On A Personal Noteparablestories February 5, 2013

Barking Dogs

I don’t know why I am being reminded of this experience, but I have applied the lesson I learned from this experience over and over again in a variety of situations.  I feel compelled to share it with you too and hope that it may give you a different perspective if you ever need one.

Years ago when my boys were young and energetic, I had a neighbor who felt it was her business to “warn” me of impending doom for me if I did not do a course correction.  She “knew” that I was in deep trouble because she had had a dream.  I don’t know about you, but I have always believed that I am entitled to “inspiration” (in any of its many forms) for me and for my own family, but beyond that I have always felt that it was none of my business.  It was bad enough that she came to me to let me know I was in grave danger of losing my husband and children if I did not make changes, BUT the worst of it was she was telling my friends and neighbors – and speaking as if it was factual and not something she had dreamed up.  

I was super bugged about it and it began to consume my thoughts – after all, who did she think she was!  It was in the midst of all this that someone I love and respect shared a story with me….

nice dog in sketch style on a...

When a strange dog comes into a neighborhood, what happens to the other dogs?  They begin to bark and carry on until the dog has left the neighborhood.  If the strange dog has come to visit with a “friend” down at the end of the street and takes time to “answer” each barking dog, he will never reach the goal of visiting the friend.  All those barking dogs will side-track him until he runs out of time and cannot accomplish his goal.  

Likewise, we all have “barking dogs” in our own lives.  People who make a lot of noise and try to distract us from doing good things.  I have learned over time to recognize “barking dogs” in my own life.  Once I have identified someone OR something as a “barking dog” it is much easier to move forward and ignore the distraction.  

Barking dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes – but all keep us from accomplishing what we really want to.  Sometimes it is a neighbor or family member, sometimes a time-sucker (TV, computer, FB, etc), sometimes an attitude (I won’t be able to do it right anyway, I am too slow, too fat, too ugly, whatever!).  I just know for me that simply identifying the “barking dogs” allows me to more easily dismiss it and move forward to my goal.  

I have been grateful time and time again in my life to have had this good man share this with me as it has allowed me to move forward more quickly when my plans/goals are disrupted.  Hopefully this will assist you in being able to push forward when you come up against obstacles in your life.  My husband or I will say to one another, “Just another barking dog”, and nothing else needs to be said at all.  Move on, push past, and get her done!  And let’s be honest – there are times when WE are the loudest barking dog of all (our own worst enemy)!  

Disclaimer:  To all my dog-loving friends – this is not meant to be a slam on dogs – but even you have to admit when they are barking and barking – it really IS distracting!