the power and woes of being a parent


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I agree. I remember when I found out I was pregnant the first time. Still a teenager I had decided to keep my baby and do what I felt was the right thing. Fast forward 34 years and I am still struggling with this boy as he struggles with the disability of his bipolar condition he lets over take him when the darkness gets ever so dark. I may not have been prepared to be a mom, and frankly who is, but what I found out and not through my own family is that having a child is very much an extension of self. What he is I am and I lead him so he may know which way to go and most certainly which way not to go. The eternal hope of the parent. If I don’t do it, who will?

Problem with parenting is that there can be a number of others who begin to contribute to the wellbeing of your child, other parents, teachers, peers, and mentors. SO a strong parent voice is the best defense to others who would speak before they think or those who speak from the head rather than the heart. SO many of our children are hurt in their heart by words spoken to them by a person who was to love them unconditionally. It happens and next shall be apologizes, words not often spoken from a parent to a child, I am sorry! We teach them we as parents are not perfect, just striving to be our best, so they will know the same, we don’t expect perfection just the best they can be. Wisdom people, they need wisdom!

Having children will be hands down the hardest thing I have done and will frankly be the only job I stand before God beaming with pride as I say I did my best God. I made my children’s well-being my guiding light. I will hope to do this for my grandchildren as well. Let’s do this for all of the children. Smile at the children you see so they will know they are seen. Listen to the children so they know they will be heard and love the children well so that love may grow in their hearts making them loving children of God!

Fatherless children


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I am tired of fatherless children. I am tired of men who have children and then cannot be bothered to finish the job. Sex feels good parenthood, not so much. What is that? Yes I know sometimes it’s women falling down on the job. I know one of these types as well!

I am tired of the worn out single parents who have to hold and burn both ends of a candle. How do you hold a candle with both ends burning? But, that’s what we do. We are mothers and fathers, we have to be. Why do some parents get the get out of jail card, throwing in the towel because the going got rough? I have to stand here and take it. I have to watch my son blow up his life because his desire to live isn’t that high. He doesn’t feel love because half the parenting team didn’t know that love was part of parenting.

Can’t fix what you are too blind to see and are uninterested in knowing, people. Kids are a lot of work, its our karma as parents to stand there and do the work…

All you whining parents bitching about how much you have done for your kids, did you really do anything or get tired of enabling your children and expected your kids to know the difference? Kids need to be parented and it’s not that fun sometimes.

Kids need their parents from one end of life to another. We as parents stand next to our children our entire lives to show our accumulated wisdom as we earn our grey hair. We are not parents for a few years we are forever parents. Why is this a hard concept? Why is it that in my own ignorant background I knew at 18 that being a parent was a forever job. Where is the owner’s manual for having kids so we can get parents to do their fricking jobs? Quit giving up on your children! I am so tired of this situation.

In a spiritually driven life it is this issue that rankles me the most, ok for today! It is so hard being this child’s mom. My son challenges me in ways I would have never imagined. It was hard to be my dads daughter when he kept choosing his wifes over his old life and then I finally realized kids and grandkids were just not his thing. Did you get that, just not his thing, So of course I married men that would say parenthood was just not their thing, they did the same, married new wives and forgot their old life. Of course I would…

I was hurt and now I have hurting children. This is the reason I have a spiritual practice. I have to know and understand a God that would put me in this position and then put my kids in that same position.And by the grace of God my daughter looked on. She watches me struggle to do the right thing when everyone around us is ditching any small parcel of responsibility. She chose carefully a partner with the understanding that that person/ partner would be the other parent. She did it right! It’s a responsibility to choose a parent/partner who is inline with your values and able to complete the job, or at least has the strength to stay with it when the going gets rough. Where are all of these people? I know they have to be out there, the unsung heroes of child rearing.

