Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hard Question

On Steve Pavlina's blog yesterday, he asked, "What would you stop tolerating if you suddenly had tons more energy flowing through you?" This question is designed to show where you are "resisting a more energetic state of being". This hit me right between the eyes. I realized how much I settle for things in my life. And (this is hard) how much my lack of energy and depression serve certain aspects of my life.

Is this a hard question for you to answer?

Sacred Life Sunday: Hospitality

This week I've been preparing for a week long visit on Monday by LoveHubbie's brother (D) and wife (J). D & J have never visited us, and they come from Texas so it's a big huge deal. I rarely have company (aren't you surprised?) and so I had a great deal to do. Added to my slacking off on my household responsibilities since the depression, there was a backlog of stuff as well. I'm tired and sore. However, I'm very excited about the visit.

Mainly for LoveHubbie. Since his father died, he and his two brothers mainly have each other---biologically---and that's all. I think that D realizes this, too, and I'm hopeful that they will renew a closeness they had when they were younger. In adulthood they've grown apart, so this is a special opportunity.

It's good for me, too, to get to know J. We are very different and don't know each other much at all.

I mainly want them both to be comfortable and have a good time. Hospitality isn't my strong suit mainly for lack of practice, but I do my best.

So today I'm thinking about how to foster comfort, relaxation, and family bonds.

You're probably wondering what's going on with BE BRAVE. I'm still at it, every day. Nothing noteworthy, lots of integration. I'm definitely recovering from depression, too. But everything is gradual. Nothing to count as a discrete BE BRAVE day or to write about in a BE BRAVE post.

Today I organized my closet with a few clothes I have now that fit me. I had to get larger size clothing so that I had something to wear outside the house. I expect that D & J will want to leave the house. And my see-through gauze muumuu won't cut it in the house either. I've had these nasty jeans I've been wearing that have an elastic waist and the stiff denim pooches out over my hips, so they are loose, but make me look like I have 30 extra pounds on my hips. They are so unflattering and make me feel like I have so much loose material hanging around me, so it's even harder to move around. Today I put them in a box for donation. I only want to wear things that make me feel like I care for myself.

With my company here, I'm going to be washing my hair, bathing, grooming, etc.---all those things I used to do automatically, but that I've fallen out of the habit of doing lately. Now I'm going to have to do them for 5 days in a row. So I figure why not set a habit and just keep up with it? This will be pretty challenging for me---that's the level I'm working at here.


~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark, kiawe grove photo altered by Me

Friday, July 25, 2008

They Don't Read My Blog So I'm Mad at Them...I'm Like 8 Years Old!

Okay, so I'm wondering how everyone feels about people in your offline life who don't or won't read your blog. I'm hoping to get a discussion going here, so please weigh in.

Some of my friends and family members read my blog and some do not. LoveHubbie sometimes reads my blog, and sometimes not. And then some of my friends read my blog, every last post. Sometimes I feel like those friends really and truly care about me. Is that dumb or what? I guess because my blog is where I share myself and share my heart, a part of me feels like "if you really love me you'll read my blog". Of course, I know that doesn't make sense. Some people don't like to get on the Internet. Others have a lot of people to keep up with. Others just aren't blog readers. Others don't know what blogs are. Well figure it out! (If you love me!) There are lots of reasons not to read someone's blog. But I want those I love to care enough to read what I care enough to post about. It seems juvenile and so I dismiss it but it's there nevertheless, kind of like other emotions I have that I know are immature, like jealousy or insecurity.

And then I get really annoyed if I need to explain something that I've already blogged extensively about to someone who won't read my blog. Sometimes I just tell LoveHubbie, "Go read my blog!" but he's not big on reading in general, so that's not a very effective response to help our relationship. Not to mention that it's not a very patient or considerate response.

I'm not really proud of this...does anyone else feel like me? And I wonder why I can't seem to get over this embarrassing problem? What do you think?

