How do you say good-bye to your beloved dog that you’ve had for 15 years? How do you make the choice to end his life before he transitions on his own? I keep asking myself how can I do this? When do I do this? Do we continue to assist him in everything that he needs to stay alive? When is it enough for him? When is it enough for us?
My sweet Hershel started having trouble walking over a year and a half ago and completely stopped being able to walk around the beginning of this year. Since he hasn’t been able to walk we have had to assist him in everything he does. If he needs water we take him to drink water, if he has to go to the bathroom we have to hold him up every single time he goes. There’s nothing like the smell of a fresh poop first thing in the morning! There are many times that we don’t get him outside in time. If I wanted to have children he’s been prepping me for a newborn. I get pee or poop on me usually every day. He wears a dog diaper at night in case he pees (which he almost always does), I do multiple loads of laundry a week, and I sleep really lightly now incase Hershel needs help being flipped to his other side or just needs to move to a different spot.
It’s been incredibly painful seeing this happen to Hershel and knowing that his time here is getting shorter and shorter. It’s really hard a lot of the time, but worth it to look into his sweet eyes one more day.
I got Hershel when he was 3 months old shortly after we put my childhood dog to sleep. I saw the flier for cocker spaniel puppies at the vet clinic when we were taking Bo in. I felt guilty for even noticing the flier. When my mom picked Bo’s ashes up she noticed the flier and took the number down just in case. When I came home on the weekend from college my mom said lets call this number and see if any puppies are even left. I think there were 2 or 3 puppies left out of a litter of 9. The moment I saw Hershel I was in love. He came right over to me sat at my feet and looked right up at me with his big brown eyes and really long eye lashes. I told my mom I couldn’t leave without him.
Hershel lived at my parents house for his first year while I was finishing college. I came home every weekend to see him. Kier even surprised me one time with driving all the way to Port Orchard and back to Seattle while I was in class to surprise me with spending a weekend with Hersh. Once I graduated from college then Hershel was able to live with us full time. We got Leroy about a year later for Hershel to have a buddy while we were gone at work and these two have been the best of friends.
Hershel and Leroy have moved with us from Washington to Chicago, from Chicago to Atlanta, then Atlanta back to Washington, and now Washington to California. He’s travelled all around the US with us and seen more then most people get to see. My dogs are incredibly spoiled and loved immensely, and they are members of our family.
How do you know it’s the “right” time? Is there ever really a “right” time? For the past 10 months I’ve been living in the space that any day he could pass away. Any day now could be it. I’ve cried so much, but I’ve also loved him so incredibly much. I tell him I love him so much, that I am so grateful for every day I’ve had with him, that he’s the worlds best dog, and I give him so many kisses every single night just in case he doesn’t wake up in the morning. Quite often I actually hope that he passes away peacefully in his sleep so that I don’t have to make the choice for him. This is one of the hardest things I’ve gone through. How do I actually say good bye to my dog who has been way more than a dog to me? He’s the sweetest, kindest, gentlest, most beautifulest dog and I tell him this all the time. Our time together is getting shorter and shorter and I am so grateful for every day that I get to have this special being in my life.
I got asked growing up and still do get asked “how have you turned out so normal?” or another comment that I hear is “you’re the black sheep of the family, more like the white sheep”. I know this is normally meant as a compliment. I used to laugh at it and agree with them. Recently I’ve been realizing though that it can also mean that I feel like an outcast. That I don’t fit in.
It’s been painful at times feeling like an outcast. It has created judgements about myself, like what’s wrong with me? Why don’t people want to be around me? Why am I never invited to go on that annual vacation? There’s been many tears shed and sometimes anger. It’s also been lonely at times.
There has always been this dynamic in my family of don’t tell Erin. Don’t tell your sister and now I’m seeing the don’t tell your aunty. Why? Because I have different ideas, different solutions, different perspectives? Because I actually want to create change and solutions. To share some of my knowledge I have learned. Why are those who are different cast out instead of encouraged to be different and these different ideas encouraged?
Why do we feel like we have to belong, or why do we have to hide parts of ourselves or not be authentic in order to belong? I love having things in common with people but I also love acknowledging peoples differences. I love to celebrate what makes people unique. I love encouraging people to explore new parts of themselves that they never even knew they had. I recently discovered within this last year that I’m great at acrylic painting and I love this new discovery. We always have new things to learn about ourselves if we are just willing to be open, and I love supporting people to find these things.
