Dogs do speak but only to those who know how to listen
Molly is my dog – a Spaniel Poodle cross who has been a part of my life now for twelve years. She is exuberant, (perhaps ‘hyperactive’ might be a better description!) loving, faithful to a T and totally without malice. Each day for her starts a brand new with not even a hint that things did not go too well yesterday, in spite of the fact that I was busy for most of the day and dinner was late!
In a nutshell, she has a huge sense of purpose to her life, derived from all her needs being met. As she is not in her natural environment I am the human who gives her her guidance and purpose. She has learnt much in twelve years: she pretty well knows where everything is; has her favourite resting places and smells; she has learnt when to speak and when to be silent; when to move and when to be still.
Monday mornings are a great example of how Molly has adapted to me and fits into my schedule. She knows that there is no point in getting up on a Monday morning but rather watches me get ready to go to the Country Women’s Association (CWA) Choir Practise. She knows she can’t come with me and therefore there is no point getting excited about what might happen that morning. Rather, she goes back to bed.
Molly reflects my energy, or lack of it, and the activities of my days.
So what can we learn from Molly and me?
I am taken back to when I was a parent of young children and how I and their father, and how the environment we created in our home hugely contributed to them finding their way, purpose and contribution in life.
I love this quote, and I think it is important as busy parents of little ones to remember:
“You have something to do, someone to love and something to hope for.”
Your children are a part of your purpose.
As a parent, it wasn’t that my life didn’t have challenges and sadness at times, but I guess I had found a reason to go beyond this. I was a parent. My purpose was being the best parent I could be, despite a bit of a shaky start. I desired to create an environment for our children that was fun, to expose them to different experiences, to have the opportunity to develop and find their strengths and what they liked doing so that they could find their purpose and contribution.
We created a very busy home. We had lots of activities around learning, sports, travel, volunteering, we held camps at our property, weekend youth clubs, our kids were always involved with our local church and community, we baked, we hosted, we were involved!
Whilst there are always things I know I would differently, I worked hard to provide a home for our children that would give them opportunity to participate, give things a go, find out what they might be good at, help them be brave and courageous, take risks, and learn how to live and love people who were different to us.
Whilst at some point these children become adults and make their own choices, I believe that the role of a parent has a huge purpose; the energy and environment we create in our homes will be reflected later in their life and in turn them finding their purpose.
With no children in my home anymore, Molly is my child and project! She watches me, she follows me and copies me.
This is what our children do; watch, follow and copy even our sense of purpose.