A Dog Without An Owner

May 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

I am in Brazil visiting my family and have just got off the phone with a childhood friend.  The call was mostly about making plans for tomorrow but before we hung up she said: Debinha (that’s how my friends in Brazil call me) please say something.  I said “what do you mean?” and she responded “I’m feeling like a dog without an owner.”

What she meant was she didn’t feel like she belonged anywhere.  She’s a woman in her forties, who’s not in a relationship, and who lives alone.  I told her we are all dogs without owners.  What I meant to say was feeling lonely came from within not from being or not in a relationship.

When we are feeling well, we entertain and keep ourselves company.  We listen to what we want to do and we follow up on our desires the best way we can.  We feel whole and because we are okay with our own selves, we are also okay with others and the world. Being with others is in addition to the way we are already feeling.

When we are not well, we feel lonely and abandoned.  So feeling like a dog without an owner in reality has little to do with being with others or not.  It really is about ourselves.  Just ask how many times have you felt alone in the middle of a large group of people?

I told my childhood friend to stop thinking and get out of the house.  “Keep yourself in motion.  The more you think how things are not the way you want them to be, the more pity sets in” I said.  I know from experience this type of thinking is unhealthy.  It is the type where we are the masters of the universe and everything that we consider to be wrong is our fault.  It is the thinking that points to our incapacity to find happiness simply because we are no good.

Each one of us has specific reasons why we feel lonely or why we beat ourselves over the head when we are already down on the ground.  But one universal solution to this phenomenon is to not indulge in it.  “Distract yourself when you start thinking about all the wrong things in your life.  Watch TV, go for a walk, call a friend to talk about the funnies but don’t indulge in your pity for yourself” were my parting words to my childhood friend.

Being our own best friend requires a willingness to peel the layers of the onion and look within.  It takes a willingness to give ourselves a hand when we need it instead of running out and looking for someone else to do so.  It takes realizing only ourselves are a constant companion in our lives.  But if we can do that we’ll never feel like a dog without an owner as we are both the dog and the owner.

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