Sometimes, what we want to DO has nothing to do with what we really want.
Let me explain.
Usually my discovery sessions start by asking the other person to fill in the blank.
“What I really want to do is ____________________________________________.”
Well, last Wednesday evening I was NOT filling in that blank with “take the Dragon Dog for a walk in Carondelet Park.”
I was in a rare funk (yes, I get those too.) And all I really wanted to do was pour a glass of wine, crawl into a hot tub, and turn on the jets until the world disappeared. And I wasn’t sure I had the energy to do that.
But when Philip suggested a walk might do me good, and would definitely be good for Moira (affectionately called the Dragon Dog because when she was a baby she liked to sit up on her haunches and roar –yes roar, really. She’s 80 pounds now, and doesn’t sit up on her haunches much, but she can still ROAR!) I knew I was going to go for a walk.
I grumped my way into running pants, pulled out a black t-shirt (matched my mood you know) and then put it back muttering, “Almost dark, better wear white.”
Grump, grump and more grump.
(Remember that white shirt, it’s important.)
For those of you who aren’t from St. Louis (or who have never discovered Carondelet Park) it’s a big, sprawling park, with lots of wide paved paths and internal roads running the perimeter. It’s well-lit, and as long as you stay on the roads and off the paths, you’re in no danger of being hit by anything bigger than a bat even if you do happen to be wearing a black t-shirt.
Luckily, I was wearing a white t-shirt. Because I ended up jumping in front of a car. (One more thing I did NOT want to do.)
We turned into the park and the Dragon Dog started her usual anticipatory dance in the backseat, leaving no doubt about how SHE was filling in the “What I really want to do is” blank.
Suddenly, the car swerved. Philip pulled to a stop at the curb shouting, “That was a puppy in the road.”
I was saying “huh” and getting out of the car at the same time. My logical mind wanted clarification, but my instinctive mind was already on overdrive.
Out of the car, looking the way we’d come, I saw two sets of headlights approaching at a pretty fast clip and one small black puppy. He was standing frozen in the road, so frightened he was peeing, the lights catching the stream of urine and the fear in his eyes, but not much else, because black dogs don’t show up at night any better than a black t-shirt would have.
I ran toward the oncoming car waving my arms, not grumpy any more, just desperate to get the car to slow down enough, swerve enough, to miss that little baby. (And me, I was kind of hoping it would miss me too.) Somewhere in the back of my mind I heard a voice say, “Gee, aren’t you glad you wore a white shirt?”
That car missed us both. And the second car followed the trajectory of the first and missed us as well.
I started running at an angle toward the pup, not knowing if it would run to me or from me but wanting it to move toward the safety of the curb.
He came straight for me. I collapsed on the curb and he literally leapt into my lap, shaking and whimpering.
Of course, he came home with us. Since he looks like a cross between a baby bear and a wolf pup (although he’s likely part Australian Shepherd and maybe Labrador) we called him Mishka, which is Russian for “baby bear.”
He isn’t chipped, we’ve been back to the park several times looking for “lost puppy” signs and haven’t seen them. He’s smart, and a pleaser, has already learned to sit and behave on a leash. And he’s a total love bug, can’t get enough cuddles and playtime. Hard to imagine someone had him and didn’t want him, but it seems that’s what happened. He’s going to make a wonderful addition to a family who has more sense and love to give.
He needs a home (ours already has two black fur balls and my travel schedule would only feed his separation anxiety) but he’s alive.
All because I did NOT want to go for a walk.
You think I meant to say “all because I went for a walk when I didn’t want to?”
Nope. Because if I hadn’t put it off we’d have gone much earlier. We wouldn’t have been in that place at that time to rescue that puppy.
The need to go to the park (wearing a white t-shirt) wasn’t about what I wanted to do. It was about what I wanted to make happen. My conscious mind knew what that was - I wanted to give Moira her walk, and I wanted to respond to Philip’s desire to help me feel better. I wanted to be the kind of person who is responsive to those I love and those who love me.
So what’s the lesson? It reminds me of something I said from the pulpit just two weeks ago (yes,a pulpit. Another thing I did NOT want to do. More on that in the next post.)
“Sometimes it isn’t about what we want to do. It’s about what we’re CALLED to do.”
Now I don’t mean a “divine calling.” At least not one that comes from outside of ourselves. I mean the inner voice that tells us what we must do in order to accomplish what is most important, in order to achieve our heart’s deepest desire. That little voice of our highest and best self. The one we so often drown out in doubts, fears, shoulds, and can’ts.
You see, my non-conscious mind, the part that is aware of our connection to each other and the universe, felt called by something even more urgent. I procrastinated that walk until the little voice inside said “go NOW.”
That voice knows it isn’t about what we want to DO.
It’s really about what we want to BECOME.
P.S. Anyone want to become the happy parent of a baby bear-wolf puppy? He laughs a lot, loves everyone he meets (with or without fur) and wants to become the best little Mishka he can be.
UPDATE: Mishka has become the best baby we could ask for. And evidently we DID ask for him because he’s still with us. He turned out to be shepherd/dane so he’s not a little fellow. I’ve updated the photo so you can see just how much a part of the family he’s become.