Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Man's Best Friend

You thought I was going to talk about dogs didn't you?  Well, I am...and I'm not.  While a loyal dog may be the typical best friend most people think about, I would suggest that peace and contentment are really a little higher on the list.

When I was young my family bought a dog.  She was the most amazing animal and will never be replaced in my life.  She was a beautiful Sheltie who loved to cuddle and was always happy to see me.  I can see why most people would think she was my best friend.  She brought me a significant amount of joy over many years.  She never hurt me or disappointed me. She never argued with me or stole my boyfriend.  She was happy to see me every time I walked in the door and she was sad to see me go when I left.  It is good to have a friend that loyal.

As important as she was to my life and as much as I will always miss her, I have to say learning to duplicate the feelings of peace and contentment I felt around her has been a much more important step in my life than learning to love her.  She was easy to love.  She gave constant feedback.  She wagged her tail and did the cute doggy smile whenever I pleased her.  I was rewarded quickly for my affection.

Being content and at peace is a much harder task to pull off.  Because the feelings are internal there is less of a chance for immediate feedback and reward.  Being content with oneself is hard to do.  We know every flaw and foible.  We know the real reasons behind our actions and we know our true capabilities. When we fall short we know it and we condemn it.

It is hard to be at peace when we are condemning ourselves.

Loving a dog is easy because the relationship is simple.  We treat them well, they treat us well, and love is showered back and forth.  Meeting their needs is a relatively simple project.  On the other hand, meeting our needs can be quite a challenge.

Imagine with me for a moment how different your life would be if you were at peace and content.  Now if your imagination just popped a sandy beach and a hammock into your mind, kick the hammock out.  I want you to imagine peace and contentment right where you are.  Are you having a hard time?

This is why I think peace and contentment should be our best friends.  If we could duplicate the easy love for an animal and relate it to ourselves then we would completely change the way we see the world around us.

There is no place for anxiety, stress, panic or fear when being peaceful and content.  If we could eliminate those four things, anxiety, stress, panic and fear, I think we would all like ourselves more.  We would be more productive, we would be calmer and we would be more forgiving.  We would probably even like ourselves more...and who doesn't wish for that?

I challenge you to find a little more peace and contentment in your life.  Treat yourself as you would your dog.  Be happy when you arrive each morning and be sad to see yourself go.  Reward yourself with smiles and affection every time you meet your needs.  Be unconditional in your love and unfailing in your support.

I believe if we can transfer that relationship to ourselves we will be happier, more content and more at peace.  And that my friends, sounds like a good thing.

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