Wednesday, January 27, 2010

free of fear

Even though two thirds of my biggest fear came true, I am on the other side of the first day of class feeling like it was a big success. My biggest fear - Nahum freaking out, me feeling horrible about his stress and then feeling overwhelmed by shame for being exposed as a terrible pet owner - only partially came true.

Yes, Nahum freaked out from being overly stressed and yes, I felt like a horrible pet owner for putting him through that torture, but I never went to the shame place. I don't really know why I didn't feel the shame as I was sitting up by the instructor, practically in front of the whole class (an attempt to add more distance between the dogs and Nahum). Perhaps it was because my attention was split between trying to comfort Nahum and listening to the instructor leaving no brain cells for the shame to use. Maybe it was the presence of a room full of potential therapy animals. Or, perhaps it was the payoff of years of working on being more self-compassionate. Regardless of why, I am very thankful that shame did not visit.

My concern for Nahum's comfort certainly overshadowed most of my headspace and I wasn't able to fully enter into the excitement of the moment. But, overall I feel the class was fun and I am very much looking forward to more. I anticipate the next class to be much more easygoing and enjoyable as Nahum will be home playing with his favorite string or snoozing in one of his many favorite spots and Theo will get lots of laptime in a room full of dogs and unfamiliar people.

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