~Picture from Cute Overload

A Tribute to a Wonderful Man

Early this morning, Randy Pausch died. I wrote about him here at the happyluau in a post about bravery. There is nothing I can say to give him a fitting tribute. He was a man who lived his life to the fullest up until the very end. He will be greatly missed, and will not be forgotten.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: Cherishing My Life With Joy

I read this marvelous quote in a book I'm reading called "When You're Falling, Dive" by Mark Matousek. It has stayed with me, and I think I'm going to take it as my mantra for depression recovery:
"I don't have to earn my life anymore. It was given to me to cherish as I would a precious gift from someone who loves me and whom I love."---Jim Curtan

This same Jim Curtan also, referring to what he realized at a retreat, said:

"God said my job was joy. But joy is not just about being happy. Joy is a rigorous spiritual practice of saying yes to life on life's terms."

Drop dead profound.

And in the spirit of joy, and to counterbalance the lately more sad posts at the happyluau, here are some joy-filled pictures I've been saving to share with you. They didn't seem to go with any of my previous posts this week, but they will fit with this one!

~The two photos above are from Cute Overload, the happy hamster and the happy dog.

~This photo of the happy nuns is from this blog.

BE BRAVE: Day 9: Sourcing Energy

"Energy is everywhere, but stillness plays a major role in its conversion from "potential" to "actualized" energy. [...]I was amazed to learn that butterflies have to spread their wings in the morning sunshine because the scales on their wings are actually solar cells. Without that source of energy, they cannot fly."---Laurie Beth Jones quoted in Joyce Rupp's "The Cup of Our Life"

Today I reestablished a practice that I used to follow religiously---a morning quiet time. It was a time for me to light a candle, read, be silent, meditate, read more. Breathe with God. Touch the Universe inside. Sit and orient and gain energy from my Source. When I read this quote yesterday, I was reminded of how, BD (before depression), I used to have a quiet time every morning before I'd do anything at all. Even when I worked full-time, this practice was mandatory for me to be spiritually fed before going about my day.

Over the years, the people I have chosen community with (husbands---all three, friends, family members) have not shared this practice, thinking of it as an obstacle to getting about the business of the day and as a waste of time, slowing everyone down when there were so many fun things to do or so much work to do, depending upon the day. Lately (AD, after depression) I've caved into my very local culture, at first just skipping these "quiet times" and then eventually not having them altogether, saving them up for a luxury on the weekend or for when I'm alone and there is nothing better to do. After all, my energy is so low anyway, I think. I waste too much time as it is. I'm centered enough, there's stuff to do. Silly, silly, silly.

I was inspired by yertle's blog this week, a post in which she describes herself and says she sometimes feels like a loser. All of her attributes were very, very desirable ones from my perspective! I realized how I, too, let others define me because I'm different or introverted and just forget to be proud of who or what I am. I buy into their views. I just forget. Still. After 50 years.

In the absence of people telling us this, or in the presence of people telling us the opposite, we all need to be free to source our energy, or we won't be able to fly. Even more, we need---I need---to stop buying into opinions about me that tear at the foundations of who I am. It's time. I'm ready.

I loved my quiet time today, and even more, loved visualizing all of the "opinions" from my inner critic and others who will never understand being written on little pieces of paper and burned. Paradoxically, I need the "quiet time" to keep myself centered on who I really am, and to stay connected to Source, to God, from whence my value truly comes.

~Photo of butterfly from The Littlest Bird

Friday, July 18, 2008

BE BRAVE Baby Steps

Lately I've been integrating BE BRAVE steps, and continuing to recover from depression. Mostly pushing through in small steps. Before I got on Lexapro (the SSRI medication I was prescribed for depression last year) I had slight depression and was quite introverted. Now, post-Lexapro, and as part of the Lexapro withdrawal, I have severe depression and anxiety and panic, not just introversion, but more of a type of severe social anxiety or almost agoraphobia.

So my BE BRAVE steps have been things like walking down my driveway to get my mail, even though it almost paralyzes me to think of it. Going out and doing errands when I feel open, exposed, and unsafe. Continuing to go through parts of my day while terrified. Nothing that would normally seem like bravery, but are exactly this right now for me, and keep me from succumbing to whatever the chemical processes and/or withdrawals are that are going on right now.

Yesterday I did something a bit unusual, too. In a significant family relationship I spoke a boundary. I say it this way because I didn't "set" a boundary---it was already there, and I just said that it was. I discovered that a person I love has been lying to me over and over again for a long time. The violation for me is not just the lying, but because I suspected it and questioned them repeatedly and then believed them, the violation is also the causing me to doubt myself and to doubt my intuition. So for me to stand up and say that the boundary was there, and to say that I would end the relationship over it, even though it is technically a "permanent" relationship---this felt good. I love this person greatly, but they have been toxic in my life for a long time, and despite my health challenges right now, and despite everything else I have going on, I know like I know my name that I would end everything with them should they do this again. Or anything like this.

