The sound of a distant church bell reminds me that it is indeed another Sunday morning as I head down to my office. With my work essentials and healthy lunch neatly tucked in my back seat, I adjust the radio to a gentle whisper so I can mentally organize my thoughts for this week’s topic.
I unlock the front door, deactivate the alarm system and feverishly start writing fragmented sentences because I believe I have just had a profound revelation.
On the same block where my office is, just about a half mile up the road, sits the medical center where Barney was first incorrectly diagnosed. For months and months on end, I was too afraid to glance at this brick structure that was secretly housing some of my pent-up sorrow and anger. These negative emotions were not only directed towards the first vet who made a human error and showed little regard for Barney’s life, but I personally had been burdened with the thought, that if I had acted more quickly, there might have been a happier outcome. Today, as I drove by that building, I felt no pain. There wasn’t one ounce of tension invading my muscles, and I knew at that very moment, that I had gone through the process of forgiveness and it felt good.
Self-forgiveness, making peace and moving forward is much easier than it sounds. We need the ability to dig deep within ourselves to summon both empathy and compassion while acknowledging that forgiveness is a choice. If we are incapable of letting go of an unresolved wound, we can actually stress our own physical and mental health much more than we truly know.
My extensive research on pain and suffering, led me to start journaling by hand. It helped me immensely to move beyond the endless thought cycles that kept me isolated in grief even though it was painstakingly slow. The rose quartz bracelet that I wear daily, is also my gift to myself, to remind me that I have the power to heal my own heart and restore emotional balance if I am patient.
As my story winds down for this week, glance again at Barney’s photo. Not only was this taken in the vet’s waiting room, but look at his little heart shaped tongue. I would like to believe that he sent me this perfect reminder that love and forgiveness work best when paired together. Only then, can we turn the page and enjoy our next miraculous chapter of life!