I am feeling so humbled this afternoon. It’s not just humbled I feel, its awe. Awe for how much we change as we develop into adults and move away from our authentic selves, our personal agency and voice.
Of course if you have a nourishing, accepting, holistic, humourous and adventurous family unit in which to grow your roots and find your stage then life’s conditioning experiences (school/college/university/jobs/career/friends) have less of an impact and you keep your authentic voice or at least you can recover it quicker.
Yesterday, I was walking through my local park and by chance ran into a young lady and her Grandmother I had not met before. I was talking initially, to the Grandmother, exchanging pleasantries and the conversation turned to my puppy because the young lady was hoping to get a new dog and then a story unfolded.
The Grandmother and the young lady told me a tragic story of a puppy that she had got and its first walk off the lead. Its not what I was expecting but her candour and future hope radiated from her.
The young lady had been training her puppy and the family were wondering when to take the risk of letting the puppy off its lead. It was the anxiety of the young lady that kept the puppy on its lead. An anxious moment for any new dog owner.
They had practised recall and the young lady was encouraged to take her dog off the lead that day by her family and for some lovely minutes everything was going well. The ball was being caught and retrieved.
Then in an instant everything changed.
The young lady threw the ball and as the puppy jumped up to get it, the ball went down the windpipe in one go and the dog died in an instant.
As I listened to the story I could not imagine the despair that that young person felt. Picking the dog up taking it home. Even as I write I shudder at the thought.
Yet, a year later the young lady had processed her experience to such a degree that she knew it was a freak accident and her love of dogs was fiercer than ever. As she looked at me I could feel the reflection of her positivity as she looked forward to a new dog. Her eyes sparkling with the anticipation of running and playing with a new four legged friend.
As we said our goodbyes, I was left with the imprint of her resilience and defiance to keep working towards what she wanted despite her nervousness about having another dog.
As the honesty of her words draped over me of the true horror of her experience I wondered at what age we stop talking to each other so frankly.
Instead of, how are you? Yes, I’m fine.
Would it not be better to utter the truth.
How are you? I’ve had a really difficult day.