November 2012

Lesson No. 40: Out of Love Comes Great Sadness

Well, without too much planning we recently brought home a 10-week-old cockapoo PUPPY! William named him Sunday. He is the most delicious ball of joy ever. And this non-dog family has officially been hijacked by Sunday into the parallel universe of dog lovers and beloveds.

But putting William to sleep at the end of our first week with Sunday, he began sobbing as he explained, “I love Sunday so much, but it has changed our family. We are not the same anymore… I don’t know if we did the right thing. Everything is different. Our family will never be the same….”

He described how concerned he was about stressing the family with so much more responsibility and work. He felt our relationship had changed, as we were no longer free to flow together on our own schedule without coming back early to take care of Sunday.

He continued, “I don’t want to give him back, I love him so much, but I don’t know if we should keep him. I love him, but I feel so sad.”

Of course we then fell deep into wonderful conversation about how Love, by nature, will always bring feelings of joy and sadness simultaneously as it is coupled with loss and letting go, or simply compromise and change. And while love comes with warm fuzzy feelings, it also brings pain and confusion as well as sacrifice. This is a rule of being human and a gift of being human.

Everything and anything you love will challenge you this way, and we learn that we do have the capacity, a heart and a head big enough, to live with this contradiction. 

"When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space." - Pema Chodron