Project Reverb prompt: “What decision did you make this year that was a leap of faith? Did it work out? Or not?”
Getting another dog. We lost our first two dogs to cancer, too young and with not much time in between to heal. We got Sam four months after we lost our Obi, and when Sam was only three years old, Dexter was diagnosed. Again with Dexter it was the same as with Obi: a type of cancer that was incurable so from the moment of diagnosis we knew we were going to lose him. In the last year of Dexter’s life, Sam was sick with a mysterious condition that only got worse after Dexter died. No one, not even specialists, could figure it out. It got so bad, we thought we would lose him too. This was the moment in which we found ourselves considering another dog.
It was a difficult decision. We didn’t know if we could do it anymore, love them so much only to get our hearts broken. Take such good care of them only to have them get sick. Should we focus our energy and attention solely on Sam because we might lose him, or get another dog because we might lose him? It really came down to one thing: do we get another dog or is Sam the last dog we’ll ever have? Even though it had been so hard, neither one of us was ready to give up dogs altogether.
This time was different. We rescued all three of our other dogs, but this time we got a dog born on purpose. There were all kinds of reasons, and it was a hard choice to make, especially for me, but it was so clearly the right thing to do. It’s been really hard, so much work, but did it work out? Absolutely.
Reverb14 prompt: “I am not going to lie, I often dread the holidays because I grew with the holidays laden with heavy expectations of giving. The gifts wrapped in bright colored paper sitting under a tree sparkling with multi colored light were tied tight with invisible cords of what I was suppose to be or do that made it almost impossible to enjoy the gifts.
Now as an adult I strive understand there is a difference between generosity and giving. Generosity is free of obligations; it opens the heart, and creates warmth and connection between the giver and receiver. When I cultivate generosity the holidays become something I look forward to sharing with my loved ones.
Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?”
Generosity is one of my super powers. In that way, generosity allows me to be most myself, honest and true. Cultivating generosity this past year has meant saying no more than yes. The ability to practice generosity needed space and energy. There was so much I wanted to do, to offer, but I had to be careful, selective. At the heart of my generosity this year was the realization that I only had so much to give, that I sometimes push myself and give too much. I continue to untangle my urge to be generous from my need to be loved, accepted, worthy.
In the coming year, I hope to continue to make wise choices, to not fall into the trap of giving for the wrong reasons, to not be driven by poverty mentality or idiot compassion. I hope in this next year to engage others at the intersection of what I have to offer and what is needed, win/win, to bring some ease to the interaction, to focus on generosity as a natural and spontaneous experience that “creates warmth and connection between the giver and receiver.”