This is hard to admit, but sometimes it’s easier for me to show love and compassion to strangers than to my own family. I am currently struggling with a member of my household who challenges me almost every single day.
The truth is—even though I am trying to become a Messenger of Love—someone under my own roof is driving me crazy! I feel like she’s purposely doing things to get under my skin. Yes, I can go out in the world and be so sweet to the cashier at the grocery. I know I genuinely brightened her mood. However, when I get up in the morning sometimes I don’t feel at all loving to a certain someone.
My dog Maggie gets on my nerves a lot. Sometimes I think she is out to get me. She wanders around and sighs loudly when I am trying to meditate. Yesterday I was exhausted and had time for a rare quick 30-minute nap. But every three minutes she interrupted my sleep by tossing and turning. She regularly wakes me up in the middle of the night pacing and whining. I sometimes trip on her in the dark because she does not get out of the way. She guards her food bowl and growls at me when I walk by, implying I am not to be trusted.
I realize what is most infuriating for me is when she scurries ahead with her tail tucked between her legs– as if I’ve just beaten her. I feel falsely accused. But she is a rescue and was likely abused. I was bullied as a child and have been abused. She is wearing the wounded parts of her on the outside while I am hiding mine on the inside.
Maggie and I are, in fact, kindred spirits. We are soul sisters.
My reaction to Maggie is a reminder that the bullied little girl still resides inside of me. She is hurting and even though I rarely acknowledge her maybe, I should start. She is a part of me that I have been denying. I’ve been denying her because to acknowledge a wounded part of me is to admit weakness. But I know now that that’s a false belief.
My inner little girl needs to know she is lovable and she needs to be heard. I promise that I will listen to her, and give her love. I remind myself that everyone has wounds and are better off if we stop pretending we are perfect.
We are human.
I start by reframing the situation: Maggie is no longer my nemesis; she is my teacher. She’s here to alert me when I am in a negative place. It’s true, I am often not aware when I’m feeling angry or negative until she skitters away from me.
She’s also here to remind me that the ones who are the most unlovable are the ones in need of the most love. She and I are both wounded in similar ways. I plan to show more compassion to both of us.
To truly love Maggie is to accept her for everything she is and everything she does. It’s not about me and what I want or don’t want her to do. I know that it will be easier to fully love and accept Maggie once I fully love and accept myself.
Who is the Maggie in your life? Please comment below and share this article with people who may find it helpful, interesting or inspiring. Thank you.