Lesson from Ina

Ina is the super sweet and amazing canine that is owned by Alex and Max. I was with Alex on the day that Ina came into our lives. She is the cutest ginger color Labrador you can imagine. Although I never really thought I would like big dogs, she has always been a pal of mine. I consider her like my own.

Yesterday, Ina taught me a very powerful lesson.

She has recently been super stoked to take car rides. Sure, every dog likes them, but Alex and Max have been making a habit of giving her one a day. You can tell that she really LIVES for these rides. It doesn’t matter if she didn’t get outside to play as much as she liked, or if the house cats were getting annoying, one of these rides just put her on the highest of vibrational disks.

How do I know? I often have the benefit of sitting next to her in the back seat. When she is allowed to come with us, she immediately jumps in and takes her usual seat. This is actually my seat, but I give it to her because it is the only back window that opens. Alex cracks the window open, and she shoves her face out.

As we roll out, her head is held high. Her eyes are wide open. Her ears are tossed back and she winces as the cool breeze travels through her whiskers. She soaks in every house, every person, and every car. Her energy just reads inexplicably happy and I find myself enjoying every minute of watching her.

When it gets to be a little chilly, she will lie down on the back seat and rest her noise in my lap. She is not anxious. She relaxes as I rub her back and collects the warmth. Once she is ready, she sits up and takes up her old post. She is never concerned that the joy she feels from being in the window is going to go away. She laps it up, as much as she can, until she can’t take it anymore. After her short respite, she regains her strength and goes back to her favorite activity. There is no discomfort or fear.

I have observed this pattern for months. Last night, we made a quick stop. Alex and Max went in to get some groceries and I hung out with Ina in the car. Once the boys left the car, Ina’s energy changed. Her eyes became concerned and she was no longer content to hang out in her seat.

Yes, she knew that Alex and Max were getting food, but this seemed more metaphysical.

Alex and Max constantly give unconditional love to Ina, and her in return. They eat, sleep, work, and play together. They are best buddies. The fact that Alex and Max understand that these rides put her in her highest vibrational self only adds to the joy and love.

Like Ina, Alex and Max represent a similar relationship for me.

As I observed Ina in their absence, she became disconnected from that source energy she was so connected to only moments before. Even though I was there, and she loved and trusted me, the absence of their attention dramatically took her off her highflying disk. Knowing that I didn’t represent the same to her as they did, I began to feel a little inadequate. I felt my energy slip as my worthiness to her did. Luckily, I was able to take myself out of the situation to make some observations.

How often have I had such a good time with Alex and Max that I didn’t want to see them go? Knowing that we can’t be together all the time, how often have I also felt distraught when I detected their distance? Sometimes even knowing that they are going to come back is not enough to soothe the feeling of lose that we are observing. The ability to self-soothe comes into question. Can I be distracted enough to pass the time? Can I find in me enough worth to ride the storm in the absence of what I want?

I reflected on the strangeness of the predicament. No Reader’s Digest type magazine talks about these kinds of families or relationships. I have actually been told that if I wanted to get married to a guy that I had to give up the gays. I have always known that our relationship goes beyond these trivial titles and roles.

I continued to watch Ina’s nervous energy. She was curled up on the front seat, desperately searching for her loves. I continued to feel a sense of lack. I was there, ready to love her and shed attention on her but she couldn’t receive it. She was so focused on the lack, that she couldn’t receive the warmth of my love.

I can understand how my relationship with Alex and Max can impede a personal and intimate relationship of my own.  When I think of the type of relationship I want, I know I want one like Alex and Max’s. It is a partnership of two equals. They are best friends. They love unconditionally and communicate frequently. They trust and respect one another to tell the truth, even when it hurts. They are each other’s cheerleader. They got each other’s back equivocally. They share many interests and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

I feel swept up in their love of each other, and in their love of me. I know that Ina knows exactly how this feels.

In order for me to find this other, I am going to have to be able to release my fear of losing my relationship with Alex and Max. I have to trust that when we can’t be together, we are really not that far apart. I have to know that our individual expansion is our collective expansion. I need to trust that I can be vulnerable with someone who has earned the right to deeply see me and not feel like it has to distract or pinch off another relationship that I treasure so thoroughly.

Honestly, I felt so filled up by the love I got from the boys that I realized after surgery that if I didn’t experience it with anyone else that it would still be enough. The difference now is that I know that there is way more of that love available for me, just in another package. It is the kind of love that creates universes. It is accessible and available to me at any time. There is no need to fear the lack of any of it.

What I do need to do is recognize that I too often forget this power and my worth. I cower in the car, waiting for my peeps to return in order to remind me of my connection to source. I ignore others who are dying to love me for fear of cheating on this sacred bond. The pain of loving someone who is inhibited by these things is too much to make a real relationship work.

I thanked Ina for such a valuable life lesson. When Alex and Max returned, we got back on the road and Ina gleefully returned to her bliss. She was so fulfilled that she passed out once we got home in glorious splendor, bathed in the security and love of her family pack.

Leave it to a dog to demonstrate how we should live and love.