What's behind you that keeps you stuck in a hole?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

I grew up with a beagle named Tab.  He was a typical beagle.  That means a lot of things for those of us who have been beagle owners.  In my case, Tab was a barking, bellowing rabbit chasing escape artist.  If he saw a unattended door he would bolt out of it, and he would be gone for hours.  You could hear him bellowing throughout the fields behind our house, and every once in a while you would see the flick of the white tip of his tail as he tracked something.  When he returned he always smelled like something dead.   

I came home from school one day to see Tab staggering around the yard with a milk cartoon stuck on his head.  Who knows how long he had been like that, but there he was stumbling around like an intoxicated teenager after the prom.  He was always good for a belly laugh.  He was a great dog, and he was deeply loved by our family.  He actually lived to the ripe old age of 18, and we enjoyed every year.

One day, when I came home from work I realized that Tab had been put on a 
chain in the back yard.  He was notorious for getting into the kitchen trash when we were away.  Sometimes, he  spent pretty days in the yard.  We lived in a neighborhood with few fences and strict dog containment rules.  So, if he was outside it meant a chain at his dog house.  He didn’t seem to mind, and it kept him safe while we were gone.

This particular day he was standing in a hole he had dug, and he was barking.  He was about seventeen by then, and he had gotten a little feeble.  There he stood, barking.  That wasn’t unusual for Tab.  If he was outside he was often barking, but this day was different.  His bark had a real distressed sound to it. 

 As I observed the scene, I noticed that he had gotten his chain caught on a small twig behind him.  Each time he tried to move forward the pull of the twig kept him from going very far.  He kept looking at the hole, and then I realized something.  He thought he was stuck in the hole.  The reality was something behind him was keeping him from going forward.

Isn’t that true of us.  We’re struggling, and it seems like we’re in a hole.  It seems like the hole has made us prisoners, and it’s going to keep us prisoners forever.  Tab’s hole was only about 4-6 inches deep.  Under normal conditions he would have easily walked right out of it.  But, on that day, it looked huge.  What Tab didn’t realize was that something behind him was keeping him from moving forward.  

What is keeping you from moving forward?  It might not be the situation you’re in at all.  It might be something behind you.  Maybe it’s a relationship that needs healing.  Maybe it’s an apology that was never offered or never received.  Maybe it’s forgiveness that was never extended or maybe never requested.  Maybe it is a questionable action that needs to be corrected.  Maybe the source of your struggle isn’t what you can see at all.  Maybe it’s something behind you.




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Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Mike, sometimes, we don't realize that we're carrying a heavy baggage. Sometimes, it's harder than we realize to let go but sooner we do, sooner we can move forward. Great post.

Nov 10, 2017 08:03 PM #1
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Mike.

What a great insight.  We all have a few skeletons in our closet that needs to be let out.  Some we can do something about, others we can't

Nov 11, 2017 02:31 AM #2
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Mike. Oh what a story and such an apt example of trouble breeding trouble.

Nov 11, 2017 05:29 AM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Mike- love this story and the lesson to be learned from it. We are often told not to look back and to move on but sometimes we have to make sure that there isn't something behind us that may just be keeping us from moving on. 

Nov 11, 2017 09:24 AM #4
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I have a daughter who is a Clinical Psychologist.  She would love this story, Mike.

Nov 11, 2017 03:31 PM #5
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

CONGRATULATIONS Mike, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!    

Nov 11, 2017 03:32 PM #6
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


Nov 11, 2017 06:09 PM #7
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Good morning Mike. Great thought to ponder by all who read this! Thanks! Enjoy your day!

Nov 12, 2017 04:44 AM #8
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Now that is a great lesson. Amazing what animals can teach us (accidentally even) if we only observe and apply the situation to "real" life!

Nov 12, 2017 07:44 AM #9
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Mike

Tab was a great dog for sure. And this story was a terrific lesson for us all to keep in mind. I suspect we are often not aware of what's behind us that keeps us from making progress.


Nov 12, 2017 07:52 AM #10
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Mike Cooper - What a great story to illustrate your point that needs to be remembered. I am so glad you got to spend all those years with Tab. To this day, he is still giving back to you and us!

Nov 12, 2017 08:45 AM #11
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

as always you tell great stories with very meaningful messages - thanks for sharing your beagle with us! 

Nov 12, 2017 07:06 PM #12
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I learned long ago not to look back but always look in the direction that I am going with a positive attitude Mike Cooper 

Nov 12, 2017 09:59 PM #13
faye schubert
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Realty - Branson, MO
technology and marketing specialist

Sometimes we keep digging our own hole deeper or we don't even look up to see that it's not that deep at all.

Nov 13, 2017 04:37 AM #14
Susan McCall, Everyone needs a home
Compass Realty Solutions, Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA - Portland, OR
Quickly, professionally and with a little fun!

I love this story.  If we stop for a minute and be in the minute, the simplest creatures can teach us about life.

Nov 13, 2017 06:53 PM #15
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Mike, what a powerful message you have just shared with us!!

You are so right. It can be things behind us that we have not dealt with, or settled in our heart and mind that keep us from moving forward.

Thank you.

Nov 14, 2017 06:38 AM #16
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Sometimes we have to take a long, hard look at what is holding us back in life. Thanks for sharing. 

Nov 15, 2017 05:27 PM #17
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Mike Cooper

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