When I think about the words, “Tao of Love,” I focus on the absoluteness of it.  Tao, a Chinese philosophy, defined as: “the absolute principle underlying the universe, combining within itself the principles of yin and yang and signifying the way, or code of behavior, that is in harmony with the natural order.”  It was also the title of an awesome Rick Springfield album!

On April 3rd, in honor of my passed Chihuahua, Permilia, I adopted a chunky, snorting, adorable Chihuahua that I named Delilah.  Delilah came from a wonderful rescue home that described her as sweet, friendly with all dogs and people, and playful.  For the first couple days of having her she was charging my dog, Benson, out of fear and dominance.  She charged the plumber, and tried to nip a Petco employee.  She also has intense separation anxiety, and does this unnatural shriek the moment she wakes to find you not in sight.  As much as it hurt me, I was feeling like it might have been a mistake to adopt her.  How was I going to host massage clients in my home if she shrieked when crated, or charged and nipped?  How was I going to ensure her and Benson’s safety if she continued to charge him?  How was I going to board my usual canine friends if she exerted such dominance?  How would my neighbors not complain about her cries?

And then a couple of days passed, and she started to settle in a bit more.  She started to realize that Benson was actually friendly.  I was able to pull her crate up to the massage room door and she slept through my sessions.  She began to warm up to all our canine pals.  Things had started to shift.

Sure, I felt that patience, and allowing her to snuggle up to me at night were big factors in helping calm her and build her trust; but what I also discovered was that part of the shift was my own.

After just having lost Permilia on March 8th, and then adopting Delilah on April 3rd, my thought was that if I waited, the fear I experienced from Permilia’s abrupt passing after merely four months together, would settle into me and I would be too afraid to adopt again for years to come.  Plus, I wanted to honor Permilia’s short life with me by offering safety and love to another soul in need.  However, what I discovered is that I was, indeed, afraid.  I was not allowing myself to openly embrace Delilah out of fear that if I loved her and something were to happen, it would be too much for me to handle.  I didn’t allow myself to look at her issues from a place of family, but rather from a place of uncertainty.  If I continued telling myself that I wasn’t sure I could keep her, then I wouldn’t have to risk being broken hearted.

Once I could see this fear inside of me, I was able to shed light on it, and flood it with love.  How beautiful that my mind was trying to protect me like this.  It saw how hurt and scared I was after losing Permilia, and it planted in me the notion that Delilah was not going to work out.  I clearly held a lot of love for myself to create that protection within myself.  However, the deeper me wanted to shift that love into acceptance and openness, so I had to embrace it.

Once I acknowledged this original intention, I was able to create a shift in my heart, and that is when I noticed the good within Delilah. That shift allowed me to work to find successful corrections and adaptations to her unwanted behaviors.  My openness to her was surely part of her feeling embraced and comforted so that a shift could happen within her as well.

I began to imagine… what if I could shift my fear of love in other areas of my life?  With other past relationships that left me broken hearted; what if I could rewire those also?  Allowing the fear to be penetrated with the bright light of awareness and self-love so that I could embrace the next steps forward?

Trauma is only as powerful as we let it be.  All trauma.  We can allow it to define us; to direct our course forward, or we can see it for what it is – something that happened.  In this moment, that trauma does not exist.  It only exists when we pull it up in our minds to relive it.  Who we are is actually ours to carve out, and since you’re holding the sculpting tools, you can decide what influences and inspires your self creation.

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