By Tina Su
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
~ Charles R. Swindoll
Three days ago our family dog Blackie went missing (pictured on the right in photo above, taken in 2008).
It’s not the first time our dogs have gotten out from the yard – it happens from time to time. Each time it has happened in the past, someone would call and return him to our home – after all, we live in a safe, family-centric neighborhood. This time, someone did call, but they never returned him home.
We tried phoning back the person who called us, but each time, the person would either hang up on us, or not pick up the phone.
If you’ve been following our journey over the past few years, you may remember Blackie as the puppy we found on the streets of Beijing, China from 2008, whom we later immigrated to the USA. His story is a heartwarming one. We love him, and we miss his little black-and-white butt.
You may not be a dog person, but you can probably relate with the feeling of losing something or someone, and the frustration that arises with that.
Jeremy and I both have been really distracted and horrified by the event. We felt violated and uneasy. For me, it’s been really hard to focus on my work, to remember to eat, to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, I became obsessed with wanting to bring him home.
My focus shifted from the Good Mood Gig competition to finding our beloved family pet. While I want to be your next good mood blogger and am shouting as loud as I can, recovering my “family member” who’s gone missing, has quickly become my number one priority.
I’ve been having this sick, tingly, helpless feeling in my belly since the start of this week. In the beginning, it was a feeling of grief, then it was anger, then it was hope, and when hope took a dip, I felt helpless and started to mourn the lost of our furry companion.
I had spent hours online, searching for the owner of that cell phone number. After failing to find any real useful information from various online sites claiming to have cell phone reversal details, I came across this site that did reverse cell phone look up from actual cell phone carriers.
When the results came back, with a bogus name and address, I started to panic (read: when hope took a dip). I phoned the owner of the site, a private investigator, and asked for his help. One thing lead to another, and it turned out, that Bruce (the investigator), as of a week ago, became a reader of our blog.
Turns out, Bruce was searching for some answers, and found Think Simple Now via google. To my delight and shocking surprise, Bruce has made our site his homepage for the past week, because it made him happy. And at this point, Bruce wanted to help us recover Blackie.
I almost burst into tears. I couldn’t believe the coincidences. I couldn’t believe such a big miracle was unfolding before my eyes.
Over the next few days, Bruce went out of his ways to help us, and after tracking down the person (and many relatives related to the person), the lead turned out to be a dead end. They don’t have the dog.
So we’re back to square one, and that’s okay. I’m not upset anymore. Even though, we are no closer to finding Blackie. I feel a sense of peace, a stillness that resides within me – still undisturbed. I think the realization that sometimes -even with the best of intention- things are out of our control, has helped me to relax and be at peace with this.
If you’re interested in helping us find Blackie in the Seattle area with things like passing out posters, please shoot me an email at tina [at] thinksimplenow.com And if you have twitter or facebook, please visit this link and pass it around. Help us find Blackie, so he can come home.
Photo taken two weeks ago at thanksgiving. Blackie playing with ryan, daddy and tommy.
As a side note, I am deeply moved and blown-away impressed by Bruce, and cannot believe that with a simple lead such as a phone number (with a bogus name and address on the billing records), the kinds of information you can pull up on a person. If you ever need to look up a person based on phone number for any reason, I highly recommend him. It’s so rare to meet a person so passionate about helping others. He is truly a gem.
If you’re on my daily email list, you’ve read the details of this story as it unfolded, and out of the responses so far, I have received some of the most encouraging reminders from some wise readers. Here’s one particular email that spoke to me that will serve as a reminder for the future when we are faced with unsettling challenges:
“You’ll see that everything will be resolved positively. I have learned that when things happen that make us sad, mad and puzzled is because the Universe is trying to polish us. We just need to surrender and let whatever that will happen, happen.“ ~Clau, Miami, FL
Whatever that is happening right now IS happening right now. No amount of positive energy or negative energy spent on the external outcomes of this moment will actually change this moment. In other words, the energy we spent in suffering becomes lost and wasted energy.
We all know that. But we forget. And it is okay.
It is natural to feel the emotions that we do, often it is beyond our initial control to react the way we do.
Here’s another email containing another beautiful reminder from a very wise reader in Lewiston:
“Sadness and pain and anger are not the enemy, they are just one side of the coin, and certainly not the one we choose to live in the shadow of. But those harsh emotions are real and here for a purpose, and truly need to be processed, if not with thoughts then with tears, so you can get past that place and return to genuine joy.” ~Greg, Lewiston, ME
I think feeling sad in an event like this is part of the learning and growing process. The only thing we can really do is to make our best effort at being conscious, in observing our thoughts and mental patterns with clarity and honesty.
For a few days, I found myself drifting in my old mental patterns of feeling sad, or missing Blackie, or feeling less than optimistic. And it’s been helpful to remind myself that it is okay to feel bad, it is okay to cry – to let it out. It is part of the process.
However, getting stuck in this state of worry isn’t very helpful or productive. I want to find the lesson from this, and then allowing whatever happens to flow, while doing my best in every moment.
Looking back at yesterday, while I was consumed in worrying about something I had little control over, I missed out on a few hours of Life that was actually worthy of my attention – like how we got our Santa photos back from the photo lab, or how our 11 month old Ryan shouts out Mama when I enter the room, or to remember to share a kiss with my husband when he leaves for work – all of which I missed out on yesterday, because I was too caught up with worry derived from uncertainty.
I asked myself, “What can I do now to shift my mood? What would make me happy?” And the answer came back with “Sorting through photos of Ryan.”
So, instead of following my mind’s desire to force myself to do “work”, pressured by some imaginary deadline I’ve created for myself; I sat back leisurely, turned on some happy music, and went through photos of my son from our latest family trip.
Seeing moments of my precious Ryan in a state of utter Joy, and laughter, brightened up my world to no end. I felt this warmth in my heart, as I shifted through photo after photo of my little boy and his infectious smile.
It’s amazing what a shift in our focus can do to our state of mind.
Life truly IS beautiful. And to these struggles, which we continuously encounter, I am truly thankful – even though the journey of learning from these struggles may not always be pleasant.
“Happiness is not a reward – it is a consequence.
Suffering is not a punishment – it is a result.”
What I learned more than anything is to appreciate all the goodness in my life, to not take things (like the unconditional love from a beloved pet) for granted. And to know that not only will life throw challenges at us, but it will also surprise us with unexpected help and hope that in the end causes us to grow and become a wiser person through enriched experiences.
What are you most appreciative of? Perhaps we should spend a few minutes to schedule quality time with the people/experiences/activities we appreciate most? (please share in the comment section)
In the end, it’s these wondrous moments that leave a lasting impression in our hearts. And they are the only things that matter.
Life is good. Let’s look for the miracle. It is there, all around us.
If you want to help us find Blackie, please tweet, facebook, email the following link to people:http://thinksimplenow.com/blackie/
If you have an iPhone, keep blackie’s photo handy and if you’re ever in line, ask strangers if they’ve seen him.
Blackie is a member of our family, and a very special dog. We are sad that he is missing, and appreciate all your help and support in finding him. We are staying hopeful and thinking positive thoughts.
For more daily inspiration, please join TSN on facebook (add Tina here) and follow us on Twitter.
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