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The World’s Ugliest Dog
“What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
The first time I met him, I called him “Happy”.
I don’t know whether that was because of my state of mind at the time or it was his eagerly wagging tail that caused for the word “Happy” to pop up in mind, causing for me to spontaneously call him that.
Happy is the same mongrel I described “… stared in my eyes”, in my profile. There’s sufficient reason to call him his name because he simply looked so happy to see a perfect stranger, me, when he first arrived to make home of our little house. He lives up to his name by being so cute and cuddly.
Two years later, his coat continues to flourish and form bundles of hair. We really had a difficult time running after him to cut off the unwieldy lumps of hair. He hates these sessions. After consultation, our vet finally offered to trim his fur off.
Today, with his coat of fur gone, he has become “Ugly”, the world’s ugliest dog. Shaving the fur off his face revealed a lot of his misaligned front teeth, making him look almost demonic. He however continues to be perhaps the world’s most affectionate dog.
We’re All In One Team
As usual, I try to practice the hub ideas for the week on the days following when the hub was written. I had presented the idea about all souls, although sometimes seemingly being of opposing polarities, to be all in one team sharing one commitment---to universal unconditional love and forgiveness.
In addition, a previous insight was also encountered that is viewing everything as events instead of discreet objects, or persons or things, etc. In this perspective, one relates to what is happening not as a reaction to a specific person, or thing, but taking the totality including time and place. Everything that was perceived was an entity called ‘Event’.
With the use of 4Rs, one becomes mindful of one’s thoughts and feelings and staying present to them instead of struggling against the situation, for example. Having previously used 4Rs somehow led me to thinking of shenpa also as an event. Instead of things happening to us for no reason, these were actually gems of opportunities for us to discover joy.
The usual would be to judge between favorable or unfavorable, desirable or undesirable, etc., mostly as an involuntary reaction. Stephen Covey mentioned something related; we usually find it difficult to delay our R from our S in our stimulus(S)-response(R) mechanism. Doing 4Rs teaches us to lengthen the gap between the two events, i.e., stimulus and response.
Continuing to practice 4Rs, somehow led me to experience something entirely unexpected. After doing 4Rs or sitting with shenpa when upset, the discomfort revealed joy.
It looks like presence, being in the now, is a prerequisite to using 4Rs to finding joy.
Companions in Adventure and Discovery
· Things in nature: flowers, butterflies, pets, grass, etc. These are all things that we encounter in everyday life that when we behold in love, appreciation and gratitude almost instantly responds back with an aura of affection for us.
This is related to the idea in a previous hub, about us no longer needing to choose what we feel. Without struggle, things reveal their Presence to us. Joy is presented to us by Being.
· People and events: smiley people, watching the sunrise, the sunset, the rainbow, etc.
· Things, people and events that bring us discomfort or cause us to experience shenpa; for example, a candy wrapper someone littered on the sidewalk. Being present to the feeling of frustration from the awareness of how man continues to pollute Mother Earth and doing 4Rs can also lead us to intuit an understanding that, perhaps littering is the only way the person knows to go about disposing of his candy wrapper, given his/her perspective of life. Perhaps he/she is too harried to get to work to even realize he/she is littering.
This insight can then lead us to feel compassion towards people who may not have the same learning opportunities in life that we do.
3. Just an Event, nothing personal. After intuiting perceiving everything as a whole, an Event, instead of separate entities (i.e., things, people, place, time), it became easier to treat things as ‘just-is’, just the way they are, nothing personal. This seems to somehow disengage the ego-based personality, which constantly struggles to defend itself and its role identification in the physical world.
And because it has been said that everything has a soul, and so too does an Event. Since every Event has a soul, it too needs to be treated with acceptance, love and awe.
Just as we begin to perceive the event with acceptance, love and awe, Presence reveals its sacred gifts, such as joy and affection.
The amazing thing with this perspective is that even ‘negative’ Events bless us with joy and affection. It may take some practice, but eventually sun light breaks through the clouds.
On the earth plane, it is not always immediately that we are able to perceive the soul’s sacred gifts. Some time or another, the mystery is unveiled. This has happened to many among us who initially thought they had experienced a great ‘misfortune’ in the past which eventually looking back, turns out to actually be a blessing.
We also need to be aware that whenever we try to force to understand situations that are beyond our control, usually the ego-based personality has kicked in. It would be best to allow wisdom and insights to arrive at their own time.
Full of Questions
“Find the answer and be wrong. Answers close, questions open. Find the space between thoughts, the uncertainty between certainties.” –Ray Grigg, Tao of Being
One silent sitting meditation, I experienced a strong shenpa that I really wanted to just leave. Since sitting is always about accepting what arrives, I stayed with the shenpa. After a few breathes, “in the light of your acceptance, everything turns to sweetness” was the message I received. So even Confusion, which I felt but decided to accept, had its own gift. Fear can turn into affection for Event for having revealed to you a nugget of wisdom.
They say that the opposite of love is fear and that we fear something that we do not understand. Maybe we just call things we fear as ‘evil’ because we do not understand them. Understanding that everything has a soul and all souls are committed to unconditional love and forgiveness, we may be able to get a better understanding of what we call evil. And be more compassionate about things we judge as such.
To get at least a miniscule picture, perhaps we can cite the difference between men and women. The yin and yang or whatever (I’m not sure which one is male/female). The two have difficulty understanding each other but they are of great value to each other because of the contrast they provide to each other. Man’s masculinity accentuates woman’s femininity. Woman’s femininity accentuates man’s masculinity. Each one is grounded by retaining a certain aspect of the other within oneself.
We cannot judge against the ‘bad’ for being ‘bad’. Every soul has its divine purpose. Could it be for the bad to sanctify the good? If so, we may actually feel compassion for the ‘bad’ for their having to perform the role of the bad guy.
Back to the World’s Ugliest Dog
I try to no longer be scared by Happy’s face with its new hairdo, with his teeth sticking out. I just try to remember everything has a soul. Beyond appearances, all souls are in service to each other.
Every Event has its soul.
Event is at our service.
In reciprocity to our love and acceptance, Event reveals its wisdom.
In Memory of Happy
Several years later, I let Happy join a foster home after arriving at a difficult and unpopular decision. This, instead of keeping things the way they were, with him always getting beaten and bitten by the other dog, the “new kid” in town who became the pet of Happy’s original owner.
It broke my heart seeing how he was being treated and knowing the danger that he faced, especially with his teeth all askew making him defenseless. I had to let him go, even though he was the beloved pet who always slept under my bed and went wherever I was in the house. The only assurance I had was knowing that his foster family would make a good home for him, especially with caring adults and children as company.
Three years later, I heard he was gone for good. He had simply stopped eating and died the following day. He had been happy the last couple of years, playing with the children and roaming freely in the fields. I didn’t expect he would be gone so soon.
There are so many what-if’s to feel regrets about but we always try to convince ourselves that we did what is best for all concerned. Except for the hurt that I still feel in my heart.
I know Happy, through this hub, has taught me a very important lesson. Maybe that is why he is leaving behind this hurt in my heart.
For me to remember to refrain from labelling things as ugly or beautiful, good or evil, unfavorable or unfavorable because, through the eyes of the soul we will know, God only sends us what is best for us.
“We know that all things work together for good
for those who love God,
who are called according to his purpose …
If God is for us,
Who is against us?”
- Romans 8:28:31