My blog, “Loving One Another” is all about how to love, encourage, and inspire one another. Cristian Mihai of “The Art of Blogging” says we need to be able to express in 6 words or less why we blog and what we blog about.
I answered his query saying, “I spread love and inspiration daily.” That’s six words.
I augmented my answer by adding, “I plan to inspire, inform, entertain, and encourage.”
If we want to shine, to inspire and encourage others, to be unconditional, effective lovers, are there some tips we need to keep in mind?
Yes, I believe there are habits that lovers of people, lovers of animals, lovers of nature and of God, need to develop. I think they include these SEVEN HABITS OF EFFECTIVE LOVERS:
1. Listening with Intent
Effective lovers perk up their ears and really hear the voices, the sounds, the cries and laughter, the heart of everything around them.
2. Seeing non-judgmentally
Effective lovers look for the best in others. They see what they’re looking for. They see the person, animal or object as the Creator intended them/it to be. They imagine perfection, wholeness, beauty. They bring out the love that’s embedded in what they see.
3. Feeling with Compassion& Empathy
Effective lovers feel what others are feeling. They are compassionate and empathetic … not sympathetic. They don’t look at someone or something and say, “Oh, I feel so sorry for you/it.” They try to put themselves in the others’ shoes. They look for solutions. They offer real help. They fertilize the dying bush or bring the parched animal a drink.
4. Reaching Out
Effective lovers extend a helping hand without being asked. Their “feelers” are out looking for ways to help. They have a servant’s heart.
5. Taking Time
A habit effective lovers develop is the act of taking time for others. Whether it is visiting a friend who’s sick, caring for a pet while its owner is away, watering a garden, going to a nursing home, building a birdhouse or helping to complete a project, the effective lover is ever ready.
Knowing your own power is limited, knowing we’re all imperfect mortals who need divine guidance, effective lovers pray for others, pray for world peace, pray for endangered species and help in times of disasters and seemingly insurmountable struggles. Effective lovers reach for help beyond themselves.
We know our own limitations, and we know our own weaknesses. We know we do not always exhibit the kindness, patience and gentleness that effective lovers need. So, we ask for divine guidance and help from the One who strengthens us.
Effective lovers have staying power. They are tenacious. They are in it for the long haul. They are not quick to let go. Instead, they continue to love through thick and thin.
Like this beautiful spider web that is covered with snow, but hanging on for dear life as the wind howls outside my sanctuary, this web has a job to do. It will capture any insects that survive the storm … it will provide food for the spider that created it. It hangs on and fulfills its given purpose.
Being an Effective Lover involves listening, seeing, feeling, reaching, taking time, praying, and being tenacious… and it’s worth all that effort because you know:
“What you bring into the lives of others comes back into your own.”
Do you agree with these 7 habits or qualities for “Effective Lovers”? Do you have others you might add?
I was sitting quietly reading friendly posts When my dog, TazE, jumped like she heard a ghost. The FedEx truck had just left our house – The driver crept in our entry as quiet as a mouse. Before I could get to the door, he was gone. He left a box with a basket – no name upon.
Inside a note said “Thank you, Bob & Jan” But no greeting or signature of woman or man. The return address was Jorge Garcia of Amigo Foods. A clue might be Florida – It’s where I know a couple of dudes. So, Sofia, might this have been from you? The place where Vanessa & Federico live is a little clue.
If it is you, then here’s a return of Thanks… But, I hope you let us know so we can fill in the blanks! The card should have acknowledged who The box was from – so I could appropriate thank you!
It’s a beautiful Wednesday here, Blogging friends. I hope your day is going well, too, and transcends All your expectations. Pen on… read on… live and play! Wrap your arms around someone and hang tight today.
Listen for the FedEx truck or mailman He/She may deliver a basket to you from a fan!
Yellowstone National Park
with my cousin Sofia and Me
Sofia at Firehole Falls
Me at Firehole Falls
Aqua Steam pool
I love the turpuoise, green, and orange.
It was a day of mild temperatures, blue sky with beautiful puffy clouds.
Old Faithful blew about 15 minutes early.
We were glad to be there to see it.
There is no site in Yellowstone that I enjoy more than Artist’s Point.
Sofia was impressed with its beauty, too.
It’s called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Pictures don’t do it justice!
You can see here the yellow stone that caused the park’s name.
Then we headed for Lamar Valley where the buffalo roam.
It was a pain to get in a half an hour of stop-and-go traffic where the bison were crossing the road in Lamar Valley, but when we had to stop for one to pass right smack in front of our car, that was quite an experience – quite worth the wait!
They are impressive animals.
On the way home, we stopped at Palisades for a rest stop…
and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery there.
It was a great day.
Thanks for traveling vicariously with us!
Do you think Sofia had a good time?
Tomorrow is our Ennis Arts Festival. Come visit the art and artists there with me. I love entertaining visitors. Be my virtual guest!
Bob & I don’t see the river from our house, but we look out at Jack Creek Canyon in that magnificent Madison Range. The western sunset reflecting red in the eastern mountains often is part of our night’s “light show.”
These next two photos are mine…
taken a couple weeks ago
when we still had some snow on the ground.
Here is the western view.
Our house is the one tucked in
all those evergreen trees out there…
… and here is the eastern reflection:
Jack Creek Canyon to far left, Fan Mountain straight ahead with God’s spotlight on it!
Over the course of several years, the term Rainbow Bridge has become synonymous with animal lovers who have lost a pet.
You may hear a grief-stricken owner say their deceased pet has “crossed the Rainbow Bridge” or say “I’ll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge” in reference to the pet.
