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To Be the Person I've Always Wanted To Be
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It's often said jokingly that I would be a better person if I were more like my dog, but as I think it over, I am more and more convinced that it may be true. Consider the following attributes:

First, she exists in the present moment. My dog loves life and wakes up every day to boundless possibilities. She sees the world, not as a situation sliced and diced by the hands of the clock, by the endless demands of money and responsibilities, but as a wonderful place to explore, to learn, to experience with joy.

She doesn't anticipate the future much; she doesn't dread the coming night. Instead, she takes each day as it comes, whatever its gifts or limitations. And she doesn't take it too seriously, knowing in her bones that this, too, will pass.

Second, she is a lover. Her love is unconditional and unexpected. And she forgives me when I've been rude or thoughtless or irritable, without a second's hesitation. Perhaps her finest virtue in this area is that she never holds a grudge. I don't think she knows how.

Her love is never cautious and determinate. She accepts me and everyone I meet with the same trust and openness, no facades, no pretenses. Who else do you know who greets you with smiles and laughter, unreserved joy, every single time you meet? Who else could grieve with you, suffer with you and pace your every step in sympathy and compassion? No hidden agenda, just acceptance and support and attention.

Third, my dog is an authentic individual, WYSIWYG incarnate. No self-consciousness, no looking good for other people, no attempt to set up a situation for future benefit. She is who she is and accepts everyone just as he is. I know that level of authenticity is hard for me to emulate, because being authentic means being open to all possibilities, painful as well as joyous.

If I could be more like my dog, I'd be more the person I've always wanted to be.

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