Hi, furriends! Hope you’ve been enjoying the additional content Mom and I have been putting out on our social media channels. We love connecting with you and responding to your comments :-)
The story I’m about to share is very private for Mom, but we believe it’s important for us to share as this story defined the beginning of our journey from anxiety to mindfulness.
When Mom started my training for separation anxiety she noticed that my body would shiver the moment she picked up the house keys. I became terrified of those house keys. She had no idea why (and neither did I!) so she began to observe my behavior to find out.
I was lying on my bed facing the house door, shivering uncontrollably. Mom walked slowly towards my bed while rattling the keys in an attempt to show me that I’m safe and there’s no reason to fear the keys. But I still couldn't stop shivering.
Mom sat down next to me while shaking the keys. Suddenly she started to feel anxious as well so she began to take a few deep breaths to calm her nerves. Following this breath cycle, she asked me “Why are you so scared of the keys?” “Where’s this anxiety coming from?” She kept breathing and repeating these questions, and after several minutes she burst into tears as a memory came up.
She started to remember how, as a kid, she used to be terrified every time she heard the sound of keys. To her, this sound reminded her every time her dad would come back home after work. She couldn’t believe it! Suddenly a wave of tears covered her face. #hugebreakthrough
Mom grew up in a very strict household where her dad expected her to set an example for her sisters. In addition, she attended a private school on a scholarship and there was a lot of pressure for her to perform at her best and get good grades to keep the scholarship, otherwise her family couldn't afford to send her and her sisters to that school. Talk about pressure!!
But the reality was that she disliked school. She’d much rather spend hours playing with her dogs at home, or painting and dancing at after-school programs. She never felt motivated enough by teachers and had a very hard time completing her homework assignments.
She loved and admired her dad, but she was afraid of disappointing him because she never felt like she could be as smart as he was. So as you can imagine, the memory of her dad coming home brought up all those hidden memories of being terrified that if she disappointed her father, she wouldn't be accepted and loved.
As a result, the sound of house keys became one of the many things that made her feel very anxious as a kid growing up.
Now, coming back to the present moment, you might wonder: What happened to Monchi? Well, as Mom was processing the memories and releasing her buried emotions, I suddenly stopped shivering and laid calmly next to Mom to console her. #whorescuedwho
That night Mom took her journal and started to write a new story for herself -- one where she was no longer afraid of silly keys.. one where she felt loved and accepted. In the process, she also realized how powerful observing my behavior was to her own self-love journey, and that's how MonchiPaw began!
What’s your Paw-Story?
Love & Paws,