Light & Clarity Emerge
Returning to Taos from my brief junket in Portland, Oliver and I moved into our second rental. A sweet little house, with a lovely kitchen, gas fireplace, comfortable furniture and a fenced yard.
My routine – out early on the frosty mornings for coffee, breakfast and writing time at a local cafe, Oliver asleep in the car in his sweater.
At home in the afternoon, I’d open the door and Oliver would come and go as he pleased. He burrowed his nose in the dirt and gravel, noshing on dehydrated flower blossoms. Or sleep. On the couch.
Client consultations, online classes, a remote healing group, writing – just like life in Portland. Yet I felt freer, less encumbered.
Except for my discomfort with Oliver.
What would it take to bridge the gap from connection to bonding?
What was holding the gap in place?
What was my role in this bizarre relationship?
How could I shift my stance, move beyond our fragile connection?
I’ve lived with bulldogs all my life. I know the breed well; they’re not without their challenges. But bonding is practically a given with bulldogs. They can be possessive, sometimes finding it difficult to share their person’s life with other animals – and even people!
I took full responsibility for my part as a person and as his owner.
I tried multiple approaches
I gave more, trained more, invited more.
I spent hours and hours working with Oliver, trying to shift from connecting to bonding.
He receives my attention and care. He wants what he wants. He is unable to shift his behavior and follow the rules. When rules are enforced, the tension and disdain he emanates is palpable. And a cooling off period ensues. Then he cycles around for attention, but not in mutuality. He takes, but he’s not one to give.
A consultation with an animal communicator provides validation of what I already know. Oliver likes me, but he doesn’t love me. He thinks I’m nice, but I’m not his person. His person is male, and perhaps in Russia where he was born and spent his first 10 months.
Posing the ultimate question – will Oliver play by my rules and bond, or shall I rehome him? Oliver chose rehoming.
Oliver and I immediately shift our behaviors to match our reality.
Oliver’s Choice: From that day on, Oliver slept on the couch, or later, in his crate. By his choice. He used to sleep on the bed, tucked in, yet unavailable.
My Choice: It is what it is. Observe. Listen. Trust.
And though my heart is sad, bruised, I evolve, let go, liberate.
Evolving Moment #6 – Clarity emerges. Light dawns. Oliver is a manifestation of two patterns I had shifted, but not fully resolved.
My relationships must be based in equality, mutual respect and love. I give and receive in kind.
A legacy of subtle disdain for women in my family’s male lineage manifests in his willful disrespect for house rules.
A road trip that began as following my whimsy has become a profound journey of evolution and personal freedom. I’m blown away and grateful.
Still more to come.
Keep your vital energy flowing!