Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What My Pug Has Taught Me About Being Thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so I thought I'd write about being thankful, but I couldn't really think of anything that hasn't been said a thousand times, even though I have a million things to be thankful for.  Instead, I went in the living room to play with my pug, Loki, and while we were playing (mostly petting), I realized I'd learned a lot about being thankful from him.  Might sound crazy, but it's true. And hey, as long as I'm learning, it doesn't really matter who's the teacher, right?

So here's 5 things my Pug is teaching me and I'm thankful I'm learning them:

5.  Be thankful for the little things, even if you get them every single day. Maybe ESPECIALLY if you get them every single day.  We feed our dogs every morning and then again in the afternoon.  (We may, or may not, slip them things from the people table, too)  And Every. Single. Time. Loki hears his food bag rattle around, he comes flying around the corner, little Pug claws scrambling to hold onto the wood floors, like he hasn't eaten in forever, like nothing will ever again taste this good. Food is like Loki's crack and I get that most Pug's love to eat but people, I'm telling you, if they gave out trophies for "Most Happy For Food", we'd have to build on a new room, even though he gets the same food every day at the same time. I want to be that thankful for all the things I let slip to the back of my mind or allow myself to view as mundane. Including the fact that I have food every single day, too. That's no small thing in our world.

Yoda Pug

4.  Be happy just the way I am.  I don't tan, I have freckles, my legs are much longer than my torso and my hair screams if I try to curl it.  These are all the things I don't like about myself and for most of my young adult life I tried desperately to change these things. All to no avail, of course. I am what I am.  Loki has fat rolls, a flat face and snorts.  He is the cutest thing I have ever seen.  Actually, the things that make him unique looking are the very things I think are so cute about him. I think maybe people are that way, too. The things we don't like about ourselves are the very things that make us who we are and embracing them would release us from being anything but thankful for who we are, not who we think we should be. We are what we should be at this moment.

3.  This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.  Every morning Loki greets us as we tumble out of bed.  He greets us as though when we went to sleep he thought we'd never, ever, never again awaken.  He is so flippin' happy to see us.  He jumps and romps and twirls around and basically acts like he hasn't seen any of us in 4392 days. We, literally, slept 7 hours, dude. And still, he greets us with joy and happiness. He epitomizes the joy that we should greet every day with simply because it's a new day. A new 24 hours to live and be thankful.

2.  When we want love or we want to give love, we should just do it.   I've had other dogs, but I've never had one who will hunt me down to get love or give it.  If anyone in our house sits on the floor, the couch, the bed, the chair, Loki will find a way to be with them.  If he can't get ON you, he will lay near you and stare you down until you move to another location so he can then get ON you in your new location.  He is openly asking you to love on him. He is openly asking to love on you. We should all be this way.  I'd never really thought about giving and receiving love so freely until I saw my Pug do it.  It's a beautiful thing.

Because the couch is such a lovely place to bond with people you love.
And the floor is fine, too. 

1.  Live, Laugh, Love  I couldn't think of what to term the thing Loki most makes me thankful for because it's a feeling more than an exact thought.  Loki plays when he wants to play, loves when he wants to love and rests when he knows it time to rest.  He doesn't think about dumb stuff like if his socks match, or if someone will think he's silly for just doing his thing or if he looks dumb while he's just doing his thing.  He just does it.  He's like a two year old child with fur.  And the Lord said: "Then he said, "I tell all of you with certainty, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven."  Loki gives me a sense of what that actually means.  

When I had small kids of my own, the ones with skin and not fur, I think I was so consumed with making sure I did everything I could to do "the things" right, that I missed a lot of this time with them and I'm thankful that I'm remembering it now. We had a lot of fun, but many times while we were having fun, I was thinking about "the things" that would soon come that wouldn't be fun and that was stupid. It was just stupid. We should be in the moment, the now. It's the only moment we've got and every day I'm becoming more thankful for the days, the moments, the now. I'm becoming more thankful that I can just let go and have fun.  

Happy Thanksgiving, ya'll.  Be thankful. Every day. All the time. 

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

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