I wish I could tell you that I am getting better. Or that all is good now. But it’s not true. It’s the same pain, and the same emptiness, only now I know it better. It’s the same sadness, yet today it’s a familiar place. Today, it’s more like a home of mine, than like a passage…
I still can break down in a restaurant or shop and simply start to cry. I miss Him. So badly. So organically. I miss him like an orange misses an orange tree, like a leaf misses its branch, like a rose pellet misses the bud. It’s a part of the journey I was maturing for, yet without one another I almost feel incomplete. It’s an organic, very deep loss on the most basic, primitive level of being. It’s like losing an arm, or a hand. It’s so real, and it touches me so deeply on the level of my most basic existence, and affects every aspect of it. But life goes on and it’s both a beautiful, and a scary thing…
Sometimes, I realise that I withhold tears because I see how much others seek comfort and strength in me, and how confusing and somehow even uncomfortable my weakness makes them feel.
When I was leaving you, Rocco, on the night before you left us, you didn’t want me to go. You clanged to me. I had to manipulate you slowly to the cage at the veterinary clinic. You still obeyed but that was different, I felt hesitation and not wanting to part on your side. And at the same time, on the level of your spirit, I felt readiness, agreement and peace. A sensation of a steady never-ending line expressing comfort and pleasure, extending from now on onto the future like a shooting star.
Today, I feel the same emotions in me: a mixture of bodily pain, emotional sadness, and the deepest possible love and eternal understanding. Disagreement mixes with agreement, earthy mixes with eternal. Fear mixes with Knowing. Being touches the Eternal. It’s so confusing. I understand, and yet I hurt. I know, and yet I cry. I feel everything with every single cell of my body, and yet I am empty. I feel direction, and yet I am lost. I am making steps forward, living each day to the fullness, and yet I am still there by his still warm body, so empty and almost foreign without his soul in it.
I felt that it might be the last time I said goodbye to you, but the need to be positive for you and the disagreeing voice in my head were telling me to halt this sensation, kiss your wet sweet nose goodnight, and stay positive, and strong for your sake. I wanted to catch some sleep, so that I could make the best decisions for you on the following day. I wanted to be able to be sharp-minded for the talks with vets, positive and entertaining for you. I felt this was all you wanted from me: to keep you light, entertained and fun. I was hanging with you for over 6 h at a time at the veterinary clinic. We were listening to music from my Iphone together. I was touching you, petting, telling you stories from our journey together… Asking you: “Do you remember….?”, and teasing you: “You will see, we will do that one more time!” and then referring to a moment you loved so much. But my heart felt it’s the end. I was telling people it’s end, and yet they looked at me as if I was speaking nonsense. You were so strong, so vital, so playful. My heart also felt that you told me you are going to die at this clinic when we parked the car in front of it. But it was kind of too late… everyone was awaiting you there, and they knew your health history and they had ideas how to proceed from there forward on. I didn’t even know where the other clinics were. It was just a feeling, your voice in my head: “They will not save me here”. Oh, God, how heavily, strongly, slowly this thought rings now in my empty ribcage. Like a loud, heavy bell. I can still hear your heavy breathing and see the absent and more and more sunken eyes. And I still remember your warm breath on my cheek and how lovingly you were cuddling to me even at the clinic, being so weak and so scared. I remember well how the sparkle in you still lit when I was whispering your name. I knew and felt how our love was eternal. I remember well even today how we both looked with steady, calm eyes into what was approaching. Calmness. Agreement. Connection. Lack of fear. And yet at the same time I am sorry I left you there. I am so sorry I didn’t stay for over that night. I am so sorry I tried to be an adult, and do the right thing, instead of doing the crazy thing and follow my feel. I should have stayed, and followed my gut… but maybe at that very time the promise of pain was too big to be faced. Too real and too scary.
I grieve over my boy, Rocco, stronger than I did over my grandfathers. Stronger than over my great grandmothers, and my God father. I almost feel rootless and ashamed at how devastated I am. I almost feel like I should hide my pain, because it’s unheard of to hurt over a loss of a dog that much. But whenever I pull this mask on my face, a piece of me dies and closes up, and I don’t want it to happen. I want to live. Though His death I understood how much I want to stay alive.
What makes us connect so much to animals, and grieve with such real pain, sadness and intensity over them? Love.
Love. Love is real, no matter for whom we feel it. Love is love. Love is ever existing and is always accessible for us to enter, feel and explore it to the fullness. Yet it takes time for us to develop our readiness to enter it.
