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Finding Miracles

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.”
~Robert Ingersoll

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.

It is these experiences that make up our Life. And so, let us embrace the unexpected, the ups and downs, the joyful dance, and all the love that surrounds us – even the ones we are not yet aware of.

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.

—-

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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33 thoughts on Finding Miracles

  1. Tina, I hope you find Blackie soon. I am so in love with my own dog and I don’t know what I would do if she went missing. If I were in the SF area I would certainly help, but since I’m not I’ll keep you and Blackie in my thoughts and keep my fingers crossed for a holiday miracle. Keep thinking positively!!

  2. Hey bub…

    Congrats for staying positive. That’s is key. Something Mélanie taught me… always stay positive, as you get what you give. Send out positive thoughts into the universe, and you will get positive results back.

    It sounds as though you’re doing everything you can. Now it’s time to just trust that the universe will help you figure this all out.

    Hang in there guys…

    Matt

  3. It’s ages since I’ve posted a comment on your blog, but this story touched my heart :-) I am an animal person – we currently have 3 dogs and a cat…we lost 2 dogs about a year ago – one night they went off chasing something or someone – we think burglars next door – and we never saw them again. Up till now, in particular, I still really miss Macushla – a brindle who was found on a local beach. She was a special soul :-)

    But for us, it seemed to open the door for other canines to find a home here – we had just adopted Lady – a stray from the neighbourhood (we live in what’s considered the upscale area of the island where many expats live; unfortunately for dogs, a surprising number just leave them behind when they go – she was one).

    Then lo and behold, two days later, Chip-Chip arrived on our doorstep…and after a search for his owner came up blank, he came to stay…then months later, those two mischievous mutts ‘stole’ a dog from someone nearby. They just made fast friends…and after abjectly apologizing to the owner for our dogs’ rudeness, he admitted he had to go back overseas and I immediately offered to formally adopt him, so Chico now lives here too.

    I really hope you find Blackie, but if you don’t, well, Bruce found you and there are probably other things moving in the universe for good, even if it’s beyond our comprehension sometimes…

  4. Clau

    Hi Hi HI…
    i am emailing this link to a friend in Seattle…
    Maybe that will be of help…
    HUG HUG HUG…
    Love,
    Clau

  5. Tina.. I hope you could find Blackie soon. I believe Blackie means a lot to you.

  6. Hi Finola,

    Thank you for commenting here and sharing your story of your pets. Nice to see you here.

    Thank you also for the reminder that “Bruce found you and there are probably other things moving in the universe for good, even if it’s beyond our comprehension sometimes.”

    My mom is always reminding me of this, that regardless of what is happening, it is for the universal good, even if you don’t see it yet. It helps me stay centered around this whole thing.

    Warmly,
    Tina

  7. Vicki

    Hi Tina,

    There are two small dogs in our family that we all adore. A few months ago while preparing to go for a walk, Ranger pulled so hard on the leash that his collar broke and his name tag was lost. I have been meaning to replace it but just haven’t gotten around to it. I am going to replace it today because I read your story and can imagine the pain of losing such a treasured family member.

    I’m so sorry about Blackie – I hope he is returned to your family very soon.

    Vicki

    • Hi Vicki,

      Yes replace the collar and tag, and I also recommend the microchip in ear. We never got around to doing that with our dogs, but I will.

      Thanks for your warm wishes, I hope to see him home soon too. We haven’t given up yet!

      Tina

  8. Patricia

    I’m so sorry to hear about your sweet dog. I hope you find him soon. Although, I only know you through your blog, I knew instantly that you were a warm, caring and loving person.

    When I read how you purchased this cutie over-seas and gave him an amazing life here in America, I knew for sure that you were and still are truly, one of a kind and that the world is better for having you in it. = )

  9. As you recognized:

    “Behind fear lies a constant longing to be certain.” Khyentse Rinpoche

    Be open to the what is. Embrace the uncertainty for it houses all manner of possibility.

    That said, I hope you find Blackie ~ as I’m sure he wishes to be home.

  10. HI Patricia,

    Aww.. you are too kind. I have my moments. I’m not the most perfect pet owner, we do try our best, but especially with the welcoming of the baby, it’s been hard to give the dogs our full attention. So they pretty much entertain themselves. I feel a little bad that we didn’t spend so much time with them, as we once had.

