In my non-dog life, I’m taking an online cooking/nutrition workshop. It’s pretty hippy-dippy (an expression I use with very deep affection). In the introductory video, the instructor, not unlike cupid, shot a little arrow into my heart.
She’s talking about letting go of expectations.
“If your vision [for the short-term future] seems pretty grand, let that go… The more patient you are, the more grace you offer yourself…the further you will go on this journey.”
It’s easy with dog training, whether your dog is a nut like Silas or not, to put tremendous pressure on yourself, from “I can’t click fast enough, so my dog isn’t learning the trick” to “my dog is neurotic and it’s all my fault and if I just work hard enough I can fix it.”
I drafted the above section of this post late last week. Since then it’s taken on some heft that I didn’t really intend. As I suspected, something is wrong in Silas’s diet. Then we had a tough weekend of hitting our heads against some of his worst fears.
Let go. Breathe. Look at the big picture.
In that big picture, there is so much more than the litany of little mistakes that can seem so overwhelming in the day to day. Fun and joy and laughing at this goofy dog. A strengthening bond. Progress toward a less anxious future.
Accept with grace your mistakes, and your halting progress, and your awesome successes, and your perfect days, and the fact that grace is hard.