I need the world to hear the cries of the children. Especially the parents who would refuse to hear their cries. I need the world to know that a child who grows up believing they are not good enough, and not worthy of love are the most dangerous people on the planet. We cannot have a world of humans who have love in their heart when we allow children to be brought into a world where love is absent. Love your children. Love all the children.

It must be a hard concept to understand that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and these kids are being brought up on video games with a total disregard for life, and role models that proclaim money and fame are the answer. We need people of integrity to stand up. A person with children needs to know that at the end of your life when everyone else is gone, your money your fame and all that’s left is your used up self, that child you neglected will have your ass in a nursing home. Why would they do their job of tending to your aging ass when you couldn’t be bothered to do yours?

Enjoy the nursing home!

Stand up parents, stand up and do your job!

Mental illness and family


images-2My son is bipolar, tough words to write because of the looming negative stereo type of responses I have received over the years. He is not only bipolar he also suffers from PTSD, which makes all things worse. Before he was diagnosed life was a nightmare of “why are you acting this way?” He would get in trouble and my family was less than supportive about it. The “all you are doing is enabling him,” sentence got on my last nerve, he is my child. Of course the big family secret was that bipolar was running rampant through our gene pool, information I would have loved to have so much earlier in my life. But I didn’t get to know.

What I know now is that my family secret is a lot of families secret, not to mention our beautiful children that went to war and have come back so broken and afflicted with mental illness themselves. Frankly none of us are fully able to handle this on our own. The words, It takes a village, is so much more than a buzz phrase, it is the truth. For the last 2 weeks I have been plagued with interior feelings of overwhelming sadness and red-hot anger and yesterday I tried to call my son and he didn’t answer my call or call back, then I knew. It wasn’t me at all, my boy was in trouble, I write this and my eyes fill with tears because I should have known something was up.

He had started talking of wanting to be more responsible so I could go and try to start my life again. We both know none of us can live someone elses’ life for them, we really can’t control another human. We can only lead, with our words, with our love and with our support. I hear the agony in his voice when I finally get him on the phone and it breaks my heart. He ran out of his medicine 2 weeks ago and we were all on a count down and he couldn’t reach out. So the other shoe drops and the fall out of a 2 week blow out spills onto me and my daughter and I would say his wife too, if she was emotionally even sitting in her body anymore.

There are no easy answers to this issue. There is no guarantee of long-term help when medicines that work for a while then stop. There is no running away or sending it away, God gave us this challenge as God has done to so many others. Chances are you know somebody who is suffering with some kind of brain disorder. What we can do is maintain a deep and personal relationship with the one suffering and their family. Most importantly maintaining our spiritual practice and closeness to the creator who gave us this responsibility. We all have heard God does not give us anything we can’t handle, though we certainly would like to argue that point. We can surround our loved one with the white light of consciousness, when can encourage them to take good care of their body, by eating right, getting rest which is like asking a child to sit still for 3 hours, not even close to real but sometimes it sinks in. And most importantly we can encourage each other.

So my hat is off to you, if you are like me and my daughter holding a family together. My hat is off to you who stand next to your loved when others say step away. My hat is off to every parent who had wished health for their child and watched as it was drained due to an accident, birth, or fricking war. My hat is off to those who work with the ones trying so hard to make sense of such a difficult situation that often has no end date. My hat is off to my daughter who does this job with me when she certainly doesn’t have to. I love you so much!!!

My hat is off to us all!

Gettin my cry on!


imagesI have been extra sad lately. Animal rescue videos are making me cry my eyes out, returning vet videos especially the ones with kids, crying, sobbing, Oh my God what is going on! So much sadness makes walking amongst the people extra hard as my eyes get red and I can’t see, I keep my head down but frankly its hard to hide the fact you are crying, past the I have something in my eye lie.

So as I’m walking I begin to take stock in what could be going on. Then I remembered its June. June is a difficult month, my Mom died in June, and after a hard break up I went to Costa Rica in June to cry it out. I spent a month in a resort alone, as in no other guests it was off-season, just so I could scream into the ocean without anyone having to watch me suffering from heartbreak. There’s more but suffice it to say its a time fraught with reasons to cry. Mom used to call them grief surges.

