Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Sometimes All You Have Is a Dog (Cat)


Doesn’t the scene represented in this photo seem like our lives sometimes? We feel like we have been set on something far too big for us to handle, by circumstances beyond our control, and the only friend we have left in the world is our trusty canine (or feline) companion. We get caught up in the ins and outs, the ups and downs of life and almost before we have a chance to catch our breath, much less figure out what is going on, there we are sitting a straddle of something we can barely comprehend. Meanwhile all of our friends are either staring blankly back at us or departed long ago into the morass of their own lives. Of course, we all have those  friends who like to hang around, much like the type of folks who pull over when passing a car wreck on the interstate, so they can get a better view.

So what do we do, when we find ourselves in these straits? What actions do we take? How do we make decisions? How do we even begin to think?

One of blogs I follow is entitled, “Lessons From the End of a Marriage” ( She writes about the day in 2009, after ten years of being married without a single clue anything might be a miss, when she received a text from her husband announcing he was leaving her. I commented after one of her posts how incredibly proud I was of how she had turned a nasty horrible negative situation into a place of strength. Her reply rocked my boat, she said,  “It’s devastating, but not a death sentence.”

“It’s devastating, but not a death sentence.”

There is a growth mindset. The mindset that says, “Failure is not the end of everything, but something I must deal with along life’s path.”  She did not cave in and crumple up. She didn’t give up on every man who ever drew breath. She didn’t seek solace in personal medication. She pulled herself together and went on with her life.

Here is a partial/edited list of lessons (for a complete list please go to her website) she learned:

     1) Fear is greatest right before the plunge.

     2) Softness is complimentary to strength, not on opposition to it.

3) Tsunamis can wash out relationships, be wary of what hides in the depths.

4) Interdependence is preferable to complete independence.

5) Be not do.

6) Stress is a choice.

7) Forgiveness is possible even against the unforgivable.  Actually, it’s not just possible; it’s required to move forward.

8) Happiness is found in acceptance, not control.

 Those look like good lessons to me. It doesn’t matter whether you are applying these to your personal life or to your career, or to a small business you are running. They are words that speak truth. They are words to live by.

Be encouraged!

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44 thoughts on “Sometimes All You Have Is a Dog (Cat)

  1. Excellent! All joy. HF

  2. free penny press on said:

    She sounds like a soul sister.. I too turned inward for pills, booze, anger most importantly no bad mouthing the ex. She got a text, I got a cell phone call.. I will def. read her and thanks for posting these awesome rules t live by.

    • There really is something to be said for walking away from a shattered relationship with your dignity intact. Glad you were able to do it. The sad part is how many folks this resonates with.

      Be encouraged!

  3. Wonderful post, stephen…we need more…I know you are busy writing, but this post places things into a better perspective for many.

    • Thank you again for all your gracious and kind words…I can assure you I am not worthy of them.

      The lady who writes the blog Lessons From the End Of a Marriage is truly awe inspiring. I am amazed at well she has not only adjusted , but used these, as she puts it, “devastating” events to become a person of caring and compassionate strength. I do marvel at how some people can take adversity and use it as fuel to crave a new and healthier life. If we could bottle that stuff, the world’s problems would blow away like plastic bags from Walmart’s parking lot…God it is late…can you tell?

      Be encouraged!

  4. Fabulous post. Keep up the good work!

  5. Wow, now if that doesn’t leave an impact or make you think, I don’t know what will. “It’s devastating, but not a death sentence.” A growth mindset indeed! Thanks for sharing and making my day just a little bit more . . . .

    • Hey Bruce – Glad you enjoyed it…but the lady who writes the blog “Lessons From the End Of A Marriage” is truly awesome. To take what has happened to her and build a life free of low self-esteem, pity, revenge, and a host of other vicious emotions is nothing less than a miracle. Go read her blog, give her tons of likes, then start following…you won’t be disappointed.

      Be encouraged

  6. Thank you for sharing. Those are hard lessons learned. Will check out her blog. Great picture by the way…

    • Thank you (again) for all of your kind words. You always write the most sincere thoughts…I appreciate it.

