Loopy Lies start with something that we feel “Should Not Be.” Then they fester and we find ourselves feeling unhappy and frustrated.
Our dog, Elly, is a happy Australian Shepherd who is very obedient. I’ve trained her to sit, to come, and to walk on my left side when we go out.
One day we had a visitor, Clancy; another Aussie who is younger and much smaller. The two dogs enjoyed running and playing the day away. For two weeks they hung out, chased each other and went for walks with me. Elly was content and happy to let the Clancy nibble at her ears.
Since we’ve moved into our new house, we have been working on our back yard. The house is on a hill, so we found that we needed more dirt around the bottom of the fence before Clancy, the mini Aussie, could come visit.
My husband put sand under the fence. We have had several discussions about how sand can be dug out by a dog. But because Elly has never been much of a digger, my husband thought it would be okay. And it turned out great because my son keeps a closer eye on his dog more so than we watch ours.
No problem. All went well.
Then Clancy left and went home.
Elly suddenly decided that she didn’t want to be alone, so she dug out of the fence and went to visit the neighbor’s dogs.
I told my husband to please put heavier dirt and rocks under the fence. He did, but only in the spot where Elly had dug out.
The next day, Elly was nowhere to be found. Once again, she had dug out, gone down the street and into the fields where she found a few squirrels and rabbits to chase.
This SHOULD NOT BE, right? I shouldn’t have to do this again, right?
Besides, if you’re going to do a job, do it right the first time, right?
I have every reason to be upset with my husband, right?
Now that I think that I’ve gotten agreement from you, the reader, I am justified in treating my husband like he is an idiot, right?
I want to share with you what helped me approach this situation much better than I have in the past. My hope is that you will be able to use this in your own situations to do something different than condemn everyone who doesn’t agree with you.
The acronym is TRUTH. I learned it from a class I’m taking called “Eternal Warriors,” so the credit goes to them.
T = Terminate the lie
R = Return to the truth
U = Unite with God
TH = This is my weapon
Terminate the lie
I went to my room, feeling upset. I could hear my head saying things like, “My husband never listens to me. Why can’t he do it right the first time? This reminds me of the times he….”
So I asked myself, “What is the lie that I’m telling myself?”
Immediately it came to me that my husband is untrustworthy.
And the next thought, “That’s not true! There are many areas where I trust him with my life.”
Return to the truth
The truth is that my dear husband will do most anything that I ask him to do. Neither one of us expected that Elly would want to get out at this age even though she is a social dog.
However, she is still a dog and that doesn’t make my husband untrustworthy.
So, what IS the truth?
The fence needs dig-proof stuff under it and together, my husband and I need a plan to make that happen.
Unite with God, a higher level
When I think of myself holding hands with a higher being than myself and looking at my husband from that elevated place, the whole situation takes on a different meaning. What if I bring compassion to the table? Would I want understanding and compassion if I had done something similar?
We all have opportunities to learn — all the time. I can learn to do and be different today, especially knowing that what I’ve done in the past to get my husband to put something better under the fence didn’t work so well.
This is an opportunity for growth, so what am I willing to learn?
Praying or meditating about it brings us to a humble, thoughtful place. Now the question is: How can I relate to my husband as my teammate — instead of the bad guy?
This is my weapon
Now comes the action part. We can think loving thoughts all day long, but until we take action, those thoughts mean nothing. Using our body to act with integrity, compassion, responsibility and all those other higher levels of thinking give us an opportunity to change — to make things different.
Using my newfound insights, I went outside and I could feel myself speaking from the facts, instead of the disempowering stories I had begun to make up about those facts. It was a whole lot easier to help my husband come up with a plan. Instead of treating my husband like he is an idiot, I was able to take a completely different approach that allowed both of us to learn from the past. Elly is still a dog, and my husband and I are still humans, working together.
The next weekend we had some friends help us bring in some rocks and add heavier soil around the yard. We laughed, talked, worked, and swam. We had a nice lunch and Elly is still in our yard being a dog.
I dare you to try the TRUTH tool and change your thought-process, too! I promise that it’s much more fun and makes life a whole lot less dramatic.