Just a head’s up. The dog doesn’t die.
We have two large dogs. Beau and Bentley. I love both these dogs even though my wife misspelled Bo’s name, but that’s another story. (I was thinking “Bo Knows,” and she was thinking about some southern gentlemen from the movies. Our Beau turned out to be neither.)
Beau has too much happy inside him. Every morning is Christmas to Beau. He circles, barks, jumps, and runs downstairs like he’s expecting presents. Christmas comes more than once a year for Beau. In Beau’s world, the church bells ring every time we return having left the room. Like he thought I wasn’t coming back, Beau will greet me from a 5 minute restroom break with something resembling the final scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Having been totally convinced I was gone forever, he is filled with surprise and joy at my return.
On one hand it’s a pain. Beau’s over one hundred pounds and has a loud bark that can be unnerving. On the other, it’s good to be missed and great to be reminded that each day is a new one! In those moments of crazy love Beau just can’t contain himself. To bring order to chaos, Lindy will immediately begin to encourage him to “go to your place.” Bo’s place is his dog bed. He knows the command and usually obeys it, at least eventually. What results is a happy dog who ends up with a treat for obeying the command which he savors believing all is finally right with the world.
I was thinking about life: good moments, bad moments, and everything in between. Moments of victory and moments of defeat. Moments of joy and moments of loss. There are times when happy takes over and others when sadness comes in like a flood bringing chaos and confusion. Both can leave me spinning.
And I was thinking about my “place.” There is a place I need to go to when my heart takes over my head in joy or sadness. I’ve found it, my place, I mean; gratitude. If in whatever is going on I can get to gratitude, I’ll avoid a ton of other bad places; despair, loneliness, arrogance or pride.
Feeling overwhelmed with joy? Be grateful. Feeling loss? In the words of Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Begin the journey to gratitude. I know it may take a while to get there and please know I’m not minimizing the difficult moments in life with a platitude. Well, I kind of am…but don’t mean to. Gratitude is much more than platitude. It’s a gift of God for emotion filled souls. When I can’t get there, I try to lean there and eventually can find it.
There is a sweetness that comes in loss when the sweetness of what happened is savored! It’s not a silver bullet and I’ve already acknowledged it may take some time to find it, but lean that way and it might find you.