Bart continues to inspire me…even from the heavens.
My acupuncturist is, to put it mildly, amazing! I recently visited her for help with a seemingly chronic hip, butt and hamstring pain. One of the components of her session is a 30 minute chat where she asks questions about what is going on so that she can get a feel for where my head is so she can see what my body is responding to. I had not seen her since Bart passed away and she knew what a huge presence he was in my life. During my first visit for this issue with her she told me that hip pain can be due to uncertainties in life, sort of like walking on uneven surfaces. She asked me what word came to mind to describe my current state of being and the word “unrest” popped into my head. It’s so funny, even though I tell myself to be completely open and receptive to her questions and information I found myself trying to come up with a different adjective…a better adjective to describe my current position. Thankfully I stopped this self-editing and told her “unrest.”
“Why unrest?” she asked. Two things – first, my job is going to change materially and most likely for the better. My job is not something I love, mostly because I work for, hmmmm, how do I put it…I work for a lazy idiot. I have stayed at this job for a long time, however, because it enabled me to take care of Bart the way I needed to for the past 6 1/2 years. My office was close to both of his vet offices, I could bring him to work and could take off whenever Bart needed me. And for all that, I am grateful. Going to a new job, however, is always a little scary and I don’t know what this new firm would have to offer and how it would all work out.
The second thing that is causing unrest is the start of Field Trial Season. You would think that would be a good thing, but there always seems to be tension between my husband & I during this time because he does not always react kindly in stressful situations. So, I have anxiety about the upcoming season. Even though I have expressed my feelings clearly to him, and we have had lengthy discussions that suggest that he understands and that he is going to work hard on his attitude and conduct, I am still hesitant to believe it will happen. Time will tell.
During my first visit back with Kim, in addition to discussing work and my husband, we also discussed how interesting it was that since Bart has died I have worked hard on getting back to my old self. I have lost 34 pounds and am training for a 1/2 marathon in November. I no longer drink wine 7 days a week. Now, I save it for the weekend and keep it to a low roar instead of an all out bash. I know I was drinking because it allowed me to forget how terrible I felt about myself and how disappointed I was that I let myself to get to such a physical state. But this can be left for another day…
During my next visit, Kim kept focusing on Bart and his departure. She repeatedly told me that animals are Earth Angels and reiterated how interesting it was that I had returned to my former self since his passing. At first, I was like, “Yea, yea, yea. I know. He’s gone. I gave him my all. I no longer have to do that. I get it.” But, again, I reminded myself to really listen to her…to listen past her words and allow it all to soak in. I knew this would be something I needed to really digest and think about over time.
About 5 days after this second visit, already with a significant relief in pain, I went on a run. It was going to be a relatively short run, only 5 miles, and I was going to try to run it at a faster than normal pace. I was pondering Kim’s statements during this run. My first break through was regarding the unrest at my new firm. The solution was easy – rather than sitting back to see how it turned out, I decided that I could work to make it become what I wanted it to be. I could be in charge, and if I gave it 110% and it didn’t work out, I would go find another job. I no longer needed to care for Bart and make sure that any job I had would enable me to tend to him as I needed to do. I was “free” of this burden, although it pains me to the core to think of Bart and his needs as a burden.
OK, so with a game plan that felt right for the job thing, I switched my focus to Kim’s constant comments about Bart’s role in my life both before and after his passing. I couldn’t figure out what she was getting at, but I knew I had to keep contemplating this. As I came into the home stretch of my run, I decided to really pick up the pace to an all out sprint (or at least whatever I had left in the tank). I started to really push it and I looked ahead to the end of my course and I saw Bart there cheering me on with all his might!! He was jumping around in a cartoon-like manner, contorting his body while jumping and twisting (perhaps even twerking a bit) with excitement and encouragement. He was yelling, “Go Mommy Go!! You Can Do IT!!” I could see him there and I could feel his happy exuberance cheering me on, as I had done for him for so long. I ran my heat out towards him with tears pouring down my face, choking as I was sobbing and breathing heavily from exertion all at the same time. At that moment, I got it. In life, I was his supporter and his cheerleader, encouraging him to be the best Barty he could be. In his after-life, his spirit was now MY cheerleader and he was now in the role where he could offer me the support I needed to be the best I could be. It was a magical moment – one that I will never forget. Bart was my heart dog on Earth and he is now my Angel watching over me and encouraging me at the finish line. The next day, I woke up and my hip pain was gone. It has not returned.