Lesson # 3 Don't be afraid to ask for love
Too often we like to congratulate ourselves on being independent, for some it's financial, for others it is emotional or like for me, it's both. I spent the better part of this decade proving how I can make decisions and forge ahead by myself. The pride in doing-it-alone forced me once to dig out my car buried under 5 ft of snow (should have simply looked hapless err... helpless and waited for muscled youth of the student's housing complex to show up) and move to a city where I knew no one (the family and social network not having stretched out to Seattle as yet). Was this wrong? No, says the master, but you can work on it. There are certain activities that only you can do such as, sleeping, thinking, breathing and eating. For everything else, Astro believes you need a pal. That's why he never goes for a walk alone, even if we leave the gate open and when at home, he generally sleeps in the room where maximum density of household members are collected. Astro also maintains a vast social circle so he can use a rotating batch of pals for his activities but, there is one activity he does with all of them - he never shrinks from asking them for some love.
For those of you who have seen his picture, you may think, "Sure, he's cute as a button, why wouldn't anyone want to love him?". Well, there are amongst us non-people, commonly referred to as people who don't like dogs, whom Astro approaches with the same cuteness only to be rebuffed. What does he do when his winsome personality, big brown eyes and rapidly shaking tail fail to get him a pat? He moves on. Actually he briefly tries to bribe them with a newspaper in his mouth but after he senses that only loud Aaas and Ooos are emerging from the person he skips to the next person. That's right, he asks for love, gets rejected and moves on to the next person who is willing to give him a pat and perhaps, a slice of bread.
I think this lesson is one of the hardest for me to practice. We of the microwave generation don't like asking for anything let alone something intangible as love. Yet, that's what Astro does without fear. I sort of used this technique in the last few days before leaving from Seattle, when I felt I was living a life from a tragic book, which ultimately led to the love and blessings post. Anyway, if I am committed to living as Astro then I have to practice this lesson more frequently, without adverse conditions preempting it. One issue is that I don't particularly like being patted or scratched behind my ear. My friend E likes to be hugged which is much more acceptable to me. So, next time I meet you reader, I'm going ask for some love in "huggable" currency.
Lesson # 2 Practice togetherness
Lesson # 1 Have a routine