What Is Love?

soulbeautyI love everyone. Every single person I come in contact with is loved by me in some way. I choose to see the good in people. I choose to see beauty, and I see that everywhere I go. I see that in the mountains outside my house, the stars in the sky at night, in the personality of my dogs, and in the mechanics of my car. I choose to see beauty in absolutely everything. In people, I see their physical looks of course, but more importantly, I feel I can see the beauty of their soul. I start talking to people, and in just a few seconds of meeting them, I see them radiate their own special aura of beauty. I see their personality shine through when they speak, smile, work with their dog or interact with their family. And to me, every person is incredible and beautiful in their own unique way.

In the people closest to me; my friends and family and my clients, I have a very special opportunity to get to know them a little better. And in doing so, I get to know what makes them tick a little closer. I get to know their strengths, their weaknesses, and their fears. In working with my clients’ dogs, I build a sort of very personal relationship, and I do see habits and personalities that some of their closest friends don’t even notice. And I love this part of my job. I can help people with those weaknesses and build confidence, which is empowering to them. I see it and it brings me joy when the concepts click and they are proud of themselves. That is one of my very favorite parts about my job. That’s one of things that makes me tick.

With some of my clients, I become friends with them. I start to care about their families and what they are doing on a daily basis with their dogs. More so than just on a professional level. I try very hard to make sure boundaries don’t get crossed. Just like a therapist and their patient, it’s important to not encroach on their patients’ personal lives. I have met some of my very best friends through my career, but it’s always friend or dog trainer in those moments. I go into a zone on either one. This has taken some practice on how to “turn off” either side.

I am a transparent person. I never lie (I’m not very good at it anyway), and I expect the same from my clients and the people in my life. When I am lied to, it deeply damages my soul, and my ability to see the beauty in people. I have been lied to, betrayed, hurt, and broken in the darkest of ways. Repeatedly. So, my soul isn’t as beautiful as it used to be. It has pockmarks and scars throughout. Once again, I feel as if my soul is dark and twisty and broken.

I’m looking past the scars and sometimes gaping wounds of my clients when they come to me for help with their dogs, so I’m trying to look past my own. I won’t hide, I won’t retreat. I’ll just keep going and give the wounds time to heal. The wounds that other people keep inflicting on me. I protect myself, but eventually I get tired, and let my guard down. Then I get clubbed with ugliness and evil. I always get up, but I take on these new battle scars each time.

Regardless of my battle scars, I will never stop loving deeply, or seeing the beauty in every person I meet. No one can take this from me. I will always get up eventually. And no one else is in charge of my feelings but me. I choose to be happy, I choose to be in control of my emotions and my state of mind.

Sometimes, in helping another person through some of their problems, I heal a little bit of me. Sometimes, being broken in company is the best kind of remedy. I helped someone release a little bit of emotion today. And it made me see how absolutely beautiful they were. A little later in the same day, she was there for me when I needed to be healed. I’m hoping it did the same to her, as it did to me.

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Today, I faced one of my biggest fears. I haven’t been inside of a church willingly in over 10 years. Walking up to the doors of the church took me 2 tries. I stalled and answered a phone call first, and then took some deep breaths, accepted it was going to hurt… and then let it go and moved on. And I walked in. I got a little nervous again walking down a long, narrow hallway with closed doors on either side. I felt very claustrophobic, but I kept walking. I just focused on my breathing, and how this is for a good cause. I needed to do this. I got to the end of the hallway and reached my destination. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment for just a few seconds. And then I realized where I was.

I was attending a client’s funeral. I was invited to attend this intimate event and robinjablonmourn the loss of this client with her family and friends. She was an incredibly beautiful person, and the way I remember her, she was always smiling and had a warm, inviting presence. She was there for me in my own time of loss, and was incredibly supportive. Nothing but loving energy from her, telling me everything will be ok, and that I’ll become stronger from my trials. She said she would pray for me, and that I deserve all the happiness in the world. I truly believe she meant that when she told me that, and I felt a sense of peace.

