Where In The World Is Your Heart?

HIH On Facebook!

HEART IS HOT on Facebook

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Puppy Moment

Ashton Kutcher recently released a video on his fan page telling the story of a woman's experience during the Holocaust. She and her little brother boarded a train as they were told to do. Her brother lost his shoes somehow and she continuously called him stupid throughout the trip. Well, turns out they were taken to Auschwitz and her brother did not survive. The last thing the woman said to her brother was that he was so stupid.

From that moment on the woman vowed to herself that everything she said would have the value of the last words she ever spoke to someone. Now that is powerful.

Two very different things come to mind when reflecting on this deep, intense story. Most obviously for me is the fact that had she known she was going to lose her brother and be saying her last words to him, she clearly would have been more compassionate and kind. This is an enormous and raw reminder to us all that the small stuff really does not matter in the end, and what matters is how responsible we are in every moment to love both ourselves and others to the fullest. This story is a clear representation that hammers this home.

Secondly, I am struck by the woman's self responsibility from that moment on. Yes, it is our duty to stay aware of ourselves and others. At the same time, we are human and make errors in our moments of unconsciousness. These moments give us a choice. We can choose to learn and grow from these experiences and perceive them as opportunities to advance further as responsible humans, or we can dwell on and identify with our mistakes and paralyze ourselves with guilt and fear. The latter in my opinion is not productive to anyone, whether it be yourself or others around you. This woman teaches us the value of self forgiveness by taking a mistake and turning it into the greatest reminder to all of us every day.

When I was extremely ill many years ago, I found myself really beating myself up for not being able to figure out what was happening to me (which in retrospect was exactly what triggered the illness in the first place!) I began obsessively reading meditation books, searching deeply for some answer to heal me. One night I came across a meditation in one of Stephen Levine's books. He encouraged the reader (me) to imagine a little puppy inside myself. This was actually perfect for me because I was so "outside myself" at the time, any human association or inner child comparison would not have worked. But the puppy was great. Anyway, he asked us to reflect on how we would treat that puppy inside us. Would we beat and kick at the puppy and starve it of love and food? Or would we treat the puppy with great tenderness, caring for its every need and loving it every second. I immediately burst into tears. I got it. I had been treating the "puppy" so poorly and neglecting it to almost a state of death. I grieved for a while out of tremendous guilt at how I had been treating myself with my own damaging thoughts and had extreme regret for things I did not even realize until that moment that I had been thinking about myself.

Then came the choice. I could continue to feel guilty and terrible for my past mistakes or take full responsibility in that moment for now treating "the puppy" with devoted love, respect and care so the "puppy" could truly heal from the inside out. I chose love. And because I am where I am in my life today, I encourage you to do the same.

Treat your "inner puppy" with kindness and compassion. Forgive yourself of past mistakes. Take responsibility for yourself and your life right now, in this moment because....YOU CAN.

With love,


    ... indeed, one of my virtuous intents is to be the person my dog sees with his forgiving and unconditional love and trust.
    ... indeed, I would not like to be judged by my many worst moments, mis-steps and mis-deeds, so I try not to judge other by thiers.
    ... indeed, we each see the world as we are, not as it actually is.
    ... indeed, keep what virtuously serves us and discard what does not virtuously serve us.
    ... indeed, always play love forward.
    ... indeed, always play hearts forward.


  2. Tim,
    It's always such an honor to hear from you.
    Glad you enjoyed this...as much as I enjoy you.

    With love,