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The night after Christmas was one of those long dark haunted nights that we all have from time to time.  A lovely gift had put me in mind of my German Shepherd, Sammy, who wasn't here this Christmas or the one before and I was thinking of him and how much he had loved me and how much he had suffered and how in the midst of all of that he had always been happy to be with me.  

That thought led to other thoughts about other pets and the mistakes I had made and all the actions I could have / should have taken.  And in the darkness of the night it seemed to me, as it does even now by daylight, that our human love is shallow and fundamentally flawed compared to that of our beloved animals and I felt tortured by a long bitter list of regrets.

And as if on cue, outside in the dark and the cold, a dog began to cry.  The minutes passed and then the half hour.  I thought about how much the lonely crying pup must love his family and how confused he must be to be locked out of the circle of Christmas love and warmth.  For a few minutes, I thought that I might go and find the house and knock on the door and tell them how wrong they were and that they would regret it someday with a bitterness they could not begin to anticipate.

But it seemed unlikely that I could locate the sound in the maze of streets and houses and I was pretty sure that, even if I could, doing so would probably be a mistake.

So in my helplessness, I prayed, and at some point the crying stopped and I tried to imagine that poor soul surrounded by love and warmth.  But I didn't know if that was the case or if that lonely dog had finally simply given up - overcome by cold and despair.  

And it was late and I found myself thinking of every pet I'd ever had and the ways that I had failed them and at that moment those failings loomed larger than they ever had before.

I felt in those moments completely unworthy of any meaningful contribution to the world.  And it seemed to me that if I couldn't even be my best self for those who loved me so perfectly, I had no business writing about spirit in this blog or talking about it on the radio or imagining myself capable of writing the book I so wanted to write.

So I asked the angels how I could help animals, whether directly and indirectly, and pulled four cards from the Messages from Your Angels deck.  Those cards are pictured up above and the reading was transformative.  And if you can make it through the rest of this sort of long post, I will share the details of that reading and explain why it was so meaningful to me.

The first card I drew was Indriel and her message was "You are a lightworker.  God needs you to shine your Divine light and love - like an angel - upon the earth and all of its inhabitants."  In the booklet, the expanded message continued with "Right now, your life's mission is expanding so that you can reach even more people.  This will require you to make some life changes that you will learn about through your inner guidance."  It goes on to encourage me to work with Archangel Michael in clearing cords and toxins and promises that the angels want to help me, if I will only ask.

The second card was that of the Archangel Michael.  It says "I am with you, giving you the courage to make life changes that will help you work on your Divine life purpose."  I thought it was interesting how the first card had promised Michael and the second one had delivered him.  As well as how the booklet told me that Michael had come because I had asked about my life purpose.  Michael's expanded message was "since you are a lightworker, I am over seeing the fruition of your Divine purpose."  

The booklet went on to tell me that though I had often felt alone and isolated I had never really been alone.  It said that if I felt pushed to make a change, that could be Michael and told me that he was supporting me during the life changes associated with my divine purpose.  I found each of these first two cards encouraging and I was reassured by the way they addressed my life mission and how synchronistic they were with each other.

It was the third card however which touched me most.  It shows an angel called Sonya and says, "I bring you a message from your deceased loved one: 'I am happy and at peace, and I love you very much.  Please don't worry about me.'"  And in that moment I knew that this was true.  And it was as if the entire world had shifted to tell me that the pain and regret I felt was mine alone and that my dear pets had not only forgiven me in death, as they always had in life, but moved on to a better happier place.  I imagined each and everyone of them in golden fields, hale and happy.  I thanked each of them by name and imagined how wonderful it would be when we were all reunited.

The expanded message of Sony reads as follows.  "Your heart has been heavy with grief and I am here to reassure you.  I am a guardian angel to your deceased loved one, and I want you to know that there is no reason for you to worry.  Your loved one is very happy and has adjusted to the transition very well.  There is no anger or upset directed toward you, only love and understanding."

"You and your loved one still share great love between your souls.  That love could never die!  Although you miss your loved one's physical presence, you have already connected spiritually in your dreams; as well as through feeling, hearing, smelling or seeing your loved one's essence.  Relieved of Earthly cares or bodily pains, your loved one is freer and happier than ever.  As soon as you complete your life's purpose and it is your time to make the transition, you will be reunited in each others arm.  In the meantime, please know that your loved one is with you often and that the angels surround you continuously."

That this was a message I needed desperately to hear cannot be overstated and I am infinitely grateful that something led me to pull angel cards at this dark hour.

The fourth card I drew was my old friend Gabrielle.  She said, "You have an important life purpose involving communication and the arts.  Please don't allow insecurities to hold you back.  I will help you."

I have found that as I progress in a spiritual sense, my understanding of my past changes dramatically.  I am in many ways a different person, not only incapable of some of the decisions which once seemed quite necessary to me but haunted by the callousness of many of my actions.  This is the price we pay for growing and I wouldn't have it any other way.

While I agree with Gabrielle insofar as it is important to not let the failings of our past undermine our confidence in the future, I struggle with this quite often.  We cannot escape acknowledging who we were or what we have done - nor should we.  But we also need to recognize that we have raised the bar as we have gone along and that doing so is an essential step in our spiritual development.

It was Gabrielle who first appeared to me in a dream many years ago and she remains to me nearer than all the other angels.  Her message in the Messages from the Angels booklet says, "I am with you as one of your guardian angels.  You may wonder why an archangel is with you.  I help many people simultaneously and you are among them.  I help those whose life purpose is in the arts and communications.  I will help you polish and trust in your natural talents.  Then I will open doors for you to express those talents in a way that will help others."

"What I need from you in return is honesty and communication. Tell me about our fears, your hopes, your confusion, your insecurities and your dreams.  Ask me to help you.  And then, please walk through the doors of opportunity that I open for you.  I am on your side completely!  My function is to be your coach and, as such, I may prod you along.  Please know that I am only pushing you because I know that you need a little boost from above."

In honesty, I don't know if I will ever fulfill my mission or even exactly what it is.  Or if I will help animals by helping people or if I will somehow do the reverse of that.  But I do hope that this post will touch a few hearts and open a few eyes to see the amazing reservoir of love and healing our blessed pets provide.  Or perhaps give a bit of hope and comfort to another soul sleepless and saddened by memories of the past or bring one lonely and forgotten pup in from the cold to a circle of a loving family.  

I intend to reread the information given in this reading and work with Gabrielle and Michael asking for their help and sharing with them my many difficulties.  And I hope that my recap of this reading shows how meaningful an oracle card reading can be and how much hope it can engender.

Most importantly however I have begun to understand why the the love of animals is so amazingly transformative and why it comes especially and completely undeservedly to those so turned around by life that no other love could ever set them straight.  And I feel that I owe my passed pets a tremendous debt in that regard.  One that can only be repaid by doing what it is that I'm sent here to accomplish.

I miss you Sammy and each and every pet I have known from childhood onward.  Until we meet again.

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