She seemed to live mostly in her own little world where food was almost the only thing that mattered.
Dixie is a beagle, or she was in her last life, and beagles are hunting dogs. Their sense of smell is extraordinary.
I’ve had many times where DIxie manage to find something to eat in my suitcase and root it out, even though she wasn’t allowed upstairs. I’ve seen Dixie jump on the dining table and starting eating things if we left the room as we were setting the table for a big family meal.
Dixie was known to pull a chair over to the counter so she could get at things up there. Everything had to be super clean in the recycle bin or Dixie would get at it. She had no boundaries when it came to food. I think she may even have tried to get food out of toddler hands.
Yet, even though she didn’t respect other people’s boundaries, no matter how many snacks and treats you gave her, and even though she wasn’t particularly affectionate, we all knew that it was just her personality. She wasn’t there to please us or make us feel good. Dixie was doing her own thing.
Still, she was family and we really love her. I really love her and I miss her Dixieness although I’m glad I can now leave food on a table without having to remember to protect it from her grabbing it in a flash. (I’ve lost more than one meal to her.)
What about other members of family? Sometimes we’ll forgive a child or a dog that “doesn’t know any better,” where we have a zero tolerance policy for adults.
One of the most wonderful parts of my spiritual journey is the family healing that I’ve had and the family healing that so many in my classes have had.
People who thought they’d NEVER be in a committed partnership are married with children now. That’s a huge transformation and it’s our willingness to do the inner work of forgiveness and mindfulness that brought it about. It’s so powerful to witness and share.
Especially because I didn’t used to believe it was possible for me.
The key to my own experience of relationship with others is the ability to stop interpreting what others do as being personal to me. In a sense, just like Dixie would eat my sandwich right off my plate the second I turned my back, and then have no apology or remorse, I’ve done things to “protect or defend” that were compulsive, just like Dixie. It would be awful to live in a world where no one had compassion for me.
With all the forgiveness that I have done, I’ve definitely realized that it’s ALL self-forgiveness. When I forgive myself for lacking in compassion, for interpreting things in a negative way, for choosing to condemn instead of extend Love, then all the offenses of others fall away.
Dixie was pure ego as far as I could see.
There are times in my life when I was acting like pure ego.
If you have can see yourself in that, if you have someone in your family who SEEMS to behave like pure ego when they’re around you, here’s my invitation:
What helped me so much was hearing the words of Jesus “what you do to the least of them, you do to me.”
If Jesus was acting as pure ego, could I extend Love and compassion without needing anything in return. Can we Love without conditions?
Can we at least remove our judgments, our unforgiveness, our condemnation and our trying to shame and make them guilty?
I won’t kid you, it’s been a REAL journey for me. It has been the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done. At times it’s been excruciating and it was always, always, always worth it. It has brought my redemption and the redemption of my loved ones.
Jesus’ whole life was a message of redemption.
Redemption for those who have condemned,
to realize that true forgiveness is releasing the attack thoughts.
Dixie was a teacher to me.
Unconditional Love is a precious gift I give to myself.
Over my more than 30 years of spiritual studies, the thing in the world that has helped me the most is my spiritual counselors. They helped me come back into my right mind when I was so intensely judgmental and couldn’t let it go. They helped me to live from my heart.
In 2014, I started to offer training and certification for Spiritual Counselors and it’s my joy now to announce we have certified two more Spiritual Counselors!
The Program we’ve developed at the Power of Love Ministry is not easy and it’s not quick. It requires a lot of work, much of it is very deep inner work. It requires 111 practice sessions.
These two women have done all of that and MUCH more to finish their Spiritual Counseling Certification.
Lorri Gifford Linda Soto
Please help me congratulate Lorri and Linda! I’m so grateful for their leadership, commitment and excellence!
What a blessing they are to our community.
It’s been my joy to witness their dedication to their own personal transformation and healing and to naturally share it with others to great success.
That’s how Spirit works.
All are called to be a loving and healing presence.
Linda and Lorri have answered that call magnificently.
They are models of what is possible when we put Spirit in charge.
These two beautiful and brilliant women have been deeply and intensely challenged over recent years, as we all have, and challenges continue for all of us, but when we are co-workers with God our work is joyful and brings great benefit.
Whenever anyone decides to put the past behind and proceed with a loving heart, all are lifted. There’s power in that. There’s momentum.
You can learn more about Lorri and Linda and how to arrange to have spiritual counseling with them and other spiritual counselors who have been certified or who are in training. Click here now to learn more.
Folks who are in Finding Freedom From Fear with me, or Masterful Living or other programs regularly work with these beautiful counselors and have received extraordinary benefits from it. They all have wonderful testimonials!
It was during that intense time of focus on release of my negative patterns of fear and ego that I shifted into the healing practices that became my Finding Freedom From Fear spiritual bootcamp and my life began change for the better – and it’s continued to this day.
That class starts on Thursday. It’s one of the foundational programs of my Spiritual Counseling Certification Program. As is my Spiritual Counseling Training Intensive.
If you have any interest in learning more about these programs, and discussing it with someone who has done them before, you can talk to one of the spiritual counselors, it’s no cost, and see if any of these programs are right for you right now. Click here to arrange for a consultation to get your questions answered.
There’s a whole lot of healing going on and I invite you to follow your intuition wherever it leads you. Spirit may not always make sense at first, but having trust and faith we find our way to MUCH higher ground and then we can extend a hand to others and we’re all living on higher ground! Yes!
Is there someone like Dixie in your life?
Are you, like me, realizing they are your teacher?
If so, please make a comment in the comments section below! I’d love to hear from you!
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