That may seem like a stupid question. But it is one worth considering, isn’t it?
If you don’t have a dog, but have a cat or horse or pet tarantula, the same applies. If you don’t have a pet, I invite you to play along with me anyway.
Maybe the pet you can’t live without is your mobile device. Ohhh, that’s an interesting thought.
No matter how my day is going, I can walk out of my home office, or drive into the yard, and I know my dog, Jack, will be there to love me without question. He wags his tail, bounds to me wanting to be patted. He flops onto his back and looks at me with those longing eyes as if to say, “Scratch me please.” It is total trust. And every single time I smile, pat him, scratch him, and talk to him in a playful and loving way. I give him my time and unqualified recognition, just because he’s my dog. This is totally justifiable because we have a very important and wonderful relationship – we both give and receive love simultaneously and unconditionally. Actually, all I have to do is think about Jack and I smile and feel the love I give and receive.
If so, I invite you, in your mind, to picture your pet and feel those feelings. Really notice what you feel and where you feel it in your body. Is it in your head, your heart, your belly? Or notice the words in your mind, or how you see your relationship with your pet. Really be there for a moment and enjoy and celebrate that special relationship.
Now I invite you to replace the picture of your pet with the face of your spouse or partner or child – a significant relationship in your life.
What happens to your feelings?
Whatever happens for you is not necessarily right or wrong. I just invite you to notice any differences or similarities.
Or here’s another way to look at it. When you walk into your home after a long day’s work and meet your spouse or child, do you smile, laugh, pet, and offer unqualified recognition? Do you share unquestioned and unconditional love? Honestly, do you every single time?
It’s weird, but for most people tor the approach or response or reaction is different. Which brings us back to the question, “Who do you love most – your dog or ______ (you fill in the blank)?”
The answer to that question doesn’t matter, but the answer to this one does.
What specifically are you going to do now, so that each time you see someone with whom you have a significant relationship, you will greet that person with unqualified recognition and unconditional love?
Tough question, huh?
Here are some hints:
- Premeditate your approach. In other words, think about it, picture it, and feel the great feelings you want to feel. Play it over in your mind as if you are there right now. Play it time and time again as if it were a movie. And then plan to direct your movie in real life to make it so.
- Just prior to meeting that special person, think about a great experience you’ve had together in the past and keep the thought, picture, sounds, and feelings in your mind and heart. Hang onto and feel those great feelings.
- Consciously disengage from past undesirable pictures or memories that might pollute your mind. Forgive yourself of those thoughts and let them go. Just let them go. What happened in the past does not always indicate what will happen now.
- Keep in mind that nobody can make you feel anything – it is always your choice. So choose the feelings you want regardless of the situation. If you give this right to someone else, you have chosen to become a victim.
- Consider this: if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, how would you treat this person? That may be a somber thought yet that is exactly how life works. Every night you and I leave this day, never to be relived again. And in the morning we start life anew.
Let’s come back to that initial question at the start of the article, “Who do you love most – your dog or ______?” The question may seem silly, yet the implications of the answer are huge.
The answer for me is that, moving forward, I love them all the same – totally, unquestionably and unconditionally. That choice feels good to me.
I’m curious to know about you.
What is your answer now? And what are you going to do today?