It has recently come to our attention that our dog is afraid of...we don't know what exactly. Seemingly from out of nowhere, Lila (pronounced Lee-la) won't go in Nick's office here at home. She stands at the threshold and waits, even play-challenges, for him to come out so she can see him. But she won't go all the way in. This is strange behavior.
There's a certain place on the entry floor that distresses her. So I picked her up and brought her all the way into the office. Once in, she was fine! She checked the activity on the balcony and sat down on the rug. Totally normal behavior.
We walked out of the office and called her to the hallway. She acted as if there's an invisible wall or force field that she doesn't want to cross! She hunched down, sniffed all over the area, and carefully, carefully, made her way to the other side of whatever it is. Then she was fine and ready to play! As long as we don't go back in the office.
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
You know what? We may never know. Perhaps she has a bad memory from that area we are unaware of. Perhaps there's a very small, very low-lying ghost. Perhaps even she doesn't understand what's going on or why she's scared! But she is.
As I was contemplating her new fear, I couldn't help but ask if that is very different from most of us. I think it's safe to say we all have fear of some kind. But do we always know where it's coming from? Some fears have an incident tied to them, like a fear of swimming after a near-drowning event in one's youth. They are tied to trauma that we can define and work through with time, yoga, therapy, and self compassion. But some are more mysterious. And they make us do very strange things.
So the next time someone is behaving strangely, rather than judge, I'm going to think of Lila. I'm going to wonder what is behind this, and try my best to meet them with compassion. I don't need to know all the hurts, fears, and stories someone is carrying around with them in order to open my heart with understanding. I think I can trust there's something going on for them, and that can be enough.
In the mean time, I might start looking for a local pet psychic. Any recommendations? ;)
May you recognize your own fears and release them whenever possible, and may you open your heart to all who have fear within them, whether the source known or unknown.
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