So...I've been taking baby steps with the BE BRAVE challenge. Not enough to call a "BE BRAVE" day, but continuing as I'm resting and healing and integrating.

~Photo by LoveHubbie Mark altered by me

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

BE BRAVE: Day 8: Chicken Marsala and Endorphins

Yesterday was my BE BRAVE Day 8 and I pushed myself to make Chicken Marsala. Part of the reason was that I love anything Marsala, but we always eat it out. I've had the recipe but have been procrastinating about making it for weeks---anticipating the "huge" amount of work and not having much cook-confidence, etc. LoveHubbie is a very good Southern cook with extremely high expectations, and I wanted to try this new recipe and have us enjoy a delicious Chicken Marsala at home---for the first time.

A few weeks ago I made the seasoned bread crumbs in the oven from gluten-free bread. I bought all fresh and organic ingredients. Most were local, too, like the shitake and portabello mushrooms. Lastly, I bought the organic chicken; the chicken's diminishing freshness was the urgency factor that made it my BE BRAVE action yesterday. The eggs were from our chickens. I worked for about five hours in my hot kitchen on it. I wanted to take a picture of it, but was too hot and drained and spent by the end. It wasn't pretty and didn't really go well. Dinner was very late, and it was much, much too salty for me to eat (but perfect for LoveHubbie who enjoys things especially salty). He thought it was okay overall; however, he needed to add lots of sugar (as though it were a bowl of cereal) to his completed meal for it to taste good in his estimation.

Still, there was a sense of accomplishment in making Chicken Marsala imperfectly. I did it. And not really badly, nor well---just imperfectly. I did something hard for me! I knew I risked LoveHubbie's criticism, but did it anyway because for me, the gift was more important than the perfection of the food. I gave it from my heart.

The picture is from In hindsight, I think it was a bit overambitious as a BE BRAVE action for me just now, but I'm still glad I tried.

On another note, I felt like myself for a few minutes yesterday. I had a very intense gyrotonics session. I wrote more about me and gyrotonics here. It is hard for my large body to get through enough sustained strenuous work to produce endorphins, but I know I did yesterday. I felt like myself and felt so good. It passed in an hour or so, but I was glad to feel so wonderful. It shows me that what makes me me is still in there somewhere and not gone forever. With this depression recovery, I hope to keep uncovering it.

Glimpses of happiness and self-remembering and the memories of both are great motivation for keeping on...

Brillante Weblog

I am honored to have been given the Brillante Weblog from my wonderful friend Kelly!

Here are the rules of accepting the award (Please note: you can copy and paste these rules from my blog to yours). Also, if you don't want to accept the award (no time, no energy), just know that I thought of you and that you have a Brilliante Weblog!!

1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

I nominate the following people:

Rick from Hamguin’s Hide-not for his provocative posts, including his new OFG series. Most of all, for his amazing support and friendship. I know he's been picked at least twice (once by Kelly) but I had to do it again here---no choice---really!

Chani, from Finding My Way, for being the Queen of Provocative Posts that make us think and feel.

Jessie, from Diary of a Self-Portrait, for leading the way by example, but also via life-changing projects like BE BRAVE.

Melba, from Be Alive Believe Be You, for being real on her blog. For having one of the most unusual blogs, a partially hand-written blog. For taking a risk with her new Creative in the Midst book and project.

Carmen, from Writing From Life, who has been through so much lately, but maintains energy and optimism on her blog.

Charles Eisenstein, from the new Ascent of Humanity blog, because even though he only has one post, it is brilliant, as is everything he writes. He is an original thinker and a wise counter-cultural voice that we all could heed. Charles, welcome to the blogosphere---I have the honor of giving you your very first blog award! How could I pass it up?

Claire, from Anna's World, for her courage in facing a difficult journey and sharing honestly with us about it.

You all seven are brilliant! Actually ALL of the 216 blogs I read are brilliant, imho, but here I'm narrowing it down to just seven...