In our aura are all the trapped traumas of our lives. Any emotion that has not been properly dealt with sits in the aura and will be revisited for resolution. There is a constant move in the universe for balance and unspent emotion has to be balanced or it has the possibility of turning into dis-ease or at the very least making us sick. But often we forget why we are upset at certain times thinking we are just having a bad day when the reality is much bigger and the situation an opportunity for growth.

When we remember that we are moving through a time when in previous years we have had difficulty it is very much like walking through a hologram of your life. So when I get to June my body of pain remembers all to well what happened in another June and my body of pain wants to react where the wisdom part of me wants to release this bundle of trapped energy keeping me down.

I realized I had a few things to cry about and with consciousness we can cry it out with the understanding we are releasing trapped emotion and not banking more sorrow to have to process at a later date. It was no fun to go through it the first or second or third time but through increased wisdom and the awareness that all things are as they shall be, we can cry it out leaving the energy to transform and not stagnant. There is nothing wrong with crying its a useful thing. It’s the wallowing in sorrow that’s the problem. Use a crying session brought on for whatever reason to clear your trapped emotional baggage.

Sometimes when I know its coming, the I feel sad and need to cry sensation, I will put on certain music and boom bundle of tears. I allow the tears to flow with the intention of release. Aww it feels good to cry, it feels good to get out, it just  doesn’t look that good and beware of dog poop because then the crying changes from sorrow to why didn’t I see that, poo on the shoe, boo!

Cry it out people, then let it go and let God deal with the rest!

let’s talk about love


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Let’s talk about love.

Full Definition of LOVE

1
a (1) :  strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <maternal love for a child> (2) :  attraction based on sexual desire :  affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) :  affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests <love for his old schoolmates>

b :  an assurance of affection <give her my love>

2
:  warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion <love of the sea>
3
a :  the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration <baseball was his first love>

b (1) :  a beloved person :  darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address

4
a :  unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) :  the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) :  brotherly concern for others

b :  a person’s adoration of God

5
:  a god or personification of love
6
:  an amorous episode :  love affair
7
:  the sexual embrace :  copulation
8
:  a score of zero (as in tennis)
9
capitalized Christian Science :  god
All of that they say is love, with sexual desire as number 2, funny isn’t it. There is a misconception about love I fear, a full on thought of love as a warm and fuzzy experience. We have people saying they love each other even when they don’t or using the word love as a, I like you right now, kind of thing. We talk about God’s love but if you mention any form of God’s anger they will quickly change the subject. How do they define that as love?
My mother and I had a very difficult relationship and really my mother did not have a good definition for love. Her mother gave her away as a child so how could she see or understand love? For her love hurt. So that was how it was instilled in me and frankly that was my experience of love, completely condition, you were loved if you were worthy of love. I just didn’t get it until my children were born and later when my son traveled a dark road I realized there was nothing that could move my love from him.
Just a few days ago I was in the space of a woman speaking of her difficulty with her son. I spoke as a mother of such a difficult boy, but she quickly cut me off telling me her son was a heroin user and thus couldn’t be her son any longer. My heart broke for her and her son because mine was too. At 18 she sends him away. Where is her love and why was her fear more important? When my boy spun out of control I grabbed him even harder. I know that love is gross and disgusting sometimes, horrifying and scary. Think of the worse person you can think of, gross horrible, God loves that person. God does not see love as a warm and fuzzy thing. For God love is a verb. Big lesson for us all, especially the judgmental.
I once told my daughter-in-law she had to learn the mother voice. It is the way a mother can stop their child on a dime as they are walking into danger. When I was a young mother my voice could penetrate my children, ask my 33-year-old bi-polar son, it stills has the same effect even today. As a mother I instilled the fear of God, ok me, into them it was my way of letting them know my love was strong enough to step in front of a train or go to hell and get them if need be. Same as God’s love for humanity, the disgusting humans who would hurt others are still loved by God.
Let’s redefine love as the unconditional acceptance of that in you which is greater than your small human self. God loves us just as we are and as we realize that love, our hearts open and we are never the same. To love a disgusting human will allow you to see the child in them, that being that has felt unloved and uncared for and under the watchful eye of love will turn around. Every human desires love, true love, unconditional love. But make no mistake I can love you while screaming at you, God can love you while pulling your life apart. No one said love was always sweet but true love is such a balm for the heart even the ignorant know that.
Go on and show love to your people, be the one who loves “that” person though everyone else will send them away. Love with such a heart that can’t be moved. Now that is power, that is love.

