My Dog Taught Me a Lesson


When it comes down to living with greater joy, peace and all that, it's not about life getting easier. I'll be honest, this is something I'm currently working through right now; this misplaced expectation that one day everything will be easier. Well, not only is that fairly inconsistent with how my life has gone so far (ups and downs, like most people), but I also know that I'd be completely bored if it was just a cake walk.

It's not about things being easy 'someday'. Instead, life gets more manageable and fulfilling when we have the skills to deal with things as they come up.

When you have the skills, tools and coping mechanisms in place you can make a tsunami turn into a ripple.

[Or vice versa, if the opposite is true]

Think about it, if we hadn't ever learned simple addition and someone handed us an arithmetic question, we'd likely get frustrated, maybe feel shame, anger, resentment, overwhelm, etc. But if we learned math in school from a young age as many of us do, and someone handed us that same 2+2, we'd happily scribble down 4 and pass it back to them without much thought or feeling.

It's the same with surfing, driving, or pretty much anything else we face in our lives for the first time. So, these feelings of shame, resentment, anger...

those are misplaced feelings arising from a lack of skill, not a lack of being.

It's not that we're not good enough, bad, not smart enough or don't have a 'natural aptitude' (although of course we all have different aptitudes and strong suits). Generally speaking, we're all really capable, adaptable and teachable, we just haven't learned EVERYTHING yet. Perfectly normal. That's why we're here.

I'll lay my cards on the table, this is a lesson I'm learning too right now. My partner and I adopted a dog [little Louie!], and like many rescue dogs, he has a whole host of behavioural issues. I don't have a ton of dog training experience so as you can imagine, there's a lot of frustration as shoes, chairs, pillows keep getting tossed in the trash after being torn to shreds. I also was feeling a bit of shame, for getting angry, for not 'doing better' in my mind. But when I realized that this is just another skill to learn, I could also realize that it's not personal, it's not about him or me being 'bad'. We're both just learning, while speaking different languages...

[Meet Louie! <3 ]

So, with that I can focus on getting my skills up, and his. Articles, videos and dog school are all in the mix now that I'm letting go of the emotion and focusing on the solution. Mind you, I do still sometimes get exhausted, so this lesson is one that needs practice every day.

If you're encountering something for the first time and don't know how to deal with it, be kind to yourself. Remember that you're learning, and there's no shame in that. And if you're learning something new, be patient with yourself and others.

>>Growing pains get their name for a reason.

Yes it's unpleasant - trust me I sometimes want to throw in the towel too. But the end result is worth it, that's what builds character (even if you want to punch a wall instead), and it gives you the skill and compassion to help others when it's over.

We're all basically half kid, half monkey, at least half of the time, walking around like adults and wondering why we have our freak-outs. It's an adult tantrum. And that's fine, it's just that we'd have a more healthy expression of our emotions if we learn the skills, rationally set up our expectations, practice emotional hygiene and exercise inner and outer compassion more regularly.

We can do this! Take a deep breath, take a step back, and ask yourself what is the lesson in front of you. You are a remarkable piece of the universe (kid/monkey/adult or not!), and you can find the skills/answers/solutions to all that faces you.

[haha found this post publishing and just had to throw it in there!]

~Wishing you a peaceful road, wherever it may take you <3

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