We’re currently house sitting the most incredible house in Brunswick, to puppy sit our friends beautiful dog whilst they’re away. Chief is hands down the most beautiful dog you’ll ever meet, he’s only a few months old, with big soft knowing eyes. He’s a mountain dog and ginormous already, but in his mind, he’s smaller than Honey our Jack Russell.
Chief is vulnerable, adoring, and so full of love it almost pulls him to pieces. He whinnies like a horse with excitement when you greet him in the morning, when you pat him during the day, when you lie in the sun with him, when you pat him. Basically any show of affection gets him totally wound up. And so you just want to shower him in love constantly. He treats every moment like it’s special, and everything to him is new, curious and interesting. Walk down the same path he always walks down – what fun. Give him a little pat on the head walking by – extreme gratitude. Snack time – the best time of the day. He’s an inspiration. He puts out the best energy, and so everyone showers him in that same energy in return. Honey on the hand (our Jack Russell who is adopted and 9 years old and has a chip on her shoulder) is being a totally bitch. Jealous, nasty and territorial. All Honey wants is love and adoration, yet she’s not getting it with her current behaviour. She’s getting a reflection of what she’s putting out.
The whole thing has got me thinking about how we as people are in the world, and that we all want love and adoration and kindness. Yet sometimes we have pretty funny ways of going about it if you look at our behaviour sometimes. We get to choose, and act however we want and yet sometimes, okay most of the time, we don’t put our best foot forward. We don’t put out what we want in return.
Imagine if in the face of any awfulness, any meanness, we were still kind and loving. If we were totally committed to being and receiving love and kindness no matter what. Most of the time we get impatient with this concept though, we want to see the fruits of our loving kind labour and now dammit ‘well I’m being loving and that person’s being an asshole, so I’m not putting up with it, I’m going to get short tempered and be an asshole too’. Sometimes it’s unconscious behaviour, and we just react. More frightening is when it’s just pouring out at the wrong person, like a stream of bottled up frustration.
If we want love and kindness, and for people to be gentle and understanding and compassionate, it starts with us. Because we get back what we put out. It’s not going to come back instantly either. It’s not like we can be really nice to some person who is clearly in a bad mood, and they will soften and embrace us in kindness every time, if anything, a nice, understanding attitude will probably frustrate them even more. We can’t control everyone else. We’re going for the long shot here, we’re in the long game, not the short game.
Try this experiment, it’s incredibly challenging as it’s so easy to get distracted and forget you’re doing it, which is why it’s so powerful. For a full 24 hours, be nothing but kind and loving in your actions and your thoughts. Handbrake any negative thinking and replace it with something positive. Go that extra mile to be lovely, even if the other person doesn’t acknowledge it, or understand it. Take gentle note of when you lose it. Be aware of when you have hiccups and when you find it impossible. In traffic, in the face of someones anger, when a child is whining, when your partner or friend is in a foul mood. And keep going. If 24 hours feels good, then keep going.