a new year, finally some movement


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This is what it looked like in Duluth when I left. A horror show of unending winter and solitary living and for me the impending depression of being locked in a house alone for months, months, and more months. Its beautiful there is no doubt but past the beauty is the awareness of what this type of winter can do to a person, or me. When you are doing what you are led to do life feels good, you feel a sense of satisfaction because you are where you are supposed to be, regardless of the weather. When there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction chances are you are not in the right place at all. One of the worst traits of a human is the inability to take charge when something is wrong and bitch about it rather than take action. Inaction is a decision just as not making a decision is a decision.

This is where I am nowIMG_0948well the location, that was the view off my hotel balcony I am in a different room now. Point being when I decided to make a move, for me at first the guilt was overwhelming. How do I feel ok leaving my son, what if he has a breakdown? What about my daughter with a new baby, will she be ok? How do I feel ok doing for me when my kids “need” me? And this is how the lying starts. Its just a trap.

We pretend we are needed so we can stay trapped. We pretend that our own interests and needs can be overrun by anyone and we let them. Another trap. Boo, bad behavior. Why do we act so weak-willed? We are supposed to do what we are called to do, and do it with right attitude. We are to live our lives with some sacrifice but not as a martyr. The ever giving mother is a misconstrued idea, a true mother is a person first and it is a title not a life sentence. On the flip side not wanting to parent after your children have arrived makes you a f*&ker, sorry, it’s a hard job but you called for it the minute you had sex, now deal with it. Same goes for all the humans who spend more time bitching about their state of affairs than doing anything about it. We live in a state of entitlement in this country that upsets me. We believe we are owed big for just being alive and awesome, while others on the planet would like a fresh drink of water and maybe a little food if that isn’t a problem. Being a human is a hard job doing it correctly takes time and effort.

Even the spiritual student who thinks they have all the answers will find themselves swimming in shark infested waters of negativity and feeling left out, under appreciated and basically invisible. So who is it that you are trying to get to notice you? God? Your partner? Everyone on the street? Who are you being spiritual for?

Awe, silly human. Now know I am talking to the choir and that’s me in the first row. I have spent so much time wondering what others thought until the day my family turned their backs on me for what I thought, no need to think on that anymore. I was having a hard time with this issue when my reading told me to look for the presence of God and that that was the answer. I had to think on that.

When we really get how things are here on Earth, we will realize that everything in the created world is made from the same building blocks, those little atoms, and that is the presence of God, in those atoms. Which means the presence of God is everywhere and in everything. So when we are out of sync you can imagine the atoms are swirling but not in a comfortable manner. When we are moving with life following the signs that are everywhere, those atoms are talking to us every minute, life moves smoothly.

I decided to make a move to help myself, to move away from depression. I have decided to love those little atoms because they are God. Science tells us atoms have consciousness and they are affected by how we think, interesting right? So I am going to pay more attention to them. I have been blessed by God and those atoms are with me all the time. The presence of God is there and there and when we meditate we bring the atoms into alignment and we feel the power of God that much more. That’s the walk of a spiritual person, when we walk with the wind it gently pushes us froward, when we walk against the wind it pushes at us hard.

