Dealing with feelings: Hello feelings my old friends…

pic of my dog shaking its head so the head is blurredSome familiar feelings arising this morning. Mild panic (got a big event on Thursday),  heavy workload stress with a big list of stuff to get through (quite usual for a Monday as every time I think of something over the weekend it gets added to the list), mother-guilt (have run out of ham for the packed lunches) and then my dog turned on another dog in the woods this morning on our walk – quite out of character but immensely unsettling, especially as the other owner, quite rightly, was incensed.

Walk cut short, both home to lick our wounds (not literally, it wasn’t that much of a spat).

I’m used now to spotting some old feelings and being able to put them in their place – hi, mother-guilt, nice to feel you again, but you know what – a bought sandwich every now and again is fine, I’ll get some ham today if I can and all will be well. I’m not letting you take up ownership of my day simply because of an empty fridge!

And hello there mild panic because an event is coming up – great to feel you today because you’ll make me prepare and practice and double-check stuff. Excellent. Delighted you showed up because I can make best use of you.

Workload stress – well howdy – know you well, in fact you are rarely far from my thoughts. It was lovely not to have you around at the weekend though so I could enjoy my time off with my friends. How about we work on a list of stuff that needs to be done and allocate it to days through the week so you can feel better and disappear?

Those ones, relatively easily displaced.

The dog though… that’s harder as it’s not a feeling I’ve had before. Why did my soppy and often over enthusiastic dog suddenly turn aggressive? Why turn? Why this dog? Why this morning? What did I do? Should I have done? Could I have done?

I look at what I did do. Immediately step in and separate the dogs, get my dog on a leash, apologise profusely, stand there and take the other owners anger, apologise again, immediately take my dog home. If the incident had to happen, I can’t think of more I could have done. But why did it happen and what can I do to stop it happening again?

The one thing that is certain is that worrying, stressing and generally being upset about it won’t change anything. Going back to dog training classes might (He’s two, but quite a ‘young’ two, in his behavior), spending more time on training, playing and having fun with him might. Getting the kids more involved in all that too, might.

It’s the same with any of these feelings really. I need to feel them for sure, but then move through them into positive action rather than dwelling in them for too long. So, positive action for this morning will include taking the dog into the field and doing some fetch and recall to make up for the walk time we have lost and booking in some training time asap.

That feels better. Now, time to get on and tackle that list.

Photo by me and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

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