Spirit Guides: Allies in our Quest of Discovery and Personal Growth

Print This Post Print This Post May 6, 2008 on 8:35 pm | In Emotional, Spiritual | Comments Off on Spirit Guides: Allies in our Quest of Discovery and Personal Growth

My Spring Vacation story is not over – the saga continued through the final days in Missouri and right up to my arrival home in Houston on March 21st (Good Friday, full moon, and the day after Spring Equinox).  Although Spirit worked hard to convince me to let go and accept my circumstances, instead of resisting them and comparing them to my \”plans\”, I was only partially successful in surrendering control and allowing events to unfold as they would while we were in Missouri.

By Wednesday, March 19th I was pretty fed up with the rain and cold, especially once I realized that the weather back in Houston was warm, sunny and clear.  So that day I talked things over with the family and suggested that we head back to Houston a day early (we had booked our timeshare accommodations through the 20th).  Everyone was in agreement with this plan, so we made arrangements to get everything packed and ready for an early departure the following morning.

Our journey the following morning started well enough – we got away quite early in the morning, so traffic was light and we were able to make good time en route to Texas via Oklahoma.  By mid-morning we were nearing the Missouri – Oklahoma border, and it looked to be clear sailing all the way back to Houston.

We were a little over a mile from the Oklahoma border when a large dog – which I later identified as either a boxer or a bull boxer – ran out onto the highway in front of us.  We were travelling at about 70 mph in the left (fast) lane of traffic when the dog ran onto the highway.  I immediately started slowing down and the dog had actually made it past our lane when it suddenly decided to go back the direction it had come from.  Although everything happened in a split second, I distinctly recall the dog looking right at me just at the moment I realized there was no way to avoid hitting it without jeopardizing the safety of my family.  At the same time, I believe the dog realized that its journey had come to an end.  My heart sank and I cringed as I continued straight ahead and hit him head on.

As soon as we hit the dog the front end of our minivan crumpled and the radiator cracked, spilling coolant along the highway and sending steam escaping from under the hood.  An instant later our right rear tire had a blowout and steering became mushy.  Little by little I eased the car over to the right lane and from there to the right shoulder of the road: we came to a stop just before the off ramp for Exit 1 on Interstate 44 just before the Oklahoma border.  I turned the engine off, checked to make sure everyone in the car was alright, and tried to collect my thoughts.

Now that it was mid-morning, the traffic was considerably heavier, so the first thing I did was get everyone out of the car and off to the side of the road.  It was chilly and windy outside, so my wife went back to the car to get everyone jackets while I called AAA roadside assistance.  Because of our relatively remote location, we waited for almost an hour for help to arrive.  During that waiting period we did the best we could to stay warm and not get overly concerned by this unexpected turn of events.  As my wife repeatedly reminded me, the main thing to focus on was the fact that we were all safe and unharmed – cars can easily be fixed, but not so people.  In retrospect, I am glad that I had the presence of mind to refrain from swerving to avoid the dog, as this could have easily resulted in me flipping our minivan, with disastrous consequences for all inside.  The traffic was far too heavy to even consider attempting to recover the dog\’s carcass, so we left it where it lay, off to the side of the left lane, near the center of the highway.

In case you are not familiar with the boxer or bull boxer (I was not until this incident) here is a picture that resembles the dog I hit, so you can get a feel for his size and mass:


It was a beautiful, healthy animal – clearly someone\’s pet, and not a stray or abandoned dog.

When AAA arrived at the scene, the tow truck driver removed the blown out tire and put on our spare (full size, thankfully!), and then towed us back to an auto repair shop in Joplin, Missouri – the nearest town with repair facilities.  We waited in the repair shop office for about a three quarters of an hour while they assessed the damage and called around for parts availability.  In the end the news was not good – no one in Joplin had a radiator for a Toyota Sienna, and as a consequence the earliest they could get the parts needed to repair our minivan was the following day.  So we would be spending another evening in Missouri whether we wanted to or not!

