We can learn so much from the animal world. I do.
Today, I took my dogs to the dog park for the first time. This was a big deal for the three of us. For my puppy, Goldie, because it was her first time and it was very exciting. For my older dog, Gypsy, because she was abused and attacked by other dogs for many years before she came to live with me. How would she take it? For me, because I didn’t know how Gypsy was going to react and would I be able to handle her if the situation went badly?
Gratefully, there was no one at the park when we arrived so they had an opportunity to explore the park unhindered. As expected, Goldie was having a great time running all around and Gypsy was hyper because of the smells. Overall, the three of us were happy.
About 30 minutes later, another dog appeared so I quickly leashed Gypsy and sat on the bench so my center of gravity was lower. Even though I had a gentle lead on Gypsy, I knew that she could still inflict a lot of damage on my body flailing herself around while on lead. Gypsy became anxious and whimpered as I held tightly onto the lead and basically leaned on her to try to keep her still.
As the gentleman walked into the fenced area with his dog, I explained a little of Gypsy’s history. He was okay with taking the chance letting Gypsy off her lead. When I did, she immediately approached the other dog, sniffed and walked away! That’s it! No dramatic stare down, no snarling, no fighting, nothing. The reason she was twitchy was because I had her on lead unable to go anywhere. It was my fear interfering with the natural process of permission. Dogs giving each other permission to say hi or not and to hang together or not.
Another dog and owner came in shortly after and I did the same thing: put Gypsy on the lead, explained a bit of her story and when he was okay with letting her off lead, she went right for the other dog and sniffed. The reaction from the second dog however was very different from the first dog. The second, older and more experienced dog, let Gypsy know very quickly that Gypsy did NOT have permission to say hi or hang around. Gypsy immediately backed off.
Wow! What a bunch of lessons I learned in that moment!
First of all, nature always wins and I no longer feared that Gypsy will be socially awkward. She is fine. I need to get out of the way and stop telling the old “Gypsy” story.
Secondly, it’s all about permission. What am I willing to allow from others? What am I willing to allow from myself to me? What am I willing to allow FOR myself?
Regardless of my past, what matters is what I am willing to permit now.
I’ve not been single since I was 18 years old. Up until then, my parents were heavy influences on my life, I did what was expected and tried to make them proud.
Over the last 35 years, I’ve permitted myself to compromise, sacrifice, take charge of, control, give up, let go of, hold on to, etc. molding myself into what I believed I needed to be for the sake of my marriage, my partner, my child, my employer, my friends, and so on.
Now, as a single adult, I realize I have a significant amount of adjusting to do including what I’m willing to permit.
Why is this such a big deal?
Because today, for the first time in my life, I’ve permitted myself freedom. While my parents are alive and well, they no longer hold sway over me and I know they are proud. I no longer have a partner to work my life and desires around. My son is old enough to make his own decisions and lead his own life. I chose my friends and no longer have to be friends with people who are not at the same vibration level. I am now officially free. I can permit myself to live the gypsy lifestyle. I can permit myself to eat what I desire. I can permit myself to spend as I chose and go where I want when I want.
It’s a heady feeling. Self-permission is not something new but it IS new because I have a different perspective. I am seeing this through the eyes of an adult fully capable of making my own decisions with no outside influences. I hope this makes sense because I have no other way of explaining this.
As I permit myself the time to write this blog, I listen to the gentle breathing of two very tired dogs who’ve unknowingly (or perhaps knowingly since they know me better than I know myself) given me another key to unlocking the doors of my life and the direction I could potentially be heading in.
While I wait for more details to unveil themselves, I give myself permission to nap and then head off to the Albert County fair to watch the horse pulls by myself. I suspect I will also give myself permission to have french fries and gravy while I’m there. Why? Because I can!!
Have a fabulous day everyone.