Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Dog’s Purpose September 26, 2013

It’s a big deal. I don’t know why anyone would say it isn’t. But a pressure exists in our society to figure it out sooner rather than later and I can’t say I agree with that. What are you going to be when you grow up? We ask it of our little people, who (more often than not) respond with some pretty big ideas. They want to be a lawyer. Or a writer. Or (better yet) a balloon maker (this was my mom’s dream job at the tender age of four).Fear to Purpose

Then they start school, and the ideas change. The dreams continue to evolve, but the question doesn’t go away. What do you want to be when you grow up? A lawyer? A writer? (At this point you have matured enough to rule out balloon maker as a profession).

Then comes college where the pressure sounds the worst. What are you going to be when you grow up? Law school sure is expensive. And there sure is a lot of competition to become a writer. How about psychology? Or communications? Or financial planning?

Obviously us canines don’t really go through this whole debacle as we rely on our people to struggle through it on our behalf. (All so they can go to that place called work instead of play with us all the time – a concept I’ll never fully understand). Perhaps because I don’t personally deal with the distraction of the daily grind, I’ve noticed that regardless of where along the line a person ultimately comes upon their answer to this very big question, it has something very significant in common.

None of this matters without purpose. Without passion. I may not have a career, but I’m no stranger to thoughts on what makes up a purpose-filled life. I remember the first time I questioned my purpose right after I was separated from my birth mom and brothers. I feared I would never feel what it’s like to be a family again. I thought I found my purpose in protecting Jo from the man with the leather belt, but he didn’t like that purpose very much and solved that problem by leaving me on the side of the road. I feared I would never know home again. So I spent the majority of my time at the Oshkosh Humane Society questioning my purpose in life. I feared I wouldn’t know love again.

But I have found that fear (especially in our darkest moments) ultimately brings purpose to those who let it. My fears led me to purpose in becoming a valued part of a family in my forever home. I know now with complete certainty that I am fulfilling my purpose in something as simple as that.

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being,” analytical psychologist Carl Jung suggested.

It is a big deal to find one’s purpose. To kindle the light. I don’t know why anyone would say it isn’t. What do I want to be when I grow up? Besides the fact I’ve committed to never actually growing up, I have found what matters. My purpose in life is to be a valued part of my family in my forever home. My purpose is to share joy from the ground up with whomever will take it. My purpose is to live, and bring fear to purpose for me and anyone who knows me. I know my purpose. What’s yours?

 

Dreaming to Wake April 19, 2013

I woke up this morning and I didn’t feel like myself. I felt taller. I felt stronger. Best of all, one of my most insane dreams in life came to life. I could speak human. I looked in the mirror and it all came together. I was my forever dad. Maybe I dreamed too much last night about my forever parents switching places. Maybe this too is a dream. Or is it?

While I would usually sleep my way through the majority of the morning, today the alarm woke me up. I got in the shower (the shower!) and washed myself, which is something I’ve only ever done with my tongue. Not to mention my dislike for the shower, in addition to being awake so early. I got dressed in something other than my doggie Packer jersey and drove the car to that place they call work. What an experience that was! While I’m not that big a fan of being dressed (or wearing shoes!), I do love car rides and somehow the driving came pretty naturally.

At this point in the day I was pretty darned hyped up to be living this new life. I was finally able to tell my forever mom how much I loved her before I left, drive a car (which is one of my biggest doggie wishes) and now I was discovering what this place called work was like! It must be exciting for my dad to be gone at this place for five days a week. I met all the people I’ve heard him talk about, and only my dad’s friend Kyle mentioned that I’d forgotten to zip up my pants. (Can you blame me, if I’ve never worn pants before?)

That’s when things took a turn for the worst. I went to my dad’s desk where there were two computer screens looking at me. I kind of remember mom saying something about him being some sort of engineer and wondering what that meant. Well, not only do I know absolutely nothing about engineering, I had no idea what to say to the computers. I’ve obviously done my fair share of blogging, but this was definitely new to me. The minutes ticked by, turning into hours, and I couldn’t believe how long the day felt. And here I’d thought my days of naps were so long because I wasn’t with my people? This was far worse. I found myself wondering how long this bizarre situation would last. Would I ever be me again? Fast AsleepFeeling Sleepy

Indeed, I would be me again. In fact, I was me all along. The rustling of the mailman coming by with the mail this afternoon woke me from what might have been one of the deepest sleeps I’ve had recently. it seems I was somehow dreaming within a dream.

Today made me realize there’s this thing about dreams. Regardless of when they happen (awake or asleep), they teach us something about what we’re really thinking. Best known for his thoughts on personality theories and psychological archetypes, psychologist Carl Jung laid foundations for what would become analytical psychology. I may not be that big a fan of this particular facet of thinking, but I do agree with his thought that he “who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

I can’t say for sure whether I was looking outside or inside in my dream. What I do know is that I have a newfound respect for my dad and his place called work. I now know it’s nothing I could do every day, but I respect him that much more for what he does. Somehow for me, my dreams have woke me up to a whole new world of perspective and appreciation for my blessings in life.