a friend shared with me how exhausted she was from work and being a mom – “i’m so tired of being the one who has to make everyone else happy.” when i am being happy for myself, not for anyone else, there’s a shift in how i experience my day. there’s a weight that’s lifted, and i suddenly find my heart singing all kinds of gratitude.
when i think about being happy, i think about my dogs. their goal is not to make me happy. they make me happy by simply being who they are. i think of the wag of their tails and i realize that their wag is a lot like my smile. i used to think that dogs wagged their tails when we did something nice for them…that i was responsible for their happiness. and then i noticed that they wagged their tails even when i wasn’t doing anything nice for them. the wagging of their tails is a lot like the singing of my heart – it’s unconditional, not based on who’s making whom happy.
the wag is the dog, not the dog wags his tail when i make him happy or when he makes me happy; just as my smile is my heart, not i smile only when you make me happy or i make you happy.
living through his heart, the dog wags his tail; living through my heart, i smile and cry. living through the heart, my dogs and i are experiencing hearts open to feelings that are free from conditions that our egos set or demand of others.
here’s an example. if i’m having a tough day, my dog senses it. he comes over and starts licking me and all the while he’s wagging his tail. he doesn’t set out to try and make me happy, he just does. the simple act of kissing and wagging is what he would do, no matter what my mood. his love is unconditional. he sets the tone by the simple wag of his tail. his wag is the external expression of what is in his heart.
since i don’t have a tail, i think the closest external meter of what is in my heart is my smile, my laughter and my tears. when i’m in touch with my heart and let my heart lead, i’m sharing with the world – those around me – my truth, what we are all born with, our truest essence.
what i’ve realized over the years is that i’m not responsible for anyone’s well being, but when i take care of myself, my well being, my heart, that’s when i am free to be me, which is simply love. and that’s where the bond and connection lie. there are no ties or tethers holding us together, it’s the invisible understanding and acceptance that is most comforting, externalized in the wag of the tail.