Strolling along with Luna and St. Teresa

This morning I was strolling my dog Luna around the neighborhood when St. Teresa of Avila popped into my head.  No kidding.  And then I realized that today was her feast day and I figured I’d go with it.  First let me set the scene.  When I say I was strolling Luna I mean she was in a dog stroller and I was pushing it.  You got the picture.  Luna’s anatomy is a recipe for disaster and since we’ve come up from a long stretch of dealing with pain and muscle relaxers, I decided a stroller was the best way for her to check out her hood, see her friends, and elevate her mood.  My job, of course, is to navigate this thing.   It may be that your eyes are rolling about now.  That’s pretty much what I get from some observers.  Enter St. Teresa.

In St. Teresa’s work she explored how our fear of being humiliated limits our choices and prevents us from following our interior guidance.  In my view humiliation has a kissing cousin named Embarrassment.  Humiliation is great, big, huge for me.  Embarrassment not so much though it’s still a major player in a more subtle way.  So here I am strolling Luna and catching those looks, each of which is an invitation to feel embarrassed if I’m willing to go there.  Where Luna is concerned I am not because I love her like crazy.  And yet often I feel drawn to take action in situations where I don’t have that strong heart connection.  Or I find that my investment in a relationship is so high that I’m vulnerable beyond description.   And so it’s easy for me to tell myself that I am confused and don’t understand what I am being directed to do.  Truth is I’m deceiving myself with that line.  Really I’m more afraid of embarrassment, or worse, humiliation and that awareness is actually not too far beneath the surface.  That’s the truth and that’s where the real work is.

According to St. Teresa our fear of humiliation is something we don’t tackle once and consider it done.  In my experience it is a relentless issue that has more tricks than a circus dog.  And when I try to push it away, that’s when it completely overtakes me.  Keeping this on my radar has become part of my regular personal inventory and even so I find myself blindsided from time to time.  I imagine the same is true in your life.

So I’m grateful to St. Teresa for dropping in early today.  This afternoon Luna and I will be strolling to Our Lady of Perpetual Help gift store.  I think we should get a small statue of St. Teresa for the stroller.  That will really give folks something to talk about.  I think I can hear St. Teresa laughing.

in Love and Service,



6 Responses to “Strolling along with Luna and St. Teresa”

  1. Liz Says:

    Lorena, And when St. Teresa stops laughing, she’ll most likely urge anyone not up to the rigors of tackling our fear of humiliation to get back in the kitchen and peel potatoes. In love back to you, Liz

  2. Lauri Says:

    I know that feeling when it comes to the looks I get when telling people about my dog….”Why don’t you put them out of their misery” is common or “I think it is cruel to keep them alive when they are in pain” is another more drastic one and believe me I have gotten that last one more than I ever thought I would. I have some quick witted responses, but I still feel the sting of those words.
    My humiliation/embarrassment fears are closely tied to survival instincts with the orphan child stuff too.
    Thanks for sharing your story especially when it comes to the love of the animals.

  3. Donna Says:

    Humiliation and embarrassment are powerful forces. For me, it depends on the day. There are days where I couldn’t care less what people think about what I do or say, and there are other days where it seems to matter very much. Staying true, sans ego, is an ongoing process.

    St. Teresa endured her share of humiliation from her own congregation and community. Happy feast day, St. Teresa. May we think of you during times when the “cousins” are testing us. We must always remember “God alone suffices.”

    Thank you, Lorena and Luna, for sharing your experience with us.

    Love, Donna

  4. Leslie Says:

    Love it! I know people thought we were nuts when we walked Olivia around the ‘hood with a sling for her back legs. She would get a straightaway, and make a run for it, me stumbling behind her, the wind in her ears. Her favorite thing. I am willing to lose my dignity for a dog.

    I still have her “doggie wheelchair”, and you are welcome to it if Luna could manage it w/ her front legs. Shih Tzu sized. Or if you have a friend in need, let me know.

    Make sure St. T is gold plated, or has a little bling….

  5. Jenne Says:

    Funny, yesterday I was looking at a rack of postcards and saw one with “Luna Lake” and thought about Luna. How appropriate : ) Luna and the deep emotions represented by water


  6. Gina Villa-Grimsby Says:

    Stunning, beautiful!!! Once we go to that fear of Humiliation spot, it is nearly impossible to get it off our radar. Isn’t it amazing we never noticed it before?? I’ll risk looking like a fool for love!! ; )

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