The people at the repair shop were very accommodating in helping us get situated and drove us to a nearby economy motel where I booked a room for the night.  Of course, the room was not even remotely comparable to condominium we were staying at in Lake of the Ozarks (and which was already paid for for the evening and at our disposal had I not been in such a hurry to leave Missouri!).  As you might imagine, my mood was not optimal by this stage.  After we settled into the motel and more or less resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be spending the day (and the night) in Joplin we decided to go out for a walk to reconnoitre the immediate vicinity of the hotel for restaurants, grocery stores, etc.  One of first discoveries was what seemed to be a beautiful, open park at the top of a hill – but which turned out to be a cemetery once we made it to the top of the hill.  Having had enough encounters and near encounters with death for one day, we opted to forgo visiting the cemetary and continued down the road past woods and neighborhoods before settling on a restaurant for dinner.  As it had been a very taxing day we had an early dinner and then returned to the motel to retire for the evening.  My sleep was not particularly restorative, and my thoughts and dreams returned to the morning\’s events, and especially the death of the dog that I hit.

The next morning we received a call around 10:30 informing that our car was ready (this was 2 hours earlier than we had expected!) and that they would stop by our motel to pick us up.  This sort of service is virtually unheard of in Houston, so although we were glad to have our minivan back I wish we could find a comparable repair shop here at home!   

After our return home I discussed this incident with my coach (Trisha) as well as Raven Smith, one of the founders of my spiritual community, and they both were convinced that this was a significant event – particularly given my tendency to resist my circumstances when they do not conform to my idealized plans.  Their suggestion was to try to gain perspective by recapitulating this experience.  Recapitulation is a very specific activity within the Toltec teachings that I have been learning.  This practice involves visualizing the experience being recalled in as much detail as possible without becoming emotionally involved, with the aim of reclaiming any personal energy lost during the event as well as releasing any foreign energy taken on during the event.  Explaining precisely what I mean by personal energy and foreign energy would probably fill another entire blog entry, so for now suffice it say that by energy I am referring to vitality or life force – the quality whose presence causes us to feel vital and alive, and whose absence causes us to feel drained and weary.

As I went into this visualization process, the scene that was the most impactful was the moment the dog looked at me, just before I hit it.  It was not a look of terror, or confusion, or even of despair – rather it was a look of recognition, of acceptance of its destiny – its appointment with death.  And I was the instrument of that death.  As I recalled that portentous look, I began a dialogue with the dog in my mind:

\”I am so sorry to be the cause of your death.\”

\”You were not the cause of my death – you were merely an instrument of Spirit.  Spirit was the cause of my death, just as it was the cause of my birth.  You and I had an appointment and you simply kept that appointment.  My appointment was with death and with you.  I have a message to deliver to you.\” 

\”What is the message?\”

\”Dig deeper.\”

\”Dig deeper?  What does that mean?\”

\”It will become clear to you.  Dig deeper.\”

\”Do you have a name?\”

\”You can call me Max.\”

At this point I recalled a suggestion from my coach that I offer to help guide the dog back to the light, to release its Spirit to return to Source.

\”Max, may I have the honor of helping to guide you back to the light?\”

At this statement Max literally rolled over laughing – howling laughter, laughter so full and boisterous that tears rolled down from his eyes.

\”So now you want my job?!  That\’s precisely what I am here to help you do – find your way back to the light!  So thank you very much for the offer, but in case you haven\’t noticed I already have returned to the light!\”

So now I have a new Spirit Guide – Max the Boxer.  And indeed he was right, his message for me – \”Dig deeper\” – is indeed beginning to take on meaning as the events of the past month have unfolded.  As is often the case, what started in apparent tragedy has turned out to be a marvelous, magical opportunity for personal growth and discovery. 

Thank you, Max – for delivering your message and for entering my life!


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