My self-love and self-worth came with what I succeeded in, and often not succeeded in. At one point in my life this dealt with weight, grades, and basketball. More recently it dealt with my running times, job(s), and whether or not I thought I was doing anything worthwhile/making a difference in the world.
In other words, everything depended on the “if”. I only loved myself “if” I did this, I only loved myself “if” I achieved that.
Of course, I knew that kind of thinking wasn’t healthy. I tried to stray away from those thoughts. It helped a bit when I reminded myself that my family and friends loved me regardless.
However, it was until I thought about Pacer that I truly understood what it meant to love, and to love unconditionally.
With her, we fell onto that path naturally. From the moment she laid on my lap as we drove her home from North Carolina, our relationship was pure love, and that love went both ways.
I loved her despite the fact that on that trip home, she threw up in my lap.
I loved her even though as a puppy, she nearly drove me insane.
I loved her even when she chewed my good running socks and I chased her for 20 minutes around the house, finally giving up in tears. And still when I let her outside to do her thing then wouldn’t come in back in, making me later for work, I still loved her.
|I didn't like this pillow anyway|
|Pacer after her first 15 miler|
|She too, is meant to run unleashed.|
I love her, simply because she is my Pacer.
Never once when she was a puppy and I put her in her crate did she shun me when I came back home. I was, and still am, greeted with a wagging nub (her tail was docked) and much licking.
She loves me even when I accidently step on her paw.
(And she has seen me at my worst...there have been quite a few times where she soaked up my tears with her fur.)
A few months ago I wrote about my mom’s dog, Annabell, who has an incurable disease affecting her kidneys, causing her to piddle everywhere. Still, she is as energetic and playful as ever, plus the normal puppy mischief. My mom always tells everyone “all she wants it to be loved”.