We’re getting a puppy next week and I am a mess. I go from being extremely excited and happy to terrified all in a span of 36 seconds. This has been going on for a while. Today, I decided to be with this feeling and explore what it is all about. I realized that I am not really afraid of the mess the puppy will make. So what is it? My children are now older and somewhat independent; I enjoy the freedom that that gives me. Am I afraid the puppy will be like having a baby? I will be on call 24/7 and that kind of being needed is very uncomfortable for me. Yes, it is a little bit of that, but that’s not all of it. So what is the remaining anxiety all about? I know that when my kids are wired and all over the place, that drives me nuts. Order has always been important to me. Who am I kidding; order is the condition in which I’ve lived my entire life. It’s the only way I know how. One of the most difficult challenges when I had my kids was being comfortable with the lack of control or order. But even that, was managed by bringing in control and structure and routines. In fact, I was proud of the fact that I had a schedule and was organized and everything was in control.
A few years ago, I stepped out of that controlled, structured life and decided to go wandering off into the woods somewhere. That’s not entirely true, I thought I knew which forest I was going to and what I was going to find in there and how it was going to be. Well, long story short, I didn’t. I got lost in the forest, and nothing I experienced was what I expected it to be. I stayed lost so long, that I forgot what it was like outside the forest. I started taking baby steps; enjoying the trees and creatures I’d meet. I stopped looking forward to the end or even believe that there is an end. I sat under the trees and I imagined that the end would come to me. I even gave up on words like end or beginning, or purpose. I took off my control over my experience. I allowed it to come to me undefined. I gave up all illusions of power and control and lost touch with the 3-D reality I was living in. Or did I?
A puppy, is taking this to another level. A puppy is a test of how much I have given up indeed. I am nervous that maybe the old me is still around and will go nuts once this chaotic, little, bundle of innocence walks into my life. What if I am still as much of a control freak as I ever was? What if I fail this test and get stuck in limbo? Not a viable resident of the 3-D world and not enlightened either, just stuck in purgatory somewhere with a puppy that is not house-trained yet. What thoughts this disabled mind of mine thinks and how desperate it is to gain control.
I need this puppy to once and for all be free of my fear of chaos. I look around me and see a whole world of people uncomfortable and fearful in the times we are living in. Of course, there is more at stake here than a messy house with an uncontrolled puppy, but how could this be a metaphor for our lives during these unsettling times? What if we focused on getting comfortable and peaceful without the guarantees and structures we have been used to? What if we took every moment in stride and stayed present despite our worries? This is the challenge we are all facing and as insurmountable as it sounds, it is all we can do. So, let’s all look inside, rather than outside, for the reassurances we need. I know I am starting to look forward to every crazy, unpredictable, joyous, messy, uncontrollable moment of it…