Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Please Don't Should on Me

I have a pair of Siberian huskies, great dogs, but a little naughty at times. One of my angels, we shall call her Jane, to protect her privacy, was very annoying to another dog the other day at play group. She wanted the dog to play, the dog didn't want to, so she decided to torture him until he did, howling incessantly in his face. I tried to stop her. Minutes of frustration later, and unsuccessful attempts at capture, the other dog took a time out. The next day a gentleman said to me, "You really should have had better control of your dog." Ten words and my day spiraled downward. I overreacted, got embarrassed, felt like a failure of a dog owner, and almost left the group and not returned. Out of the ten words said, the one that did the most damage was the word "should." I am sure we are all aware of things we should have done in the past. I am reminded everyday that I should have stayed single, should have gone to college right out of high school, should have left this job then, or taken that road. The thing is, I didn't, and there is nothing I can do to change what happened in the past. All I can change is the present. If that dog owner had come up to me and said, "Hey I see you had a hard time controlling your dog, maybe next time just give a call and I will help you out," things would have been different. Maybe the word is so volatile because I was married to someone who constantly told me how I should have done things differently, or maybe, just maybe, I do it to myself. That is why I reacted strongly to the gentleman, who was really trying to help. I am the one who holds herself up to high expectations. I am the one who shoulds myself to the point where one more utterance of the word throws me for a loop. I am the one who chooses to feel like crap when I pick on myself for making a mistake. I am the one with the complex. Today I am slowly asking for spirit to release the anger that is stuck to those ten words spoken. That irritation is not good for me. He helped to point out an area in my life that I need to work on. I should have more control over my dogs, but I don't. Maybe I can just ask for help next time. Lesson learned? Maybe, or maybe I should just chill out and enjoy the beautiful day.

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