My dog Aw’gy is leaning his muzzle against my thigh as I write this. He’s begging for his morning outing – he whines, walks around the kitchen, comes back and sniffs the hem of my shorts. Try as I might not to anthropomorphize, I imagine him thinking: they look like walking shorts, they sure smell like walking shorts, then what the heck is she doin’ sitting here. I’m ready to get out. Come on, girl.
Somedays, I think dogs are better off than people for their ability to keep things simple, live in the moment. But having to rely on someone else for the basics – I dunno if I’d like that.
Relying on someone else for my well being is something from which I’ve been trying to free myself for years. It was during Life Success Basic that I first realized I was responsible for my happiness, not my husband at the time, not my parents or anyone one person. It meant making some hard decisions for myself, to set my feet on the yellow brick road to happiness, as it were.
I had inadvertently set up a number of Wicked Witches, people I allowed to control my fears, fill my needs, “make” me happy. It was hard for me at age – I dunno, 47? – to admit this. After all, I was a big-time corporate marketing hooha, with a super staff, multi-million dollar budget and the credentials to prove I was somebody. Somebody with a sort of split personality.
It’s taken time, some therapy, journaling, crying, plain ole hard work to set myself free from the things that kept me from being the real me. I had to forgive my parents, myself, the Pope, probably a couple of world leaders, certainly members of my family, old boyfriends, uh … ok, lucky for all of us, Aw’gy put his muzzle back on my lap – time to wrap this up. But not without talking about the ruby slippers.
Once I accused my therapist of knowing more about me than me. “You’re keeping something from me,” I told her once, very unhappy with her. She didn’t say a word. “See. You’re holding back.” Only later, after more work on myself did I realize she only knew what I told her about me, what I was able to cough up, pull out of a trash can of my life’s detritus. I was wearing ruby slippers. I always had the ability to find my happiness.
The Mamas and Papas sang, “Go where you wanna go, do what you wanna do, with whoever you wanna,wanna do it with.” I am freer than I’ve every been in my life because I accept responsibility for my happiness. I’ve got the ruby slippers, following my yellow brick road. I am a happy munchkin. But now Aw’gy reminds me that I still need to take him for a walk.
PS: Thanks to America’s free-thinkers in the late 1700s who struggled to make us free. Happy Fourth of July!