This morning in my walk, I was greeted by a little yappy black dog who was defending his territory as I walked (on the other side of the street, no less) past his house. But the funny thing is that he didn’t even see me until I was a few houses away from him and then came running after me as I got further away from him. I looked back at him, just to find out how close he was to me. He never growled. He just barked. If that’s what you call that noise that comes out of little dogs. Mostly, I pay no mind to it. In fact, the little white dog across the street has the same complex and I just let him do his thing too.
But as I walked away from Cujo this morning, I realized that I wasn’t even paying attention to him — his presence or his bark. I could have really cared less if he had run in front of me to get me to pay attention or even bit me (it would NOT have been my first meet with a dog in this fashion). And without even realizing it, I had completely ignored him. He wasn’t getting the attention he wanted because I sure wasn’t going to give it to him. And so as quickly as he ran up to me, he trotted back home, turning around once to “have the last word” with his last bark that must’ve been the human equivalent of “Take that!” or “You heard me!” And then he was gone.
How much barking do we hear every day?
Where do our distractions come from?
Why are we so easily intimidated?
No matter where we go or who we become, we will be minding our own business and some ankle biter will come along to try to engage us in their agenda. For some of us, it works. And it works well. Too well. We are caught off guard and easily swayed by comments made by people close to us — whether they have something at stake or not. Some people are just in it to watch you fail and they will believe that they had something to do with it. Their sole purpose is to see how much of your life they can influence in a bad way. Forget that they don’t spend that much time and effort of their own life, but this must give them something to do that doesn’t require them to change any of their behavior.
Sometimes, walking away from bad behavior and not letting it interfere with our every day life is difficult. It is easy to get sucked into the negativity, pessimism, and “troll-under-the-bridge” mentality of thinking. I know. Before you know it, you find yourself surrounded by a pack of little ankle biters who seem to keep you from heading towards your desired destination and they will do everything in their power to keep you where you are. They lunge at you just to keep on your toes and your senses heightened. And just like any group of “haters”, they have one motive — to ignore their own lives and focus on yours with the intent of ruining it.
This mob of negativity will wear on you if you let it. And the ONLY way to get rid of it is to stop listening to their whinny bark and to keep walking. Don’t turn around. Just go on your merry way and never look back. They win when you become distant from your goal. They survive on the weakness of your mind. They rejoice when you succumb to their ways and are now considered “one of them.”
But not you…your are stronger than they think you are. You are more committed than they could ever be. You resolve to believe in where you are going. You understand that the “pests” you meet along the way are merely meant to test you and remind you of the goal you’ve set for yourself.
This is YOUR life….your journey. Expect the little angry dogs that have nothing better to do to stand in their own yards and bark at you and even run after you. They want your attention and when you don’t give them any (because it is a waste of time and energy on your part), they get bored. And they leave. But don’t be surprised if you go around the corner and find another one just waiting to bark at you. Let them. You aren’t wasting any energy. Do YOUR thing and keep walking.
Michelle A. Homme 2015 ©