Challenges in life are inevitable. How we handle those challenges is what determines our happiness.
Life is HEAVY. We are STRONG.
Life is HEAVY. We are STRONG.
~My dog & the sea lion~
If y’all haven’t heard, my dog has become a viral sensation. A video, which can be viewed here, of him and our sea lion neighbor checking each other out has picked up over 2 million views on my TikTok and been reposted on other popular outlets such as Newsweek, Pubity, Complex, Dogs of Instagram, and more. While hundreds of thousands reached out to say the interaction “made their day” or “put a smile on their face,” the haters always seem to scream louder.
While it is obvious to those who know me, I would NEVER encourage anyone to approach wildlife. To HARASS any animal - or human for that matter - something these keyboard warrior “wildlife activists” need some practice with. I took the appropriate precautions, when the sea lion approached us on our property, by calling the local wildlife rescue to ask if there was something I could do. Slowly backing away with my dog until I could bring him upstairs safely, I observed the sea lion. He moved slow and his behaviors showed no signs of distress or aggression. They were two beings saying hi. Respectfully and curiously acknowledging one another’s presence. Not close enough to touch, no harm, no hindrances. Just a special moment I will remember forever.
While many people were quick - and wrong - to accuse me of “harassing wildlife” or “being a bad dog mom,” the lesson here isn’t about either of those things. The lesson here is how I can practice drowning out the haters. Release the need to defend myself to every and anyone who disagrees with me. Accepting that in life I will be misunderstood and the best thing I can do for myself is to let it go and move on. I trust who I am shines brighter than who I might be made out to be.
It was tremendously difficult for me, for many days in a row, over and over, to be pronounced a horrible person on such a public platform. Especially by people who don’t even know me. By the kinds of people who argue with complete confidence about their marine wildlife facts and laws but can’t tell the obvious difference between a seal and a sea lion. I run a business trying to inspire fulfilling lives. It would be detrimental to my reputation if people were to confuse my values.
While I still feel the need to preach how we shouldn’t attack people online, especially when we don’t know the whole story, I know that’s not my takeaway. My takeaway is how I responded. My blog discusses how I used to handle things when they didn’t work for me and how I learned to handle things so they work now. Sharing the strategies that leave me feeling fulfilled and tossing my old, unsuccessful ways behind. I was in a constant state of anxiety, fear and discomfort when I was reading those negative comments. I let them get to me. I knew nothing they were saying approached the truth, but I was terrified others might get the wrong idea. I also knew nothing I said would make a difference, so I made the decision to stop responding. Stop wasting my energy on the haters. I am free now.
The outpouring of love has truly been unbelievable. I choose to focus on that. I see strangers rallying together behind me and my dog to flush out anyone who chooses to see what happened that day as anything but what it was. The friendliest and sweetest encounter. Wholesome content to simply enjoy. How lovely to watch people purposefully flooding positivity in the comments section to “drown out” the hateful and misinformed commenters. But I forgive myself for not responding to hate with love right away. I took a moment of hesitance and caution and navigated my way back to the love, just like I did with the sea lion.
To the people who have defended me or simply watched the video without trying to make something out of nothing, thank you. Thank you for being open-minded, open-hearted and loving. Thank you for taking time to send a loving message, showing your appreciation. I respect your ability to enjoy life in such a positive manner. I owe you gratitude for inspiring me to let go and do the same.
Lindsay Greenberg, providing perspective on how to live a magical life.