As you probably already know I have two small dogs that rule my world. One thing I’ve noticed (since this is the first time I’ve had 2 dogs at the same time) is that they’re terribly jealous and competitive. It seems whatever one has; the other decides they need (even if they’d had access to it before and never wanted it). Despite the fact that I consistently give them the same treats, attention, etc. they continue to act as if they’re at risk of being “cheated”, constantly monitoring me to ensure things are being distributed equitably.
What I wish the pups understood is that when I love on one of them, it doesn’t mean I love the other one any less or that because I gave one attention that means I have less to give to the other. I call this behavior the “attitude of scarcity” – the feeling that whatever it is, there might not be enough of it. I remember growing up when there were hurricanes; you could witness this in “panic shopping”. You’d see people buying up groceries with the fear we might not have access to the grocery store but it wasn’t always rational. People would buy up enough food for a month where the reality was we’d never need to have that much food stored up. While storing up canned peaches or tuna with the fear of not having enough might be harmless, having this same "attitude of scarcity" about things like joy, love, patience, forgiveness, etc. can have very negative consequences. We can find ourselves limiting what we’re willing to give with the fear being we have a limited supply or we get jealous when we see someone else receiving these things with the false belief that because they got it, it limits our ability to receive it also.
I have had people tell me things like “things have been going great so something terrible must be around the corner”. This implies that the universe has a quota on happiness so that if something good happens that has reduced your quota. Or I’ve heard, "I’ve met someone who seems great but nothing lasts so I’m sure we’ll break up". It’s like all the beautiful things in life like love and joy are measured in a cup and anytime we feel it, we lose a little bit out of the cup. With that thought comes the belief that eventually the cup will be empty. I challenge that the cup is never ending. It’s not running out, it’s running over. We can’t use it up fast enough. You can’t love too much, laugh too hard, or have too much joy.
So, today smile and give someone a compliment. Tell the people you love that you love them. Forgive anyone that has caused you pain. Not because it will benefit them, but because your cup is overflowing. Now I’ve got some puppy bellies to rub simultaneously because my two pups don’t understand that I’ll always have more than enough love for both of them.