I have been the fortunate owner of three beautiful Irish red setters. You could say these dogs were my best friends in their own way, each dog had his own unique personality. And until I had children of my own, it would be fair to say these dogs were my best friends!
When their time was up, the only way I could explain how it felt, was as if somebody had stabbed my chest a thousand times. The physical and emotional pain I had to experience was excruciating.
Whether or not you are somebody who understands the connection between a human being and a dog or not, it doesn't matter. People experience grief in different ways. My experienced of grief from having lost a dog cannot be compared to another person’s experience of losing a pet. In some cases I may have even experienced a more severe pain than someone who lost a human being. This comment cannot be taken out of context here!
We cannot measure our grief, therefore, we cannot compare our grief to someone else’s grief.
We experience grief in our own way as a result of our programming. In other words, we are all running on our own individual programme. Our programming is found in our Subconscious Mind otherwise known as our ‘Hard drive of life’. Everything that happens to us, from the day we are born is recorded on this hard drive. Just like if you had a new computer and you had to put in your programming. Starting out you would have a blank hard drive, and you'd start putting in whatever programs you need for the computer to work for you like Word or Excel, etc.
Once we’re born, our subconscious mind also starts to absorb whatever programming is given to it, whether it is positive or negative. Seeing as it’s all stored in the subconscious mind it becomes part of who we are, and how we operate or interact with the world. We are all a product of our own environment.
So, putting this in the context with grief, when we lose a pet or lose a person. What happens is, we react in a way that reflects our existing programming. We feel in a way that we learned to feel in the past. So we react, based upon how our program is set in our subconscious mind. And it was only through hypnosis, that I was able to understand why I felt like my whole world ended at the age of 13 when I lost my first dog. I had the dog since I was two, so in my wee world, I didn’t remember life without a dog. And I felt like my whole world had collapsed, I found it hard to breathe, it was so painful.
I came across hypnosis in my 30s and with the help of a wonderful Hypnotherapist he was able to guide me to the root of the problem. He helped me find the reason as to why I had taken the death of my dog so bad. Of course there is a natural devastation going on, but I mean…I was in the depths of depression for years with this loss and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel!
I was able to use Hypnosis to get to the root of why I took it so bad when my dog died. Without going into my own personal story here, all I can say is that it felt like I hit the emotional reset button the day I found hypnosis and started chapter 2 of my life.
The reason I am sharing this story is because I hope that at least one person will get some sort of solace from this, and realise that there is a way to change how we feel. There is a way to change our perception of events in the past, like this example of the pain experienced when losing a pet or a human. I had to lose a pet after that again and again.
Now, the third loss was a very interesting one, because I had already qualified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist at this stage. I was able to observe my feelings and reactions of losing a pet, and understand what was going on in my mind and my body at the time. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a crap feeling. I still cried my eyes out. What was fascinating was that I could cry so hard and feel the pain and observe it. Understand it. And I was very fortunate that I was able to get this sorted at our monthly team meeting! The perks of the job are never ending as a Hypnotherapist!
I still wasn't happy about having lost my pet but I honestly didn’t cry from the physical and emotional pain after that day. Hypnotherapy literally took that pain away from me and allowed me come out of that miserable cloud. This enabled me to be strong for my 4 year old daughter and to hold her and allow her feel her own pain. All I could do for her as a parent was keep saying positive things to her about how he is more comfortable now. Yes it is hard. Life can be hard sometimes. She learned a lot about life from this experience. I told her it’s ok to feel the pain. We spent many days and nights hugging and breathing through it. I believe this experience has made both of us stronger.
The message I want to get across to you today is that we are not put on this earth to suffer no matter what some might people say! Life is to be enjoyed, and when you eliminate the pain from your mind and body it becomes easier to enjoy life. FYI…we have our lovely 4th Setter now and he is just as spoiled as all the rest and he fills our bucket everyday!
Life is for living today.
Irish Hypnosis Cabinteely