Blessings to you seven, and if you want to accept without following the rules, I won't care one bit. I don't want you to ever look at an award gift and think "Oh, no! How will I find the time to do that!"

So, here you go, in peace, joy, and admiration!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Extreme Appreciation

I just want to tell everyone how much I appreciate your friendship and support. Lately I have been a bit overwhelmed with my recovery from depression and I've realized that it is you, my online community, that has really helped so much. Your comments and support and love have helped to sustain and encourage me. Also, just having to articulate my journey and to know you'll read about it...and to push myself out of my emotional state to reach out and support each of you as best I can as has helped me to not feel alone. Thank you to each one of you.

Much love, O

~Picture from Cute Overload today

BE BRAVE: Day 7: Permission

Today I was so inspired by Leah's post. I decided to revise the way I'm doing the BE BRAVE challenge to more fit the way I operate best. Instead of doing something every day for a month for 30 days straight---which is intense and challenging and hard-driving---things that all appeal to me, I've decided that I would grow more this time (Season Two, my second time through) by doing things differently. I'm giving myself permission!

Instead of being intense, challenging, and hard-driving, I'm going to do BE BRAVE s-l-o-w-l-y, gently, and with time between BE BRAVE actions to integrate, at whatever pace works best for me. I love the idea of garnering my energy first, then taking a BE BRAVE action, then resting and integrating. It sounds luscious, and removes the pressure and striving from the way I was doing it. Even late at night, as I'm tired, I'm much more excited about it.

I know, I know, I should have seen this before, but I'm just relieved to see it now. Rereading the comments you all left have inspired me that this is the right path for me.

Today I had a busy day. I made broiled figs with ricotta cheese for brunch, then LoveHubbie and I went to the Farmer's Market for more fresh fruit. We got apricots, peaches, and cherries.

We continued on to Costco, where I got some shelves for all of my cluttered art stuff. It had expanded beyond my studio into the tv/guest room and into piles and piles in the back of the office. So just to get one thing to add to a collage would involve me rooting through all of these piles. So now it's late and I'm tired but I can do my art again now.

This video is nice and short, 1:40:

Friday, July 11, 2008

BE BRAVE: Day 6: Nothing At All

Today was a day I struggled to get through. I am trying to adjust my sleep patterns to go to bed at a reasonable time and get up early. So today I got up early, dragged myself until mid-afternoon, and then gave in and napped for a couple of hours. Still dragging now. Still feeling like I'm moving through mud instead of air.

I wondered what I would do to be brave.

I have a list of challenges that I want to accomplish during this period, but today I didn't feel like I could tackle any of them. LoveHubbie suggested that "getting out of bed this morning" would work, since for me that felt like a challenge today. However, I wouldn't quite say that it involved bravery.

So I ended up actually doing nothing in particular that was brave today.

Maybe just persevering, not giving up. That seems to fit for today, small as it is. And not beating myself up for not having anything to show for the day. Despite my temptations to do so.

At fifty, it feels like I want every day to count. I want every day to matter in a big way. But most of my days are ordinary and some are totally unmemorable. Still, I am grateful for the day, to be alive, and to have another chance tomorrow.

~Photos of beautiful Hawaiian girls from the book "Then There Were None" by Martha Noyes

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BE BRAVE: Day 5: Practice of Letting Go

Today I had some recoup time, and my body is crying, "More, more", as is my spirit. So I'm going to keep it up.

Part of the reason I need more "quiet time" is that today I had a couple of unexpected events that brought some unexpected stress my way.

One is that a family member had a health crisis. It affects me a lot, and I went through a bit of a panic. I ended up taking the time to have a special quiet time, wrote in my journal and prayed about what to do. Ethically it was challenging because I wanted to call in medical professionals but my loved one wanted to handle it themselves. I decided to exercise the profound spiritual practice of letting go. For me this is challenging. It's still not over, but I'm working on not stressing on it. I'm letting go again, and again, and again. I so want to make things right, and I need to see that I am indeed making things right by letting go...until it's time to act...and I will know when that is.

Another is that I found out today that LoveHubbie had borrowed a large amount of money a short while back without telling me. He did actually tell me today, which was good. But our financial picture is pretty different than I thought it was. And obviously, this brings up some other issues for me and LoveHubbie that I will deal with. Married life. It was a good day to be hit by things I suppose, as good as such things ever get, because I did have the space and environment to deal with them.

