My Teacher Joe
You know how I believe things around us are symbolic of what’s inside, right? Last night when my best canine buddy, Joe, had his fourth “seizure” since November (if that’s what it is, we’re still not sure) I started wondering if there was a message for me in it.
Each time it happens (it wakes him up at four in the morning), for nearly an hour he repeats this action where his head swings down and to the left in a sudden motion, and he takes several steps backwards. It almost looked like he was trying to avoid something dangerous that only he can see. Whatever it is, it’s so real to him, that it seems he’s no longer in control of his faculties.
I remembered that he came to me as a foster dog from the shelter after he’d been hit by a car, where he sustained serious back injury. I wondered if maybe he was having flashbacks of the accident instead of seizures. The more I watched him, the more it looked like he was repeating the traumatic experience of what the accident could have been.
That that was even a possibility made me sad. Here he is safe and sound with his whole life ahead of him, and yet he wasn’t. He may very well be re-experiencing that awful moment engulfed by fear and pain and suffering, for no purpose or reason.
That felt familiar.
I mean, most of us do this every day, don’t we? Where we imagine past traumas or even create imaginary ones in the future?
Like that argument I had with Peggy when she said she’d just take her bunnies to Humane Society when the kids got tired of taking care of them – I’ve replayed that one a couple times, both in my head and each time I tell it to others. Or even that street where me and the dogs got rear-ended – I still think of that awful impact each time I turn on that road. I’ve gone over that conversation with Russ a couple of times where he refused to consider getting quotes for our house insurance, because his agent was a buddy and he wouldn’t give the business to my insurance company, even if they were lower.
We know these habits of reveling in the negative stuff are not serving us at all from a law of attraction standpoint.
Regardless of what he’s really experiencing, Joe showed me the ridiculousness of my habit of repeating the trauma in my mind. He’s helped me recommit to enjoying what’s here right now, and not worrying about past anxieties or projecting fears into tomorrow.
I’ll accomplish that for myself the same way I try to soothe Joe. I remind him that it’s okay, that he’s safe now. I scratch his head to remind him he’s not alone. I tell him that experience is over, it’s in the past. I remind him he’s a good boy and that all is well. I ask him to relax, and tell him he’ll feel better in the morning.
I think that’s going to work really well for me, too.