Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

It Happens to the Best of Us July 19, 2014

It doesn’t happen often, but I’m man (er, I mean dog) enough to admit it when it does. Sometimes I’m wrong. There, I said it. And while I’m not entirely sure whether I’m wrong about this, I realized today that I could be. Giggles

I’ve never much cared for the phrase “what if.” What if I had more money? What if I could change the world? What if I had never found my forever people? To me, these two words pay homage to something for which I’ve never much cared. There is a negative, almost cynical tone to these questions that I can’t say I appreciate. It seems contradictory to my desire to live in the now and cherish the presence of presence.

But the more I watch dear baby Carter and his efforts to explore and understand the world around him, I realize I could be wrong. Today I observed as some of my favorite little people played and laughed and smiled together. Dear Sophie and Abigail and Sam all wrestling around with little Carter as he starts to figure out how to crawl. It was just as I had always hoped it would be.

In those moments, just after he froggie hopped his way across the room from Abby to Sophie and back again, I was reminded of everything he has in front of him. His life is literally full of “what ifs” right now. And there is nothing wrong with that. Not only that, but there’s something exciting, invigorating even, about it.

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible,” suggested Italian Catholic preacher Saint Francis of Assisi.

So I guess I might have been wrong about my perspective on this phrase all these years. Because ultimately that’s what it comes down to yet again. Perspective. From the ground up, it has a way of changing the glass from being half empty to being half full. It has a way of making us see what’s possible within the impossible.

 

Eye of the Beholder June 29, 2014

Apparently it’s not just me. It happens to other doggies all the time regardless of breed or upbringing. It’s common regardless of whether it is a rescue dog or a pup from a breeder. Good dogs fail (and subsequently) drop out of obedience school all the time. While I figured this had to be the case, I would be lying if I said the news of this did not allow me to breathe a measurable sigh of relief. All In the Eyes

Because I might not have a pretty piece of paper that says I graduated from puppy school. To this day, I struggle with basic commands like heel and down (I can’t help it that I get excited). But I would argue what I have is better than any of these things. I have the deepest and sincerest love in my heart. For my beloved forever people. For their families. For life. Joy. From the ground up, I have it in these things.

I was reminded of this today when I shared a special (albeit routine) glance with my beloved forever mom. We have an unspoken language of love, her and I, and it happened again today. Dear baby Carter has been doing this thing where he gets up on all fours like he’s going to crawl and then just sort of bounces there for several minutes at a time. If anything, he moves backward instead of forward. Nonetheless, it’s become somewhat of a sideshow around here lately and when it happened tonight, mom and dad dropped everything to live in the moment.

Meanwhile, I stood by watching this all unfold. I didn’t feel badly and certainly didn’t need any reassurance that I was part of the group. But I got it anyway. I stayed out of harm’s way several feet from the action but this I could not miss. She looked at me and smiled and I saw right through her eyes into her heart in that moment. She loves me as she always did.

It’s funny, I didn’t need obedience school to read my mom’s thoughts. Nor did she need the classes to communicate to me. It reminds me of the words of dog trainer Fred Jungclaus, who said “I used to look at my dog and think if you were a little smarter you could tell me what you’re thinking and he’d look at me like he was saying if you were a little smarter, I wouldn’t have to.” I don’t want to brag, but I think mom and I have it under control. I don’t need a pretty piece of paper to know this in my heart as truth.