We spend nearly every free hour of our life with our animals. We think about them, we love them, we grow for them, we change for them. I hugged Rocco everyday. I cared for him everyday, I smelled the scent of wind and herbs from the soft, warm spots behind his ears several times a day. We parted maybe for a few weeks in total during the 10 years of us being together. I haven’t spent that much time with any of the relatives who passed. I haven’t told so many stories, and secrets to any of them. I haven’t shared so many journeys, emotions, and adventures with any of them, as I did with Rocco. When I reflect on love and grief from this perspective I see how love is not an abstract concept, but a very real experience. More a living tissue, than a thought or emotion. and I feel how love grows and becomes alive through something very simple: a mixture of time and sharing.
How quickly time flies. I only regret that we haven’t lived that time more. That we haven’t collected memories more. We collected tons of memories, we lived together in 4 different countries, had countless journeys together, and yet it feels now that we barely scratched the surface of all possibilities… We did so much together… and yet I feel we could have squeezed it more..like a lemon, until the last drop. Maybe we left few drops left. I would give anything for a moment with you. For being able to talk to you. To hear you. To get to know you even more. Who were you, Rocco? I still struggle to answer, although we knew each other so well. I wish I was more rested on everyday basis, more emotionally available for you. But I still hear your little whisper: “Calm, and we will connect”. You visit me often these days in my dreams. I see you as a warrior preparing for a battle, smiling to me with understanding, loving eyes, full of friendly love. You come to me as a warrior surrounded with a sensation of that we have to part because another battle is awaiting you, and that you must leave me now. I feel you as an emotion of coming home, of meeting an old friend. I find you in the feeling of talking things over and finding love and peace, friendship and understanding with someone I thought I had an argument with. You come to me in lines that appear spontaneously in-between my heart and mind: “All is fine”, “We are still together”, “I am still YOUR BOY” and “Nothing has changed between you and me”.
Since Rocco has passed, I have received dozens of messages from people who grieved, or still grieve. From people who lost children, from people who lost animals. From people who lost the love of their Life. I connected with so much pain lately, that I swear I would not be able to survive it because it was all so real, so unimaginable hurting, coming from so many directions and shared with me by so many people. And yet I survived it, and it didn’t affect me in any negative way. Why? Because it was so full of love. For many people my openness about my journey after losing Rocco triggered withheld emotions, blocked energies, moved halted life that stopped and couldn’t unravel because they were afraid to experience the wave of unimaginable pain that would otherwise follow. And now they realised that behind this darkness, behind this pain was something tender and beautiful. A testimony to their love. By connecting with these people I discovered also another beautiful thing. I learned that the longer the pain lasts and the more we look into the darkness it brings, the more we truly find and experience all there is: LOVE.
And it’s such a beautiful volte. It’s such a beautiful circle that takes this story to horses, who can show so much discomfort, illness and pain when they start to relax and strip away the layers of tensions and illnesses. As a horse trainer I daily meet horses who are in pain, discomfort (emotional or physical) or are simply distressed and cannot reach their full potential in different areas of life. Sometimes it’s panic attacks, separation anxiety, other times inability to bend hocks or use their bodies properly. Most of the time, it’s tensions of the stomach and digestive tract that manifest as being aloof, nippy, pushy, disengaged, food-oriented. Sometimes pain manifests so subtly, as by nipping and is mistaken with lack of good manners or respect. When I guide horses and humans I see how difficult it is for some people to see this pain of their horse behind the misbehaviours, or lack of engagement. Sometimes it’s just a thought: “I wish he gave more of himself”. Other times a distant feeling of that the horse is not enjoying what he is asked for with his whole heart. What I discovered, is that what is responsible for that many times (if not in all cases) is pain. My role is to move people from considering only their emotions and their perspective, and to open them up to this friend of theirs, who just got the courage to speak about his discomfort, and to listen to him. It’s not easy, because it’s hard to really LOOK at pain, and see through it. Yet this openness and readiness, and trust that behind the vail of pain is always love, and health and goodness and wealth is crucial, and something that I learned how to equip people to have. I witnessed many times that the readiness alone to see and witness pain is enough for the healing process to start. And then beautiful things happen: frustration grows to become understanding. Anger disappears like a night fog under the morning light. The Night becomes the day. Illnesses disappear. Discomforts end. Lacks become the fullness. Disadvantages become the strengths. A Half becomes the whole. And everyone comes out of this experience not only stronger, but also fuller, healthier, and more tender at heart. Tender for pain, because it’s not longer a scary place to be — it’s just a stepping stone.
