Abby is so uncivilized. She sticks her nose in all the poop she encounters on the ground. She’ll even eat it sometimes, especially if it’s been pooped by a cat! And when she finds just the right poop, she’ll roll in it. Not just a little bit, but she’ll get in there, coat herself, and be certain to really mat it in her hair. Seriously, who does that? She must think she’s a dog or something!
Except change the word “poop” to “negative thoughts” and that’s a pretty good description of what I find myself doing often times. (Do make that word switch, though!) A negative thought pops (poops?) up in my mind and I can’t just keep walking by, I’ve got to go investigate, stick my nose right in it. If it triggers my insecurities, I might just decide to eat it up and make it a part of my identity. And if it really smells like the enemy, I’m likely to roll around in it, really get into it deep and messy, so I can carry it with me to ruminate over for days/weeks/years.
Seriously, who does that? I must think I’m a human or something!
When Abby goes for the poop, I don’t berate her, tell her that’s disgusting, and ask her what’s wrong with her. Actually, that’s exactly what I do. It’s not effective. She ignores me in favor of that enticing poop. What works much better is a gentle tug on the leash and the command, “Leave It!”
What works for dogs, might just work for humans! I’m going to call this the Leave It Practice for Poop and Negative Thinking. (Should I refine that name a bit?) It’s very simple:
The next time you catch some enticing negative thought beckoning you to come muck about, just remember Abby! Gently tell yourself to “Leave It” and keep on walking…