Working with the universal laws that the creator has put in place allows us to live our lives as they were meant to be lived. So that’s me on the beach, sitting in the sun, taking charge of those atoms letting them be near me and leading me where I am suppose to be, or better yet where God wishes for me to be.

 

Thoughts on returning home, or home?

Thoughts on returning home, or home?

I have been back for over a week now from my trip to Paris. One of the prices I pay for traveling is the level of headaches and fatigue I deal with on my return, boo hoo, right? But through the fog of jet lag and migraines is the awareness of my resistance to being home. Home is where the heart is, we say and write, wanting to believe it. But my heart sits in a damaged place so returning here just feels like returning. I am just back here after being there.

I realized on the return flight just how much denial I was living in. I was saying I was fine about a few subjects that when brought to light had the stink of rot all over them, fine my ass. As soon as I am on the ground my sense of responsibility lights up like a christmas tree and my resentment right alone with it. All of the sudden I am not in charge of my life, it is happening to me. I have to take care of them. I have to tend to them.

My son shows up and I can see that he is off, is he taking his medicine? My grandson is so needy I can hardly get a breath. He spends the first 3 days I get back with me and has to be tolerant of my jet lagged ass, preferring that to anything else going on. I knew something was up. I was only gone 2 weeks.

I made a sacrifice when I decided to come back here to live and help my son and more importantly my grandson. It is a sacrifice that must be like a promise and like promises I make I try to keep. I broke off with my family in order to put aside and finally the constant negativity that is how we relate to each other. So I deal with this unaided by family support. My life is hard enough dealing with a bipolar son who is constantly mad at the world to having to constantly explain how what I am doing is not enabling it is keeping a household together until my grandson can fend for himself. I think of how my life might have been different had anyone taken notice of my struggle.

Right now my son is mad and out there, and he did not come over as usual this morning, all the signs I need to know just how bad this next few days and weeks could get and my grandson is to start school soon. Fuck me, excuse my french.

While I was away in the fantasy world of Paris I began thinking again of relocating. I try so hard to imagine a land where more people spoke my language and understood my sensibility. I sometimes just want to live where I just like it better. I want to be somewhere I enjoy being. All the same bull shit sentences I heard my mother say. She was eternally dissatisfied with her now short life. I don’t want to be that. I made a promise to be here. Maybe all I want is some peace.

It takes so much out of me my only hope is getting on a plane and leaving for a while but it only can be for a while because I made a promise to call this home, for a while.

The power of resistance


images-1One of my earlier spiritual beliefs was whenever I met resistance on the path it was a sign that I was going the wrong way. I felt it was essentially a stop sign by the creator to alert me to wrong doings, wrong actions, wrong direction. Sometimes it felt like the resistance I was experiencing, was a way to slow me down so I could assess how the ‘what’ I was doing, was actually playing out on the stage of reality. Resistance was a tool of reflection, a reaction to the cause of my actions. No matter what kind of resistance I felt  I would always look out into the world to see where it was coming from, then I felt like I could address it.

Once I made the determination that my path was my path, resistance became something else.  Rather than looking at resistance as something to react against, I began to look at it as a spiritual lesson. Resistance then became a, “do you really mean it?” kind of thing. A new understanding of resistance as being a marker to how dedicated one is on the path rather than a marker that something was wrong.

At first it was hard for me to see the difference between accessing resistance as a sign of how things were going to the thought of resistance being a marker to how dedicated one is to their truth. For me most of the time resistance was a wall I slammed into and had to find a way around but really it was a wall I needed to walk through. When I say I desire a spiritual path and then am pushed right off my path by any level of resistance well, that hardly seems to be the definition of following a spiritual path. It makes me think of Job from the bible, he met some resistance on his path and held it together. The resistance he felt didn’t weaken his resolve. I sure couldn’t let it weaken mine.

