My Detaching from Attachment
Today, there’s not the usual reflection in my mirror; of course, it is of my physical self, but when we talk or think of anything particular, we become the reflection of that.
This reflected image is of a teacher, a companion, and most importantly, a spirit guide.
Who is this?, you ask. A dog my son wanted, which he named Athena
I won’t go into the mind of a child or its evolution into today and its effects; I will explore this in another article.
Although I would say that as a single parent of five children, I have raised my children to take responsibility for their choices, actions, and experiences, with guidance, of course.
So for months, my son worked hard at school and got a great report, as well as doing his chores, and he did so to get the dog of his dreams.
For a year, he was a good example of what a child should be, as every dog walker in our area knew him, even giving him gifts, and the love and comments could not stop coming.
There were times, I have to admit, I had to change my dog walking schedule just so I didn’t meet up with anyone as I meditated with Athena in the woods regularly.
For every one I resisted, another seemed to appear—the beauty of the connection with in and out, up and down, happiness and sadness.
But we all know it takes a village to raise our kids and this village, this world, this us, is a result of change we don’t accept and is why my son found no joy in Athena.
So before I go into this self-exploration, I want to explain what I mean by not seeing myself but Athena in the mirror and why I mentioned her as “A Dog”
The morning after giving up Athena to the dog’s home
Waking up that morning and finding a different perspective of myself through the bathroom’s mirror was as cold and refreshing as the water against my face, but this morning I awoke much more alert and attentive to myself than I ever have before.
How or why I made this decision may develop thoughts of selfishness or disregard for the current animal rehoming epidemic, as well as the judgment that my actions or beliefs are no different and only add to the situation.
I assure you, I am aware of these facts, and my decision was based on a truth that I have seen and experienced, and I want to share—not to tell you or to follow me, but to pass on the drifted wood I myself have gathered along my journey so you too can place your own path to truth.
Many of us have beliefs, faiths, truths, or something to fight or live for, and they all raise conflict affecting another or the majority in many ways, including war and death.
However, the conflict is also a reality that we are unwilling to face since it rots in the deepest recesses of who we are as people, and we detest facing our own reflections; consequently, we seek the opposite or place blame elsewhere in order to maintain our ego.
Athena in me, or me in Athena?
So, what do I mean by seeing Athena in me? Well, I experience life like the few of us but not like the many, meaning I am aware of the feelings of regret, hate for myself, sadness, attachment, excitement, happiness, boredom, annoyance, as well as dependence on Athena to assist and motivate myself and my day.
I felt how these feelings fluctuated throughout the day and only lasted as long as the attention I gave them.
But after some deep exploration into these feelings and the event, I see that I was missing something that I believed I could not live without—that Athena was an image or an experience that was a part of me, and how can I continue without her presence?
Two days before Athena was planned to go, I was taking our daily walk when I sat by the river bench and stared at a tree with all its stillness.
I admired how it awaits every branch or leaf’s departure through the seasons without any resistance, only to find it a month or years later flourishing and standing as strong as it did the season before.
The seasons are an analogy for our thinking mind and the events that sway our lives into unforeseen events that make us interpret them as sadness, happiness, or suffering.
I find the leaves to be the clutter from the gathering of the seasons or life cycle (if you want to call it that), and the only way for me—the tree—to see clearly is to get rid of my leaves and get ready for new growth or perspectives.
Maybe this is why spring-cleaning was invented—a message hidden in plain sight
This seeing has helped me to see that Athena is a leaf attached to my tree of life, and I am not contingent on her; she was as important as any other event or experience in my life growth, and each event grew according to its seasons to allow me to see clearly.
There will always be entries and exits in life, and letting go sometimes feels like letting go of living, but it’s letting go for new growth to flourish, so we can see the light.
This concludes me to see that what I missed was a pattern and a routine, and I questioned what I resisted in my day-to-day life to come to the decision that I wanted a dog or any pet to add to or replace the life I once had.
You may also add, What about the joy Athena brought—her personality, cuddles, or activities she enjoyed?
Well, this is going to be hard for many to stomach.
She enjoyed cuddles because I did; she followed me because I fed her, and if someone takes her on a walk for the first time, she will of course turn back looking for me. This is a normal reaction for dogs, but make it routine, and it becomes relatable to the dog, you, or anybody else.