Going through my grief and being reached out by so many people made me really notice something interesting. I saw a big difference between how people were approaching me, and how they were interacting with me during this time. I was very touched to discover that those of my students and followers whom I have been guiding and whom I know and whose horses I know through their journey from pain to health, from discomfort to well-being from darkness to light — who I remember to be so open to their horses’ pain and discomfort… well, I was so touched to see how open and supportive they have been for me and my pain as well. They were no longer scared of meeting someone in pain and connecting with him. What a beautiful testimony of full learning-circle and growth it is for their path and what an excellent gift Optimal Performance Program for Horses is (and in this case also for Humans, because it also shows deep transformation and healing curve for the horses’ owners).
And I have only one thing to tell you: It’s just a stepping stone. We can take it further.
Don’t be afraid of pain. Feel it. The more you feel it, the more you step into the darkness like into the cave… The more steps you take going deeper and deeper into the darkness of the darkest of the nights, the more you will find there lightness and love. Don’t be scared. I am there with you, for you. In the darkest of nights, equally scared. Equally full of love. Equally full of light.
These days before going to bed I listen to Boa Noite, Amore by Elis Regina. And then I do BodyMarc session for releasing grief prepared for me by my husband Pawel. I feel the responsibility before my own body and my own life to not allow any new tensions to grow around this pain of mine that I feel, and BodyMarc allows me to this. I release. I cry. I smile. I shed tensions. I breathe a little bit deeper. Every night I say goodnight to you, I say goodbye to you, and I feel how a layer of tension sheds off from me. How by shedding it I create space in me for all those who are still with me. For my beautiful dogs, horses, cats. For dearest humans around me. And I discover that under every layer of tension was hidden even bigger pain, even deeper sadness… It’s scary… and yet so beautiful. Through even bigger pain, I discover even bigger love. I fall asleep and then I have most calm, illuminative, good dreams. I sleep quietly and well like a child. I wake up deeply moved, deeply connected. This love wakes me up, and makes me take steps. This love fuels my days. It allows me to breathe, to smile, to be here for you, the reader of this posting. To be there for my students. To watch videos, to answer questions, and tons of emails. To speak on the phone with people who need me, to guide them forward. Towards bravery, towards being there for their animals. Towards being emotionally available for them, even through the pain.
I cannot even tell you how crucial it is in training and caring for animals to be able to LOOK AT THEM and SEE THEM. There are so many people with “blind eyes”, who due to fear of rejection or due to the fear of discomfort of what they find out there if they look deeper see only what their animals DON’T DO, but they cannot see why that they simply CANNOT DO THIS due to many factors, which stripped down always come to tensions, and pain.
I am there to support you to be able to grow to be comfortable IN PAIN, but also how to go PAST THE PAIN without allowing any new tensions any new discomforts to “glue” to it and scar you and your horse for life. I see everyday people from all over the world joining our program, they do it for themselves, and for their animals. Optimal Performance Program teaches you how to offer support, comfort, and the real down-to-Earth help so that you can walk this journey together, hand in hand, without fear with your beloved one. It allows you to walk this journey together with your animals with the SEEING EYES. With the eyes that see past misbehaviour or what the horse is or is not doing, and to reach the source of the problem, be there for and with your animals and support them to deeply heal on all levels of life: health, self-worth, intellect, being an element of the bigger wholeness, and being whole at the level of the I.
For some people animals are their kids. For others they are the furry friends and pets. For another others animals are partners on this exciting journey of Life.
For me, animals are the very essence of my Life, not a part of it. My whole existence is built in such a way to love them, to serve them, to understand them, and to help them express the pure pulsating love, grace, dignity and beauty they really are.
I learned how to do it by supporting them in releasing physical and emotional body tensions..and what I discovered is that this process is a beautiful, effortless journey to health, wholeness and happiness.
I send you a virtual hug, and I promise you that the sun will shine for all of us. Our world is so big and yet the sun shines for everyone. In every single country, every single day. Sometimes we just have to wait few hours before it appears… There is hope, as long as there is love. Don’t allow yourself to stop on the sensation of pain now. Don’t respond to your own tensions, or to the tensions of your horse, dog, or a spouse. Enter the world of your animal without fear, be there for them and yourself without fear experiencing everything to the fullness. Look with the seeing eyes. In this environment of CALMNESS everyone will thrive.