      By all means check out her blog…she is truly an amazing woman.

      Isn’t the picture the best…that little guy looks about as forlorn as you can get, yet the dog is pleased as punch to be hanging out with him…sort of reminds me of Jake the Wonder Dog and myself.

      Be encouraged!

  7. Great post! And finally I’m able to follow your blog. Had problems with my email, don’s ask… :).

    • Marianne – Glad you are finally able to follow…I love your posts from Spain…nice gig…whenever I have IT issues I call Susie (my wife)…it usually goes something like this…”Honey, this damn computer is acting up again. Can you fix it?”…then she does and life is worth living again…lol.

      Be encouraged!

      PS – You are always welcome to call Susie.

      • You are a lucky man – I need to get myself a “Susie”. :). In the meanwhile I might call your wife. What is the time difference between Europe and USA… :). Have a nice weekend!

      • I think the time difference is somewhere around 425 hours give or take a few minutes…of course, if you are willing to foot the bill, we could always come your way…I’m thinking Europe might be rather pleasant in the summertime…

        Be encouraged!

      • Very funny! It will be cheaper for me to buy a new computer and Europe is great in the summertime… 🙂

      • This is going to be tough to explain to Susie…but I’ll try to let her down gently…I believe she is singing “When It Rains in Paris” now…whew this is not going to be easy…lol.

        Have a great weekend!

        Be encouraged!

  8. Great post and love it when she said after receiving the text, “It’s devastating, but not a death sentence.”

  9. That is one inspirational story! Thanks. And this specific picture truly does speak “1000 words”

    • I love that little guy…the look on his face is absolutely priceless…plus you gotta love the dog…he is so proud to have been included…if he had buittons they would have flown off…

      BTW…it is killing me…did your friend win the lottery?

      Be encouraged!

  10. I know, that is an amazing photography. Oh, that Larry did not win the lottery, I have officially nicknamed him “an ass” I don’t know what was up with all the “fake winners” from Maryland. It must be something in the water…lol

    • Wow…I haven’t been hung up on a cliff hanger like that since the days of Perry Mason and Della Reese…thanks for the update on the ass.

      BTW…since I gather from your blog you are a cyclist, any predictions for the Big Show in France come July?

      • Yeah, he no longer is on my Christmas Card list, and he actually did piss off ALOT of people around him. His wife’s best friend recently hit hard times and she was actually thinking she was going to get help from Larry… Folks should never joke around with stuff that can toy with people’s desperation.
        I can’t get enough of Tour de France, I am a fanatic! I will be rooting for the Schleck brothers. I can’t think of a better sporting even to watch than Tour de france.

      • I am completely with you in regards to the Schleck bros…I certainly hope Andy can pull the trigger HARD this year.

        The friend needs meds…lol.

        Be encouraged!

  11. I’m finally catching up again on blog posts. Thanks for your patience! 🙂

  12. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  13. OMgosh, I just read this post. The picture is simply amazing. And the post is wonderful! Look forward to seeing more, Stephen! Incredible stuff.

    • I fell in love with the photo. The look captured on the face of the little guy (?) is priceless. That look of, “Okay now what do I do?” Then there is the dog, with that I am so happy to be here look…I thought it was a fantastic and perfect for what I wanted to convey with my post.

      I’m glad you enjoyed and thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it.

      Be encouraged!

  14. Some life lessons are mountains to conquer. One deliberate, thoughtful step at a time is the only way.
    Reaching out to others is like moving forward in leaps and bounds. The joy left in your heart by doing this is the beginning of an attitude of gratitude. Being grateful for what you DO have, is a revelation of what are needs versus wants. Our needs are small.
    Great post

  15. I love this! Thanks so much for posting. She is so strong. I will for sure be checking out her blog and passing it along to others who may need to hear her perspective. Great work! Love the lessons she learned through adversity.

  16. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words on said:

    The picture fits your words
    and this is a great post!
    I will definitly check out her blog
    Thank you for pointing the way…
    this was a really good post
    Take Care

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