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Managing Our Instincts Is Essential To Healing

Written by: Juliette Marhofer-Dugger, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Who doesn't stop for a really adorable puppy? At least that is my first instinct. I love dogs, but puppies are altogether different.

photo of a woman with her eyes close in gray scale

In the middle of coffee and conversation at a local café, my oldest son and I couldn't help but pause when a tiny, yellow lab came strutting by. The cuteness factor was over the top when we noticed she had a "guide-dog-in-training" vest on. Simultaneously, we both smiled, paused, and then asked for permission to pet. The couple happily said, "Yes, please. This is actually the socialization she needs. We want her to interact and then learn to sit."

About twenty minutes into our visit, the wife shared with us that her husband has been a dog-whisperer as long as she can remember. Their lab of sixteen years was laid to rest three years prior and now, in their sixties, guide-dog training is rewarding for them without a long-term commitment of another dog.

The husband very calmly spoke up and said, "She's a funny little thing. It's fun to watch a puppy discover new things. This morning she saw a squirrel for the first time and got so excited." What he said next captured my attention entirely and it felt as though it was the exact reason for our encounter. He went on to say, "See the point is with a guide-dog is that you train them to manage their instincts. If they are guiding their blind owner, they can't afford to follow their instincts, they have to deny them and let their training overtake their instincts." The wife spoke up and said, "You know it's like human beings, when we don't manage our lives, we can get into trouble. What we need to do doesn't always come naturally, we must learn to manage ourselves or what our instincts would be. If we aren't in a healthy place, it won't turn out well." On that note we exchanged names and the joy we shared in meeting one another.

It's in a dog's nature to chase a squirrel and our nature isn't much different at times in our lives. I've chased a few 'squirrels' in my life, how about you? When I heard him make the statement "manage their instincts'', there were thoughts that surfaced for me about our nature and tendency to be distracted. Isn't it interesting that we can be easily distracted, but then become excessively fixated on that which has captured our attention? Unfortunately as quickly as these little squirrels grab our devotion, they sometimes remain long after we wish them gone. If it's in our human nature to be lured away and easily distracted, can we train our instincts within our nature to manage how we respond to those distractions before becoming disillusioned by them?

Managing is not denying ourselves the privilege to enjoy the frivolous "squirrels" that bring unexpected joy. No, it's managing ourselves so that when the real joy comes we can pause and ask ourselves, “Is this a thief and or a giver?”

Circling back to the puppy. Consider this, in the midst of training, they never lose their identity of being a dog. They were chosen for that very reason and they can't afford to forget that's who they are. Their instincts are all still intact, before, during, and after training has ceased. Their loyalty to their owner becomes their happy existence, and as inviting as the momentary satisfaction of chasing squirrels appears, their training requires them to override that desire.

You and I, resiliency is woven into our nature by our Creator, but we grow weary and our instinct can be to give up until we remember who we are. We too have what I like to call, a Whisperer that knows our nature, our instincts, our frailties and fallacies. After all, He granted us free will to choose and self-regulate. Examining our human nature, our tendencies that exist within our will, doesn't need to be a shame-fest. This process becomes an opportunity to exchange underdeveloped parts of ourselves to become emotionally healthy and spiritually mature humans.

Managing our instincts is essential, sets our intention to live beyond only acknowledging where we desire healing. It calls us into the depths of intention, intuition, and paying attention to why we "will '' and how we "will" what passes through the gate of our soul. We have the courage to lean in and ask to reveal in our lives what needs to be healed. Tending to our soul realigns us and empowers us to override the thieves vying for our attention. God, our Whisperer, wants to help us create a life beyond our wildest imagination!

Until next time, friend, cheers!

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Juliette Marhofer-Dugger, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Juliette Dugger is a Life Coach, Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Thought Leader, whose obsession with Soul Care points others to rewrite their story and not to relive history. After childhood and adulthood trauma caused a collision of abandonment and a longing for intimate belonging in her soul, she created dialogue to radically transform her narrative. Juliette has committed her life to helping others recover their breath in the middle of the war in their soul, not after it ends! She is the founder of WildWell Company—a movement of freeing the mind and healing the body through Soul Care for females affected by systemic cycles and patterns of mental, emotional, and spiritual abuse and betrayal trauma. Juliette is passionate about reframing soul hygiene to disrupt the view of how we connect to faith, ourselves, and others to create a life of wonder!



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