I strongly believe that life is unfolding exactly as it should, but that doesn’t mean I am always able to embrace it. I also believe that in every moment, we are either coming from love or fear. Love encourages trust and clarity. Fear creates worry and self-doubt. And it’s clear to me that stress and anger show up when we fight against reality—wishing things were different rather than accepting what is.
Throughout the past couple of years, I have done a lot of introspective spiritual work. My goal was to develop reliable practices I could use to draw me out of my fear and bring me closer to joy. And while I of course have moments where it’s hard for me to see past my negative thoughts, I am now able to more easily and quickly connect with the small, still voice inside containing the deep knowing that everything will work out in the end—trusting everything is perfect just as it is.
I recently went through this exercise with our dogs. When we brought Spencer home this past May, we imagined that our new little rescue dog would fall madly in love with Tula, our existing dog, and they would be instant best friends. The first few days we eagerly watched and waited as Tula playfully teased Spencer, happily pouncing into the bow pose, signaling she was ready to have some fun. No matter that her new playmate ignored her antics—Tula continued to roll on her back, being careful to avoid direct eye contact, doing her best to prove to Spencer that she was a lover, not a fighter.
We figured Spencer just needed some time to adjust to his new surroundings and would shortly warm up, but as the days passed, he kept ignoring Tula. In fact, he started barking at her when she came close, which really freaked Tula out. Soon this tiny 8-pound-dog had the ability to chase away her nearly 90-pound sibling, even stealing her toys and bones in the process! Tula would run to her crate and hide, as we silently gawked in amazement.
For a short time I started to feel a little guilty. Our intention was to get Tula a BFF, but instead we brought home a tiny terror who seemed to be ruling the roost. But when thoughts of worry and believing we did the wrong thing arose, I immediately quieted them, holding fast to my deep knowing that everything was unfolding exactly as it should. We remained positive and open to the natural interactions between the dogs—never forcing anything, but gently encouraging them to interact in positive ways. We put our fears aside and decided that whatever was meant to be was meant to be.
Slowly, as the trust grew between them, we witnessed small, subtle changes in the right direction. As Spencer keenly watched, observed, and gained confidence, he began to open up and feel safe. As Tula continues to invite Spencer to play, loving him unconditionally and waiting patiently for him to be ready, their relationship is flourishing right before our eyes.
They now eat, walk, and sleep closer to each other than they ever have, and even engaged in a few short but successful bouts of play. While I strongly believe that someday soon I’ll walk in and catch them snuggling together, today they have found common ground, and that is enough—that is perfect.
These incredible four-legged professors have once again helped me and my family remember what is truly important: choosing love over fear is always the better option, no matter how long it takes to get there. When we realize that our thoughts create our reality, it can be both overwhelming and empowering. With the holidays upon us and a brand new year ahead, we get to decide how 2018 will look for each of us.
Wishing you all a holiday overflowing with love and laughter, and a new year filled with the trust and faith to know that it’s all working out perfectly—