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Wise Counsel - Gerry North

Advice on getting through life as best you can


February 2014

In 2014 be the person your dog thinks you are.

It is a cute saying, don’t you think, but maybe you really can be the person your dog thinks you are.

And then maybe you are already that person to others but you don’t believe it.

One thing is certain: we don’t love ourselves enough or see the positive things we, and others, do all the time.

You made it through childhood, found work, found somewhere to live, found partners, made friends and maintained many relationships, so you are hugely successful already.

Sometimes, however, you encourage self-talk that says you are not sexy enough, successful enough, rich enough or good enough when you are in fact doing well in life - and the dog knows it even if you don’t.

Maybe there is room for improving how you interact with the people in your world? With 2014 just starting you now have every chance to make some plans for change. Maybe you could engage in more activities, exercise more, try to be a better partner, father, brother, sister, friend or work colleague?

You can do this starting today. We can all do this and love ourselves more at the same time.

Our brains are full of noise, a constant barrage of thoughts and feelings about past events that has nothing to do with ‘here and now’ living reality. Some of this brain noise is often not even true, but merely a collection of distorted recollections played over and over like a stuck record.

Throw those records away in 2014 and feel the freedom.

The one thing dogs do, that humans don’t, is offer unconditional positive regard.

They give us a big welcome and every meeting is a new invitation for positive interaction. Maybe we have a lot to learn from animals and maybe we can really become the person our dog thinks we are by moving on from old negative behaviours, thoughts and feelings.

I suggest you write down what new things you want to change and wear a rubber band around your wrist to constantly remind you to adopt these changes.

Make the rubber band your touchstone in 2014.


Gerry North is a couple and general counsellor, treating depression, anxiety, sexual issues and addictions.