Want to hear a sad truth? I did not think I could ever love another Golden Retriever as much as I loved my Benji throughout, and especially at the end, of his short life.
However, just like we do with the humans in our lives, we love our pets in unique and special ways. Case in point: I find that I love each of my dogs differently. As you may have read in my last post, I am now the proud mommy to Charli, my sweet Golden puppy.
While I’m still grieving the loss of my Benji, I meet myself where I am in the grieving process and “loving again” stages: with self-compassion, kindness and grace.
Whether it’s with our pets, children, friends, parents, or romantic partners, everyone can benefit by applying lessons learned via the classic “love languages” about ourselves and our loved ones. For instance, I’m learning more about loving human relationships through my dogs by applying the 5 Love Languages to all of my relationships.
You can learn which “love language” applies to you by taking the official quiz here. Here’s how it’s working for me…
Words of Affirmation: Verbal connection through positive reinforcement and praise (and lots of treats!) works especially well for training and bonding with a new dog as well as establishing a connection.
Acts of Service: There’s something about my hope and vision of Charli giving back to the community as a pet therapy dog that provides me with so much joy. Pet therapy entails visiting retirement/nursing homes as well as local meetings, and potentially conferences (puppy cuddling) and/or elementary schools (reading buddy).
Gift Giving: I am so grateful for this birthday gift that appeared in my life – Indeed, to me, Charli is a gift of companionship and newfound joy and laughter. Goldens are notorious clowns and gift givers – they’re always greeting guests with stuffed animals and toys in their mouth.
Quality Time: I enjoy being fully present with my puppy – so much so that I have not taken as many pictures or videos as I hoped or posted them to social media. Charli is a reminder that one-on-one special time should be cherished, allowing me to be present and not concerned about checking and populating social media channels.
Physical Touch: Goldens are the cutest puppies - little fluff balls, they look like Gund stuffed animals. Charli and I cuddle together; he loves tummy rubs and having his nose/muzzle massaged, putting him (and me) into a meditative state.
While my situation with Charli may not match yours, you can still take the quiz and learn about love languages on your own – allowing you to better understand yourself and your relationships with others. Ask yourself:
It’s been said that, “Our first love and last love is self-love.” Keeping this in mind, my ultimate goal is to help my clients find self-love and to keep that self-love top-of-mind throughout their lives, especially during difficult times, before starting new relationships or enduring challenging situations and episodes.
During my own recent healing journey (marriage breakdown and Benji’s death), I learned how to love myself again. When I practice self-care, self-love, and self-compassion, being alone no longer means being lonely.
Do you too want to live a more abundant life full of meaning, purpose and joy? It is possible! Click HERE to learn about my Life/Wellness Coaching Clinics and schedule a FREE Coaching Discovery Call.
My coaching style is perfect for those who feel stuck and want to break out of current patterns and embrace the unexpected and the scary in order to feel free and empowered. I help clients embrace and embody the expression "life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
I recently completed training in Kristen Neff’s Mindful Self-Compassion. These learnings have now become an integral part of my Life/Wellness Coaching Clinics offered virtually or in-person at meetings/conferences, workplaces, and on an individual basis. Mindful Self-Compassion assists me further in helping my clients treat themselves with kindness as they would a good friend - to become an inner ally rather than an inner enemy or critic.
Click HERE to sign up for a free coaching discovery call with me today!
P.S. Provide your employees with a professional development bonus to help them develop into better versions of themselves – this will be of benefit to both the employee and your business. According to Qualtrics, 44% of people say they will look for a new job in the next year. As such, employers will need to add value to the employee experience in order to bolster retention.
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