Life can be hard.
There’s a blog I follow that I simply love, and this is one of the most peircing posts on it I’ve read for awhile. I so completely understand this lady’s words that I have a visceral “YES!! That’s what I’m feeling myself” reaction.
It seems everyone I know is having a tough time with one thing or another, some with many things all at once. I like to be the one who can say, “It’ll be better soon”, to give some optimism when the glass is half-empty for my friends. I also like when my friends do the same for me. People can be amazingly wonderful!
My glass is half-empty right now. Despite the wisdom of past experience, despite some wonderful people I know through the internet, I feel more than half empty these days. The laundry list of why doesn’t really matter, because we all sometimes find ourselves there with totally different why’s.
Me being, me, my habit is to try to delve beneath the why-list and look at the undertow that has pulled me down. I learned long ago that it’s not the feelings or circumstances that are the problem; it is the beliefs we hold so deep in us that we cannot readily see them, like the roots of a plant.
If the above ground part of the plant is withering, better check below ground…
A gardener knows that a seedling gives off moisture and other things through their leaves. Yes, plants ”breathe”, by taking in water and oxygen, giving off CO2 and humidity. This is when they have sufficient moisture and nutrients at the root zone.
A seedling in a pot whose roots leave the pot in search of water and nutrients are “air pruned”. They cannot find soil or water, so they will harden up and stop growing. That’s when the warmth and sunshine every plant needs becomes detrimental rather than beneficial. The warmth and sunlight dries the plant out further. An air pruned seedling really needs repotting to a larger container, or to be planted in open ground.
Danes have always been warmth and sunshine to me. But of late, however dear I loved them, BB and Kenai’s needs followed by Levi’s difficulties dried me out and left me air pruned. My lovely beautiful boys and some issues at home took more out of me that I could afford to give out. My proverbial roots are parched and hardened.
Comparison is a dangerous game to play. Comparing yourself to others is an obvious mistake. No one can walk in your shoes, can have in your memories and experiences, so a person to person comparison is apples to oranges.
But there’s a comparison game that can go unrecognized: comparing your circumstances, your emotions, your situation with the picture you have in your head about “what should be”. Expectations we have and don’t know about are immensely powerful things.
Take Levi’s problems as example: it wasn’t Levi, it was my expectation that I should have been able to help him adjust. I have experience with dogs after all, I have some skills as a trainer and dog owner. I wanted so badly to prove to some nay-sayers that a Dane most certainly can tell one color from another and build a remarkable task list to help me.
I expected somewhere inside that if I worked hard enough, was a smart and good enough trainer, that little Levi was gonna prove what a Dane can do. And I was gonna prove what I could do, disability be hanged. I’m no failure, durn it, “I CAN”. I can overcome, and adapt, and be (____).
God’s truth, the ordeal with Levi made me deeply doubt whether or not I am still capable of working and living with dogs. 3 dogs in a row, washed. Yes there were their illnesses, there were problems with their aptitude for the job. But I couldn’t overcome those problems. I took those “fails” personally, as if it reflected on my personality, my ability, my judgement.
Living with my Mom, well, she’s so far down in depression and PTSD that she is incredibly needy and demanding as well. It’s a mess, and an exhausting one at that.
So I was hell bent on having a success, having a loving Dane that could be nourishing, and warming, and assistive to me just by being the loving, gentle creatures they are. Oh how I miss that flow of love and nourishing between me and a dog…
But I’m hardened and parched, so can even a Dane penetrate that dried out ground? Probably not. I need to deal with me, to face and feel and consciously consider my expectations and needs. It’s up to me to soften, and open, and stop avoiding.
My usual treatments aren’t working: biofeedback, medicine, vitamins. On the advice of an internet friend, I’m going to try something new and a bit foreign to me. This friend is an energy healer, who explained much of the complexities of chakras and energy flow through the body in a simple clear way for me.
Her terminology for air pruned and hardened is closed chakras, not allowing my emotions and physical state to balance itself and be healthier. The biofeedback can’t help as much as once because my heart and body has shut itself down and closed off.
So it’s Kundalini yoga time for me. It’s physically challenging right now, and the meditation part is difficult for me too. But I am tenacious. That I have proven to myself. I can endure and keep trying rather well. I was just enduring and keeping on with motives and expectations that were becoming destructive.
Don’t worry, I’m not moving to India or wearing hemp anytime soon! But if this new tool in the shed helps me, then I’m glad to have it. It’s called in the Bible “redeeming the time”, while I wait for the right little fur-man to come into my life, with the aptitude and personality that dovetails with my own. He’s coming, this toddly playful baby Dane. I want to be ready when he appears…
Thank you Kenai, and BB, and Levi. You’ve each brought me wisdom, and I love you still, always.