The quintessential dog name is Fido. Which unsurprisingly derives from the Greek fidos, meaning to have faith, to trust. Man’s best friend is given a name that signifies a dog’s ur-quality, that of being faithful and trusting.
It is the same root for the word confidence. To be confident is to be suffused with faith in oneself.
When we look at a person we know immediately, on a physical/subconscious level, if that person has faith in themselves.
Mediation offers a path to experiencing the deepest part of ourselves, and the inherent sanctity and goodness of ourselves. Sitting meditatively is a way to cultivate faith in ourselves. Anger is a delusion, it is not our true self. Shame and fear are other delusions. Suppressing these feelings is dangerous as they only fester and come out in inopportune moments and can inflict real damage on ourselves and others.
Mindfulness practice is a skillful way to feel these feelings and then let them dissipate. If you need to take action about a person or a situation, you will be better positioned for doing so after creating some space for yourself with meditation.
I love this song from the Magnetic Fields, Fido, Your Leash is too Long. (note: lyrics are NC-17..)
Back to the breath, is a common, gentle reminder you can use when you are meditating and thoughts arise. Let thoughts arise, then pass away. As I was meditating this morning, I thought, the thoughts that appear during meditation are like booby traps for emotions.
Many thoughts are items on life’s ‘to do’ list — yet these can have an emotional charge. ‘I should mail that package to Carla. Oh, I don’t have time to go to the post office. I’m not a very good friend if I don’t have time to send a package to her, it’s been weeks.’ Lots of opportunities for self-flagellation. The key is to bring attention to what you are doing ‘oh, I’m beating myself up again,’ Thoughts arise, thoughts pass away.
Here’s a triple gift: Olivia’s Art for Animals invites you to commission a painting (from a photo you provide) of a beloved anima* for just $10. You get an amazing one-of-a-kind gift; you act as patron to a 10-year-old girl artist; and all proceeds are donated to animal welfare groups.
*psychologically astute typo! The word ‘animal’ comes from ‘animalis’ meaning ‘having breath’ in Latin. Another reminder to focus on your breath.