Healing from past wounds, literally

Posted by on Mar 31, 2018 in Blog | 1 comment

Healing from past wounds, literally

I am an animal lover. That is the first phrase I would use to describe myself above any other explanation. I started the Sergei Foundation to help dogs and cats nine years ago, and I try to do more than just say, “that’s so sad” to situations that seem hopeless. Never would I have found myself to have been afraid of dogs, but one year ago this Easter, that’s exactly what I was facing.

Easter morning 2017, I was walking my dog, Sydney, on our neighborhood sidewalk when we were ambushed by two dogs. They came speeding out of the garage from across the street having been let out accidentally by a 2-year-old. I carry pepper spray on walks, but I was on the phone with my dad sharing holiday greetings, so I was not prepared. It was two of my favorite dog breeds, too. One was a German Shepherd, and the other, yes, a Siberian Husky!

Thankfully, Sydney had no physical injuries other than a short-lived limp.  I also had no bite injuries from the dogs, but having gotten tangled up in the quarrel, the leash wrapped around my legs and I fell, fist first, still holding the leash. I literally punched the construction pavement. After falling, my hands were bleeding and trembling, but I found my way to the pepper spray. That helped, but not before I had a deep wound to my middle finger that would not heal – it took four rounds of antibiotics and finally Doxycycline seemed to do the trick. That knuckle wouldn’t function or bend for several months (I thought I may need surgery), and I have a permanent scar. I also tore some tendons/muscles which affected my knee; I still have some issues today, but for the most part I also healed from that about six months later.

Why am I telling you this story? Well, it’s Easter time again which is why this memory is top of mind to me. It also left me wondering if there was more to this memory. So here I sit, thinking of what I wrote in Sergei’s Eyes, Reflections of Soul Lessonswondering if I can see yet another soul lesson in this encounter with my greatest dog teacher now – Sydney.

Both Sydney and I were affected after that encounter. He does not avoid the area on walks but wants to walk by the house. He does, however, whimper on the way by. We are both still healing from past emotional wounds. If it were up to me, I’d avoid the area altogether! Sydney guides me past as if to say, “We can’t let fear direct us, mom. We have to face it to overcome it.” It seems he knows I am now afraid of those dogs which is new territory for me as an animal-lover! I’m also afraid it will happen again. His whimper, however, is a reminder that he hasn’t forgotten what happened either, but he chooses not to let fear or the past have power over him.  We are both, however, more alert and better prepared as a result.

We hear this same sentiment a lot about forgiveness. People are hesitant to forgive, me included in this case with my neighbor, as they think it condones the hurtful act. (I was angry for so long thinking she should have had better watch over her children knowing her dogs were aggressive! I didn’t want to condone that.)  I called to mind the wise teaching that forgiveness does not say “what you did was okay,” or make you a weaker person, but rather it frees us from our anger so we can let it go – the first step in the healing process. To heal from past wounds, we just can’t ignore the issue, take a different path, or avoid talking to people we are mad at. It will only fester internally, which will eventually show up in physical dis-ease. We aren’t hurting the people who hurt us, we are only really hurting ourselves!

So on this Easter weekend, I think it fitting that I come to this Soul Lesson in Reflection about forgiveness, and also recognize that so many people, Jesus included, have done it so much better that I. But, if we are to heal from our past and not be afraid of the future, it starts with just being conscious of simply “wanting” to forgive.

Paw print with heart


Sydney’s Soul Lesson: “Don’t give power to fear. Facing your fears, and the past, is the first step toward forgiveness and self-healing. 



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Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

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