“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
There are two rescue dogs currently in my life. Who would have thought that dogs would hold the secret to mindfulness, but in my world they do.
These two dogs were both rescued from not very favorable circumstances. One endured what would appear to be a rough beginning for four years, before we were fortunate to meet him. This is Dalton, our current dog. It was not the smoothest of transitions for him. He was afraid of everything at first it seemed. He was afraid of feet making sudden movements. He didn’t know that it was okay to be inside the house and spent a lot of time outside when he first arrived in our home. But the biggest, and most disturbing thing is that he didn’t know that he was worthy of love and affection. As you pet him and showered him with love, he would try to hide his head and would not look you in the eye.
I am happy to say that after three and a half years, we are getting to the point where he will seek out love and attention. You could pet him all day, and it still wouldn’t be enough. He constantly needs to be reassured that you love him. He is gaining confidence in looking us in the eye, but you have to remind him by lifting his head and looking him in the eye first.
And even though his situation has drastically changed, and he is showered with love and adventures you can sense his hesitance. His feeling that he is not worthy will crop up at times, and you can almost feel the sadness emanating from him.
And then there is Molly. This is my daughter and son-in-law’s rescue, which was five months old when they met her. She also had a rough start in life. As I understand it there were a few things in the beginning that were a little worrisome. I believe she may have quickly put the past behind her however, as I recently babysat her for a day.
She starts her adventure to our house by bounding in the door, running directly up to Gramma (me) and asking for a treat. If she doesn’t get one right away, then she pats me with her paw. As if to say, Gramma I am here and it is time to focus on me. Then she makes sure to greet everyone, and head out to the back yard. She feels free to reorganize where I have any lawn ornaments placed and basically makes herself at home.
When walking the two dogs together, it is like looking at life through opposing ends of the spectrum. Dalton is measured and stays close. Thoroughly enjoying his walks but always trailing behind you on the way home. Head hanging down a little and we have to remind him to get out in front and enjoy.
Molly on the other hand is chasing butterflies, racing through the tall grass with wild abandon. Running until she appears to be airborne and checking absolutely everything out. There is no hesitation, no worry or concern. True enjoyment and pure bliss, is what this girl is all about.
They have similar loving circumstances now, and really not a care in the world. And yet one embraces it with total abandon, and the other is still waiting for something to go wrong.
It reminds me that the past should be left exactly where it is, and that life would be a little more jolly if everyone embraced a little more Molly in their lives.
Living it firmly planted in the moment, with total abandon. Leaving the past exactly where it belongs, behind them.
Embrace your inner Molly!