Oct 4, 2020
I had no intention of a “Part 2” to the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, until I visited Mom again, kind of spur of the moment, a few days ago.
As explained, visiting Mom means walking Lola, her Golden Doodle.
I had this amazing experience on the final day of my last visit. I took her off the leash during our walk. It was a suggestion both my brother and his wife had made. Lola and I enjoyed the walk more; I actually felt a bit of trust develop between us. To get the full story, you really should go check out Part One.
But anyway, back to the sequel…
When I awoke on my first morning at Mom’s I was planning on going “off leash” once again.
Then my brain offered this to me: “It worked last time, but it probably won’t work again.”
I couldn’t believe it. I had experienced how great it was! Why was my brain telling me this?
Oh, right. To protect me. Our brains NEVER stop trying to protect us. My dear brain wanted to make sure I knew that any sort of mishap could happen; there might be birds, cats, dogs or cars that could create all kinds of trouble.
I answered that thought. “Thank you brain, but it really wasn’t a problem last time. We’re going to take Lola off the leash, everything will be fine.”
And it was. Until the next morning.
Getting ready for our walk, once again a warning bell sounded. “This might not work like it did last time.”
REALLY?? For a minute I considered accepting that thought and just keeping her on the leash, after all, it IS safer.
Cue the Courage.
I told my brain, “We’ll be fine. We’re taking off the leash.”
We had a lovely time. We met a few dogs, some while on the leash, like when on busy roads or when the garbage truck was coming. Some while off. No problem.
Day 3. The last morning of my visit. I really should have expected it by now, but I didn’t. As if winding up for a final performance my brain really gave it a good shot, “Eventually something is going to go wrong. Maybe today won’t go as well as the other days.”
Between walking Lola and building a business, I’m getting lots of practice creating Courage.
I answered back. “Whatever happens, I can handle it.” and we left on our walk.
I’m assuming y’all talk to yourself too, and that at this point you’re nodding in agreement. But HOW do you talk to yourself, especially when your brain offers you a troubling thought?
Are you aware that it’s only a thought. Or are you taking it as absolute truth? Do you know that it’s optional? Do you know you don’t have to believe every thought?
If I had listened to the thoughts my brain was giving me each morning, I may have chosen to skip the walk. Or, at minimum, Lola would have stayed on the leash and we would have been tugging at each other and I would have been tripping over her, but hey, she would have been “safer” according to my brain.
Actually, my brain was more concerned with my safety. Because truly, walking her without the leash does make me a little nervous. And my brain does NOT like the feeling of being nervous.
But what if I am strong enough to feel nervous and do the uncomfortable thing anyway?
It turns out I totally am. That last morning, just minutes away from the end of our walk, we rounded a corner and there were two little dogs out in their front yard with their owner. Lola ran straight to them and they chased each other around the yard, barking. The owner was upset at his dogs (and probably me) and did his best to control them, when suddenly Lola eyed another dog a few houses down and went running towards her (or him?).
I apologized to the owner of the little dogs and ran after her. After saying hello to the new dog for a few chaotic minutes, Lola came to me and I grabbed on to her harness and clicked on the leash.
Not ideal, but I handled it. I know that MANY other, more dangerous, scenarios could have happened on our walks that I have no control over.
But the thing is, in ALL of life, there are very few scenarios that I have control over.
And I’m still choosing to let go of the leash.
P.S. One of my jobs as your Coach is to teach you how to be onto your brain when it’s trying to hold you back. Let’s talk. Schedule a FREE session to really see the difference this can make in your life. https://Meredithismycoach.as.me/