When I was 18, my childhood dog passed away. Shasta, a gorgeous white samoyed, had lived a precious life and it was her time to go to doggie heaven. The vet said there was nothing more that he could do, and he told my parents to let the family know it was time to put her down.
I was in my first year at college and it happened at a time when I was unable to go home to say goodbye. Both of my sisters went home to give her a loving farewell, and I was separate from the family while we lost one of our most beloved members.
I was a wreck. I'm crying now just thinking of it. I was so sad that I didn't know what to do with the amount of grief I was feeling. Shasta was one of my first teachers on this planet about unconditional love, and I'm forever grateful to her.
What do we do when we are experiencing such large amounts of sadness? Grief comes through losses of all kinds, including break ups, job loss, moving, or the death of a loved one. It even comes in small ways throughout the day when something doesn't go the way we wanted or hoped.
I used to want sadness to pass as quickly as possible. I thought there was something wrong with me if I was still sad after a few days of grieving. Why was I still so emotional?
Now, I have a completely different relationship with sadness and loss. I see it as a precious time where the sadness shows how much you loved or longed for something in your life.
In the third video of our 8-part series on "Befriending Your Emotions," Chris Schenk and I unpack sadness and give you a new perspective on how to move through it.
The day that my dog, Shasta, passed was a tearful day filled with unbearable longing. Happily though, my intuitive nature helped me in a way that brought me an everlasting faith.
The night after her death, I had a dream. Shasta was there, running up to me to play and lick my face. At that moment, the dream became lucid and I knew that I was dreaming. I also knew that this was my opportunity to say goodbye to her. I couldn't go to her physically, so her spirit came to me instead through the dream world.
Shasta was free, beautiful, and young again. I cried, laughed, and cried again in this dream. The gratitude I felt for her coming to say goodbye is beyond words. She was a gift to me, and I never doubted life after death again. Shasta was in a better place, and I knew it.
This experience not only gives me an incredible amount of faith, but it also provides a lens with which to understand sadness. Sadness is love and there's no reason for us to shut our hearts down to it. Grief is imbued with the teachings of Spirit and radically opening to it can bring miracles you never imagined possible.
In loving memory of Shasta,