Lizzy Wisdom: What one dog taught me about life…

Lizzy is a rescue dog. She was a neglected dog, chained to a tree most of her life. While her owners agreed to release her, the shelter who wanted to take her in didn’t have room. So the shelter looked to find her a new home, and all the while she remained chained to that tree in the back yard, neglected of medical care and attention, with a stream bed for her water bowl.

When the shelter took her off that chain, which she had known for 4 years of her life, she didn’t know what to do. She was lost and scared. She was unsure of herself, how to behave, or how to ask for food. Lizzy certainly had no experience interacting with things like a hotel, a car ride, an elevator, or a parking lot for that matter, all stuff she had to endure her first two days of freedom as she made her way to her new home. That girl had been in the back woods her whole life, all 4 years. Her view limited by what she could see from the end of her chain. Her happiness limited by what she could experience from the end of that line, and her love limited by what her owners would dish out.

Even though Lizzy was scared, anxious, fearful, worried, and confused, even though she didn’t know where she was going, and while she was wondering what was happening to her world, she was still willing to re-adjust. Dogs have an amazing ability to do this…to be present to what is happening, let go of the past, and to look forward to what is possible from the new situation. They constantly re-adjust.

Amazingly, Lizzy, continues to adjust. She’s looking around herself for answers. She looks to us, her owners, and to her surroundings for new information. She also looks to our other dog, Luke, for guidance on how to behave and how to get love. And she just continues blossom the more she learns.

How many of you have ever felt like Lizzy?

I know I have. Confused, worried, fearful…not knowing what was happening to my world. Formerly confined to the limits of my (mental and social) chain, and not sure what to do when that chain was lifted unexpectedly. Two specific instances come to mind. When I was laid off from a job I thought I’d have for a long time, where I loved the people I worked with and what I was doing. And when I got divorced, from the marriage I thought I was supposed to have forever – because wasn’t that what you did once you got married?

I realize now that I had “chained” myself to an idea or ideal of what life was supposed to be, how it was supposed to play out, and just what I’m suppose to do with it. I’ve seen my life, only from the confines of that mental “chain”, thinking that my life was supposed to be that “Husband, Dog, 1.5 children, house with white picket fence” ideal. Even though that idea wasn’t mine, it’s what I have been working to live. My life defined by what I saw from a chain…an attachment to the ideal I thought I was supposed to have.

And just like Lizzy…I felt frustrated, nervous, fearful, and quite unsure of myself.

But unlike Lizzy who adapted beautifully to her new life…I was also angry…that someone had swiped this view from me. Jeopardized it. Risked it. Eliminated it. And wouldn’t give it back! And I wouldn’t let it go…even though somewhere deep I knew it wasn’t the life I wanted, I was angry and didn’t want to let it go.

I let that anger stop me from adapting…instead I continued to get increasingly angry, then sad, then just plain catatonic. I couldn’t function any longer. And since I couldn’t function, my situation just got worse and worse and worse. My house was compromised, my relationship was compromised, but most of all, my emotional health was compromised. All because I continued to look at what I had lost, an ideal I didn’t want in the first place, instead of looking at my new-found freedom and rejoicing, and discovering all the new things I wanted to explore anew.

I was stubborn…unwilling to look at other options or the new possibilities that lay before me. And because I was stubborn, I missed out. I missed all the opportunities that people offered, and jobs that were offered. And eventually, people stopped offering…their jobs and their support. Friends abandoned me. Not because they didn’t care, but because they lost hope for me. They didn’t know what else to do.

When I was finally willing to abandon my own frustrations, look beyond the anger and see what was in front of me, the cloud lifted. I realized that I had an amazing opportunity to start fresh, make new choices, and set off on another amazing adventure. Once I embraced that, I flourished, and continue to do so.

I get reminded, once again, that when something ends, it is something to celebrate, not fear. Endings come because that route no longer serves me. It no longer fits the grand plan that is my life. Loss is only a sign that someone (God, the universe, a higher power – call it what you will) is intervening on my behalf, to steer me in a direction that will fit me better and take me much further than I imagined possible.

What I try to keep in mind…
*Don’t let your view from your chain – keep you limited.
*Don’t let your familiarity with that chain, keep you from enjoying what’s coming.
*Don’t let your fear of change – keep you from adapting to your new situation.
*You’ve been freed…Take advantage of it.

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You are Amazing

You are beautiful…amazing…fantastic…JUST AS YOU ARE…right now!

One small thought

Take just one small negative thought and replace it with a positive thought. How would it change the way you experienced your day today?

Directions for Life

The following is a re-post, but I thought it would be worth repeating.