Today everything brought the question up for me, "What is 'being brave'?" I had to decide this again and again. Is being brave stepping in or letting go? Is it trusting again, or refusing to trust? Is it being vulnerable yet again or taking care of oneself and acting to be safe? Is it forgiving or moving on? These are questions we all have to answer every day, questions that require us to define bravery and apply it in our lives.

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

BE BRAVE: Day 4: Crash But No Burn

Predictably, or at least it should be by now, after three very exciting days, today I crashed. No energy, very low mood, pushing-pushing-pushing through the day. I have to remind myself that I am recovering from depression...I get so intense and excited and then...this happens. I've always been this way, though, even when I was much younger and healthy. You would think I would learn.

However, after dragging and whipping myself through most of the day and pumping loads of caffeine just to do that, I decided to be patient and supportive of myself (synchronicity has this as Rick's post today as well).

I canceled all of my activities for tomorrow. Although they were pleasurable and healthy, I know myself and can tell when I need a day alone. Resting. Reading. At home. Totally alone. I've been running around like a chicken with her head cut off. Desperate for quiet time and alone time and almost unable to process things or even respond to life the way I want to.

Then I looked at what I was doing and realized that my eating the last three days has been on the fly and not up to my usual standards. Nothing awfully bad, but apparently I'm exquisitely sensitive to minor dietary variations (like forgetting my fish oil and eating lower-quality foods out). I thought I'd forgo my usual "gotta be organic" stance and "clean meats only" compulsion, mainly to enjoy some meals out with LoveHubbie at LoveHubbie-friendly haunts---and now I just feel very "off". It could be too that in my current state, I'm sensitive to little fluctuations, but that when I become healthy, I will be dietarily more robust.

So, for my BE BRAVE action today, I'm cleaning up my diet to be more supportive for the remainder of the program. I'm going back to my old higher standards in quality, as well as eating no processed carbs at all and no unprocessed carbs at night either (like rice or quinoa or anything like that). I figure I can handle that for a month or so, maybe longer; I know my body, and I'm sure I'll feel great. It's Wellness Wednesday, too, so this is perfect.

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark, altered by Me

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

BE BRAVE: Day 2 and 3: Moving and Ending and Moving On

Whew! After Day One, what could I follow that up with? Still reeling from the dive and the collision, I stepped out and decided to increase my exercise during this healing time. This was for Day Two (yesterday).

I currently do gyrotonics. It is really hard for me. I see gyrotonics as something normally done by dancers and lithe svelt strong people, not matronly middle-aged women with weak abdominals who are coordination-challenged, like me. However, I have grown so much in just 5 sessions. Mostly brain-stuff, Jill Bolte Taylor brain recovery stuff. My brain isn't damaged, though, just struggling to develop in areas that have lain fallow for half a century. It is amazing!

So, remedial student that I am, it was hard for me to ask my teacher if I could increase my sessions for a couple of months. She was enthusiastic, so she's going to be putting up with me twice a week now. She has extraordinary patience and has to do things with me very, very slowly and repeat them over and over and over. Then by the next session, I'm almost back to where I started, but not quite. We start again and build. Gyrotonics requires me to challenge my brain and my emotions and to stretch my views about my capabilities each time I go. This translates into the rest of my life and is a true gift.

I also decided to resume yoga (yes, again). My wonderful teacher and friend, Shanon, is in nursing school full-time, so I'd slacked off. I really do need a teacher at this stage, and I'd been putting off trying out new ones. I found out just yesterday that Shanon is teaching for the summer, so I'm in.

I am hoping that with both gyrotonics and yoga in addition to my regular walking, that I will get into not just good mental and emotional shape, but begin my journey of losing my lovely Lexapro weight as well.

Today is Day 3 of BE BRAVE. Today I ended my therapy. That was my BE BRAVE task. It was a beautiful ending though, because I explained why to my therapist, and the alternate direction I wanted to move in, and lo and behold, he got it and wished me well. He also agreed to be available for me should my depression worsen and I need him. I could never have believed it would have ended so well. It's hard for me to do things like this.

It may seem strange to be ending therapy after my adventures in the looney bin and just embarking on TrueHope, but it is time for a change. I'm wanting to integrate spiritual principles into my journey, and feel a need to move beyond cognitive behavioral methodology to deeper things. Things I see as deeper at any rate. I may yet return to therapy, but it will be a deeper type (like Jungian, perhaps...).

