Going to the Dogs

Dinner Time

Today I cried.

I cried for the silliest of reasons. I cried because I couldn’t get my dog to stop barking. I fed her. I let her out, let her in, gave her water, treats, everything. But I just could not get her to stop barking. People with dogs know that this happens sometimes. I know that this happens sometimes. But for some reason, today, this morning, I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t handle the fact that I was doing everything right, I was trying my hardest and still nothing. No change. Same loud, piercing barks. It was early. The sun was just up and I was worried her barks would wake people. I was frustrated and rapidly coming unglued. I posted yesterday about dogs barking and how it is just a part of the messy fabric of life. I posted about finding your peace within, even if the world around you seems to be conspiring to tear you apart. But the barking was tearing me apart. It was illogical and unstoppable. It couldn’t be fixed with reason or effort. What was I doing wrong?

How often do we ask ourselves this? What am I doing wrong? Why do we so often blame ourselves for things that are completely beyond our control? I have about as much control over a dog barking as I do over the sun rising in the morning, and yet I stress and worry and contemplate my failures. Yes, this isn’t just about dogs barking. It’s about the larger things in life. Why do we always find fault within ourselves? Things aren’t going right at work or in your relationship and you instantly blame yourself.  It’s our gut reaction. We must be doing something wrong. This inevitably is followed by “How can I fix this?”

My dog was barking and I continually tried to change the scenario. I offered up every alternative to keep her from barking. And do you want to know when she stopped barking? When I walked away. When I left her alone. When I stopped trying to fix and change and make things better. When I just let it be. I let the situation unfold around me and it fixed itself.

It’s amazing the life lesson you can learn from a barking dog.

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