Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Just One You January 29, 2014

I’m glad I am a boy. And a dog. I’ve got it easy when it comes to so many things. I don’t have to worry about money, or a food source, or whether or not I’m loved. My people take care of all of that. And the whole appearance thing is so easy for me. The inside matches the outside. I’m all heart, and I work with what I’ve got. And I like it. It’s as simple as that.Be You

That couldn’t be farther from the way it works for the two-legged women in my life. The ones I see on the television are always altering the way they look with hair products and makeup and clothes and diet plans. So many diet plans and fitness commercials air this time of year, no doubt targeting those who made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. The ones I see in real life aren’t all that different from those on the television, who (for some reason I still don’t understand) they seem to try desperately hard to imitate.

But it gets worse. I apologize in advance for the blanket statement, but the way I see it too many women want what they can’t have. Skinny women want to be skinnier. Curly-haired women want straight hair. Small chested women want a bigger chest (and vice versa). It’s madness.

I got to thinking of this today when I noticed a new kind of joy in my life. Just one you (JOY) appears frequently on labels baby Carter’s clothes. At first I thought nothing of it, but today it got me to thinking. Indeed there is only one baby Carter. And I am thankful for that. He is uniquely him and that is just as it should be.

The same can be said for the women in my life. There is just one of you, and instead of changing it with all kinds of hair products and diet plans, you should be embraced. I’m glad I’m a boy. And a dog. Because I can spend all that time I’m not worrying about unnecessary self improvement on reminding the women in my life how special they are. Joy. From the ground up, it is found on the inside not the outside.


A Baby Laughing January 22, 2014

I’ve never been too big a fan of mirrors. I know barking and cowering are fairly common canine responses to them, but I do neither of these things. Instead I feel nothing. Emotionally indifferent I guess you could say. In general I don’t particularly care for the effect I know they can have on people, especially women.

So I choose to direct my attention elsewhere. I prefer to find joy. From the ground up, it was easy to find today. It happened on my living room floor with my other baby pal Alexis (daughter of mom’s friend Jessica). There we were staring at each other when it happened. She laughed.

If joy had a sound, a baby laughing would be it. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced such things, but each time it happens teaches me a new lesson about true and sincere happiness.Joy.

Today it taught me joy doesn’t come from a mirror. It simply can’t. But if you reflect joy, if you put it out there in front of you, it is likely to reflect right back at you. I mean no disrespect to mirrors. They serve their purpose and that’s all well and good.

But I do think people place too much value on that reflection staring back at them. Dogs bark and cower. People get sad or frustrated. Me? I’m indifferent to the mirrors. I would much rather focus on the person than the reflection anyway.

See the action unfold: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=569872490057&l=334242941458658880


Shedding Some Light on Self-Image March 20, 2013

I have this theory about the people my people love. I inherently love them too because they love my people. I’m not ashamed to say so, and I would be lying if I said anyone who comes to visit the Schmidt home leaves without a good deal of my fur on their clothes as a reminder of how much I loved them while they were here. One too many times, I’ve heard dad say I would be the perfect dog if not for my shedding, but I have accepted it as part of who I am.

That’s a pretty powerful thing, I find, in terms of sharing one’s charm with others: living with what we are and what we have. I know it’s not always easy. I do occasionally wish I had fur like my hypoallergenic pal Buddy who doesn’t shed at all. But I have embraced my inner beauty which (unfortunately) does not decrease my shedding. However, I would say my outlook on my authentic self definitely makes my happiness more contagious than if I was down on myself all the time. I wish I could encourage my people and all of their people to see it that way.

“Simplicity plays a part in striking the right chord of self,” Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance. “This occurs naturally as we begin to rethink how to put together our best authentic look.” A daily decision to see the best in all people and things begins in seeing the best in myself.

It’s not always easy (as you can see by the awful picture of me below), and I can’t imagine what its like for my people and their people. With all the pressures of the media, not to mention financial constraints that don’t allow for the grooming, air-brushing and wardrobe labels forced on them by society, it’s no wonder they struggle to get to know their authentic selves. Inner Beauty :)

I know shedding is a small problem compared to the much bigger self-image problems in the hearts of my favorite people. But I choose to embrace it as part of who I am and I think I am generally happier because of that. If I can’t find a way to tell all the people I love they are beautiful, at least I can overwhelm them with my love every chance I get. And if they leave covered in evidence of my love for them, so be it. If anything, it is my way of showing them to love themselves as much as I love them and I can’t say I regret sending them away with that reminder.