Kind Promise: I will appreciate blessings…

small dog barkingThere are over 100 dogs in our building. Dogs in the city group together because it isn’t easy to find a landlord that accepts them. When I’m waiting for my bus in the morning, I watch owners emerging from the building pulled by eager dogs ready for their morning outing. Dignified or rowdy, dogs greet the day enthusiastically.

I like dogs, but I am less enamored of yipee dogs. I’m talking about small dogs whose energy is expressed through almost constant yip-yip-yip barking. (If one is part of your family, I’m sure it’s adorable…to you.)

This month I am noticing the blessings in my life. As so often happens, putting my attention in an area, I begin sorting and judging. I separate the sheep from the goats. Is this experience a blessing or a curse? I like either or thinking. It keeps things neat.

We have just moved and I am learning what I need to do to get my disabled body through the day in this new space. It hasn’t been a graceful or easy process. I’ve been noticing “the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” It’s hard not to notice them because change has brought them to my attention. I have started thinking of them as yipee dogs.

I find yipee dogs annoying, but I have never been injured or killed by one. I remind myself that these new irritations are similar.

When I began to focus on appreciating blessings, I mistakenly thought it meant pretending the yipee dogs aren’t there or finding them charming instead of exasperating. Not so.

My pain is pain. I don’t find it helpful to deny it or pretend it doesn’t hurt. Appreciating blessings is not about that.

When I lift up my eyes from the yipping dogs, the pretty sky is still there. That’s what this is about: noticing and celebrating the goodness and beauty around me, even when it requires an act of will on my part to do it.