So, I went down to St. Placid Priory, a local progressive Benedictine monastery for women, to seek a spiritual director. I found one of the spiritual directors in and she spoke to me on the spot and guided me towards a sister who is on vacation for several weeks. I was intitally disappointed, but then decided that slowing down would be a good thing. I tend to be quite intense. You didn't know that, right? She also invited me to be a part of an ecumenical spiritual formation program that starts in the fall. She was gentle and kind and more invited me to slow down, rather than screaming, "WHOA there girl!" That was nice.

So that was my Day 2 and 3 of BE BRAVE. I obviously needed to do this, and to do this now. I thought it would take a while to get my old bravery muscles back, but I can feel them there already underneath a lot of flab. It will be easier this time...

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark

Monday, July 7, 2008

BE BRAVE: The Second Season, Day One

Today I to start another BE BRAVE project, not a formal one that people can join, but just begin to do the process again for myself for a month. Jessie started the BE BRAVE project back in October of 2007, and we both had so much growth from it. It involves just doing one thing each day that is brave---it could be anything at all, something right for where you are. The hard part is keeping it up day in day out, but this is what builds the bravery muscles. The things you do don't have to be big or grand; they can be tiny but breakthrough for you. It's the dailiness and the focus, not the task in and of itself that makes it a BE BRAVE task.

So today was my Day 1. My task was very big. I took a big step in a relationship I'm in. It didn't work out well, but that wasn't the point. The point was that I took the step. I risked super big-time. The second part of this is maybe even better. I was pretty much devastated afterward, but instead of eating over it, or running away, I felt my feelings. I cried and howled and held my head and screamed and even vomited, but I felt the excruciating hurt. Then I slept for three hours. My eyes are sore and I'm kind of a mess, but I am proud of myself for doing something that I felt was right for me, even though it was risky.

I know that at the end of 30 days I'll be a braver person because I already am just from today.

Now for those of you who have never done BE BRAVE, it doesn't have to be this nasty. It is generally good, and may feel like the most wonderful thing you've ever done in your life. You can control the unpleasantness by not choosing big huge things with crushing consequences. I just wanted to start out that way. I sort of dove in head first, knowing the water was filled with boulders. I did hit a rock, but I'm on the mend, and still glad to be back in the water.

~Photo by In Mother Words

UPDATE: Here is a link to Jessie's formal site kickoff!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: A Walk in My Garden

I found out from a wonderful Reiki reading given to me by Lori-Lyn--long distance--that I should be out in nature more, so today LoveHubbie and I spent some time wandering, relaxing, and taking pictures.

I got to use my new Mino Flip Ultra (the next generation after the regular Flip Ultra) for the first time, another free gift from Amazon for doing all those reviews (1,273 over 10 years---so I've worked for it!). It is a little hurky-jerky probably from my lack of skill, and not because I have the shakes or was woozy. People have said that some of my Amazon videos were very movement oriented and made them ill, to my chagrin; I'm hoping that this one is enjoyable. From my point-of-view (taking it and making it) it seemed meditative and peaceful...If anyone has any filming tips for me, I'm so open to them.

I'm posting this early because I will be walking in my garden on Sunday, too, and it seemed a fitting end to what is for many people a noisy and crazy weekend. Not here. We don't do noisy here. Crazy is another matter. I treasure the peace and sounds of nature that I experience in my garden. I thought you might like something calming and soothing before the week starts.

So r--e--l--a--x...I hope you feel good as you stop to smell the flowers...this video is 5:40 long:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wellness Wednesday: Love

Tonight (just now) I watched this video on Cute Overload and had to share it with you. It's an oldie, and you may have seen it, but just on the chance that you haven't I'm putting it here as well. I'm still crying from watching it. It reminds me of the love I had with my dogs who passed on years and years ago. They still live in my heart, though. I can never forget that special feeling...and this video brought it to life again for me, which is great because sometimes I forget how good it felt. Love is the greatest gift.

You may think I'm a real cynic, probably because I am, but it does seem as though love among humans can come and go. People seem so fickle. Those who say they love you today may change their minds tomorrow. However, animals do seem to know how to love. And they don't forget.