I want to publicly apologize to the slug. I’ve come to realize I was associating my idea of slug negatively yesterday, when in fact, embodying slug was exactly what I needed to be doing.
For many of us, I think we truly don’t appreciate the slug and what they can teach us and now the gem of a teaching surfaced from slug that I felt called to the page to share.
As many of you know, since 2006 I’ve been caring for dachshunds with IVDD and on my third now with Gidget. It hasn’t always been easy, but a path I was called to, and then chose to travel for various reasons. Though it has come with many rewards too and which I’m very grateful for the growth I’ve experienced. And not to be left out, the depth of love I’ve received from them!
So perhaps you are wondering how the teaching of a slug plays into this? Well, hopefully it will make sense, but bear with me as this is how my mind works. 🙂
Recently Gidget had another Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which can be common with dogs with disc disease. After treating it with antibiotics, unfortunately it came back. So a sample of her urine was sent in for a culture to see what type of bacteria we are dealing with to be able to treat it accordingly in hopes it will completely clear up. It’s a road I’ve been down often with all of my doxie’s. On top of the extra daily care required with dogs with disc disease, along with other health challenges with Gidget along the way, well, I was left feeling exhausted.
A part of me is also realizing that my time will eventually come to an end one day where I will no longer care for a special needs dachshund. While I thought at one time I’d always want to care for a special needs dog, in being honest with myself the last few years, I’m looking forward to a day where I won’t have these constraints. While honestly, I feel some joy with this awareness, I also feel sadness too. It’s been so much a part of who I am.
While I’ve never had children, and I wouldn’t compare a dog with that of a child, I feel like I can somewhat relate to thinking about that empty nest concept that will eventually come for me. Of course, I have no idea when that will be. But Gidget will be twelve in April and with the recent loss of Kylie, perhaps it is why it looms larger on my mind than usual.
And yesterday, I just felt exhausted from all these years of caring for a special needs dachshund, plus what is going on with Gidget right now, and with my own psyche of understanding all of this as part of preparing myself for that someday. While also recognizing I don’t want to lose site of living in the present moment and enjoy each precious moment with Gidget. But I also do think about what my life will look like after I’ve been so used to being in the mode of caring for a special needs dog.
A part of me feels ready for this step when it comes, but a part of me does not. And then I fight internally with myself when I feel exhausted as I did yesterday. It can all be quite the emotional roller coaster. And I didn’t go willingly at first, but decided I would just be a slug for the rest of the day after running some errands yesterday morning.
So I slept on and off all afternoon trying to honor that is what I needed. Though I kept negatively referring to myself as a slug. As the afternoon sunshine gave way to dusk and then dark, I began to feel lighter in spirit once again and that I could handle whatever comes my way.
It then occurred to me that I was back, being in my body once again as I felt more grounded. And I thought about how it is like that of a snail who carries a shell on their back that is their home. But I first had to be a slug and not carry the weight of the world on my back and instead surrender to what was, and honor a s-l-o-w-e-r pace to find my balance once again.
This also made me think about the spiral design on the shell of a snail which is wonderful symbolism for life and how we must allow ourselves to spiral in and then out again. We can’t always be living in an outward spiral motion! In other words, we can’t always be in a state of going or doing!
After this realization, I did some research and appreciate the symbolism I found regarding slug and snail that makes perfect sense:
A Slug embodies both the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. Because of this, the slug is more a spiritual being than an earthly being. Great balance and strength is also a message that the slug can bring to its beholder.
Snails symbolize many deep and powerful things that most of us might not realize. These little crawlers are more in-depth than ever imagined. Keep in mind that not only are there land snails, but there are also sea snails so in this regard this species bridges the gap between elements. And any animal that bridges the gap between two elements bridges the gap between the mundane and the spiritual worlds.
A snail symbolizes:
- bridging the gap between the element of Earth and Water
- the spiral or cycle of life, death, and rebirth
- the earth’s rotation around the sun
- carrying one’s home with them
- taking one’s time and enjoying life at a slower pace
It all brought it home when I thought about the importance of finding sanctuary and bringing myself back into balance again – just like slug symbolizes and with snail who carries their home on their back.
And I came to realize all the symbolism that was playing out the last two days that was showing me I needed to rest. Not only with slug and snail as my guides, but also what was said by one of the gal’s in my women’s mastermind group when we met in my home Wednesday morning.
She shared with me the positive energy she could feel being in my home and how she feels that is so much a part of who I am and what I exude in the world. Then Thursday morning doing my daily ritual of pulling an oracle card and journaling with it, what should I pull, but a card about home?!
Home in the literal sense, being my home, is my sanctuary. It’s where I can completely be me. It’s where I can find respite from my whirling thoughts and let go and surrender so I can eventually come back home to the heart of who I am and what matters.
Today I can see with utmost clarity how slug, along with the symbolism of snail and messages I was receiving about home were reflecting what it was I truly needed to honor for myself in order to move forward again.
And this my friends, is what I call magical, when we can open to life in this way and see it as all part of the process.
P.S. To appreciate Slug and Snail even more, I share this sweet video!