23 July 2014
20 July 2014
One of the normal outcomes of therapy, and of meditation too, is a different way of having emotions. Basically it is a movement from being dominated by our emotions to being behind our emotions. As we say – “We have emotions – the emotions do not have us.” This does not sound so bad. So far, so good. But my recent experience shows another side to this achievement. My wife Sue and I went in for a scheme offered by the Guide Dogs for the Blind people. You get a puppy just a few weeks old, and take charge of it (with a lot of support and help from the Guide Dogs people) for a year. At the end of the year it goes for further training, or for stud. You get all the food paid for, and any vet’s bills covered, meetings where you can learn more about your dog and so forth – wonderful system. Of course everyone says – “Won’t it be awful when you have to let him go?” And my answer was – “No, because I am not going to allow myself to fall in love with him.” Our puppy was a gorgeous Golden Retriever, who grew up to be a real star – always the centre of attention, always basking in the adoration of his public. But when it came to be the time to let him go on (in his case it was for stud) I did not feel anything special. It was just a fact.
However, on that evening, when he was to go the next day, my wife (who always did most of the work in raising him, and had many connections with other puppy walkers and others in the Guide Dog community) was very sad. I was completely on the wrong wavelength for her, and there was quite a rift between us. This was quite unintended, and I didn’t like it. It was painful for me, and quite out of the range of my expectations. This was quite unexpected – I had just not thought it through enough. I was hurt, and shocked, and brought up short by reality. (Due to her maturity, our rift did not last for very long, which was lucky for me.)
So now I have resolved that, if we have a dog again, I shall not have any firm resolutions or decisions about it, but simply allow myself to feel whatever I would normally feel, without any particular effort at control. This then hopefully will allow me to be more in tune with my wife, and more real and normal. That is odd in a way – sort of resolving to be human, which sounds ridiculous.
You see, once you have attained maturity with your emotions, there is no going back. Whatever happens with your emotions, they are your emotions. As we say, we have our emotions – our emotions do not have us. You cannot unlearn that lesson, but you can make better and wiser decisions about the matter. You can decide to roll with reality, rather than controlling it. Just because I have the power to control my feelings, that does not mean that I have to do that. I can just let go and stay in tune with my wife Sue, like a normal husband. Sounds quite easy, really.