Athena enjoyed splashing and swimming in the river, chasing balls, and getting her belly rubbed, and she is completely house-trained, never barking or being aggressive.
If you asked me what she is like, that’s my statement to you, but she didn’t chase balls until I threw them and I rewarded her for its return; she chased squirrels because it’s her nature; she stopped chasing squirrels because I trained her not to; she crossed roads because it’s in her nature; she doesn’t cross roads—regardless of cats or squirrels—without my permission because I trained her; she was petrified of water because its in her nature; but she swims because I trained her, and she knew nothing of the feeling her stomach gave when I rubbed it until I did it.
After this seeing, Athena is a result of myself, and when I look in the mirror, I see myself in her and herself in me, and I cannot miss her any more if she is always here.
What’s the difference?
A dog’s home and a children home are different, and I hear you shout “Well, of course they are!”, but it is this obvious difference that helps us understand truth, as truth is always in front of us but also difficult to accept.
When a child is put into a home, the child has to be assessed for many reasons, depending on the dynamics and context of their mind, but emotions seem to be the main area professionals may attend to as it develops how one can help that individual through their emotional reactions to their experiences.
This practice then helps find potential parents who are aware of these experiences and can assess themselves to see if they can adapt or facilitate helping that child.
The same goes for a dog, but a dog does not store memory the same way a human does.
Dogs are more attached to the moment; even though they may have stored memories from experiences of suffering or violence towards themselves or others, they can be trained to change the same way they were conditioned to be violent or fearful.
These stored memories are not stored like us humans with content, but they are recognized through smell, images, and body language, and we humans can help nearly 100% of all dogs with their problems through repetition like we do feeding and walking them.
Awareness of the repetition
Many dogs are put into homes with problems and issues the previous owners sadly cannot attend to due to physical, mental, or changing living conditions.
While some are placed in homes because owners are not willing to do the work, making money has become more important than our teachers from the spirit realm.
A child or an adult, on the other hand, has a brain with an enormous amount of layers—content or context—to every experience, so the experiences become more than just violence, suffering, or sadness; they become who, what, when, how, why, and where.
This leaves no or little room for change or training, even after years of sessions and therapy, because the patient or child is too busy making sense with these questions, and the one doing the training, counseling, or therapy is also a mind, and it cannot help itself or the child until it understands itself.
If you came from pain and sadness and your life has changed for the better because of your adoptive parents, you may disagree, but there is only one energy that has given you your life back, and that is love. Love can’t be organized, controlled, or institutionalized; it’s the only thing that connects us. If you have been blessed with this energy, you are to wake up and share what you have experienced with the world in the same way that it was bestowed on you.
We humans have an outstanding track record of helping animals and making a great deal of change in their lives and their surroundings, but we seem to struggle to help each other and ourselves.
We can support numerous charities and aids, but they do not transform the world; they are illusions that allow us to keep our heads buried in the sand, feeling comfortable that we are making change while continuing the act of the ego and the persistence of the industries that govern us.
A dog’s world, on the other hand, is in the now; thus, our walks in the park, ball throwing, rubs/brushing, or treats are rewarding.
A dog’s world has changed with the addition of a full bill of mental and physical health.
We have too much we want, too much we need, too much to listen to, too much to learn, too much to see, and ultimately too much to do, so how can we be human like a dog is a dog if we are too busy thinking and doing?
It is this thinking, this doing, and this repetition that adds all this content to Athena’s name and makes it difficult for me, the owner, to let go and not you, the viewer or reader.
Now I want to convey why I mentioned “a dog my son wanted, which he named Athena”.
I could of said my dog, our dog or pet, etc, but Athena is not in my presence; she is not here; she was and therefore isn’t, and if I start to add any mind, emotions, or content to her name, she becomes never was and always is.
It always becomes an unconscious internal battle with our body—days, weeks, months, even 10s of years may pass by when we find that we suffer from ailments or disease because our body has been in dis-ease from our problems or experiences.
I intend to experience the clouds that come and go from time to time, but I am aware that I am that ever-present blue canvas sky that paints those experiences from time to time.
So I call Athena a dog because that’s what she is now in my experience, and she will become Athena with the added thoughts, ideas, and images that her new owner chooses to bestow upon her.
This is when I see deeply truthfully, not because its a cool word to identify us as, but simply put, we are “Gods”, creators, and our lives are what we make and feel them to be.
So, I have faith this will make you feel better
How could you give up your dog?
