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.

Advertisements

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.

*********************

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.

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…

Some Day When…

Thursday morning I was in an auto accident.  It was painful, but thankfully I will live.

On that very morning while in the hospital I thought mostly about the managers I would disappoint at work, the candidate who would have to wait an extra day or two to receive an offer and the managers who would painfully wait an extra day to review new resumes.  (I’m a recruiter at a local engine manufacturer).  It bothered me so much I even made phone calls and left messages while still waiting for more tests to be ordered.

But this morning, the Sunday after the accident, I’m not thinking about the managers and candidates.  Instead, I’m thinking over the accident, realizing that I was really luck to walk away with my brain intact and all my senses to enjoy life with.

Without being overly dramatic, I know now that it could have ended up very differently.  And had that been the case, there is so much I would have missed.

I would have missed the opportunity to tell my family and good friends how much I love and adore them.  How much they mean to me and how gifted they truly are.

And I would have missed the opportunity to share with you what I know about making life easier.  About finding peace and wholeness in your life and about being truly O.K. with who you are, just as you are, right now!  Those words I long to share would have ended up in the pages of a series of my old trusty notebooks stashed away in some box for the next 20 years until someone finally decided to burn them or throw them out, instead of on the screen of the computer you’re staring at right now.

So, it makes me wonder…If I no longer kept putting off these dreams until “some day when…”, but instead did them now, what would I pursue?  What would it look like?  How would I get started?  How would my life change?

Then it makes me wonder….if you started pursuing those “some day when…” dreams, what would you pursue now?  What would it look like? How would you get started?  And how would your life change?

I wonder…

Your Gift

Your gift  will always feel easy, simple and uncomplicated.

Easy, Simple & a whole lot of Fun

I often get stuck when something feels too difficult. I’ll avoid the situation or task and procrastinate like crazy. But if I take pause and step away from it momentarily, I can often find an easy and fun way to approach it.

So if something feels daunting, difficult or just plain scary. Or you find yourself hesitating to approach it; try asking yourself this question…

“If this was Simple, Easy and a whole lot of Fun, what would it look like?”

Hmmm, I wonder what you’ll find there.

Previous Older Entries