Thursday, December 13, 2018

It's Just Dog Pee on a Backpack

A couple of months ago, my 11 year old daughter was feverishly working on her "list of things we will do" for a weekend with one of her good friends.  According to Ari's list, the weekend would not be complete without a Dollar Store scavenger hunt, shopping at the outlet mall, matching outfits for a family birthday party...and those are just the few points I can remember!

What I do remember was telling Ari that I would fund part of the adventures, but she was going to be responsible for the rest of her spending money.  I encouraged her to look for opportunities to earn money to present themselves, and then be willing to adjust her list if necessary, knowing the weekend was going to be awesome no matter what the budget ended up being.'s what you have to know about Arianna.  She just knows everything is going to be fine.  Every dog is going to be her best friend.  Every shopping trip will end with donuts.  Every school day has lunch period, so how bad can it be?  She has a wonderful attitude to have every day!

So...countdown to weekend of fun...long list of spending opportunities...small budget...but open to the universe presenting opportunities...and then...

One morning Ari was at the bus stop in her dad's neighborhood.  A woman with a puppy was walking by, and of course the dog WILL be Ari's new best friend, so Ari is enthusiastically petting the dog.  Well, as dogs sometimes do, he decided to lift his leg...and pee, right on her backpack.

Immediately the woman was frantically trying to pull the dog away, apologizing profusely, as Ari broke out in her usual goofy laughter and said "but it's a puppy!!! Look at his fluffy tail!"  She was sincerely nonplussed by the turn of events!  The woman was trying to find a working water hose, rubbing grass clipping on the pee to try to soak it off, etc.  She even said "I am going to buy you a new backpack!"  Ari assured her that this was NOT necessary.

However, the next morning, the same woman showed up at the bus stop, cash in hand.  And Ari really tried to refuse the money, but the woman insisted she take it.

So, when Ari returned to my house a couple days later, she relayed the story to me, and I was incredibly proud of her for how she handled the situation.  She knew the backpack was just a thing - she didn't get flustered at the woman, or her dog, or make matters worse but getting upset at the situation.  And, she did try to refuse the money.

So, I said to Ari, that there will be a lot of situations like a dog peeing on your backpack, situations where you could decide to shrug or laugh it off, or situations where you can get angry and make matters worse.

(Don't get me wrong - there are DEFINITELY situations where justifiable anger is the order of the day.  But, if no one is physically or mentally hurt or abused, if the opportunity is there to shrug it off and walk away...then do so.  The momentum could easily shift from "let's get angry and blow this out of proportion" to "let's have some perspective and keep calm".)

In my opinion, Ari's calm response and her knowing that everything would be ok, was what allowed the universe to present her with some of the money she needed for her weekend-of-fun to-do list.

There are times where anger seems like the correct response...but probably not. (TRUST ME...this is coming from a woman who was jailed based on a lie on the day of her daughter's dance recital.)  I can tell you for certain: out of everything that happened to me and my children over the last couple of years, I can distinctly feel the difference in my life, and in my heart, and in my soul from BEFORE i learned to "shrug it off" to after.

People lie...people manipulate...entrap...coerce...abandon...and sometimes, the worse thing they do is perpetuate an idea that you are not worth forgiveness, support, or love.  But I have never felt more powerful than I do today.  Because the power never lies in lies or manipulation or revenge - true power is the energy to focus your life, focus your thoughts, focus your mind in a direction that will propel you to greatness. 

After all...isn't it all dog pee on your backpack?  You always get to decide how to respond...and your attitude will help you see the solutions that the universe already has lined up for you. 

May Dog Pee With You.

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