I have learned the lessons Athena has taught me, and it is time for her to move on and share her presence with my fellow men and women.
Whether my fellow man is able to listen and feel is not important, as the experience of Athena will become a part of their lives and open new perspectives.
I have not given up on Athena I have received her messages and given up on my endless human endeavors.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around. Nothing can be more useful to a man than the determination not to be hurried.”
― Henry David Thoreau
When you, the reader, look at Athena, you have no personal input on her personality other than the words that I write, which means if you saw a picture of her before my words, you would say, What a beautiful dog, but your mind needs to make sense of what you are seeing by giving it life, validity, or attributes.
This is when your mind will start to find images or experiences through its database of a German shepherd—whether it be from growing up, media, a bad encounter, or a friend or family—and you will place those experiences on Athena to give the character life.
Whether it is good or bad, you have already made a judgment from your past about the present.
For those who know Athena, you are unaware that it is not Athena you feel sad for but the routine of seeing Athena and the owner (myself), as well as the images of her good behavior.
You may also have visuals of dogs in a rehoming shelter, which also come with unpleasant thoughts that only you, the creator, can create in the mind, regardless of your personal experience.
I believe, as I mentioned earlier, this is because we are attached to whom, what, where, when, how, and why, and those words point away from self-finding a solution to, putting blame on, rejection of, or preference in another.
A dog will not place an identity on you and judge you for giving them up or violently abusing them but they will relate you with that-that you are, do, or do not do.
Of course, this makes us adore dogs even more for their unconditional love, as some will take advantage of this gift given to us.
The Gift From A Dog
When I purchased Athena, she was like any puppy—cute and adorable—and I was excited to purchase toys, bedding, a cage, and treats to welcome her home.
I noticed after a while that I cared more than Athena did about what she wanted or needed and realized I was thinking for her and creating her personality and behavior through my perceptions of what she would or wouldn’t like to engage with.
We spend a lot of money to test what our dogs like and enjoy, with enough tennis balls to start a summer training camp for kids, but we spend little to no time understanding the dogs themselves. When our dogs bark or are aggressive, we accept that this is who they are and continue to enforce that behavior, or we give up on them.
Giving up on them is giving up on your self development.
Many owners own small dogs and allow their dogs to be aggressive or bark because they are small.
When I mean allow, I mean a dog will bark or be aggressive, and the owner may say, for instance, “Stop it, Molly, stop being silly,” or “That’s not nice”, only to find tomorrow that we repeat the same words to our dog to show other owners we do not agree with this behavior.
Furthermore, I have encountered people who tell me Athena is scaring their dog—even if she walks past without any aggression—as their dog does not like big dogs, and I tell them I am sorry your dog feels this way, but if you affirm this behavior within yourself, your dog will always be scared.
I have also suggested that the only way to help their problematic dog is to always ask owners if their dog is violent, and if not, ask if your dog can come and say hello.
Fear is in us all, and unconsciously, we live by it second by second, day by day, and our furry friends feel this fear within us at all times and act accordingly.
Like I said earlier, repetition and routine are what our dogs live by, so your dog is what you, the owner, do and feel.
Dear Athena, I thank you for this gift you have given me—the gift to understand dogs—to understand you. Thank you for allowing me to raise and guide you so that when the inevitable arrives and I let you go, I can return this favor of a new loving home without any discrepancies, temprements, or mannerisms that may alter your chances of being loved and rehomed.
Athena, you have given me the power of awareness of myself and my human nature and allowed me to detach myself from all things, understanding their connections as well as their roots.
I now have love for all that comes and goes in my life without judgement, the same way you view me without judgement.
So no matter the internal or external changes, whether it be happiness, suffering, or sadness, none of them affect me now.
So go with peace, my dear Athena, and pass on my love to another with the beautiful lack of judgement you possess for all things, feelings, and happenings.
Athena was put into the “Dogs Trust” on October 26, 2023, and was rehomed two weeks later. After three visits from a potential owner, she was first on the list of over 30 dogs waiting to be rehomed, with no other kennels available in or out of London.
You could say that she was the last one in but the first one out.
I was told that because of her training and love, she had a lot of interests, and this is because many dogs in homes have issues that the previous and potential owners are not willing to adopt or facilitate.
Look out for another article, “A Dog’s Purpose.”
I send love to you and all your loved ones, and I thank you for giving up your time to read.