I helped her with her dog for about a year previously, but as she started to get sicker and sicker, her dog sensed that and became more and more possessive. I didn’t put together the dots on this until later, so we did more sessions, and I helped her with confidence and leadership building, but we weren’t making much progress. It was shortly after our last session that she was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was around midnight in early December that she messages me on my business page. She said she had a brain tumor and was losing her vision, and was so scared of death. She didn’t know what to do, but she felt like she wanted to reach out to me, that we had a connection and she wanted to tell me. I felt deep sadness for her, and I wish I could have teleported to where she was to hold her and give her the type of energy she gave me in my time of need.

I wanted to remember this client as the beautiful soul she was, so I didn’t want to see her in the open casket. I could still see her face, and the top of her head. And even though I didn’t go up to see her closely, she was radiant. She was beautiful, even while sleeping eternally. And she was loved deeply. Everyone had such wonderful things to say about her, and it made me think about her husband and her family a lot. They had such touching words to share about him as well. “Her boys were her greatest accomplishments”, “Her family was the best gift she could ever receive in this life”, “She loved her family with all her heart”… And then the things they were saying about her husband. “He gave her the life she always wanted, and she lived it to her fullest”, “He was the perfect husband”, “Not once did I ever hear her complain about him, or say you two had an argument”, “You were her best friend and treated her with such kindness”, “Billy, you were her guardian angel. She always did like the thrill rides and did scary things at 59 like white water rapids”, “Billy, she’s waiting for you in Heaven”. I’m not religious, but these words got me more than anything else said. I am very spiritual, and when I die, I hope someone is saying those things to my partner. Life is too short and precious. I want my life to be filled with beauty and love. This was a bittersweet reminder of what I have been missing.

It also got me thinking to what I would do if I suddenly died. What’s most important to me, and who? Who deserves to make decisions for me in death? What type of service do I want? Let’s be clear. I don’t want to be buried in an expensive box. I want to go back to the Earth. Let me decompose and be born again into a tree. I want to be part of the beauty that is this world. I want my friends and family to bring their dogs to my service. I don’t want sad music or churches. I want to have a gathering of everyone I love (which, as I said…is everyone) come and talk about silly, funny, happy stories about my life. Tears are fine, but I want people to be more happy than mourning. I want my dogs to be taken care of by people who love them as deeply as I do. I want my business to be sold to someone who has a passion for training and teaching, or be shut down and have the money go towards my friends and family who have helped me get to where I am (“am” meaning at my time of death).

So, to conclude this very long blog post, I am choosing to be happy. I am in charge of my life and how I feel. I choose to see beauty in everyone. I hope that this blog post finds everyone healthy and happy, and if not, choose to see the beauty in the world. It won’t show itself to you unless you are receptive enough to pay attention. Be mindful of the world and its’ energies and make it a better place. CHOOSE to be happy. CHOOSE to see beauty. Only you can make this happen for yourself.  Be the change you wish to see in the world. Those words were never as clear to me as they are now. It’s like I’m hearing them for the first time.

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Random Post is Random

So, when I’m bored during a meeting at work or in the shower, I tend to think about things. Random things, usually.

This morning, I was thinking about my funeral, and how mine would go. I don’t have a lot of friends, per se, but the ones I do have, are full of awesome. They would go. Would my dog training clients go? Would they be sad? What about my fellow coworkers at my company? My neighbors? My dog training mentor? My family in other states… they didn’t come to my wedding. I had a wedding full of my husband’s family and friends. I’m really grateful my family came to my wedding. My grandfather came too. That was nice. I don’t get to see him often enough.

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I got around to thinking about how my service should take place. I don’t want it to be expensive. That’s hard for the family. I would like a tree to be planted in my name, but my body donated to science. Maybe people can learn from me, I don’t know. Pick apart my brain and see how I tick. I would want a big non-poison oak tree planted in a nice animal sanctuary. I would just like a gathering of all my friends and family to come around this tree to be planted. I’m fine with dogs peeing on me, and cats scratching me.