I’m starting to see that maybe an outcast is someone who can’t be persuaded to not follow their truth. Follow who they are. Allow others limitations to be put on them. Peer pressure has never worked on me either. It felt too uncomfortable to not be authentic to myself. So maybe being an outcast isn’t such a bad thing. I encourage more people to not follow the crowd and join me in being an outcast.
I’ll end this with a quote from 25 year old me “I do what I want!”
I’ve seen a lot of people finding their voice these last few days and posting about standing up for each other. I have also seen some articles about the hatred, racism, and violence that has spiked since the election and all I keep thinking about is how we need to send love back to the people that are acting from hatred. One of the things I have started to notice in myself is that when I’m angry at someone or something that there is usually something else that’s going on under the surface. More often then not there is fear and sadness that are the underlying feelings but that I project out as anger because I don’t want you to know that you’ve hurt me or that I’m hurting. What I keep seeing over and over is the pain and fear that those who are acting out in these very hateful ways are actually feeling under the surface or not even allowing themselves to feel.
We have grown up in a culture based around lack. There is not enough to go around. There is not enough money. So this creates fear that I better take it while I can. It’s like a perpetual game of musical chairs. When you start playing the game really everyone does have a seat, but you take one out, so now it seems like there is not enough for everyone and now you make it a competition and someone loses. Then you take another out and you keep doing this until there is only one chair left. Even though to start with everyone had a seat and everyone had enough. What if we’re in a system that just keeps taking away one chair at a time? Creating the illusion of lack, but really more than enough has been there all along.
If you create lack then you can create fear, and if you create fear then you can create separation. This fear seems to come from believing that something of theirs will be taken away. For example I have heard that Mexicans are coming to take our jobs. You create lack, which then creates fear, and now you’ve created a separation. Us vs them. Americans vs Mexicans. This is not about Mexicans. This is about your fear of losing your job or not getting the job you want because a Mexican got it. I see this in many different areas too. Religion, sexism, racism, homophobia. These are created out of a fear that they will take something from you. Now you are doing the very thing you are afraid of happening to you. You are buying into the illusion that there is not enough.
So I think it is very important to send love to those who are doing these things. We don’t know what has gone on in their lives to cause them to be so angry and full of hate. I’d imagine they haven’t received the love they so desperately want. We can never fix hatred and anger with more hatred and anger. We have to be bigger than this. We have to rise above. Love is the answer. ❤️
I started taking singing lessons a few months ago, and this is one of the most uncomfortable things I have ever intentionally chosen to do. My voice has not been something I have always been comfortable with, and I don’t just mean my singing voice. Presentations in school were the absolute worst for me. Drama class was the very last class I would ever take. I went from elementary all the way through graduating college with never raising my hand. I was a pro at never making eye contact with my teachers by dropping my pen or “looking” for something in my bag. The thought of everyone looking at me while I talked was torture almost every day of my life for 16 years.
Needless to say, taking singing lessons is not easy for me. I also do not have a traditionally pretty voice. There is something there, but it has never really been used so I find it difficult to feel ease and allow my voice to flow. I’ve found a great teacher who pushes me but does it in a fun and playful way. I am very self aware, so I will share with Marya what it is I’m feeling or scared of and every single time that’s what we do next. And every time I’m like dang it, why did I tell her. I knew that’s what she would do next. She definitely is someone who sees a challenge and wants to go right into that space.
At our last session she asked me if I’ve ever broken through a fear or a struggle before. I have, many times. So she suggested that I go for a walk and talk to the part of myself that breaks through and trusts. To ask myself why I am so scared of my voice. This is my forte. I am great at having an awareness about something that I do, a learned behavior, a belief, or a limitation and looking at it and figuring out where or why this is happening in my life. Seeing the seed thought of where a belief was planted.
I went for my walk and asked my self why am I so scared of my voice and what I got back was how we’ve been taught to not be proud of ourselves or get excited and share our accomplishments. That’s being conceited or cocky. That it’s better to be humble and not show off our gifts. It creates jealousy and makes others feel less than. You can be proud of yourself, but not too proud. You can be happy about your accomplishments, but not too happy because then you’re being arrogant. You should always be humble. Have you ever looked up the definition of humble? Well, I did, and this is the definition.
adjective: humble; comparative adjective: humbler; superlative adjective: humblest
having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance.
