I'm trying to type with a dog on my lap. A dog that keeps sticking its butt in my face. There. I put her down on the floor and so she sits there whining at me because her two favourite places are either on a lap or running around outside. All other options illicit a whine from her that goes on and on and on. She's like the energizer bunny without the off switch.
It wasn't my idea to get a house dog. But the process of getting one showed me in a new way how to work my program and reap the promises. Maybe one day that will no longer come as a surprise to me but for now it still does.
Dearest one is a dog person. I prefer cats although they make me sneeze and feel like I have a head cold 24/7.
Someone had a purebred registered pug to give away and dearest one answered the ad only to be put on a waiting list. Great, I thought. Someone else will get it first and I won't have to deal with the issue.
Saturday night I came home to find out dearest one's name had risen to the top of the waiting list so the dog was ours if we still wanted it. Great, I thought. And out tumbled all my reasons why I didn't want a house dog. Or at least not now and not this dog. Having a difference of opinion is fine and dandy but what took me by surprise was the intensity of anger that seeped through all my protests. Eventually I looked at dearest one and said, "Why can't I simply say - I don't want a house dog - or - A house dog would be very healing for you, go for it!" Eventually dearest one went to bed and I was left to contemplate where all the anger was coming from. First I wondered if I was simply buying into my mom's dyed in the wool attitude that if something isn't her idea then it's not a good idea. As I sat there I realized I'd dragged 25 years worth of resentments about other dogs we've had into this conversation about the new one. Carrying that baggage into the present totally wiped my ability to be present off the radar screen. One of the benefits these days is that I'm able to look at that and not get defensive all over again. I simply know I need to add those resentments to my 4th step inventory and get back to the present.
Dearest one was sleeping by the time I figured all this out so first thing the next morning I told him how I'd dragged 25 years worth of resentments into the conversation about the new dog. How I knew instinctively that this new little dog could be very healing for him and that while I really didn't want a house dog right now I was willing to set that aside for his sake.
What happened next was a profound moment of grace. Earnie Larsen says that surrender is the ultimate power trip. Phillip Yancey says that repentance is the doorway to grace.
Dearest one has been doing gut wrenching work in counseling. We both have issues with intimacy - and by that I mean - letting someone see into our soul. Letting the walls crumble enough to let the other person in.
I was laying in bed and dearest one was sitting on its edge beside me as we talked. In the midst of this conversation about resentments and dogs there was an exchange of stark vulnerability that left us both in tears. A moment of deep intimacy. What was my body language at that moment? I realized I was laying there with my arms splayed out above my head like a newborn baby does when they sleep.
After dearest one left the room I lay there looking at the sun streaming in the window feeling full of gratitude for what had just happened. At the end of the day when we talked about the best part of our day - both of us chose that conversation.
It even trumped bringing home the Energizer Bunny.
She's sleeping with her head nestled in the crook of my arm as I resort to typing with one finger.