One day sitting around with a friend we were discussing who we can count on in life. This conversation ensued after one of us had expectations on someone who we thought we could trust. She had a small pup on her lap, lavishing her with love and affection; she looked up at me and said “the only ones I can really count on are small dogs and God.” We had a good laugh at that and then I said “hey what an awesome title for a book.” Well, this is not quite a book my friend but here it goes.
When I think of my very first dog; I remember how loyal and faithful he was even when I treated him mean. As a child growing up in a house where all the other siblings are grown and gone it’s like living as an only child. No one to blame, when, something bad happens, and ultimately I was always in trouble for something. Many times I had been disciplined unfairly because I was caught in the cross-fire from a fight between the adults that had nothing to do with anything I had done wrong. Of course this would make me very angry, which I would sometimes direct in poor dogs direction.
I would stomp outside and run out to the barn with my faithful friend Tuffy who was only moments behind me. Assuming I wanted to play, he was always full of enthusiasm;
I would yell at him “go away” I don’t want you to lick me, but no matter how much I pushed him away he would always sit loyally waiting for my anger to subside and I would break down and let him comfort me as only a puppy can love you, with licks and those deep soulful eyes looking at me letting me know that he knew exactly how I felt and he was on my side.
Now I don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers when I say that I think it isn’t a coincidence that dog spelled backwards is God. When, I think of my Father, in heaven, and some of His characteristics. Faithful, unwavering love no matter if we are angry at Him, His loyalty to his children; never leaving their side through the bad times. God will never leave us! It is usually us that walk away, thinking it is Gods fault for the bad things that happen in our lives. I personally have walked away from God too many times to count. Blaming God for the bad choices I made or for the life I had. Pushing Him away, instead of, letting Him comfort me. He wants to comfort his children if we allow Him.
Maybe God placed dogs on this earth to provide some of that comfort, to look after His children. To bring us peace, love, joy and smiles. Four legged angels perhaps? The ones that lick away our tears, lick our wounds, and give us comfort when we feel like there is no one else that can.
I encourage if you have not already done so to seek God’s characteristics out. And think about His love, patience and faithfulness.
****Disclaimer****** In no way am I saying that dogs are God. I have to put this in because of my friend who sneers at the thought of any comparison of the two so I think if there one there are more.
It is almost August 2 years since I left home and today I long for fresh air, rain and decent sushi. I am in a constant state of sweat except when I’m in the office where they turn the air con on so cold I have to wear a sweater
When I made the decision to move to Cabo I thought it was to simplify my life. What I have received has been much more. I am changing in ways that I never thought was possible. The person that I thought I was no longer applies. I am changing in spite of myself from the inside out.
Jesus took me from a life that was full of pain and loneliness about 10 yrs. ago but I never fully surrendered to his mercy and grace until I moved here and started going to church. I am starting to understand his love for me and believe that He indeed has a plan for me if I just get out of the way and let Him lead.
I always thought of myself as damaged goods and I was broken. God has picked me out of the ashes of a life that I burned to the ground and had been shuffling around in the ashes for decades. HE does not see me as I see myself. HE sees me as I see my child with unconditional love. Because I have allowed him in my heart HE has healed me, fixed me….mended me. I however have not caught up to this new life…..my old behaviors get in my way. My negative thinking, doubt and mistrust. Being a baby Christian I have much to learn. I try not to compare my knowledge or belief system to the others I surround myself with but the enemy (satan) the liar and thief wants to kill steal and destroy me. I was his soldier for many years, self-seeking only pleasure and running through people’s lives like a tornado. However, today I recognize his voice and I know it is not God’s, by knowing this one thing; I can stand strong in God’s word and fight!
I struggle sometimes with my faith! A struggle between the ” what’s right in this world” and ” what’s right in the spiritual world”, being promised things all my life and those promises being broken and I struggle with the promises of someone that I have never met face to face. To believe for the sake of believing and I have met many who possess that unwavering faith and belief. Baby steps, baby Christian I keep reminding myself. A friend said to me last night; “you believe in God, but do you believe Him?”
I love my life today.
If you are struggling or in pain, hold on. It gets better and “this too shall pass”
My mother then told me “if you obtain a handful of good friends over you’re life time; you are blessed.” When I was 12, that didn’t mean a thing to me, however as I sit today at 47 yrs. old it means the world to me and so do my handful of friends.
I have always tried to take my personal inventory in relationships and in the world at large. Not saying this always happens or I am always perfect or right but then I always have some loving friends that ask me “what’s you’re part in it?”
When people don’t act the way I think they are supposed too; is when the problem always starts. The one thing I have learned about myself is that I am a caretaker and I seem to give more then I get back. The thing with care taking is that ultimately it brews resentment. Especially in times that I lose my voice. Not literally lose my voice but get to the point of not saying what’s really going on inside. Covering it up, masking it because I want to be liked and that committee full of pity inside my head tells me that I am not worthy and I better just shut up and take it. This is by having limited, or no boundaries with that person.
Ok, so I know the problem then what is the solution? Have no expectations on people. When I start to place expectations on people is when disappointment and resentment and hurt come into play. When I place my expectations on man, he will undoubtedly fail. I can only control my actions, thoughts and feelings. I cannot change the way other people act, feel or think. I have to stand true to self. No matter what; I tell that “committee of pity” – that I am worth it and I am loved and valued. If that one person holds a grudge because of me saying my truth then truly he was no friend at all.
My friends that I have today, I know without a doubt in my heart that they will go that extra mile for me. My mother’s words ring true.
I know that in order to have a friend I need to be a friend. Going the distance; listening, sharing, caring about the other person’s feelings but not care-taking them and putting my own needs aside to fulfill theirs. That makes for a one-sided unhealthy relationship. Give and take is always a requirement with healthy boundaries in place.
CS Lewis said it best and many of my long-term friendships started out this way…..
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
As I sit here on my deck looking up at the cloudless baby blue sky and endless sea listening to the birds sing and chirp to a melody only they can understand. I reflect back to a much heavier darker time in my life. A time where nothing changed, a time where forgiveness was not in my vocabulary, a time where the pain of being me was like scalding oil penetrating into my soul. My deep hatred of self that propelled me into a dark world of no color or light.
Through sheer tenacity, help from a few dedicated people, my world became full of light and color. It was through this journey that I received the most powerful gift, hope.
Through out my life people have told me to write a book about my life. It was usually after I shared a part of my life to them and the typical response was ” wow, you really should write a book” I’m not sure if that was to cover up there shock or they really meant it. Maybe a little of both.
Over the years I have written in countless journals about my pain, sorrow and adventures of active addiction. I have written hundreds of words in my attempts at getting well through the 12 step recovery program, which after years of trying, finally stuck.
I love the quote by Stephen King about becoming a writer, ” you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
So here I go. I hope you receive something that you can take with you.