We have two dogs.
One of them is this cute little Shiatsu Maltese cross that loves to sleep on your lap. Bought from a breeder this pooch has class. Our other dog is large, unknown breeding, that we got from the pound as a little 6 month old puppy.
Even at that early stage, without us realising, we believe he had been wounded emotionally. He is a frightened dog. He gets very aggressive quickly when people come to our home. He runs up to the fence line of our front yard and barks.
His response has taught the younger fluffy princess to do the same, yet for some reason everyone ignores her. She is all bark but no bite. He is bark and bite. What is normally a very friendly, cuddly, and affectionate dog turns into a visitors nightmare. He is lovely until he hears something outside that sets him off.
When someone comes near a boundary of yours, a line of love and respect, how do you respond? When someone enters your personal territory, abuses trust, crosses a line, do you yap with no bite or do you bite with no thought. Maybe you don’t yap or protest at all?
If a pendulum swung, would you swing to being more Pekingese or Pinscher?
So often our responses have been trained and retrained into our psyche from previous days. We were wounded at an early age so that how we respond now is how we have always respond.
The men and women who are truly filled with light are those who have gazed deeply into the darkness of their own imperfect existence. Brennan Manning
If you’re a lap yap dog you know that as much as you might yap people won’t respect your presence. They may even laugh and make fun of your presence and just basically ignore you. If your a vicious aggressive guard dog you know that you certainly get peoples attention and cautious respect, but for all the wrong reasons. They are afraid of you, your domination, intimidation and control.
What has been trained into you can be untrained but its going to take work.
Do you want to face the reality of your own training. Of how you have trained yourself into these responses by repeated experiences.
Its going to take work. Darn, you can’t just buy that magic potion of the shelf, download an app or have a magic wand waved over you. .
It will require facing the reality that you don’t have it all together. None of us do. That you need help and that facing the reality of the situation may well mean facing some dark places and times where the earliest seed was sown into the soil of your thinking/ feeling/ behaving.
Facing the abuse, overt and covert, that gouged out a thinking/ feeling/ behaving pattern in the soil of the brain.
Think of it this way.
The grand canyon, large and deep is the ingrained way of thinking/ feeling/ behaving. How did it start? Mighty canyons form by disruption of the earths surface and then a small trickle of water runs down a little line. The little line gouges its path out that little bit deeper into a stream then into a river then into canyon where all your thoughts and feelings and behaviours ride along in a swirling.
How do you get out of a canyon? You have to climb up the banks as soon as you enter, before it gets too deep and powerful. Even earlier if possible, when you see the danger coming.
I have thinking gorges and ruts that I constantly have to pull myself out of. If I see it coming I pray and ask the Holy Spirit, my personal 24-7 counsellor, to help me.
What has been trained into you, the gorges and gullies, can be untrained by you by giving your brain new paths to follow, new options, new trickles to habitutally build into your thinking.
Here is a big statement.
I think everyone has been traumatised in some way shape or form.
Some have been severely traumatised through abuse and violence. Then there are other forms of wounds that are subtle such as neglect. All have left wounds. Wounds that need healing so that they are now but scars of memories.
Scars reflect a previous experience. Wounds are open, festering, unhealed. Have your wounds truly been healed into scars or are they still influencing your present perspective.
I preach only from my scars not my wounds. Nadia Bolz Weber.
The saying goes that ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. Perhaps this is just an excuse to not try and learn new ways of thinking and behaving.
You see I am not a dog and I can learn new tricks when taught by a wise and patient trainer.
Photo Credit: Tugnutt via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Vertigogen via Compfight cc
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