My Animal Pet Companions Family

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Emily and Sophie

I live with my home family of Sophie and Emily. Without them I would be living alone, as has been true most of my adult life. Occasional partners (up to 17 years ago already) and an excellent on and off roommate until my recent move from Colorado to New York state have provided off and on human companionship, but my animal Soul Companions are always constant and remain for lifetimes of love and togetherness. Without them I would feel bereft, isolated from the cornucopia of life.  With them life is full of joy daily.  Walking with my Sophie  and cuddling with Em bring such great warmth of Spirit so that I know, as I hope they do, that we are never alone.

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Sophie, November 25, 2018

Living with pets for as long as I can remember and all through my adult life has allowed me the freedom to pursue my independent life dreams of writing, travel and teaching. My life has been unconventional, without a longterm spouse or children, and it is my pet companions who have supported this fun and a productive life.

How about you? How have your animal Soul companions brought joy and comfort to your life?

I welcome YOUR story and comments!

 

 

 

 

 

Who Has Your Back?

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I live with a wonderful family consisting of Sophie (a Shorkie), Loki (pure white, gold eyes), Emily (petite, orange-white, sensitive) and myself. We, like any family, comprise an archetypal grouping.

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Loki sleeps by my head in case I roll onto my back and sleep apnea kicks in; I once woke at 3 AM to Loki snatching lightly at the tip of my nose, waking me from what felt like a near death experience inwardly.  Suddenly my dream had shifted to an empty, chaotic void; I was still conscious and moving in a positive direction but all sense of timespace had vanished and I dimly yet dispassionately knew this might be death; until, Loki brought me back!

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Emily comforts me when I am feeling Down. Like my former harlequin calico cat of 20 years, named Ariel, Emily nudges at my blanket for me to form a cave and then she snuggles in beside me. This first happened the night I had returned from a two week trip to Ireland. Ever since, it has been our bonding time, and she always seems to know just when we both need to cuddle.

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And then there’s Sophia. Sophie literally has my back. Late at night when all are settled in for the night and then again in the morning before I can crawl out of bed for another round at life, Sophie jumps up onto the mattress and curls up intently to press her own back lightly against mine. During the night, my little Shorkie girl is also a competent watch dog; she lets me know of any odd noises outside the house. To honor her loving service I will sometimes get up to patrol the house thoroughly, defensive tool and phone in hand, prepared to defend the family too if ever needed.

So these are my home family ‘outer’ cast of archetypal allies.  We have each other’s backs, looking out for one another and relying upon one another harmoniously.

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Who has your back? We have been exploring this month how a Warrior archetype Ally serves to rally the troops of character types in an ensemble archetype cast, like Dorothy with her archetype Ally cast in the Wizard of Oz. What happens in our unconscious ‘land of Us’ (as used in a recent Jean Houston book) is often mirrored in our outer lives as well. Is there a time or a kind of situation in your life that calls your Inner Warrior forth to stand up for your interests and protect you from harm?

Tell yourself (and us, as you please!) a story of a time in your life when you–as your archetypal Warrior Ally part of Self–stood up for yourself or blazed a pathway to achieve something magnificent in your life or for someone else. Or perhaps there was a time when someone in your outercast of Allies stood up for and protected you?

I welcome your insights and stories!

Family Better Endings

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Ah, Family! What a blessing, in whatever form we share with those in our innermost circle.  Families come in many forms around the world in various cultures or conditions. Universally, families serve vital functions: raising and caring for children, providing economic support for one another, providing a nurturing living environment.

In our post-modern condition, sometimes families are composed of social relations including but also extending beyond our genealogical connections; “families we choose”.   In my own experience, though I have lived 1000’s of miles from my core family for most of my adult life, family is bedrock; those whom I return to every opportunity there is. Family carries a value of Acceptance which truly is deeper than blood. It is where unconditional love can be relied on, no matter what ‘outside’ conditions you might  face. I also live with a home family of other-than-human animal companions; we share that same total reciprocity of unconditional love, acceptance and mutual caring as with siblings and mother (my father has passed).

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My mother is in a nursing home now, 87 next month, suffering from late stage Parkinson’s and arthritis.  Her children and grandchildren and sisters visit her at every opportunity, aiming to bring the best possible Better Endings her way.  She deserves the best, too, as she gave of herself and continues to give of herself to all her relations, always.  I dedicate this week of Better Endings blog posts to my Mom, Elizabeth, in upstate New York.

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Better Endings in my life have often come through family ties.  Whether it was my mother always somehow knowing exactly when I might need a phone call from Buffalo to Phoenix, AZ, or catching up with all the activity in my brother and sisters’ busy lives and families of their own, family time is an uplifting balm for the Soul.

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One quick memory to share of Family Better Endings in tribute to my mother; I would not be alive today—nor most of my siblings—had this not occurred.  Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1961. (I was 6.) We had a swimming pool in our back yard and my brother, sister Lee and I were swimming.  Mom was in the screened in back porch, attending. Very quickly, gray clouds amassed. Suddenly, my mother came out and yelled urgently at us all: “Get OUT of the pool, NOW!” We did, not knowing what was wrong. We all scurried with Mom into the porch area, and no sooner had we reached the porch when, WHAM! A huge bolt of lightning struck the water!

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We have asked her for years, “Mom, how did you know?” All she can answer is, “A Mother just knows.”

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My Mom, with my sister Lee, her daughter, Daughter-in-law, and grandchild (by Lee Ireland)

I invite your stories and insights, in any form (e.g. poetry, photos, or prose) about Family and Better Endings. I’m sure we all have plenty to tell!

P.S.: Thank You to everyone reading this blog, either regularly or for your first visit!  What a new world we live in where we can all share like this!