    Tina

  11. @nrhatch

    “Be open to the what is. Embrace the uncertainty for it houses all manner of possibility.”

    This is beautiful. Thank you!

  12. Eiggam

    Another heart warming post from you :) and I totally can feel the sadness you must be feeling for Blackie and your longing for him.. truly hope that he’ll find his way back to you soon…

    On another note, I find this article very timely for …me too as far as finding miracles as yesterday I actually did experience one. Just before I went to office It was really raining heavily outside and could hear the loud thunder and lightning inside my room and can’t help but feel very scared.. could not even think of driving to office but just when i gathered my courage to go out and drive my car, the rain has stopped just like that and in my heart I believed that miracle did happen at that moment to me. Was truly grateful to drive to office smoothly without the scary strong lightning and heavy rain :D

  13. Eiggam, that’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Sometimes, it’s just a matter of recognizing it.. I think we are surrounded by miracles daily, we just don’t notice them. Like something that seems trivial, yet important,… like our breath… or the seamless functioning of our bodies.. those are all miracles if you choose to see it that way. :)

    Keep looking for miracles everyday, set that as your daily intention, and see what Life will bring to you. You will be amazed.

  14. Jeff C

    When I last found myself feeling miserable, it ended up being miraculous. I had a friend pretty much drag me by the ear to her computer for a dose of beautiful art and music, and then took me upstairs to participate in her husband’s jam ses…sion, telling me to “play, dance or sing, I love you, now get in there and do something.”

    Some people are way to cool for school. Thankfully, this one is a teacher. :-)

  15. OMG! i hope you find your dog! it was super crushing when my dog ran away a few years back. I was super lucky, and the local dog pound had picked him up on a tip off from one of our neighbors. A short trip down to the pound sorted things out :)

    Best of luck!

  16. I find loss is always painful and it’s the nature of the beast.

    A few reminders that help me:
    – it’s better to have loved and lost …
    – did I give my best? … that’s all I can do
    – there will always be holes in my heart that can’t be filled, but I try to grow my heart bigger around it
    – life’s short, make every moment count
    – live more, learn more, laugh more, love more
    – you keep loved ones alive by remembering them … always
    – focus on what I can control, and let the rest go

    … and then a few additional guiding points that help me stay the course:
    – if this situation never were to change, what’s the one quality I need to make the most of it?
    – who do I want to be, and what experiences do I want to create? (and drive from that)

  17. @Storage Toronto

    Did your dog have a collar and tag on him? If so, why didn’t the neighbors just call you?

  18. Hi J.D,

    Thank you for the outline of pointers. These are perfect. I’ll have to come back here and re-read these. :)

    Tina

  19. Jo

    Sure hope yall find Blackie.

    I have posted your blog(The Simple Now) on my blog(LazyonLoblolly).

    Good Luck.

  20. Jo

    Your blog(The Simple Now) is sweet, I have received your request for votes and I have posted your contest on my blog(LazyonLoblolly).

    Go to http://lazyonloblolly.blogspot.com

    Good Luck.
    Jo

  21. Thank you so much Jo for linking us and voting for the contest.

  22. Jo

    Tina, I see that the contest was real close…I think if I would have put your blog(The Simple Now) on my blog(LazyonLoblolly)from the begining, instead of the last day, you would have had better results.

    Love your blog it is awesome!…I read that you have had this blog since 2007…I have read some previous post and you are always sharing happiness…except the loss of Blackie,hope you find your dog.

    *Your blog is great….hope this is a requirement to win the contest!
    The opponent from Southeast Georgia DOES NOT HAVE A BLOG!
    GOOD LUCK!

    Jo
    -LazyonLoblolly

  23. bob

    Tina,

    Have you found Blackie? I know that a missing pet is like a missing family member or child. It does hurt. Be thinking about you and your family. Ihope you find him. :)

  24. Leah

    I’m horrified that someone would steal your dog. :( That is so mean.

    I hope you are able to track down this person somehow. My thought is that perhaps they had a moment of guilt and called you. Then they changed their mind.

    Pets are part of the family and I feel for you and your husband right now. Keep us posted!

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