Open Your Heart and Love Will Follow
Last weekend I returned home after a wonderful dinner at my “new niece,” Radhika’s house. Well, it was her mother and father’s wonderful new home, but Radhika did a great job of looking like she had cooked too. They had all prepared an incredible meal of Indian food which filled our hearts and soul for the week to come.
There had been a terrible storm just before our dinner out, so my “new nephews” Rob and Nick, gave my daughter and I a ride there while our other “new nephew” John Thomas and his girlfriend gave us a ride home.
I smiled the entire time as I reflected on the family that had become family; filling in the spaces of the heart that sometimes feel empty.
Just as we arrived home, a neighbor from another neighborhood approached us about a dog they had found. They wondered if we knew where the scared dog belonged. They had been driving around in a golf cart, hoping someone would be or know the keeper of the little scruffy thing.
I was still smiling from dinner when I looked at it and felt my heart connect to hers. The couple said that they were the parents of two large dogs and would not be able to keep her, but it was obvious how much they cared.
I told them that if they didn’t find the dog’s family, they could bring her back to me and I would get her checked out and then adopted if no family had come forth. (Who was I and when diid I become the Dog rescuer, I wondered.)
The next morning when I was on my way to tea and church (yep, we do that in the South,) I met the couple again. They were going up and down searching for Dora’s home. (They had been calling her Dora, as in the explorer.)
I stopped and reminded them that I would still help and they thanked me profusely.
Later that afternoon, when my family had come over for dinner and a documentary, the couple came by with Dora.
Dora took to my daughter right away, but then she found Rob, my nephew who is allergic to dogs.
In minutes Rob had opened his heart to Dora and Dora completely and unconditionally opened herself to him.
Dora had curled herself next to Rob and I just laughed. He smiled and said that if we didn’t find her family, his roommate might want to adopt her.
I reminded him that he didn’t have one and laughed when my “niece” Carrie decided that Dora was her dog, period.
Someone else mentioned how they could take her and I noticed my daughter looking like she always did when she wanted to love yet another animal.
Late that night, after Dora decided that I was her mommy and my room was her home, Dora’s real mom had found my daughter’s post on the community Facebook page. She came running for Dora, whose real name was something with a “C.”
For that one day, we opened our hearts to a stranger who came in the form of a little dog.
We are all given a chance to open up to someone or something that may be different or from another family. We get that chance every day.
When your opportunity comes, do you open your heart?
Can you allow yourself to care for someone or something for just a moment?
How would it change your day; your week; your life?
Love comes in many forms, open your heart to the need in front of you and the desire you have will be fulfilled.
How do I know; my heart tells me so.
Be you, be well, be open.
Bertice Berry, PhD.
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NOTE: I wanted to write about the terrible situation in St. Louis. I have a sister and family there and I know you all are praying.
I could not write about it. I needed to write about something, anything else.
Please don't believe me to be frivolous or uncaring; it's quite the opposite. We need solutions and we need them quickly.
We must begin to connect as family now. Gather together in your communities with the folks you don't know and the ones you do. Stay connected in love and optimistic faith as if your love is the world's cure.
I LOVE YOU.