Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

What Lies Inside July 23, 2013

A lot happened in my backyard today.

After a mysterious three-week hiatus, my neighbor demon dog has returned. It wasn’t a pretty reunion, as he “greeted” me with some pretty intense growling and panting from his usual hangout on his side of our mutual fence. I saw my neighbor Lady for the first time since her husband passed away recently. She looked sad. I wagged hello at her and I think she may have looked right through me. And after a startling separation from the rabbit family about a month ago, I think they’re back. (Though they are likely being much more careful about revealing themselves this time aroundFeeling Sad for Neighbor Lady).

So many days are quiet and uneventful around here (not that I’m complaining), but today was a feast for the emotional senses. It all happened so fast, and when it was over I found myself longing to piece the puzzle together into some sort of semblance of normalcy. Why would all of these things happen in the same 15 minutes?

I was absolutely terrified to see demon dog return. I forgot how big and scary and loud and threatening he is.

Figuring it all outI felt completely defeated with the sincerest compassion when I saw my neighbor Lady. I wanted so badly for mom to let me off my leash so I could go give her a big ole hug and some doggie kisses to cheer her up. It broke my heart to see her that way, kind of a shell of her normal bubbly self. But there was really nothing I could do about it.

And then I felt the most overtaking sense of excitement and relief when I smelled the rabbit family’s return. Though I couldn’t see them, I have faith they are all right and back together and that brings warmth and joy to my heart.

Life is that way sometimes. We can be happily following our routine when bam! Everything happens at once. It’s different than the valleys and hills that challenge us along our journey. We can plan ahead and be prepared for those. You can’t prepare for moments like these. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you,” great transcendental thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested.

I didn’t see it coming, but I learned a lot in my backyard today. At any moment when we least expect it, our heart gets an unexpected workout that pulls us in 18 different directions simultaneously. But that doesn’t change the impact they can have on our lives. Highly concentrated emotional situations may even be more impactful in surprising ways. The difference is we are forced in these moments to think with our hearts rather than our minds. And, in these moments, it is what lies inside of us that matters.