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A few days ago I bought a new hair serum.  Before I used it, I decided to actually read the directions on the bottle.  Here is how the instructions read…

Directions:  After shampooing and conditioning, apply generously to scalp and rub.  Comb through hair and let set for 5 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly with water.

Many times in my life I have often wished I had such clear directions for life.  After my own life journeys and experiences, I imagine the directions for life would read like this…

DIRECTIONS:  After identifying what you want and need, apply liberal doses of faith.  Combine with plenty of self-care and let set.  Rinse thoroughly with forgiveness.  Results visible immediately.”

© Copyright 2011, Finding Wanna and Cecilia Deal.  All rights reserved.

The Truth Will Set You Free

And who was it that so fantastically said “The Truth will set you free”?

When I was growing up my mother always made us use just one towel for the week. With three kids and only one washer, it would take her hours to finish the laundry on the weekends. So for years I’ve kept that as my own practice, just one towel per week for showers.

Then one day I was thinking to myself “I’d really like another towel today”. Then I heard that voice in me say “But it’s not a new week.” And for some reason, for the first time in years, I questioned that voice “Well why can’t I have another towel this week?”

And then it hit me, like a flash, and I laughed and laughed and laughed. “You can’t have another towel because it will create too much laundry for mom” HA! That’s been running around in my head for years, unchecked, and I didn’t even know it.

You know what? I’M THE ONE WHO DOES LAUNDRY. I CAN HAVE ANOTHER TOWEL IF I WANT!

So, for the first time in years, I grabbed another towel that week. In fact, I used a new towel every day that week, just relishing in the fact that I could – just because I wanted to.

So I wonder…what unchecked thought is running around in your mind keeping you from having all you want in life?

Find the truth, and it will set you free.

~Cecilia Deal @ Finding Wanna – All copyrights reserved 2011.

Life Happens

Last night, while getting ready for bed, I had a moment. A moment where my current life felt surreal. Not good or bad, just not mine. And I realized, this was not the life I had chosen for myself.

Allow me to explain. When I use to think of my life and how it would be, this is not what I imagined. Not at all. If you had told me 15 years ago that I would end up in Wisconsin, the coldest state I’ve ever lived in, and knitting as a form of recreation, I would have laughed at you. Not an image I would have wanted for myself 15 years ago, not at all.

However, where I’m at today is not what I would have imagined even a few weeks ago.,. nursing injuries, looking for a new car, and still contracting with a local company. Why, because all those things were unexpected. My contract assignment was just suppose to be a 2 month assignment, it’s been almost 10 months now. And the auto accident was…well unplanned.  It’s as if my life got away with me. As if life just “happened”, and I’m not sure how I got here.

Have you ever felt like that? You know, as if you don’t know how you got here, in this life. And do you wonder why you didn’t end up in the life you dreamed up for yourself years ago? What do you do at that moment of realization?

I know, that from this moment on – things are different. I’m not sure how, yet, but things are different. I feel more determined, more on fire, and more alive somehow.

And now…to dream up what’s next.

So, I wonder…What is the life that you had chosen for yourself, before life “happened” to you? Or are you living the life you dreamed?

Simple, Easy, Better…Simple, Easy, Better…

This last week was packed full of “activity”.  I have talked to all sort so support people and sometimes it felt like overload, trying to keep all the parts moving smoothly and still concentrating on work and home at the same time.

But earlier this year, I decided to make a commitment to myself, to look for the Simple, Easy, and Better Way through life.  I know it exists, but I don’t always allow myself to experience it.  Especially, when I’m afraid that letting go and trusting might not yield me the results I want.  The auto accident this last week feels like the ultimate challenge in maintaining this belief.

So, to keep with my own commitment, I’ve been singing a little mantra in my head. “Simple, easy, better…simple, easy, better…how can it be simple, easy, better?”

I know, that even in the most difficult of times, there is always a way to keep things simple, easy & better and still accomplish all you hope for.  Always.  My goal this year?  To prove it to myself, beyond where I already know it exists.

So, on the drive over to the Lawyer’s office I sang my little mantra; “Simple, easy, better…simple, easy, better”.  Secretly hoping that no one saw me singing to myself without the radio.  And praying that the conversation would go smoothly.

And you know what happened?  It was easy.  Everything went so well.  And I gained the understanding I needed.  Just simple, easy and a whole lot better than I could have imagined.

My first proof that even what seems difficult at first can be simple & easy.

I wonder, where could you prove to yourself that “difficult” can be “simple, easy & better” instead?  What challenge do you face that seems daunting at the moment, but may be the perfect opportunity to find “Simple, Easy & Better” in your life?

I wonder…

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