Lesson 3 of 10: Stray dogs aren’t out to get me.
I love dogs. But I know, based on having a sweet, protective Red Australian Cattle Dog, they can turn in a blink.
Mexico has lots of stray dogs and every darn time I see one, I freak out. My fear hormone spikes and I know that the dog senses I’m afraid of it. I think the dog is going to attack me when I least expect it because my dog liked to shock the hell out of people by suddenly jumping up to herd them and nipping at their heels. Consequently, my heart pounds as the Mexican dog(s) and I pass each other. Really, I have to get over this one. I’m learning that the poor, scrawny dogs want nothing to do with me.
It's interesting to notice when automatic fear reactions from the past show up in places they don't belong. Not once has a dog in Mexico tried to bite me but they still scare me. I don't think it's wise to pet them and I'll give them a wide berth, but there's no need to be afraid.
I got curious about this fear reaction and realized that fear from past experiences shows up in other ways, too. Take writing for example. It scares me. Mainly, I’m afraid I’ll mess up the grammar, miss making my point, or not be interesting enough. I’ve had some tough critics in the past, although extremely helpful so I’m grateful to them. The thing is, I have stuff I want to share and I know it makes no logical sense to let fear from the past stop me. I also know that when we practice, we improve, and every writer needs a good editor. (Thank you Keith!)
So for now, I'll try to notice when unwarranted fears from the past pop-up and not let them stick around to shape my future.
In the spirit of learning,