And how your beloved pet can unlock the door
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." -Dalai Lama
Your pet is the embodiment of unconditional love. No matter what you do, think, say, feel, look like, they love you with all of their heart. Imagine if you felt that way about yourself....
Compassion is the key to ultimate happiness. In order to cultivate compassion, you have to do more than just learn about it. You must feel it, experience it and create a space for it to grow.
What is compassion?
If Love is a hand then compassion is a finger. Compassion is one of the pillars which make up Love. The others being forgiveness and gratitude.
Compassion is seeing/sensing yourself in another being and wanting for that being that which you want for yourself. Perhaps it's comfort, nourishment, warmth, love, joy, vitality...
Why do we need/want compassion?
Compassion is anchored into your Deep Wisdom. This very powerful emotion will carry you to your desires when aligned with your Highest Purpose and True Self. The Truth is that we are all One. There is no separation between you and another being. When you cultivate compassion you start to know this Truth. When you begin to know this Truth, the more compassion you develop the deeper and more sustained your happiness becomes.
Like happiness and joy, compassion does not just happen to you. It must be wanted and it must be cultivated. You must nurture it in order for it to grow.
How do you cultivate Compassion?
You begin by planting the seed. This is merely arousing the desire to develop compassion. But you create the space for the seed to take root. Within your Inner self as well as your environment, you must allow the room for Compassion to grow. This might look like carving out space for YOU. Meditation, contemplation, visualization...Set aside some time for your own Inner Workshop where you can let your Truth come to the surface.
Then you exercise this emotion as you would any ordinary muscle. You conjur up the feeling of compassion by thinking about a being about whom you are genuinely compassionate for. For many of us this is our beloved pet! Within your sacred space of YOU, bring this being to mind. Allow yourself to see them and hold them in your mind's eye. Feel them with you. Feel how happy they make you feel.
When this is practiced, bringing the feeling of compassion to your body/mind becomes easier and easier. Now you practice imparting this feeling onto others. A family member, a friend. a neighbor. Continue practicing bringing the feeling of compassion to your body by thinking of your beloved being, think about how you yourself want happiness, then challenge yourself in wishing that same happiness and compassion onto more and more beings which may challenge you. Perhaps it's someone who may have wronged you, or someone famous who you do not agree with, even a country or nation. As you exercise the muscle of compassion your sense of Oneness will grow and when it does, happiness is sure to grow with it.
The love I have for my cat is felt and experienced in every cell of my being and since he's passed it has only grown stronger. Pets are pure love. They know no wrong, shame, guilt or blame. They are the perfect focus of our affection, and I believe we are ultimately made to feel that same powerful unconditional love for all beings and all things.
Pets are unconditional love and when I feel my cat in my heart, which is often accompanied by tears, I intend to see him in all things, in all beings. For we are all One and what better way to feel this love than to feel it and see it everywhere, in everything.
Sadness is the key to joyfulness. When you realize that your sadness from the loss of a pet or loved one is love that appears to no longer have a place to go....Now you have the power to direct that love to others.
Start small....direct that love to yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors....Cultivate it then let it grow to encompass strangers, people who remind you of others...people who remind you of parts of yourself you haven't allowed yourself to look at. Love them and watch your joyfulness flourish!!!
I wish this for myself and I wish this for all others. May you experience the profoundity of unconditional love wherever you go. And may it grow into boundless joy, eternal and unlimited.