My family from Nebraska, came to visit me here in Oak Park, which is right outside Chicago. My sister, her husband, my 3 beautiful nieces and some friends were all there. I hosted a dinner of 8, and since I love to cook, I made a full spread meal... everything made from scratch!
I spared no time or expense to treat my Family and Friends!
The story begins on Thanksgiving morning. I started the day listening to a message on 'Gratitude' that I found in the Bob Proctor coaching site. I thought it was perfect for the time and occasion.... I listened to it a number of times. In particular, my ears fell upon his words... 'Gratitude cannot just be an intellectual exercise, you must have a deep, profound sense of Gratitude to experience a true connection to Source'.
After hearing these words, I wondered if I actually knew what he was referring to. I questioned whether my Gratitude exercises were consisting of this quality of Gratitude... Well of course, God was listening to my question because, the very next morning (when I normally do my gratitude work) I was to experience a totally different Gratitude experience.
I have a little dog, Gretta. She is a beautiful King Charles Spaniel I rescued about 5 years ago. Gretta has been an amazing companion through many changes in my life ... I have experienced such a marvelous connection with her.
I love her so much.
Well, on Thanksgiving evening I let her out the back door so she could go potty in the back yard. I remember looking down into her big brown eyes, she was telling me she didn't really want to go out. It was really chilly in Chicago that evening. About 20 degrees F. But, I told her she had to and off she went. Then I shut the door and was pulled away to my family with lots of commotion and requests. The girls were calling Aunt Candy back and my sister was asking for help and people were messaging me on my phone ....
I forgot about Gretta! When I realized what I had done, I jumped up in fright and rushed to the back door.
She was not there....
Gretta does not wear a collar or tags. She is my shadow and never ventures away from me. But I had left her out for an hour and a half!!!!
I remembered her looking in my eyes, not wanting to go out. God I wished I had listened to her!
I immediately threw on my coat, hat and gloves and took off down the alley looking for her. My sister helped... I called a friend, we got out flashlights and walked for hours around the neighborhood. It was freezing, our toes and fingers were numb, but all I could think of was how poor Gretta must be. So cold and so scared.
We got in the car with the windows open and flashlights shining down the sides of houses, between buildings, underneath cars, on other people's front and back porches. Even in piles of leaves.
We continued the search all through Oak Park with no sign of her. My mind was racing - I imagined her hit by a car, wandering around looking for help (she's a really shy, timid girl), huddled in a corner trying to keep herself warm. All of a sudden the world was huge, with an infinite number of nooks and crannies. My desire was to look in all of them until I found her… I was so upset and distraught.
Of course, I was responsible... I forgot my precious dog was outside! How could I forget? If something happened to her, how am I going to forgive myself?
Before we set out searching I called 911 to notify them of my missing pup. They were hooked up to the local department in Oak Park and told me if anyone called in they would call me right away.
No call and no sign of Gretta.
By 2 am I decided to go to bed and pray for a miracle....
I didn't sleep on Thursday night - I decided that now was the time to exercise my learning, my studying, my practice... 100%.
I was not going to allow my imagination to work against me... I began painting a picture of the perfect scenario.
'God, I pray that Gretta was picked up by a kind soul, she is now snuggled in blankets, warm and safe. I pray that I awake in the morning and call the Oak Park police department to find that someone called in notifying them of a beautiful King Charles spaniel that was found. I pray that I pick her up and bring her home.'
I got up a few times in the night looking out the back door, I tossed and turned holding my vision. My mind wanted to take me to fear, blame, guilt, sadness... but I decidedly held onto my vision.
My 6 year old niece, Lauren, shared a bed with me that night. I listened to her sweet breathing all night, imagining her playing with Gretta the next day.
At 7am I called the Oak Park police.... someone had called and reported Gretta lost!!!!
A kind lady called me right away... She had Gretta at home safe and sound. She saw her the night before right as Gretta was about to cross one of the busiest streets in Oak Park. She quickly pulled her car over and snatched her up. Gretta was welcomed into her home and even fed treats of filet mignon!
In that moment, I felt the deepest, most profound sense of Gratitude I have felt in a long, long time. Tears streamed down my face. My heart was completely raw and open, filled with thanks for a prayer perfectly answered according to my imagined vision.
I recently heard the news that my sister and her family are moving to Chicago. My family and I have not lived in the same city for over 20 years.... Another vision I asked for.
My sister and her husband spent Friday and Saturday looking for homes around Chicagoland and I spent the most wonderful 2 days having Chicago holiday adventures, seeing Elf and Rudolph, the circus, shopping and dining with my nieces! We had so much fun. It was absolutely magnified by my experience of deep and profound gratitude.
I am incredibly grateful for this experience to awaken and quicken within me the feeling of Gratitude for my animals, my family, my colleagues… My Life!
Of course the Universe was listening and answered my question and my prayers...
This story comes from Candy Scott, someone the Proctor Gallagher Institute is proud to be associated with.