“he was humble about his stature as one of rock history’s most influential guitarists”
(of an action or thought) offered with or affected by a modest estimate of one’s own importance.
“my humble apologies”
of low social, administrative, or political rank.
“she came from a humble, unprivileged background”
, working-class, lower-class, poor
I don’t know about you but humble does not feel like a very uplifting word. I want to feel proud of myself and share with others my accomplishments, and I want for others to feel proud about themselves and share with me, so I can help celebrate you. So I can tell you how amazing you are. How amazing I am. So I can go to my singing lessons or painting classes and allow myself to feel joyful that I’m doing this. That I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone and I’m having fun in the process instead of playing small, scared and embarrassed. When the definition of the word is having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own worth, I say f*uck being humble. I want to be proud of myself and I want you to be proud of yourself. Share with me what your successes are. Big or small, I want to hear it all and I want to feel overjoyed with you!
I highly recommend looking up Marya Stark and checking out what she offers. She has a beautiful voice and creates beautiful music, and is helping me break through in finding my voice. You can listen to her on Soundcloud.
Lately my Facebook feed is bombarded with support for Hillary out of fear of Trump becoming our next president. I keep reading that we HAVE to vote for her out of fear that Trump will be our next president. I don’t support either of them. I do not agree with either of their politics or just the choices they have made in their lives. I was a big supporter of Bernie Sanders. I am not a Bernie or bust person though either. I supported Bernie, because I supported his ideas the hope he brought to actually changing this country. Actually trying to change the corruption and the struggle that many people live in. I supported Bernie’s ideas. I believe in what he stands for.
It frustrates me so much that so many people are choosing Hillary out of fear of Trump. Many people fear what Trump could do to this country. The hate, the racism, the sexism, the fear that he seems to be bringing forth, but what most people aren’t realizing is that they are choosing Hillary out of that same fear. It doesn’t have to be either or. What if there was another option and that option is standing up and saying enough is enough. This system is corrupt. This system needs to change. The entire process needs to change.
We don’t have to continue to do something because we have been told this is the only way or that this is how its always been done. Things work until they don’t, and the way this country is ran does not seem to work anymore. We shouldn’t be choosing the lesser of the two evils. We still have choice. We can still say that we don’t support either and we don’t agree with this system.
We don’t agree with how much the average person struggles just to live. We don’t agree with how our planet is being treated. We don’t agree that big companies can buy elections. We don’t agree with how big pharma can over charge for prescriptions and poison people. We don’t agree with shitty expensive health care. We don’t agree with how minorities are treated. We don’t agree with inequality. We are not stuck. WE have the power. WE can change how things are ran, but the only way we can do this is if we say I refuse that this is the only option. I refuse your system. I refuse that these two people are my only choices. It’s time to think bigger than the system, not just trying to figure out the best option of the shitty hand we have been dealt. We do not have to stay in the box that we have been told to stay in. There are always other choices. It’s time to stand up for them. It’s time for a heart-centered revolution.
While I do believe that all lives matter, I do also think that it’s critical that we are aware and acknowledge that something very wrong is happening to people of color. Black lives are just as important as white lives. There is definitely an inequality that is happening. There are far too many black deaths that occur on a regular basis. Something needs to be done, and something needs to be done immediately. I think it is important that as white people that we stop and listen to what people of color have to say. To allow them to speak their truth and what reality is like for them. To hear their stories. To really listen and listen with compassion and an open heart and mind.
I was trying to explain and have a conversation with my nephews who are 7 and 11 last night about the injustices that have been occurring for black people. I found myself trying to explain to them about stereotypes and how these stereotypes create fear. That there are general stereotypes for different ethnicities and because of this people are treated differently.
This morning when I was walking home I started thinking about stereotypes again, but I started to think of them from a different perspective. When I was younger I used to think that stereotypes were given for a reason, because that does tend to be what the majority of said race or group do. Today I started thinking about that if you were told you were something from the moment you were born then chances are that’s what you are going to turn out as. If a child is called stupid every day of his life by those around him, by the media, by movie and tv characters, after awhile they are going to believe that is who they are. What if a stereotype isn’t even real? What if stereotypes are actually just someone being conditioned over and over to believe something until finally at some point they believe it?
