If I could help the entire world with a great big hug, I would.
Unfortunately, I have learned over time that all the love in a single person’s heart is not enough to protect, defend, and help right all the wrongs in the world. This has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned in my life, and one that I still have trouble remembering. This, along with taking care of myself before taking care of others, are two areas that I struggle with.
In a world of animal rescue and social media, you see so many animals in need of help. It’s downright painful to see people cross posting dogs who are in urgent need of rescue or adoption, because the hours in their lives are ticking down. Even for someone who has dedicated hours and hours to fostering, fundraising, finding forever homes, and rehabilitating the dogs who need some extra care, you find yourself wondering if your love is enough. When I consider how many “easily adoptable” foster dogs could have been circulated in and out of my care in 8 months with Balton, it makes me wonder if my heart’s intent to help one dog has put an overall rescue mission of sorts on the back burner. It makes me wonder if my love for this one dog, and the good life I think he deserves, has clouded my vision in my ability to share my love across more paws.
My heart has become stronger, and somehow more fragile all at once, over the span of 8 months. It has been filled with love, and it has felt broken. I have been contented and joyful, and I have cried (or in some moments, held back tears) harder than I ever imagined I could. I have felt like I have been the best person for a singular dog, all the while feeling like I’m not good enough for him and have failed him in my moments human error. Or that by loving one dog so much, I have unwittingly given too much of my love to one place and limited it for others (human and non-human), including myself. I have learned, and continue to learn, so much through one 60 lb, misunderstood furball, but yet feel so inadequate in my knowledge. I have wondered and pondered if it’s all worth it.
Then I sit back and reflect, and all this uncertainty and inadequacy comes not from the heart, but from all the overthinking within my little human brain. When I really look at all these questions with my heart, and answer that all too often asked question, “is it all worth it?” I could think it over with my head forever.
But in my heart, it only takes a second to know the answer in all certainty is an undeniable, hands down, Mr. Big response of “abso-f****ing-lutely.”