My last piece on this subject stirred a lot of really good conversation that took the metaphor even further than I could have imagined at the time. I love that. I love when a thing I write spurs other people’s imaginations and starts conversations that leave us all a little richer and a little more connected for having had them.
The most frequently recurring theme from those who choose NOT to pick up dog shit and are fully aware their yards are completely full of it is that shit is, ultimately, fertilize. Yep. Message received, and it’s a message for which I am very grateful because I have been encountering a great deal of shit in my life, and it is good for me to be reminded that it can all, eventually, serve future growth. Instead of worrying about picking it all up and keeping my lawn perfect, I might just let some shit lie.
So I’d been working with that little nugget of truth to varying degrees of success when EUREKA, just this morning, Bodhi delivered the most perfect illustration for how I might need to further examine how I am dealing with my shit.
You see, it was raining. Bodhi doesn’t like rain. He will hold his shit in for what seems like an eternity to avoid having to get wet. You’ve experienced this, the inability to poop at work, or on vacation, or at your in-law’s house. If you don’t feel safe and comfortable, if the conditions aren’t just so, you ain’t gonna let your shit out. I have a very dear friend of 20+ years who gave me the highest compliment ever a few months back. You see, she’s prone to constipation. She’s battled it most of her life, but she told me that she can always shit when she’s with me- both literally and metaphorically. When we are together, something deep inside her relaxes and lets her feel safe and comfortable enough to just let it out. She’s a yoga teacher too, so we can and do talk about ALL the things and laugh, hysterically, at ourselves, each other, and everyone else.
So Bodhi didn’t want to go this morning. He didn’t want to get wet. But, you see, I’m his teacher, his master, and I know that it is not good for him to hold his shit in, so I encouraged him. And then he taught me by demonstrating EXACTLY what I needed to see. He got into his preferred position in his preferred spot and started to shit, but then he felt the rain, and even though it wasn’t all out, he got up and started to trot away from it. It was not even out yet! Running from your shit AS you are shitting.
I had such compassion for him and for myself in that moment. I laughed out loud at us both. I don’t want to get wet either. I don’t want to be uncomfortable. And I certainly don’t want to let my metaphorical shit out in an uncomfortable place. I want to just MOVE ON and get back inside my happy place. Get a treat. Take a nap. But taking half a shit is not really gonna work out so great in the long run. It’s equally as ineffective as holding it in.
Don’t try and walk away when you’re not done. Even if you’re getting wet, even if it’s very uncomfortable, LET THAT SHIT OUT. All of it. And trust that you have a master, a teacher, a friend who will dry you off, give you a treat and rub your belly when you’re done.