Food at my funeral would include junk, mostly. And wine. Definitely wine. You can pick your favorite, white, red, and drink around my tree. That would be very nice. Oh, and music! We’ll have to play songs from my favorite bands, whether they are appropriate or not. Who cares? It’s my service! I would want Muse and Apocalyptica… maybe some Metallica, and Evanescence. Anyway, play what I like, not that shitty funeral drawl. Make it fun, make it a party. Remember my awesome, dammit! 😡

Somehow, all this talk about funerals reminded me of if I should have a living will. Where will all my stuff go? To whom? What about my animals, my business? Well, obviously, to my husband first. But I think I would have my cats go to my best friend. I know she would take care of them. Again, for privacy, we will call her Mary. Her name really isn’t Mary, but she loves cats. And they would be well taken care of. My dog, well, I would probably want him to be taken by a good friend, who studies nutrition, and is good at training. They don’t have to be the best, just enough training to understand what my boy needs.  Strong leadership, and they have to know when to correct him. What is acceptable, and what is not. My bearded dragon would go to the person who ‘co-parents’ him with me.

Then, my business. I would just have it die out, I think. I don’t trust anyone with it right now. I don’t have employees, and I don’t think anyone can run this shit like I can! So, they can come up with their own business, not steal mine. When I get bigger, maybe things will change. But for now, it’s ok to have it shut down.

All my shit. Meh, donate or sell it. My parents can have the money. I have nice shit, as we just refurnished, so they can have some of it if they want. But we have junk too. But not much. I tend to keep on top of it. My online-blog-friend, Viv, dedicates her own blog to selling her shit. She has way more than I do, fun read!

However, I did just buy a juicer! I purchased a Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus! And I’m pretty excited to use it! It comes in on Friday, and I will be making juice… with my new juicer! I have always wanted to make juice, but I thought it was a lot of work. Not with this baby! Stick those vegetables in, and this machine auto-magically pulps everything, mixes everything, and blends it all into a nice juice! Yay! I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, this weekend, I will be juicing, and learning SATS (Syn Alia Training System). It’s a whole new way to train your dog, and I’m so excited to learn it. It’s kind of hard to follow, but once you learn it, it’s pretty easy to execute. I have just started the material, and I have a pretty good idea of how to train, but my dog and I will be practicing. Check out the website, and watch this video! It’s pretty amazing!

My Bloody Valentine

Valentine’s Week is always difficult for me. I had a friend in high school commit suicide during this time, and no matter how hard I try, I still think about how I felt when I heard the news. I thought it was a mistake. I thought they had the name wrong. I was in college and he was still in high school. I graduated early from high school, so I left my friends behind, as I ventured on to further my education. When I heard the news, I immediately thought I wasn’t a good enough friend. He didn’t feel he could talk to me about his feelings. Then, at the funeral, my friends and I were discussing his life, and the subject of murder came up. They believed he didn’t commit suicide, but he was murdered, or at least it was an assisted suicide. I think this is how we dealt with our grief at the time.

We looked over at his parents, and 1962000_0024some of my friends blamed them for what happened. They said they didn’t love him, and they were horrible parents. At the time, I didn’t doubt my friends, and I couldn’t hide my pain. I believed he was murdered. We speculated who could have done it, and how the parents kept popping up on our suspect list. This is how we handled the pain, the confusion, and the sting of betrayal. Now that I am older, I know they weren’t bad parents. They were just as distraught as the rest of us. We all had to deal with our grief in different ways.

I could talk about my friend’s life, and how much fun I had with him. I could talk about how he was always there when you needed him. I could say how he always used to snap his fingers in class and when he walked down the hallways. He always seemed to be happy. But I know better now; he wasn’t happy. For someone to take their own life, they have to be in a place of suffocating darkness. A place where your own thoughts can’t even penetrate the shadows. I know. Because I’ve been there, and wished it would end so many times. Thinking about how other people would feel if I died – that thought didn’t make it through to me until I came out of the darkness and started to breathe again. Knowing how that feels, I can say he’s not a coward or a selfish person. He was just dealing with the pain. He couldn’t handle it anymore. And for that, I wish I was a better friend. I wish I had noticed how much he was hurting. I wish I had asked how he was doing – or just shown that I could be there for him when he needed me.

So, I regret how I wasn’t a good enough person, or a loyal enough friend. And come Valentine’s week, I can’t seem to stop thinking about this. Not an obsessive thought, just a thought in the back of my mind that makes me want to be a better person to everyone in my life now. To all my friends and family, you can talk to me about anything you need, and know I will listen. I will try to help. If I can’t help, I’ll just walk with you for however long you need someone with you. I can do that..maybe.