Xena, named for Xena the Warrior Princess so that she will become brave, will now lift her head up from her hiding place between the couch cushions and eat from our hands! She likes this interaction! And so do we.
Here's something wonderful, almost miraculous. As Xena accepts the treat, she is so gentle, so considerate, so ladylike. She accepts the food truly like a princess. She takes it gladly but doesn't gulp.
Here's the mystery: How is it that Xena, who suffered egregious abuse, can be so sweet and kind? If she were a lion, you could, indeed, put your head in her mouth and know that you are safe.
Although Xena grew up with unkindness and pain, there has never even been a hint of a snap or a growl from her. It would never occur to her. She wouldn't know how.
How is it that she has such a sweet nature? The fear from the past has stayed with her but not a thread of resentment or anger. Her only defense is to be quiet and hide, and yet she doesn't tremble. She exudes sweetness. There is nothing about Xena that could possibly invoke unkindness.
She is so sweet, and she brings out such sweetness from Lauren and me.
May Xena learn that the world is sweet. May she never again have anything to fear, and may she know she never will and so have the confidence borne of trust and forever be Xena the Noble, Xena the Princess of Peace.