Lessons from the Dog

Writing a blog is a lot easier than writing a book chapter, FYI. I sent off the chapter yesterday -- 31 pages with the various figures and five pages of references. 

I titled the chapter Final Gifts: Lessons about End-of-Life Care, Death, and Grief from the Family Dog. It focuses on children but one cannot discuss children without including their social contexts, such as family, community, culture, etc. And one cannot discuss end-of-life care in dogs without discussing euthanasia, and one cannot discuss death without discussing children's differential understanding of death -- and so on. The chapter was like the song that never ends.

But I finally just had to put a period on it -- literally.

I told my Perfect Sister, "Now I will worry that the editor will hate it and regret having asked me to write it" to which she gave me the pep talk about the need to not go down the Imposter Syndrome path; it is the same talk we have been giving each other for years and years.

"Just remember that those thoughts are not true," she reminded me.

"How do I know which thoughts are true?" I asked. "What if my thoughts about having done a good job are the false one? What if all my thoughts are false?!"

Silence.

I stumped her.

And then we laughed. 

I hope I never lose that sense of self-doubt -- that shadowy presence that taps on my shoulder to ask, "are you sure?"

Self-doubt is not a healthy thing when it cripples us, but I think it can serve an important function when it reminds us that we don't know everything and we are not more special ("specialer"?!) than anyone else. Maybe self-doubt exists to keep us planted in humility, and out of the evil clutches of Hubris? 

Hmmmm....

You know what self-doubt does really well? Creates space for the notion that others -- including the family dog -- might have something important to teach us. 

1 comment

by CA Heidi :-) on Thu, 06/08/2017 - 16:16

"You know what self-doubt does really well? Creates space for the notion that others -- including the family dog -- might have something important to teach us." Isn't that the crux, right there? Creating a space that allows for others to enter and in doing so, teach us. A blessing. So perhaps instead of self-doubt, with all of its negative connotations, it is perhaps simply spaciousness, an inherent welcome those who inform our lives by being in them. But I am not positive, of course. There's always room for a little healthy doubt. <3

~H

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