There are days when walking the stretch of beach across from my house as the wind whips away at my resolve, I wonder if my puppy, Oakley, will ever be trained. In the quiet of our home, with no distractions to catch his mercurial attention, he stays steady. As soon as his paws hit the sand, he is lost to me. Who knew sea foam could be so enticing?
It's an uncomfortable feeling. This in-between. Stuck with one part of me in seeming endless loops of training and the other barely holding on to the leash as he thrashes into a frenzy. When I creep towards frustration, I sometimes am able to soften my judgments and let him be as he is. No corrections. No expectations. Just a pup being a pup.
When my judgments do win out, I know they arise from fear. Fear he will never learn manners. Fear that I am teaching him bad habits that will be irreversible. Fear that I am letting him down because of my subpar training abilities.
Then, as I choose to surrender, I open my experience and let every part of it flow through me and around me. I silently remind myself this is my life. For now.
Each day will have some wins and some setbacks. The work will continue. The 'sits' and the 'stays' will sometimes yield results and sometimes not, leading to an eventual tipping point. One where he will grow into a more restrained mode of being, or one where I accept this day might never arrive and love him anyway.
This is like awakening. I judge my progress because of fear, too. Fear that all this deep, soul searching will leave me where it found me. Alone and confused, confounded and stagnant. But then, a glimmer. A stream of light touches a corner of darkness and I am illuminated. Then in another instant, the clouds return and the sun is no more.
I think we can all agree, an awakening path is hard, and this is on a good day. All we can hope is for every step inward, some tangible, outward expression of healing and peace will manifest. There will be days filled with a Quiet knowing and enlightenment arrives, then nights filled with uncertainty and the progress forward seems to vanish.
This is the path. At least as it is for now. The surrendering to it is the key. The letting go into the unknown to be washed away of sin, of not knowing if we will ever reach our destination and tipping our faith towards this unknown in every circumstance.
Just a human being a human.
Inward & Onward
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