This post is part of my cornerstone content, originally written back a few years ago, updated for today, and still inspiring wisdom and deep understanding.
(This post was originally written in 2015.)
Although she’s not quite as exuberant as she used to be, Tootsie still loves to chase the stick and walk every day. Now it’s more of a short stroll she takes to sniff and pee and check up on who else has been through the neighborhood. It’s like FaceBook for dogs.
It was during one of these strolls that I became aware of one of my bad habits. After she had stopped for what felt like the hundredth time, I yanked on her leash and said “Let’s go!” She insisted on staying to sniff for just a minute more, and it was at that moment I remembered rushing my Grandma Dorothy through the grocery store. Now, I don’t think I was quite as rude to my grandmother as I was to my dog, but the feeling was the same; rushed frustration and exasperation.
Back in my early 20’s, I used to drive my Grandma Dorothy to church on Sundays, and occasionally, I would take her grocery shopping. At the time, I didn’t see this experience as anything but a chore. Being young, I did what was asked of me, but in my heart, I was more interested in following my own agenda. When it came time to wander through the grocery store with Grandma, my mind was always somewhere else, thinking about what I’d rather be doing instead of being fully present with this woman who loved and appreciated me. Although I didn’t physically push her, I certainly did energetically.
Maturity comes from awareness
As I was getting ready to yank Tootsie’s leash one more time, I stopped and thought about how old she is and how incredibly rude it is for me to push and cajole her into keeping moving. Tootsie has been walking with me since she was six months old. Through snow and ice, heat and rain, she has never once complained but always been my faithful friend and companion.
Now it’s my turn to slow down and show her the kindness and respect she has always given me. Strolling with Toots gives me a chance to breathe, find a little space and savor the beauty of our surroundings. She’s 70 years old now (in human years), well into her senior years. I don’t know how many more walks I’ll get to take with her, but now when she stops to take a break and sniff, I think to myself, “Don’t rush Grandma.”
Self-awareness can be very uncomfortable because it spotlights our bad habits. However, it’s only by recognizing these habits and then actively taking steps to change them that we are able to progress.
“Maturity is when your world opens up and you realize you are not the center of it.”M.J. Croan
I share my life lessons with you, my friendly blog reader because I want to help you see discomfort is not fatal, but a necessary part of the process of soul development.
After reading this post, what came up for you?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below!
p.s. My Grandma Dorothy passed away more than 20 years ago. While her body is long gone, her memory and the lessons she’s helped me learn will live on forever in my heart. Thanks, Grandma. I miss you. xoxoxo