A Lesson from the Lawrence Puppies
Even now, full grown at just over 2 years, they don't do a thing without the other, or without looking to my husband and I. They continue to flourish, not by exerting independence, but through on-going dependence and shared activities . . . trusting, loving, quick in forgetting an offense, and playfulness in discovering life and overcoming challenges through shared moments.
Their lives consist of a steady diet of affection, attention and affirmation from their 'parents' and from one another: shared praise and affection, shared adventures, shared meals, shared toys, shared space. They’ve learned this is a healthy, fun, and normal way to live.
One day I saw one pup trying to carry a stick twice his length and half his weight. The other one grabbed it, as if to take it, but the first one held on. Instead of tug of war or a barking match, they managed to trot up to the patio, each holding one end of the stick. Then they maneuvered the stick through the doggie door together. One puppy backed up and let the other one go first!
It seems no matter the situation, they welcome one another's involvement and contribution. They trust and assume the best. They don't demand their own way or insist on being first, and they don't hold grudges. They aren't selfish or hoarding either - if one dog has a toy, it's just a matter of time before it will be in the other one’s mouth. And they don't seem to mind sharing the spotlight. When one pup is praised, the other wags a tail too.
Ah, a dog’s life!
Coaching lesson from the dogs:
If you are feeling worn-out, distant or threatened by others, think like the Lawrence puppies - embrace the goodness of dependence and collaboration. Life and work challenges don’t seem so daunting when you are willing to let others into your world, and life is a little sweeter when you share the spotlight.
Who do you need to collaborate with or ask for help today?
Who do you need to affirm or praise for the little things they are doing right?