It is time to acknowledge that there really is something going on. That not everyone has an equal opportunity. It is time to open our eyes and see what is really occurring in the neighborhoods of black people. To listen to what black people have to say. Hear their stories of what life is like for them, because until we take the time to truly listen then the senseless murders and inequality is going to continue to happen. BLACK LIVES MATTER.
By saying that black lives matter does not mean that everyone else does not matter, or that black lives are now more important than other lives. All it simply means is that they matter just as much as everyone else does too. You support black lives and this does not mean that you think someone else is less than. This is not an either or situation. This is a black lives matter, AND white lives matter, AND mexican lives matter, AND asians lives matter, AND muslim lives matter, AND gay lives matter. It does not mean anyone else matters less. We are all humans. We ALL matter, but black lives are the ones who need our help right now. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Lifting those up around us, lifts us up too! Love and compassion is the answer!
I got a new haircut almost 5 weeks ago, and as soon as I walked out of the hair salon I instantly started to feel self-conscious. I felt like everyone was looking at me thinking why did she cut her hair like that. I felt my insecurities pop up directly in my face. I instantly started to worry about what other people were going to think about me. All the new people I’ve met down here, the new people I’ll meet thinking that I’m weird now. I started getting worried that people wouldn’t think I was nice anymore, because “nice” girls don’t shave off 80% of their hair. “Nice” girls look pretty and don’t do anything edgy or things that could be considered out of the box. The next morning I woke up and started crying and thought to myself what did I do?!?
Then I really started to look at how much I care what others think about me and how much I live my life based off of how others will react. I really had thought I was choosing MY life. If one little haircut can cause me to question my choices it made me realize that I still am allowing the world and those around me to shape my life.
I’ve also recently decided to let my natural grey roots grow out. I was very insecure about that for the first few months, because once again I’d bought into the belief that I have to look as young as possible and grey hair means I’m old. Yes, I am getting older and yes, I do happen to have a lot of grey hair (quite a bit more than most people my age. I might even have more than my mom!) But I’m starting to realize that that does not mean I’m old, and so what if I am old? Why do I care so much about looking old, or thought of as old? What is so wrong with aging? Especially for women, why is it that women aren’t allowed to age the same way that men do? That our value is based off of how young and sexy we look. How good we look for our age. Like that is the most important thing.
When you’re young, you’re not always taken seriously. You’re ideas can be looked at as unimportant because you’re young. What do you really know?!? You haven’t even lived life yet. You just can’t win either way. As a younger adult you’re not always taken seriously, but as you get older, looking younger is what’s important.
It’s funny how one hair cut shook up my whole reality. Instead of instantly trying to hide my hair cut and start letting it grow out right away I decided to look at how much I really care what others think about me and just how much I actually choose things to make others happy, or to get another like on my Facebook picture. I chose to take this opportunity to see where I’m still not living my life based off of what I choose. I’m actually loving this new haircut. It’s really low maintenance, I use very little shampoo and conditioner, and it’s quite cool when it’s a hot day out. Plus, I just think I look badass with it!
Recently my husband and I have gone through a huge transformation and healed and forgiven many years of old stories and pain. We have never been better and connecting on such a deep intimate level. So much love. Everything I’ve been dreaming of. We’ve stripped off our armor and put down our weapons, and are being so open and honest it feels amazing.
As much as I am loving this connection to him I am also noticing some fears coming up too. What do I do now that I’m so open and vulnerable if he should choose to leave? I have no protection. This fear of possibly losing him while being so vulnerable is scary. It feels like I would die if things were to change or go back to how they were.
Part of me feels like it would be safer if I just grabbed that armor and put it back on. That feeling this amazing just isn’t worth the possibility of the pain. While I know this isn’t true. I still have to acknowledge that I’m feeling and thinking these things. They are real to me. I feel it so deeply that sometimes it’s hard to breathe. My love for him is bursting out of me that it feels like I can barely contain it, which in itself is such a wonderful feeling but also very uncomfortable.
To be this seen and received is all I have been wanting but at the same time I have to keep stepping into uncomfortable places. I have to be open and honest and share everything that is going on for me, everything I’m feeling, and thinking. He has to be open to receive what I’m saying with out taking it personally and realizing it’s not about him, but being willing to listen to my guidance and requests and to honor them. To see how valid they are for me and how much I need them.