I am getting ready to travel which causes lots of stress and my oldest son who is bi-polar can have a hard time when I am away. The resistance of the last 2 days almost had me cancelling my plans. The resistance has been so bad, instead of looking like resistance, it looked like the end of the world. There were missed appointments, car accidents, dogs running away, cells phones failing, checkbook failure, every where I looked things were falling apart, or trying really hard to. I even let it get to the point of almost cancelling my trip.

And then I stood up. Like a wave you move with, rather than against, I began to see the resistance as pot holes in the road, a pain in the ass but hardly a reason not to drive. I look down at the writing on my arm, Be still and know that I am God and take a deep breath. There is going to be resistance on the path, it is the way it is. Humans have fear and resistance is just a thing we have to deal with until we know better. Running from it, or being afraid of it does not fix it, you just have to let go and let life flow. Then you become like a boulder in the water something the wave moves around not pushes around. You become an unstoppable force.

Like they say resistance is futile.

 

 

 

 

Digging Deep


Funny how life becomes a teacher when everything you need to know about yourself is revealed in the moment your dog tears up your special something, or your child displays disruptive behavior, or your partner embarrasses the hell out of you. Lose your cool and you will find a lesson ready to be learned right there in front of your red screaming face. We can get mad blaming this or that when things go wrong never thinking to check our reaction to a circumstance that is most likely out of our or anyone’s control. Things often go wrong in our lives presenting as lessons in self-control, perspective and self-reliance.

Don’t like it when things go wrong? Ask yourself; Who do you think you are?  Why shouldn’t bad things happen to you? Are you anymore special than him or her or them? More importantly, What do your reactions tell me about who you are?

Do you get mad when you trip in public? Do you have such control of yourself at work but allow yourself to get completely out of control in social situations? Do you act spiritual at spiritual times and like an SOB when behind closed doors? Do you act supportive to your loved ones with a dark and jealous heart? Do you turn a blind eye and a deaf ear at anything at anytime for any reason? Do you know that you are doing something against your own soul but do it any way? Do you keep your true self locked in a box because “‘it’s just safer that way”? Are you living your life at all? or Are you hiding behind someone’s coattails? Is the reason you are so pissy and mad really someone’s fault?

Face it, we all hate looking in the mirror and we all have shadow stuff that needs to be uncovered.  Equally, we all have to do the work and come on, nobody really wants to but the exit to easy street is a well guarded secret. Plus the reality is life will often reveal our weaknesses and our underwear to everyone every where while we think we’re doing a great job covering our asses. Life is full of life lessons and lots are embarrassing some horrible. Life is hard. And?

Life is hard and you have to learn to dig deep. There is no easy way to approach a difficult life or a difficult time but head on. The victim trains runs for miles and miles but the stops are all the same and get this, there is no destination. That train will take you right back to where you started. In order to turn things around you have to dig deep, do the work and shut up! Most of us sit in our privileged lives unaware of what other humans are having to put up with on a daily basis. There are horrifying stories and atrocities that are unimaginable to us, and we cannot get off the couch and pull it together. People we need to tell ourselves and each other its time to stand up do the work- The victim train has left the station.

I have found perspective to be a great teacher in times of frustration. Someone cuts me off in traffic-there is an emergency in their family. Someone takes my parking space-they are in a hurry and I needed the exercise. The receptionist doesn’t have my reservation-goodie, room upgrade. Driving across the country in a Uhaul pulling a trailer with a full size car and hating every minute of it-better than the person stuck on the side of the road in a Uhaul not pulling its trailer. It can always be worse. It can always get worse. Sometimes it does. And then- usually- at some point- it gets better.

