Recently a client commented that the family had been living with a behavior from their pet long enough that they had normalized it. It’s not that they weren’t aware and still frustrated, rather they had given up or stopped working consistently with their pet’s behavioral shifts. They were no longer seeing the possibilities of change.
The client felt refreshed with enthusiasm after our consultation and interested in revisiting both tried and new training techniques, this time coupled with holding a vision, or energy, to support the pet. This is so important for continued behavioral success, and when the client used the phrase “change the narrative” it really rang a bell for me.
We get stuck in “what has been” ways of thinking. Whether our focus is a behavior or seeing signs of aging in our pets, we can easily get stuck in “the way things used to be” conversations. No matter the circumstance, let’s challenge ourselves to consider a shift in perspective. What if we encourage ourselves to look at all possible solutions and try them on, whether they’ve been tried in the past or not. Sometimes what didn’t appear to work before is a perfect fit now.
When our pets age, we’ll see changes we might want to ignore or deny. Instead, let’s change the narrative. When we see the changes in energy level, mobility, or confidence, we can change our narrative from “oh no, you’re getting old!” to “ah, I see in you such wisdom, experience, and ability to love life deeply.” This shift takes the pressure off our pet and ourselves. I’m always amazed at how MY change in narrative shifts the energy overall. Those around me, human and animals, are relieved and more relaxed when I’m not fighting against what is. And by not fighting, almost as if by magic new solutions can make themselves known.
Let’s remind ourselves that change is always possible, and usually change is inevitable. How we think of it – how we speak of it – is our choice and that choice can change the outcome!