The Guest Blog: Lessons From a Dog Named Caviar, Part 2 By Thais Guimaraes

My dog doesn’t like to cuddle. He likes his space, thank you very much, and unless you got food somewhere on you, he ain’t interested. My dog has a mind of his own. If you try to cuddle, he’ll get up and move right to where you can’t touch him. He groans a lot. He only gets excited at the prospect of walks and food. And no, he won’t lick tears off my face.

My dog is a pain in the a**.

And yet, I can feel his love for me. He greets me every time I come home with so much enthusiasm and happiness, even if I just went to get the mail. Wherever I am in the house, he follows. His eyes are filled with light and intelligence. He is a being of pure love.

So how can that be? How can he Mr. Grumpy AND pure love?

What I am learning from my black lab is that I do not have to be a “yes” woman to be loved. I do not have to forgo my intuition and my self-care to please others in order to be loved. If I give others love, it is because I have so much inside it’s bursting forth, not because I have to in order to be liked.

That’s a huge concept for me because I struggle to say no sometimes. I want to make others happy and sometimes that comes at the expense of my balance and happiness. aka it’s not authentic.

Which is ok, it’s how I learned to survive in the world. But now that I can spot this pattern, it’s up to me to change it.

Thanks to Caviar and his clear displeasure of being squished, I have learned my own vulnerabilities about being loved. I have come to understand one more aspect of myself. And now, every time I notice myself entering the “yes to please you” pattern, I breathe, notice, and eventually (because all great things come with practice), I learn to give an authentic, loving no.

Do you struggle with saying no? Do you find yourself agreeing to do things you didn’t really want to simply because you didn’t have the heart to say no? How did you feel in that situation? What would you have risked by saying no? Contemplate and notice. Saying no can feel like a big risk. How are you managing that?

If you missed my first post on my pup and his journey with possible cancer, click here. Luckily he is all better now and I am sure will spend many more years teaching me lessons.

To read more of Thais’s work, click here.

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