When blinded by the red color of rage, when surrounded by doubt and fear, when plagued by victim-ness, stop drop and roll. Stop your line of thinking, Drop your attention to your breath and Roll your consciousness back towards gratefulness and away from selfishness. Remember it can always be worse, it can always get worse. When you dig deep within your being you will find a river of peace and understanding that will help you get through difficult times. When you dig deep getting upset becomes a thing of the past. When you dig deep you become the person you were meant to be. When we get past the, Why do I always have to be the bigger person?  and just be the bigger person, you will walk towards the understanding of why it is so important. Someone has to be…

Digging deep within the self for answers opens the gateway to true wisdom. It reveals what is happening around you rather than leaving you lost thinking about what is happening to you. This thought changes everything and it leads to self-reliance and peace. Dig deep people!

 

 

 

Training days

Training days

I recently got myself a puppy. That’s a picture of Zeus. At first I was not sure what was I thinking. My eldest son had given me the idea when I was in France having a melt down about being lonely and all of that jazz. He had suggested getting a dog as a companion. Turns out he was right but not without a fight. I had all of my adult life resisted getting a puppy because of the nightmare of the house breaking chewing up your stuff stage which I understood could go on for quite a while. When I was young mother I couldn’t stand the idea of dealing with raising a dog while knee-deep into raising 3 children plus the occasional step child. When the children were small and begged for a dog we adopted adult dogs, well-behaved house broken dogs.

Getting a puppy was a hard sell even now, as we headed to the shelter, I am not getting a puppy, I said…

until I saw his face.

Hmmm, maybe I could do this, she says. For crying out loud!

I fell in love with him at first sight, of course!  But he was just a puppy. I am not training a puppy, I said. I was afraid and way to Virgo to deal with the constant threat of dog doo in my home. But he was exactly the breed I wanted and as my son reminded me training a dog doesn’t last forever and then you have the kind of dog you want. He told me not to be afraid of training the dog. Afraid, me afraid…

I brought him home and I became hyper vigilant and got no sleep for about a week. In my virgo-ness I trained that dog quick. Smartie that he is. Turned out He was way more interested in doing what made me happy than doing what mad me mad.

…And he learned making me wash the same rug over and over again was making me pretty mad.

After fast tract training him to hold his piss which he does, I was reminded of my own hard-core approach to dealing with my kids when they were small. There were 3 of them , Nick was 4 when Natalie was born and almost 5 when Trevor was born.  I raised my kids to be self-sufficient early. I had to, they are a little close together in age and me with only 2 arms.  I worked hard in those early years ruling with an iron fist to keep them in line and out of trouble. I taught them to be independent. The more independent they were the more freedom I had to do chores, take care of homework, take a bath. I was young with 3 little people counting on me. The way we got along in the world was a reflection of the effort I put in to my kids to make it work.

Just like with my puppy.  I brought him home to be a part of my family. I want my dog to behave and act a certain way so I have to put the time into teaching him what I want from him and establishing for him what I will give in return. Because I am also his caretaker he will learn what I will do when he mis-behaves and how that differs from when he behaves well. All the training I do now is to get the results I want when he is much bigger, potentially much bigger!

I think training a dog to be well-behaved involves some basic child rearing principles that when followed breeds loyalty and good manners in a dog and wonderful children, sounds horrible I know but stay with me.  For example establish  authority over your children (in a respectable way) from the time they are small and keep it, children are not your friends and both our animals and children need to know who the leader of the pack is. Offer and give consistent discipline and advice developing mutual respect. Always meet your dependents needs. When you take care of someone they learn to trust you. Never to the best of your abilities make them suffer for lack of; food and shelter, or safety and guidance, or most importantly affection and love. I think following these guidelines with anything that is dependent on you will breed into them the desire to do their best for you.

Paying the kind of attention to your children, partners or animals that it takes to establish the kind of relationship you want is just the foundation of the work it takes to foster any good relationship. Putting in the time be it 3 weeks to 18 years to establish a right relationship with a loved one or a cherished pet will be the best time you will have ever spent.

It’s all about the training days as I pull a shoe out of the dogs mouth, scream at him about chasing the cats, feel my heart melt when he runs to me. That’s my Zeus.