For the past two weeks, we’ve been dog-sitting for our friends’ fun-loving, gentle, yellow Labrador retriever (Nutmeg) and we’re having a ball with her.
We’ve been taking Nutmeg on long walks on our city’s bike path and playing catch in the river with balls and sticks. As we’ve gone on these excursions, we’ve noticed a wide variety of reactions to the dog from the people we meet.
A few days ago on the bike path, we walked past two young children on bicycles and their grandfather. They were all excited to pet Nutmeg and she was equally excited to get their love and attention. “Nut” has never met a stranger.
Several other people walked or ran by us without a glance our way. One man skirted the other side of the paved path as we passed and was obviously very afraid of Nutmeg. He asked us in a low voice as he quickly passed, “Does the dog bite?”
When we thought about his question, as well as the various ways that people reacted to our adopted dog–what a mirror for how we all look at relationships and life so differently!
Some of us are open and friendly to strangers, as well as to those we love. Some of us largely ignore those we meet and those closest to us–and stay in our own little world.
Some of us are very frightened of opening to others and keep ourselves closed off.
We’ve observed that these differences seem to come from our beliefs and our past experiences–and not so much from what’s happening in our present.
So, this week, we invite you to notice how you react to your loved ones and how you react to strangers.
Do you keep yourself very busy doing “things” so you don’t have to interact with people–either strangers or your loved ones?
Are you open to stopping, making eye contact and listening to your loved ones or even people you meet?
Are you fearful of opening to something new with your partner or even with people you haven’t met?
Becoming aware of our reactions can show us where and how we need to grow next. The important thing is to notice what we do to keep ourselves separate and then decide if we want the possibility of more joy and love in our lives–and open to it.
Opening to the possibility of love, whether you are in a long-term relationship or not, can be a scary proposition because of habits, beliefs and past experiences.
It may take some courage to say “no” to these habits and try something different–if you want more love in your life.
We suggest that you choose some way that you’d like to open to more joy in your life this week.