Words of Encouragement…
Up until recently, I spent the past few years raising a beagle. Rudy was such a great dog. I felt it necessary to find another home for him a few months ago because of how much travel I do for work. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen any rabbits in the backyard since he left. They used to be scurrying all over the yard, just outside his fence, like they were tormenting Rudy.
Anyways, a while back Rudy snuck out of the yard and took off, which he liked to do as often as possible. I’ve picked him up at the police department on a couple different occasions due to weak batteries in his collar. But this particular time, it was about ten in the morning when I realized he escaped. I went into the woods behind the house and called for him for about an hour with no return sound from him. In discuss, I went back into the house and went back to work. One of those times when I would wish I could hear his howl but ticked off at him all at the same time.
Well about three o’clock I heard him bark. I walked in the yard and heard him again. I followed his bark and started calling him, which he returned by continuing to bark. I followed his voice through the woods, weed and thickets to find him chained up to a garage. I saw he had food and water in bowls within his reach and instantly made an internal decision that these people were stealing my dog. I remember that feeling of heat and anger rise up within me and I remember asking myself if I should go up to the door and punch out whoever answers it.
I don’t think I purposely took deep breaths to better assess the situation, but I’m thinking I must have. At least enough of a pause to allow the thought “if you’re not sure what to do Joe, don’t do anything”. I still remember myself internally agreeing with this thought and also thought that if I was supposed to punch someone, I could easily come back in the near future and do so. So I untied Rudy and brought him home and put him in his kennel so I could attend a meeting.
At the meeting I discussed this event. I discussed it because it’s one of the first times I can remember not taking an action when I didn’t know what action to take, which really meant I didn’t make a bad situation worse! I also wasn’t sure if I owed someone a good ol’ fashion butt whoppin’, so I was looking for feedback on that as well. What I received was feedback from two different people within a few minutes after the meeting closed. They both asked me if I ever thought of thanking the person, who for all practical purposes, stopped Rudy from getting run over, since in front of their house is a busy mile road, with a 50 mile an hour speed limit. Both times I said, honestly, NO, I didn’t think about that. I was only focused on someone taking something from me. This is where the EGO deflation came in. I didn’t feel a need to lie and I didn’t feel negative about myself. I just didn’t know and there was no more judgment than that. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I didn’t think of that’. With both people, we laughed and I thanked them for helping me to see this other option.
The next day I did go to the neighbor behind me and thank him. I didn’t feel it necessary to share with him how close he came to receiving the wrath of Joe. Mostly because I am gifted with having an arena where I can share who I am and have close enough friends to give me input. The other reason I didn’t feel it necessary to share how close this tough looking dude came to getting punched is because I thought he could probably wipe the streets with me!
My words of wisdom!