Friday, May 2, 2014

Lessons In Snuggling

Every morning, I wake up to a little puppy girl snuggled up against me. She likes to keep at least one paw on me at all times but sleep calls for fully up against my back, my stomach or sometimes lounging over my head (yes, it's as fun as it sounds). No one knows Layla's story except for Layla but I'm pretty sure her original human(s) left her and she'll be damned if that ever happens again (not that it ever, ever will - girl is home for life with me).

This morning, however, when I rolled over to say good morning to her, I realized the furry butt snuggled up to me was my Henry. My non-snuggler. My boy who likes a lot of space to sprawl out in. This makes sense when we factor in that he was locked in a cage for the first 6 months of his life. Kid likes his space.

My heart was just filled up with love immediately, and a thought struck me: encouraging someone to be braver but giving them the space to grow in their own time and on their own terms, while accepting them exactly as they are each step along the way, might be my personal definition of Love.

This awesome revelation was quickly followed by the pang of guilt and shame as I realized I do this wholeheartedly with my dogs.. but am not as gentle or patient with the humans I love.

One of my blessing/curses is that I can always see the incredible potential of the people that I love. I can see their greatness and that they already have within them the things they feel they are lacking. And I want to wave my arms frantically and make banners announcing it. "Hey look over here! You are already the amazing, beautiful, worthy creature you are attempting to be! Let me show you how to access that!"

And that's not my job. Unfortunately. Well actually is is my job but only with my clients and even then I can only shine a light, they must still make the journey. More over, just because I love self-growth (uh, obsessively) and striving toward always learning more about myself doesn't mean everyone else does. And just because I love someone that does not give me permission to coach them. And it certainly does not give me permission to highlight what I may feel they need to change. Not my business.

I'm trying to figure out why it's so easy with my dogs and harder with my human tribe. My dogs love and accept me unconditionally, so that's a start. And I am constantly reminding myself that they have had some tough times before so it's my duty to actively show them love. But the same can be said for people.

I remember having a similar thought about this several months ago. I was struggling to get Henry to learn something new and reminded myself to be patient with his growth, when it dawned on me that I was not being patient with the growth of my favorite human. I wanted that person to be able to be in a place they weren't ready to be in yet, and I wanted them to get there faster than they were able. When I actively reminded myself to love and accept him the way I love and accept Henry, it really shifted things. Since I'm a flawed human too, I forgot about this idea after awhile and went back to wanting him to be ready nownownow. But the good news is this great experience this morning has reminded me I get to try again with the people that I love.

So that's my current goal: encourage those I love to be braver but give them the space to grow in their own time, on their own terms, while accepting them exactly as they are right now.
Should be super easy, right? ;) If you're down to join me in this mission, let me know in the comments!


  1. Your dogs are adorable and your points very thought provoking. While I'm chewing on all those thoughts, good luck with your goal!