What My Dog & The Coronavirus Taught Me
Updated: Jan 6
it's been said that all our suffering comes from desires or expectations. My dog Scout doesn't seem to have a problem with either of these, he just lives in the moment. When we go for walks he’s not thinking about the birds he saw on the beach earlier in the day, and he isn’t thinking about what he expects to get for dinner later that evening. He’s just sniffing what’s right in front of him or looking around. Dogs don't really have expectations like we humans do - maybe that's why they are more content!
I don’t live in the moment as well as my dog does; in a flash I can get annoyed with Scout. I get mad at him for any number of reasons, and I can quickly jump into a bad mood pool of irritation, frustration, and negativity. Sadly, I can stay stuck in the mire long after the thing that caused me to be upset is over!
All this is because I expect Scout to act a certain way and he doesn't. But just because my dog may pee on my new carpet, chew my glasses, and scatch my desk top doesn’t mean I have to get pissy myself.
A really cool thing I’ve learned raising a dog, besides to live in the moment, and to be mindful of my expectations, is that life is full of options – there can always be a Plan B! To keep Scout off the carpet I put up a dog gate. To keep him out of my office I close the door.
Having Scout is reminding me not only to live in the moment more but that I can look for Plan B. Most importantly, I am realizing I always choose what mood to be in, and letting go of expectations helps with that.
Knowing I choose my mood is helpful since the Coronavirus has rampaged through the world putting us all on a roller coaster of uncertainty. None of us know what’s going to happen next - not that we ever really did! We can't expect life to be a certain way, if we do we're setting ourselves up for disappointment. We can only control the virus so much, but our mood we can control.
I can return to the moment and stay in a place of equanimity even though things can seem to be tumbling out of control around me.
The Sun does rise each morning and sets each night. The waves splash onto the shore and roll back out to sea. When things don't go the way I expect, instead of sinking into a pissy mood, I can keep breathing in and out, return to the moment and ponder Plan B if I need to. Sometimes Plan B’s are the best plans ever!