Is there a wisdom of uncertainty? I think so and I think our four-legged friends can help us find it.
First, a human view:
Uncertainty . . . the fertile ground of pure creativity and freedom. Uncertainty means stepping into the unknown in every moment of our existence. The unknown is the field of all possibilities, ever fresh, ever new.
Most humans view it a little differently. More like “OMG! What now?”
We tend to project negative outcomes. If you are a gifted overthinker like I am, you can create amazing catastrophes out of simple uncertainty.
So where can we find this wisdom of uncertainty?
We'll ask the dogs - that’s what we do here.
Dogs live with uncertainty and like humans, each one deals with it a little differently.
The biggest uncertainty in a dog’s life is “When is my owner coming home?”
There are anxious dogs who whine and pace and pee on the floor when their owner is gone. Don’t be that one.
If this is your dog, check this site for helpful tips.
There are destructive dogs who tear up pillows, chew on furniture, and otherwise wreak havoc when left alone. This may also be anxiety. Or it could be loneliness combined with excess energy. Exercise could help. See also the tips above.
There are dogs who sit by the door looking pitiful when their owner prepares to leave. Guilt-inducing stares. Hanging head. Serious pouting. Once the owner is safely out of the way, it’s up on the soft comfy bed for a nap. I’m looking at you Sandy.
I know one enterprising dog whose owner underestimated her. Her name is not Belle, but I am calling her that here. She passed away several years ago, but I do not want to give her secret away. I am not a snitch.
Belle’s owner installed an invisible fence, training her to stay within the boundaries of their yard. After about a year she was so well-trained, he shut it off.
Never did he see his dog leave the boundaries of the yard even with the fence off. Success!
One day I came mid morning instead of my normal late afternoon. There was Belle trotting along the edge of the street. She was enjoying a leisurely taking a stroll about the neighborhood.
She looked at me and froze.
I called out to her, “Hi Belle!” but kept on going.
I didn’t have the heart to rat her out. I kept an eye on her as she headed down the street, turned at the next one. An hour later she was back in her front yard, innocent as could be.
Her owner returned home once again to find his angelic dog resting in the front yard, eagerly awaiting his return.
For Belle, the wisdom of uncertainty was to seize the opportunity.
I want to be like her.
For Huff, the wisdom of uncertainty was acceptance.
Life took an unexpected turn. Everything changed.
He had to remain open to the possibilities of uncertainty.
A walk with a stranger.
A new home.
A better life.
We believe in a reality we create in our brain. That reality is not always accurate but it is usually comforting. A comforting illusion, but an illusion nonetheless. Like my neighbor’s invisible fence.
The wisdom of uncertainty is learning to live with not knowing what’s next. Being okay with being lost if it means bonding with your pack.
The wisdom of uncertainty is learning to accept the way things really are,
even if we aren’t happy with those circumstances.
And most important, wisdom of uncertainty is recognizing when the fence is turned off. That’s when it’s time to leave the yard and see what’s out there.
Embracing wisdom of uncertainty is possible. It is not easy, but you can do it – just follow Belle’s lead.
Copyright © 2020, 2021 Suzanne Grosser