There are moments of awakening, and they often happen in a form you do not expect or even want, but there they are, irrefutable in their magnitude. When Magnus, beloved pup of my heart, stopped eating, became depressed and lethargic last weekend, all of my nurturing attention was mobilized in only the way seeing one you love suffer, can. From Saturday on, every day following took on that hazy, otherworldly quality of being out of time. I started going into those dark places that we go to. You know the ones: the worry, projecting into the future, imagining the worst, imagining all possible scenarios, none of them true and all of them true at once. In other words, my mind had become a runaway train. Fear was the conductor and I was merely a passenger, holding on for dear life.
My own suffering was clearly looking far worse than his at this point …and that’s when Grace entered through the back door. I looked at Magnus, the epitome of surrender, of trust, faith, innocence and presence. My nervous system was wound tighter than a rubber band ball. He was everything I was not. I wasn’t trusting, I wasn’t in faith, and I certainly wasn’t surrendering. The fierce mama instinct in me was ready for war. Though, truth be told, I wasn’t exactly sure what war I was fighting but if there ever was a deserving moment of screaming like a banshee at an unjust God this was it. Suffering animals? Come on, God. This experiment is seriously flawed.
Mostly I wasn’t being present, to either him or to myself, and that felt like a horrible negligence, a tribute unfitting to such a beautiful creature. Have you ever been so absorbed in your own process of negative emotions that you couldn’t truly be present with a loved one during their last days and moments? I have. It’s an awful feeling. He was so bad off that I didn’t know what would happen next, but I did know I wanted to be present to him (How often do we do this to our self? How often do we become so consumed by our own personal brand of suffering that we neglect to love our innocent animal self when we are suffering- when we need our love most?).
As I looked at my love muffin I realized that the depth of my fear, worry and pain was in direct proportion to my love for him. The only reason I was feeling so tortured was because I love him so much. That was the bottom line. I love this little guy so much and would give anything to make him happy, and I was allowing fear to obscure this sweet truth and contract me into pain instead of expand into more love. What if I chose love instead?
That realization stopped fear in its tracks. Fear, worry, anxiety… It’s all a case of the emperor’s new clothes. There is nothing original underneath our worries. It is manufactured, a made up illusion to try and control the uncontrollable. Meanwhile, love is waiting for us to stop doing the crazy dance and listen to the music (it’s always a love song).
This Pisces New Moon Eclipse is a portal for opening your heart as wide as an ocean. You don’t have to suffer. You can hold it all. You can accept that whatever happens you are here to love that. As we’re pressed by change from all angles, awash in the unknowns and uncertainties of Pisces season, there is no better time to practice faith, surrender, trust and presence. When I looked into those sweet eyes and saw love waiting for me to answer it with same, I saw my attempts to control the universe was an illusion. The game of “I’ll feel good and fine when life shows up differently” just doesn’t work. It only creates struggle and disconnection. I choose love.
This eclipse set (located at 18’56 Pisces and in 2 weeks 3’17’ Libra) falls on my 6th/12th axis- what April calls the axis of adaptation and retreat (click here to find out where YOU are experiencing your eclipses). I might ask April to change that to “the sh** hits the fan” axis; sick pet, being in process with a re-fi and remodel, and the environmental impact of the remodel on my health and work life… so much is in flux. In other words, I have so many opportunities to surrender to love. So many opportunities: to flip the switch, to stop resisting all the pain and inconvenience I want to keep at bay, to stop thinking “I can’t handle one more thing” and instead say “NO. I will not turn away from this moment. I will open my heart wider, deeper. I will love this moment. Hard.”
Eclipses bring change. Pisces is a mutable sign, which means there’s a lot of adaptation to changing circumstances occurring now. The New Moon Eclipse is closely conjunct Chiron; we feel the pain of mortality, and are reminded of life’s unfairness and injustices. A few degrees away, Saturn, planet of reality and limits, squares this New Moon, while Jupiter, planet of expansion and growth opposes it. It’s a big, messy enchilada plate of opportunity for viewing life from a wider lens — a more spiritual one– and appreciating the little things (Jupiter in Virgo). Can you remember that you are not your name, role or identity but a soul on a journey? Remember that life on Earth is a classroom, and while the agenda looks different, the lesson always loops back to learning spiritual truths personal to you? Can your fed-upness with your own suffering lead you to the choice to surrender? Pisces lends us grace when we become willing to transcend our circumstances and surrender our illusions.
Because there’s so much uncertainty in life. We never know how our actions will turn out; we can only work with the information we have at any given time, which is often incomplete. For whatever our question, the answer is, always: More Love. Right now I’m getting so so much from Matt Kahn’s book Whatever Arises, Love That. As spiritual truths must be worked into our system, kneaded like bread, to be owned, right now my practice is lately looking something like this: What does this pain or ouch want? More love. Worry? More love. How will I get through this next hurdle? More love. How will we pay down our debt? More love. What does this client need? More love. What’s for breakfast? More love. What does 2+2 equal? More love. Try it. Even if you don’t feel the love, by extending the invitation for love to enter, your subconscious starts to resonate with your intention and a new program will emerge till, eventually, you bypass the love masquerading as fear part and go directly to the love. That’s where freedom happens- this delicious unraveling of everything into an endless pool of love.
If you’ve been holding your breath this far, wondering, Well how is he??!, he was diagnosed with Addison’s disease which entails a lifelong regime of hormones, and since we got him to the vet before he went into shock (as many dogs with this disease do), we were lucky- it could have been so much worse. This week, Magnus broke my heart open. While the human and animal have needed practical forms of earthly love (I’ve upped my self-care, the vets we’ve visited have been amazingly helpful!, and we’ve been rocking the Crisis Cooler and Rescue Remedy Flower Essences…), during this eclipse, the spiritual expanded into love. Now, every time fear knocks, I surrender my illusion that life is supposed to be anything other than what it is. I humbly lay down resistance, accepting that whatever is happening is an opportunity for more love. My heart becomes an ocean. I can hold it all.
art: deviantart.com, love is just a myth by Delilah Woolf