3 Things My Dog Taught Me About Life

Change and loss are part of life. Although both can be painful they often push us into a greater understanding of what truly matters.

Over the past couple of years dramatic changes have turned my life upside down. After layoffs, a break-up, and a battle with addiction, I thought everything would finally be just fine. But then a few weeks ago my dog was diagnosed with cancer.

This experience has shown me what really matters. I’m no longer obsessed with trying to make things happen. What matters most is “living” life and making each moment count. Here are the lessons I have learned from my dog.

1. Time Matters

I spent so much time trying to be somewhere else. In another job another relationship, another place. In my effortless pursuit to get to the "greener grass" I was missing life. It wasn't until my dog was diagnosed with a life threatening disease that I realized the grass I was standing on just needed a little water.

We always say, "I don't have enough time." But what we are really saying is, “I'm choosing to spend my time on this other thing.” I did this all the time. But now I savor every moment. I don’t know how much time I have left with my dog -- an hour, a day, a week, or a month --  but I know I have this moment. And the time I spend with him right now is what truly matters.

2. The Present Moment Counts

I believe that we always have enough time, money, and energy for what is most important to us. And disease, divorce, or the death of a loved one are all jarring reminders about what really matters most. Life happens and forever rushes forward. The present moment is what we have so choose happiness and love right now.

3. Choose Love

What do you want more then anything else in the world? I'm not talking about a material thing or an achievement. The answer is love. 

Know that you have all the love you need. Rather than look to food, work, exercise, sex, or other destructive places for love, we need to look within -- it's all there!

Yes, my dog is sick. But he’s still here. I can still hold his hand and cuddle with him. It's these moments that really matter.  I don't know how much time I have with my furry friend -- minutes, hours, days, or months. What I do know is I have this moment and in this moment  I choose love.