However, have you wondered what exactly the “Rainbow Bridge” is, where it came from, and how it became so widely used?
Although there is still some speculation as to how the term came about, pet lovers do have a number of answers which we’ll cover in this article.
What is the Rainbow Bridge?
The “Rainbow Bridge” refers to an other-worldly place consisting of a sunny, green meadow and multi-colored, prismatic bridge the pet eventually crosses that leads it to heaven.
The term is believed to have originated in several works of poetry from the 1980s and 1990s that were meant to help relieve deceased pet owners of the pain of their loss.
According to poems, upon death, the pet finds itself in a lush, green meadow filled with sunshine. The pet’s health is fully restored and it can run and play as it did in its prime with unlimited food and water.
There, the pet waits until its human companion dies and is reunited with them in the meadow. Together, they cross the Rainbow Bridge to heaven.
Where Did the Rainbow Bridge Idea Come From?
The concept for the pet Rainbow Bridge may have been based on the Bifröst bridge of Norse Mythology.
The Bifrost bridge was said to be a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (Earth) and Asgard, the realm of the gods.
The first reference to a meadow in which pets await their owners can be found in the book Beautiful Joe’s Paradise by Margaret Marshall Saunders.
Beautiful Joe’s Paradise is a sequel to the book Beautiful Joe, which was one of the first that helped raise awareness toward animal cruelty and told the story Beautiful Joe, a dog from the town of Meaford, Ontario
In Beautiful Joe’s Paradise, pets await their owners in a grassland and help one another heal from cruelty they endured during their lives. However, the book makes no mention of a Rainbow Bridge and the pets eventually ascend into heaven by balloon.
Who Wrote the Original Rainbow Bridge Poem?
The first appearance of the Rainbow Bridge in relation to animals is believed to come from a poem by Paul C. Dahm, a grief counselor in Oregon. He wrote the first Rainbow Bridge poem in prose style as seen below:
“Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….”
The popular rhyming version by Steve and Diane Bodofsky came later and was inspired by this original version.
How Did the Term “Rainbow Bridge” Become So Popular?
Steve Bodofsky believed the original poem by Paul C. Dahm was great, but needed “a bit of coaxing to bring out the meter and rhyme”.
Together with his wife they created their own rhyming version of the Rainbow Bridge poem which they shared with friends shown below:
Another popular Rainbow Bridge poem that helped popularize the concept worldwide came later from Steve and Diane Bodofsky, a couple that operated a ferret rescue.
“By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.
(I hope I have not violated copyright laws by posting this for you!)
Upon getting positive feedback, they collaborated with a graphic design artist to produce Rainbow Bridge Fine Art Print and Rainbow Bridge Sympathy Cards and thus began increasing popularity of the term.
It’s debated when exactly the term Rainbow Bridge was first mentioned online, but the term began circulating in articles and websites as early as 1993 and possibly before that.
The rise of pet forums and pet groups, especially public Facebook pet owner groups, helped Rainbow Bridge reach the mainstream term that it is today.
Rainbow Bridge and Memorials
The reason the term because so popular is because most pet owners view their pet as more than just “a cat” or “a dog”.
The thought of reuniting with that specific animal companion is a heartwarming feeling in a very painful, emotional time.
In addition to printed versions of the poem in sympathy cards, there are now several “Rainbow Bridge” memorials one can buy to honor their pet or to give to someone who is grief-stricken.
In fact, Humane Goods is proud to have made our own memorial, the Rainbow Bridge Memorial Chimes.
These chimes are multi-colored and made of high-quality material for a beautiful sound. Each chime has a special remembrance seal at the bottom which catches the wind for the chime.
Like this cute little Boston puppy, it’s wise to choose one who has black hair around both its eyes. We had a Boston once with white hair around one of his eyes;
that eye was much more susceptible to infections,
very sensitive to light, and eventually after a
battle with a cat’s claws, the eye had to be removed.
That was Buster, our first Boston.
He was a love…. but
we learned to look for the black markings around both eyes
like this little puppy.
When tey are young, their ears flop like this.
Usually it takes about 6 weeks for the ears to stand up straight.
Do you have a favorite breed of dog or cat? Tell me about your favorite furry friend.
God’s Twelve Step Program
Keeps me focused every day
As I walk downstairs
My first hour each day
Spent in my sanctu-aerie
Starts my day off right
Then as I walk down
The twelve steps to the “real world,”
This is what I pray:
Thank You, God, for the LOVE
PEACE that are mine.
Help me with PATIENCE,
FAITHFULNESS (which brings blessings),
Help me live HUMBLY
With an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, and
A response of GENEROSITY, FORGIVENESS, OBEDIENCE and INTEGRITY.
In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!
When I get to the seventh step, this is what I see:
(the words above the front door spell “blessings”)
A metal sculpture gift from our friends, Terry & Jim
And as I look down, I continue with steps 8 -12
And at the “Amen” I come face to face with this:
She’s one of three angels on the wall
at the bottom of the stairs
(a gift from Norbert and Elke of Germany).
Norbert was 6 years old in 1962 when Bob & I were married.
We lived in the downstairs of the Schallers’ chalet.
Bob was in the army; his base just over the hill.
We have stayed in touch with Norbert through the years.
Such a blessing!
I’ve named this precious angel “Elke,”
in honor of Elke Schaller.
She and Norbert created the three angels.
“Angel Elke” reminds me in my coming and going
to keep that 12 step program in my heart.
I walk to the kitchen and look out.
Here is a neighborhood treasure to greet me!