Asking for what I want hasn’t always been easy for me. I have this underlying belief that I never get what I want. It started in childhood when there would be a certain gift that I wanted which might have been a little bit more expensive, but instead I got multiple things for the price of the one thing. While getting multiple gifts is nice, all I really wanted was the one thing. I know my mom enjoyed having multiple gifts to give for me to open, but somewhere it started the belief that I don’t get what I want.
Right now I’m really struggling with how do I put myself out there in the world, make an income, without having to sacrifice my freedom and flexibility. Having this wonderful love and support is really shining the spot light on this I never get what I want belief. Somewhere I feel like I need to sacrifice something in order to get something else that I want. I have to sacrifice my time and freedom to start to generate an income. Or not have enough money if I want to keep my time and freedom.
Why must I sacrifice one thing for something else? When did I buy into this belief that I can’t have it all? That I can’t be happy and make more than enough money and not just to survive but to actually thrive. Thrive in my relationships, thrive in my job, thrive in abundance, thrive in the activities that bring me joy. I truly feel like life is meant to be lived. Not just survived. Live for every day, not just the weekends and holidays. Every day is worth living.
For the past 8 years I have spent a lot of time with my thoughts and feelings. I spend the majority of my time alone and I tend to like it quiet, because of this I started to watch my thoughts and feel my feelings on a regular basis. I’ve become pretty self aware and conscious about how things show up in my life.
I’ve always liked knowing how or why things are the way they are. This includes me. Once I started to become more conscious I started to realize that I can observe myself. That I could watch my thoughts and feelings. That I didn’t have to BE my thoughts and feelings. That I could ask myself questions as to why I do something a certain way or why I feel a certain way. I find that most people just answer it simply with that’s just how I am and leave it at. But I like to take things apart. I like to know where something came from. Why something is a certain way. I’m going to be honest, it’s not always easy or fun. There’s a lot of pain, sadness, anger underneath a lot of the patterns that some might say is their personality. It takes a lot of bravery to look at an old pattern and wound and to acknowledge it, investigate it, and choose something different. It’s easy to fall into an old pattern or comfort zone, and play out the same story over and over. To choose something different is where the real change happens
In the last two days I’ve had two really big old wounds from two different people come up for me. It made me feel anger where I wanted to lash out and say hurtful things. I wanted to create as much pain in them, if not more to get them to see how hurtful it was to me. To get them to not treat me a certain way ever again. But fighting pain with more pain only creates more pain. I could feel how I wanted to control them to make it not happen ever again. It’s this feeling of lashing out that doesn’t feel good to me, but on the other hand I feel like if I don’t hurt them and make them know this is unacceptable then they will do it to me again and won’t realize that it’s not ok. So this has gotten me thinking about how can I share my truth about how I am feeling with out trying to hurt back? How can I be honest and open with out being judgmental? I’m so over using control to get someone to change. It doesn’t work. I can’t make someone change. But what I can do is let them know that due to their choices and the things they said that it makes me feel a certain way and this is not ok. If you continue to act a certain way then you have to deal with the consequences of my choices.
People need to be held accountable. It is not ok for others to just keep dumping their anger, sadness, and shit on each other. I’ve lived by the “treat others the way you would want to be treated” saying. This has been a theme through out my life. Unfortunately I don’t always get it back, and it is no longer ok. I feel like I’m finally coming from the space of you are allowed to make your own choices and say and do whatever you want, but you need to be ok then with the choices I make to no longer keep allowing this in my life.
Holding people accountable isn’t the most pleasant place. You have to feel deep into what it is that you are experiencing and tell them. They may or may not listen, but what I’ve experienced the last two days is that when I feel deep into the pain and then share with them from that place what it does to me and how it makes me feel, they seem to actually hear me. But it takes me being brave enough to feel the pain, to feel the vulnerability, and to then choose to respond in a different way. To share the vulnerability instead of lashing out and trying to hurt back.
Because hurt people, hurt people.
Sometimes life just hurts so much.
Sometimes the tears start falling and it feels like they’re never going to stop.
Sometimes it hurts so deeply into the center of my being and I don’t know what to do with it.
Sometimes I see so much sadness that’s happening in the world and I don’t understand how or why these things could ever happen.
Sometimes I want to do nothing at all. Not get out of bed or create change in the world.
Sometimes I don’t know who I am or what I want to do with my life.
Sometimes I’m scared, confused, and unsure of myself and just want to crawl into bed and never come out.
Right now is one of the sometimes.