I adore my yellow Labrador retriever, Stella. Her companionship means a lot to me. She lays at my feet while I relax and watch TV. She wakes up early with me and is eager to run a few miles on the trails. She curls up next to me by the fire. She rarely leaves my side and adds so much value to my life. Why do I love her so much?
One evening, before I went to bed I stared at my faithful pet, Stella. She was curled up in her kennel and looked over at me once she sensed I was staring at her. She didn’t move a muscle and simply gazed at me in silence. In that moment, I realized why I cherish her companionship, she doesn’t talk. More importantly, she doesn’t complain or put me down. She’s not critical or says things to me that she apologizes for later. She’s just present. I’m always aware of her loving presence, and her constant silence is my gift. I don’t need her opinions or advice, I value her faithful companionship without her judgement-filled words.
Stella is with my family during every milestone. She’s around during birthdays, she helps my kids unwrap Christmas gifts. Her fur soaks up our tears during times of sadness and she jumps for joy when she senses our happiness. She’s always there, but never interrupting or arguing, she’s just present and happy to be a part of the family.
It’s in that moment, late that night, as I stare at my dog that I realize I could learn a lot from her. Mainly, to shut my mouth and be content to be present for those that I love and care about the most. I don’t always need to express my opinions, or make myself known through words and comments. I just need to be present and to love those around me. I might not always agree, but who cares? Stella doesn’t seem to care and she lives a pretty stress-free life.
What if I lived more like Stella, talked less, became more present and just absorb and experience life’s little moments? Would I argue less with my loved ones? Would I develop deeper, richer, and more satisfying relationships? Would I learn more about my friends and family if I just kept my mouth shut? I believe if Stella could speak she might reveal things about my family that would be huge revelations to us, because she spends hours simply observing us. What advice would she give me on how I treat others, my nervous ticks, and the way I live my life?
I think I will learn from my pet and force myself to speak less and observe and listen more. How about you? Do you think you could be a better companion if you simply closed your mouth and became more content to be present with your loved ones? Try it, I plan on it!