What I Learned from Buddy
By Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD
Adopting a fur child (dog) after the death of Muffassa, my first and most beloved fur child was not my idea. My husband, however, thought getting a companion for Surrobbie, our female Yorkie, was a good idea. We decided to adopt a rescue animal knowing that there would be issues to contend with, but feeling like that was a better way to go. After several months of searching, Buddy found us. I say Buddy found us because I never actually applied for Buddy. I had applied for a different Yorkie, but someone else adopted him. The woman who fostered that Yorkie notified me that she had Buddy and, after meeting him, we decided to adopt him. Buddy isn't the perfect Yorkie I had imagined. In fact, he really isn't a Yorkie at all (although I haven't told him that). He doesn't have very good manners and he spends hours chasing his tail. The unexpected gift Buddy has given me is acceptance. No, Buddy isn't perfect. He is just Buddy.
At first, there was a lot of comparing Buddy to Muffassa. Of course, Buddy wasn't going to win that game. I quickly realized that comparing someone to anyone else, especially someone departed, isn't fair. Buddy will never be Muffassa, but he will always be Buddy. He has his own personality and is unique in his own way. What I learned from Buddy is that everyone is special. Instead of comparing I can appreciate the gifts Buddy has to offer and still love and treasure my memories of Muffassa.
I had a hard time loving Buddy at first. I felt that somehow that was going to diminish my love for Muffassa. That simply isn't true. Love is unlimited. There is more than enough to go around. I can love Buddy without feeling guilty and without worrying that it makes me love Muffassa any less. Muffassa will always have a special place in my heart, and so will Buddy.
The greatest gift I have received from Buddy is that of acceptance. Accepting others as they are with their gifts and quirks is amazing. Once I got over wanting Buddy to be something he wasn't I felt better and more open to allowing Buddy into my life. As long as you want someone to be anything but who they are, there is no opportunity to embrace that person and let them into your life. Acceptance is the greatest gift you can give anyone. Once you accept someone for who they are - gifts and quirks - you can create an opportunity for a deep and caring relationship.
Allowing a new relationship into your life after a loss is challenging. There is always going to be the temptation to compare the past person to the present. Keep in mind that there is more than enough love to go around, and you can open your heart to someone new while still loving the person who is gone. It doesn't mean that you love that person any less; actually, it doesn't mean anything. You simply have found a new person to shower with the abundance of love you have. There is more than enough to go around and your heart has the capacity to love many.
About the Author
Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD, is the publisher of the award winning e-zine, 365 Days of Coaching. Her first book, 365 Days of Coaching – Because Life Happens Every Day (Universal Publisher, 2004) was named a finalist for Best Book 2004 by Publish.com and has a five star rating on Amazon.com. Visit Coach Lee at her websites coachlee.com and 365daysofcoaching.com. True Direction, Inc. Copyright
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