friend request sent

Some creepy Big-Brother-Bot from Facebook sent me a notice the other day letting me know that it was aware that I had recently un-friended someone.

Trying to ease my discomfort with its unwelcome vigilance of my online activity, it assured me that it wouldn’t tell the un-friended party.  Big-Brother-Bot even gave me some unhelpful tips on how to reconcile my cyber relationship.  Yup, I’ll get right on that!

Nowhere in the list of tips was how mend this friendship that began when I got a new phone and wasn’t aware of how the combination of my clumsy, tech-resistant thumbs and the heightened sensitivity of my new phone screen found me sending several friend requests completely unaware.

 A few minutes of innocent scrolling and suddenly, I’m a social media butterfly! 

This got me thinking about friendship and the basis for befriending and un-friending. Others and ourselves.

Recently, someone told me that she developed a month-long practice of vocalizing her self-talk. She finished the month by asking herself if she would be friends with anyone who spoke to her the way she spoke to herself. And the heart-opening impact from her discoveries made me consider the ongoing saga of my own self-talk once again.

Would I be friends with anyone who spoke to me that way I speak to myself?

So I decided to send a Friend Request to myself and see if I could invite in a deeper awareness of my own readiness to truly befriend myself.

My Body
I appreciate your strength and overall wellness that allows me to work hard, rest deeply and move freely each day. I love the power and mobility you have in even simple yoga poses. Although I falter almost daily with negative self-talk I do not always think you are overweight. Yes, you have curves, rolls and jiggles that come with age and your fondness for indulgence. But you can also take a set of stairs two at a time and are growing in upper body strength daily. You are source of wisdom and truth.

My Mind
I love how you are always keen to learn and how you process information slowly and thoughtfully. I am grateful for how you make connections in challenging situations and support me when solving problems. I admire that you continue to work hard even when I occasionally dull you with binge-watching Netflix and trolling social media sites. At some point you rebel with deep callings to pick up a book of fiction or poetry. I like how you find the oddest moments to create. You are a source of inspiration to me.

My Emotions
Where do I begin with you? All of you! You can go from thoughtful to reckless in the blink of an eye. You express yourself robustly and frequently but not always publicly. When you come in difficult forms, you remind me pause and reflect. You are the colour and the black and white and sepia tones of my days. You incite, soothe, exhaust and encourage me and others. You are a wall I run into to learn more about myself and I am grateful that the range of your expressions has grown and not diminished as I age.

Self-talk is the longest conversation I will ever have.  

So will be the time needed to consider what it will take to maintain a whole and lasting friendship with myself.

ten days of waking up with a dog

By saying “I am not a dog person” doesn’t mean that I don’t like dogs any more than saying “I am an introvert” means that I don’t like people. It’s all about what drains my batteries and what recharges them.

Historically, dogs and certain breeds of humans have depleted my energy so much more quickly than say, cats, being alone or reading a books in solitude.

Recently, I had a chance to reconsider my position on the detailed story of “me, my and mine” up close and personal-like when Oz, my less-than-year-old grandpuppy, came to stay for ten days while my son travelled.

 

What I learned in 10 days:

I still have preferences.
I like to sleep in, a bit, especially on my summer holidays. And I like to wake up naturally, not to whining about having to go pee. I also like my furniture and yoga mat to be free of fur and drool accents. I like to eat at least one meal a day that doesn’t include taking the pup out for a ‘stoop and scoop’ session in the middle of it. I like to do yoga without a doe-eyed dog with a ball in his mouth begging for me to play with him. I like to walk down the street and not have to have a conversation with every single person I pass, especially those with their own dogs in tow.

I am still possessive.
I heard myself repeating the phrase “No, that’s mine” every time Oz picked up something that wasn’t one of his chew toys. He had them and I wanted them back. My sofa pillows. My kleenex. My sleeves. My fingers. My blankets. My yoga props.  My chair.  My energy levels.  My moment of silence.  My solitude.

 

I still over-effort.
I felt a serious pull to do this puppy-sitting “right”. I found it challenging to leave the little puppers on his own to go off and do my own thing. Suddenly, I was a new mother again who was resistant to leaving my toddlers with a baby-sitter. The responsibility for the job was mine and I intended to take it seriously. The encouragement from others to see Oz as just a dog fell on deaf ears. All I could see what neglect, if I left him alone and whining for attention.

 

I am still a cat person.
Only minutes after Oz had gone home, I missed him terribly. The house had one less heartbeat in it. The cuteness factor was now non-existent! But I know that the energy required to have a dog full-time is beyond my ability to sustain in the long-term. I had a cat for 16 years once and my energy levels were much more compatible with her self-sufficient, introverted nature. Another preference.

 

I am still learning.
As a highly sensitive person who still clings strongly to what is “mine”, I was stretched during Oz’s visit. Stretched to let go of the concrete story about who I am and what is mine. Me, my and mine are only constructs of my own creation. I noticed very quickly when I reacted instead of responded. I noticed when I resented having to give energy rather than preserve it.

I noticed that the only issues that were raised about Oz were in my own mind. Problems of my own creation like having unreasonable expectations.  Oz became the wall I ran into to continue learning about my patterns and preferences.

 

Interestingly enough, I noticed how Oz seemed to be the polar opposite of me when he:

  • was always energized by any interaction, he always had energy for me!
  • gave affection and attention so easily
  • made 98% of the people we encountered on our daily walks, smile
  • would be affectionate with me only seconds after I reprimanded him for digging a hole in my backyard
  • would play tug of war with his toys but not with intent of claiming it as his own, but rather as a way to interact with me
  • didn’t complain once because I did things differently than the way it was usually done for him

I may not be a dog person but I am definitely now an Oz person!