Remember long ago when we first learned the world “role model” and we were asked to choose someone in our life that we looked up to and explain why?
Well… I think we all assumed that we had to choose a person because since we are humans, it would be only logical to look up to another human. But if you are a person who has been blessed with a furry friend in your life, you might understand right away why someone would aspire to me more like their four-legged companion.
My dog is a spiritual for three big reasons; she loves unconditionally, she lives in the present moment, and she observes life without labelling it.. always.
So no I don’t mean that I wish I could sleep all day, spend my days playing fetch, and waiting around for my meals. I adore my dog because she has a special innocence that is rare to find in humans. She has a spiritual shadow that I envy.
When we look at children, a flower, or any kind of animal we are often captivated by something about them. You might find an automatic smile spread across your face. You might feel warm and full inside. Why does this happen? Because in that moment you are experiencing something for its truest, untainted form. A deeply rooted feeling of beauty in the purest way possible.
Dogs have this about them.
Dogs Love Unconditionally
I mean, this is an obvious one. This quote is plastered all over the internet. You can leave your dog time after time to go on about your day and they will love you just as much. They don’t walk the other way because your hair is a mess or you smell a little funny. They will lay there with you when you cry. They are there for you when your relationships are ending. They wait at home for you while you are out meeting someone new. They are there for you while you grow life and welcome it in the world. They are there always.
I know that I don’t always love unconditionally. The phrase “I love you unconditionally” is something we say often, but is actually pretty difficult for humans to follow through with. I know that I could personally be better at it. I am sometimes altered by the world’s opinions and ideals of what is “fair” to me and how I think I deserve to be treated. I do react based on how the world tells me I should in certain circumstances.
The thing is… my dog is a generally happy soul. She loves everyone no matter if they have scolded her earlier in the day or gave her less attention that day than in the others. I aspire to be like this, to go about my day interacting with people in this way… to genuinely love everyone in all of their forms.
They Live in the Present Moment
A beautiful characteristic of dogs is that they live moment by moment. Next time you are with your furry friend, observe them. They sit there patiently experiencing each moment. They hear and see the bees buzzing around them, they look around… they are observing life second for second. They aren’t dwelling about what is coming in the rest of their day. They aren’t thinking about if anyone else is looking at them. They are just there.
Unfortunately for humans, when we go to a park bench we aren’t always there. We might be completely immersed in our own thoughts while we miss out on all of our surroundings. Dogs are experts at staying in the present moment. When I find myself lost in thought I can look at my dog and know that she will remind me to be here, not in my head. She does it beautifully… “bee.. squirrel.. smell… need water..ducks” she doesn’t miss a beat in her life.
Dogs Observe Without Labelling
When we observe, we tend to fill our heads with thoughts. Instead of just watching a duck swim our minds will say “that duck is swimming”. When we put a label on what we are observing, we take away from that natural pureness of the observation. For example; the essence of a flower is still there whether you tell yourself that the flower is beautiful or not. Dogs execute this one perfectly. They watch and while they are experiencing each moment, they are not labelling it. They are not filling their consciousness with judgements and questions. They observe and they move on to the next thing. It’s a beautiful characteristic really. Dogs experience their surroundings for how they are, not what they are.
I do aspire to be more like this. Too often I find myself putting a label on my surroundings. The energy around us and the essence it breathes doesn’t have a label. It’s not a thing that can be described, it just is. It exists… you can feel it, but there are no words to describe what it is.
Although I am an obvious dog lover, I love them more than just for their abundant love and warm, soft snuggles. I believe that dogs are spiritually superior to humans and have a lot that they can teach us. If you have a four legged companion, next time you are out and about, observe them. Envy them. Let your dog challenge you to be a better person.
Have a great day!