Monday, January 20, 2014

Changing direction

I once wasted a year of my life with someone who thought he knew everything, but who actually knew less than anyone I'd ever known. One thing he was sure of, was how to break my dog of her habit of pulling on the leash. When the dog would stop and dig her paws into the ground, the man's solution was to pull on her with full force, and drag her down the street while her nails scrapped along the concrete. No surprise, this was the same man who thought the best way to teach a child to ride a bike was to let her go down a hill, then ridicule her when she fell and cried. He was also the same man who would fly into a rage with me on the back of his motorcycle while I pleaded with him to stop.

But I learned a lot of things after that year. I learned what I already knew. That the way to teach a child to ride a bike is with patience and tenderness. That the way to teach a dog to stop pulling on the leash is to loosen your grip, give praise, and simply change your direction. I also learned that three years later, I will probably never forgive myself for being with that man, but I will also, in some ways, always be grateful to him. Because he didn't know it, but he actually did teach me something, and it may have been the most valuable lesson of my life.

He taught me that when you find yourself in the midst of madness, you can get out. He taught me that when you live in darkness, you can break free. By showing me the wrong way to live, he allowed me to see the right way to live. The right way to teach your child, to train your dog, and the right way to be loved. And although I already knew it, I just needed to loosen his grip. I just needed to change my direction, and I'm so glad I did. So very glad I did.

1 comment:

Guy Duperreault said...

Hello Katie. It has been a while since I visited your blog. My life has been filled with turmoil and... change. I am learning to loosen my grip and change my direction. To be patient. To relax into my new awareness that I can do more than survive, but thrive and walk into life with joy.

Wow! This post in conjunction with your post about Sean has really resonated with me tonight, touched me to my very heart. Thank you!