Are you a dog person?
Hi friend. If you have a dog, this will resonate with you…
If you don’t, it may or may not, but keep reading just in case… I wasn’t always a dog person, after all.
Now though—my dog, Kristen, is my life. She has taught me so many life lessons.
One lesson I’ve been reflecting on a lot lately is that of compassion.
When a human friend makes me mad, I’ll stay angry for a while. Maybe minutes, maybe hours, depending on the details of the situation.
Eventually I’ll get over it, but it’s hard to just “snap out” of being angry with humans.
But when Kristen does something to make me mad, I’m over it in about… 0.5 seconds. No matter what!
Human relationships are messy.
It’s two humans, two brains, two sets of patterns and histories and opinions trying to integrate and exist as “one.” It’s not actually possible to be in sync all the time.
In fact, that’s why, when those moments of sync and connection happen, they should be appreciated and acknowledged—they are so special and rare!
But with a dog and human, there’s only one human brain to deal with. My brain.
And it’s not just my personal love for Kristen and how she’s helped and “saved” me that allows me to love her fully.
Almost anyone can come and meet Kristen, and even though she has liver disease and is grouchy and not a particularly “friendly” dog, most people immediately let her grumpiness happen and go “I get it.”
They don’t take it personally. Often, they say “I had a dog like that” or that they’ve known someone who did.
They ask if she’s a rescue (she is) and acknowledge “ugh, that’s so tough. You never know what they’ve been through.”
And I started to think… we never know what anyone has been through. This dog, that dog. This human, that human.
It’s so easy for us to have compassion for a dog we’ve never met, knowing that, because of whatever history they may have, they deserve our love and kindness. Why isn’t it that way with humans?
The truth is, I think, it’s easier for us to love a dog unconditionally and without judgment when we know they don’t have the capacity to judge us.
They are so loyal.
But what if we could love a human like that? To look past whether love is unconditional or not, to look past judgment, and just see a human as a being that’s been through stuff that made them the way they are?
We don’t have to know the details of the story.
We can just know that they have a story, just like you, and me. And that deserves love and compassion.
It’s fascinating to consider that every single human has such an interesting story. I won’t ever get to know everyone’s story, but just knowing that we all have one makes me feel less alone.
I’m trying to remember that when someone ticks me off. Can I look at them and just love them like I love Kristen? Maybe not (I am human), but I can try.
Sending light and love your way,