Unless I use this word – gentle – in reference to my dog, it makes me squirm.
It encompasses an attitude, a demeanor, a state or quality, an approach that makes me most uncomfortable. The word reminds me of things that are meek, passive, weak … mild mannered and soft natured.
But gentleness isn’t any of those things is it? Doesn’t it, in actuality, exude a peaceful self- confidence? I really have to think hard on this one. My dog, Rumi, bless his sweet soul, was the most passive, loving, gentle, affectionate, and playful animal I’ve ever encountered or owned. I grew up with pets and have always had them, usually cats, until I purchased him from the pound in Boulder, Colorado for $40.00.
Rumi’s in doggy heaven now after a 16 year long adventure here with us. I thought I heard somewhere once or twice that dogs take on the personalities of their owners. It would make sense if they did. I noticed this up front and personal on several occasions during my adult life with other folks and their dogs. I always wondered just how, exactly, that came to be…dogs having personalities like their owners. It’s interesting.
But that can’t be true because while my dog was the most loving four-legged canine ever to walk the planet – not one growl, not one dog fight – I can be the biggest cantankerous bitch you’d never hope to meet. Maybe my situation with Rumi was the exception. More likely though, HE was the exception – and a brilliant teacher.
If I could just possess 1/2 the capacity for gentleness that my dog did, and then sprinkle some of it around here and there… DAMN!
Maybe I already do and just don’t know it.
Maybe gentleness is like self-control. It’s always within, it just needs to be uncovered.