Life Lessons from Willow

Image may contain: text that says 'When you realize that by changing your perspective, big things can be seen as little things, it becomes much harder to worry about anything. GREATBIGMINDS'Thunder and fireworks. All weekend long.

While I am a fan of both, my dog, Willow? Not so much.

As unfamiliar noises filled the sky, I was reasonably sure she was going to pant her way into a seizure. 

While a little traumatized, she survived nature and the patriotic display none worse for the wear.

It was hard to comfort her. We tried petting her and wrapping her with blankets. We let her sleep in our bed, which is normally a no-no. Still, no real comfort.

All she knew was what she heard, loud repeated explosions. And considering her hearing is way more sensitive than ours, I’m sure it seemed like the world was coming to an end.

I started thinking about the fear of those things we cannot see and how, sometimes, we build up fear around things we don’t understand.

How you look at things depends on your perspective. In Willow’s case, she only knows what she hears and what she heard was scary. She had no way of knowing that thunder cannot hurt you and that fireworks usually symbolize a happy occasion. In both circumstances, nothing to fear.

She’s a dog. We can forgive her for that.

But we are logical human beings who, sometimes, let fear stop us from doing those things that we want to do. We can’t see the obstacles. We imagine them and then build a story that’s probably not true, but still prevents us from doing the things that will make us better and move us forward.

But if we look at things from a different, more realistic perspective, we realize that those roadblocks are not insurmountable. That the world is not coming to an end. That the noise we hear is merely a distraction, not something that will cause harm.

Willow can’t do that. You can.

Are there things that are preventing you from achieving your goals? Are there concerns where if you just changed the way you look at them, could be assuaged? Is there unwarranted fear keeping you from what you want most?

Change your perspective. Be realistic in how you view your obstacles. You can get over, around or through anything. Stop fear in its tracks so it doesn’t stop you. And for goodness sake, don’t be a Willow.