In a new year, I always pause to think about how lucky I am. I’m a rescue dog. I don’t remember much about my past and the folks at the shelter can’t tell my new owners, who I call “mom and dad” what my past was. But I think I may have been abused. I don’t like other dogs and wasn’t socialized early on, so I have this fear of other dogs. I get skittish when people get too loud or demonstrative with me. I can only imagine that I was quite lonely back then and I crave the attention of my mom and dad.
But don’t we all have fears that get the best of us? And we also have many people in our lives that help us get past those fears. I know I get comfort from my dad whose lap I find warm and peaceful. In the summer months, there’s no better place than watching the sunset late in the day while sitting on his lap and in the winter, he provides me with the warmth I need for a cold Buffalo winter. Imagine, me, a Chihuahua, in the snowy climbs of Buffalo! I thank God each day for his warm lap and for coats and sweatshirts that he buys me. I’m sure there are cold and hungry dogs outside with no place to call home. I’m one of the lucky ones.
Dad says that it was really me that rescued him and mom. That I teach him about things like forgiveness and unconditional love and that makes their marriage a better one. Aw, shucks, I’m just trying to be myself. After all, I can’t be anyone else!
So perhaps that’s what we should all try to be: Ourselves. Whether we’re a little dog, or the president of a company, or a stay at home parent, or a priest, or a college student, we all just have to become the best at who we are with all that God gave us. In doing that, we are making the best of this life that is given to us. That sounds simple, especially coming from someone who has nothing to do but eat and sleep and play and poop all day. But sometimes our presence is all that we need to offer to others, it is more than enough. Dad tells me that when he has a bad day, I offer him so much just by laying on his lap. I look at him with sympathy and can sense his sadness or his stress. All he needs is a bit of peace and quiet and all is again right with the world and I help remind him and provide him with those times. And he makes me feel safe too!
So today, do what you do. Be who you are. And offer that, and only that, to others. For you have nothing else to offer but that. And in this New Year I hope that somehow you’ll find what I’ve found:
That it is more than enough.