Finding Your Inner Junkyard Dog
I had the gift of working with a gifted psychologist at CSU for one of my graduate classes, Mark Benn. God bless you wherever you are now Dude. He said, as I was busily defending my right to hang on to my anger, that I was a junkyard dog and he knew better than to get between me and my “bone”. Acknowledging that I could keep my “shit in my pocket” as long as I wanted to sure went a long way toward dropping it into the nearest trash can.
That image has stayed with me since then and that was back in 2004. Lately I’ve been thinking I need to access that junkyard dog part of me more consciously and more often. A negative trait can always be turned toward good if approached correctly; in this case very gently and not making direct eye contact!
I have come to realize that I like that junkyard dog. She’s pretty tatty around the edges, half an ear is missing and there are some patches of missing fur from previous battles but I like her eyes. They’ve seen a lot and somehow still find a reason to seek kindness with every breath and to share it as often as possible. I like that kind of kick your butt kindness she seems to have in spades.
I like her because I need that ferocity when someone is threatening to take me down or destroy my vision for my life or tell me who I can and can’t have in my world. Huh-uh. No way. Too often I let crazy people cause me to doubt my instincts or my position.
My Dad always said “walk a mile out of your way to help someone but don’t ever let some dumb motherfucker push you an inch off your own “space”.” My Dad had colorful language but he got his point across in a way you could never forget.
Sometimes you need that junkyard dog part of you to defend your space. You need that internal “oh no you didn’t” and “oh no you won’t” part to get your backbone stiff, to be able to say “No thanks, I’m not buying “crazy” ’round here anymore and I’m not doubting any longer that I know you got a whole suitcase crammed full of crazy you’re trying to sell me, Mister.”
You also need to get your bark on with yourself sometimes, like when grief threatens to keep you in bed for weeks on end drowning in your own tears, or when you’ve used stress as an excuse to binge on Lay’s and Kraft Easy Cheese one too many times or when by God you just aren’t doing right by yourself. Start barking, lunge at that chain of resistance to be good to yourself, get some energy moving and act like you give a damn. Pretty soon you actually will.
Where’s your inner junkyard dog? Find her or him or it. Get to know her. Just don’t try to get between her and her bone. *wink*