This picture was taken just a few days before my dog Angel was attacked. Thankfully, the attack by three boxers left me more emotionally shaken than my dog was physically hurt. In my reflections back, I’ve been able to see the many lessons the incident taught me. And I keep coming back to the main one around our need to be able to surrender.
Do you struggle to give in to things?
I like many of you, struggle to give in to things. I struggle to let go of something that isn’t working, not serving me or something I want so badly to happen, but isn’t. Let me give you an example. I continue to do my own book keeping for my company. I can do it. I am ok with figuring it out to a degree. It is however extremely time consuming, just a wee bit stressful and I know there is no way I do it anywhere as good as a competent bookkeeper might. Yet I continue to fight through it and resist hiring it out.
Nature can teach us lessons about surrendering
My dog taught me surrendering could actually be a good thing. That day, I went for a walk as I often do, completing a loop through the neighbourhood that takes me about 20 minutes. It’s a break in my day, an opportunity to connect with nature and a much needed exercise opportunity for both Angel and I. That particular day my Mother-in-law was visiting with her dog and decided to also come for the walk with me.
Submit to what is and stop resisting
About three quarters of the way through our walk we were enjoying the sun, our conversation and the dogs were trotting along beside us nicely. Suddenly my mother-in-law screams! Coming barreling out of nowhere these three dogs come chasing Angel and I down. One is clearly the aggressor and within seconds, he has Angel by the neck and despite my screams and my own aggressive kicks to this dog’s head, he refused to let go. In slow motion it seems, I watched my dog start to die in front of my eyes. She submits and stops resisting. I feel helpless. I can’t stop the attack and I can’t change what is happening in front of my eyes.
The consequence of submitting - everything is ok
My own screams eventually encourage my mother-in-law to go to the house and get the owner who runs out and using her own hands unclenches her dog’s mouth from Angel’s neck. My only thought then is to get out of there and fast! With the owner chasing me down to see if Angel is ok, Angel myself, my mother-in-law and her dog frantically head for home. Yes, Angel is ok, breathing fine and walking with me.
Although not entirely unscathed, a trip to the vet, some meds and time proved that Angel faired quite well from what could have been a much worse event. I was amazed and relieved!
Be wise to know when you are fighting a loosing battle
I believe what made the difference was that Angel didn’t resist. After initially trying to defend herself, she was wise enough to know that she couldn’t take on three boxers. She knew that if she tried to resist, she wouldn’t get very far and in fact might have been significantly hurt. Although I thought she was dying and she may have been, in actuality she was probably laying there saying “Will someone please get these dogs off me so I can finish my walk!”
Place your trust in what you know to be true
I believe Angel trusted me. She knew I would figure it out. I’ve always been there with her. Or maybe she trusted the laws of nature. Think of how many times do animals do this. They play dead or stop resisting so they can get out of the situation they are in. They surrender to what is happening.
Notice what you are resisting
We all resist things. I have seen many people stay in a job they hate. Their resistance only, causes havoc. Many times they are only making the situation worse for themselves and others. I have witness time and time again, people pushing themselves to the max when their bodies say stop! Take a break. Rest. Yet they don’t and cause themselves much more harm than is necessary. I myself, and know others, resist feeling certain emotions that are present. I fight to push emotion down. My anger, hurt or sadness gets covered with indifference or busyness. Yet we all know, repressed emotions come out sooner or later. And those buried feelings only fester and come out stronger, inappropriately or at the completely wrong time.
Surrender to what is happening
Surrendering to what is happening is a way of being conscious and present. If something is happening that you really don’t have the ability to change or impact, or honestly aren’t invested in anymore, get out. If you are sad, mad or glad, be sad, mad or glad. Don’t pretend you are feeling something you are not. Surrender to your body’s request for sleep, food or renewal.
Demonstrate your strength by surrendering
And yes, as Angel and three aggressive boxers taught me; me surrender to stronger more powerful forces. Let the storms pass. Know you are safe. When the time is right, come out and continue on your way knowing you really are stronger because you can surrender.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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