Love like dogs do.
I'm not sure why, but I woke up with this story on my mind, and I wanted to get it out.
This guy told me a story once about a dog he had when he was little. He loved his little dog and his dog loved little him. They would play fetch in the yard in front of his house. He noticed that day that a hole had developed in the lattice that kept things out from underneath their porch, but he didn't think anything of it. He kept playing catch, and his sweet little dog was very excited.
When it was time to go inside, the guy did that thing that we all do to dogs. His hands on his knees, in a little squat, he says "come here, bud." The little dog freezes, and mirrors the guy in his own version of the "ready set go" squat. "Come on." The dog charges full speed ahead, and the guy steps out of the way to let the dog run up the steps and back into the house. Instead, the dog runs directly through the hole in the lattice, and gets stuck under the house.
Guy: "I just remember feeling so sad for her-- she must have been so scared."
Me: "How did you know she was scared? Was she whining?"
Guy: "No... she just didn't come out right away..."
Me: "So... she could have been completely happy exploring and digging around in a part of the world she never knew existed."
This guy felt fear for his little friend, and I understand that. We all do it sometimes. But practicing love means letting your pets and friends explore the world without projecting your fear of darkness into them. Before you know it, they'll be back to show you what a good girl they are.