Yet, my dogs are utterly obsessed with him. They sit, still as statues, staring at him. They sprint after him as he moves from branch to branch. If he dares to get close enough, either on a low-hanging limb or on the top of our gate, my dogs absolutely lose it, barking and working themselves up into a frenzy.
My constant exclamations of "ignore him, leave him alone, why do you let him bother you" fall on deaf ears in part of course because they're dogs, but more importantly, because they've allowed the squirrel to get into their heads. And now he's stuck there.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if my dogs got a hold of the squirrel. Would they destroy him? Perhaps. But I know that even if they destroyed this squirrel there would be another to take its place - in the form of the cat on top of our roof, the mailman, whatever.
Sadly, we all have our version of the squirrel. It may be something that has happened to us in the past, something we wish could have played out differently. It could be someone in our life that annoys us, a co-worker or neighbor. Or, our squirrel may be more amorphous as in the case of self-doubt or regret. Maybe you are like me and have many squirrels, some that you simply stare at again and again and some that work you up into an utter frenzy.
I'm working on heeding my own advice, as in ignoring, leaving alone, and not letting my squirrels bother me. I have a great therapist. I am practicing mindful meditation with help from an app my aforementioned great therapist recommended. And, though it doesn't come naturally, I practice forgiveness, of myself and those around me.
I know yoga would also help me, but the ironic thing is that one of my squirrels (as in in the voice in my head that tells me "you are too out of shape, you will look like an idiot") is what is keeping me from going to class. I'm close, but I have a little more barking to do before I get there.
We can't destroy our squirrels. And we shouldn't want to. Instead, we should figure out a way to live with them running carefree from branch to branch, while we do the same.