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Life Lessons from Animals in Heaven
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2017- May 9 Newsletter
Life Lessons from Heaven
Mary Ellen Clifton
In 1998, I walked into the local animal shelter to adopt a kitten. I considered the more sociable one out of a remaining litter of three but decided to think about it for a day. I returned to the shelter but the kitten of choice was gone. I adopted the reticent gray and white kitten, the one who stayed as far as possible at the back of the cage.
I did not understand that this was the universe at work; Tammy was the one I was meant to have, the reasons would not be apparent for years to come. We would have almost eighteen years together. Fiercely independent along with a sense of fun, adventure, and a dose of naughtiness, Tammy knew exactly who she was.
Tammy’s health problems in her adult years were also part of the larger plan. The bonds that developed during her ongoing care went very deep. When the time came, it was unbearably hard to let her go.
Tammy transitioned in January of 2016. After the initial profound grief subsided, I sensed a change and a shift but didn’t quite get what was going on. I did understand that I had totally underestimated who Tammy was. It felt like entering a portal into a higher awareness. Of course, Tammy IS the portal that is taking me on a life changing journey. Last spring everything came into perspective.
Miss Tammy as she preferred to be called is a wise and highly evolved being AND had a lot to say about changes she felt should be made in my life, namely how my life should be lived. She did not want me living on the outside as an onlooker, but drinking deeply from the inside of all that life has to offer. Somehow, in my years of caregiving, I had become cut off from myself. Tammy has helped me put my pieces back together.
She is now asking that I take the time to nurture my inner self, have some fun in the process and socialize more. Above all, Tammy is teaching me how to go into the heart space; to borrow a few lines from St. Exupery’s Little Prince, ‘to see with other than eyes’, ‘to hear with other than ears’, and to understand that ‘it is through the heart that we see rightly’. This very intuitive journey she is requiring me to take, is a reconnection to one’s true self and undoubtedly the purpose for Tammy coming into my life again.
This change in perspective is life changing not only on a personal level but it helps in my work in a church setting to have a listening heart when someone comes in with their individual pain. I bring Tammy all my concerns and have noticed that problems in the workplace resolve more easily. My stress level has decreased to be replaced by more peace and “centeredness.” The constant flow of visitors at work, once considered a disruption in getting my job done, is now looked upon as an opportunity to listen to others’ stories and get to know them better.
My heart is where I go to be with Tammy. We are together all the time. After all, the heart is where heaven and earth meet, where the spiritual meets the physical, where we find all that we love and where our healing begins and ends.
All of our pets have our well-being and our happiness as their top priority. They teach us the lessons we are meant to learn and provide opportunities for our soul to grow. I feel very blessed that Tammy continues to guide my way and is helping me become a more whole and interactive person again.