Sunday, December 6, 2020

Control Over Our Buttons

Yesterday, our daughter, Hannah, visited us with her dog, Teddy. He’s a Golden Retriever. We have a puppy, just over a year old, who is also a golden. Daisy, our dog, is stubborn and get jealous rather easily.

Last night, Hannah sat on the couch with Teddy sprawled out on her lap. Comical, in that Teddy is super large for that breed, and Hannah is on the short side. Daisy wanted to join in and attempted to launch herself onto both Teddy and Hannah.

Hannah pointed at Daisy and said, “No, don’t even think about it!”

Teddy, put his paw on Hannah’s arm pushing it down.

Daisy attempted another launch, and Hannah repeated, “No, Daisy, don’t!”

Again, Teddy placed his paw on Hannah’s arm pushing it down.

In the end, Daisy lay down on the hassock and stared at the two of them longingly.

Hannah explained that Teddy doesn’t like the word, ‘No’ and doesn’t like anyone raising his or her voice around him.

Interesting that Teddy is quick to pick up on tone of voice, gestures, feelings. He became protective of his buddy, Daisy. They had played long and hard all day. Each dog mopes and sulks when one or the other leaves for home. Daisy is in equal parts tired out from rough-housing, and sad that Teddy has left.

One of my contacts on LinkedIn, Linda Breedlove, posted this the other day. The story is of unknown origin.

            This is a story of two dogs.

Both, at separate times, walk into a room.

One comes out wagging his tail, while the other comes out growling.

A woman watching this goes into the room to see what could make one dog come out so happy and the other so mad.

To her surprise, she found a room with many mirrors.

The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him while the angry dog found only angry dogs growling back at him.

The moral of the story is this: what you see in the world is a reflection of who you are.


The writer didn’t explain why one dog was happy and one dog was angry. The writer stated that one dog was happy coming out, while the other dog was angry coming out. Two dogs. Same room. Different reactions.

I think each of us are faced with rooms with many mirrors. And if not rooms, many situations, many circumstances, and a whole lot of people. For us, those rooms, situations and circumstances, and the different people we encounter elicit within us different perceptions, different reactions.

When I taught psychology many moons ago, I told my students that no one can make you feel one way or the other. The way we feel is a choice. We choose the way we feel: happy, sad, angry, indifferent. We choose our reaction to any given individual and situation. We are in control . . . or not, as the case may be. I reminded them that it sometimes isn’t easy to remember that especially when someone or something pushes one of our buttons. The trick is to take back control of the button, our buttons. Don’t allow anyone else to assume control.

Lastly, like the two dogs entering and leaving the room of many mirrors, we choose from moment to moment how we feel. Much of that feeling stems from our attitude going into and coming out of any given situation and circumstance. We can allow that control to be given to others, but why would we? Why would we allow someone else to control our thoughts and feelings as if we were a marionette?

I leave you with this thought from Greek philosopher Heraclitus:

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts.

Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day.

The content of your character is your choice.

Day by day, what you do is who you become.

Your integrity is your destiny — it is the light that guides your way.”

Definitely something to think about . . .

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

Connect with me on Social Media:
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor

This week, I received word that my newest book, Betrayed, won the Literary Titan Silver Book Award. Happy about that. You can find Betrayed on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You will find the link for Amazon at:

The book blurb is as follows:

A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, and no one is talking. A promise is made and kept, but could result in the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy.

Some recent reviews for Betrayed:

"Excellent pacing, intriguing characters, and an action-packed plot line. Don't miss this one!" @jessicaxbelmont

"Well written and with real heart and honesty this is a beautiful and moving story about survival and kinship." @ramblingmads

"An action-packed thriller that grabbed my attention from the start. ... I thoroughly enjoyed the pace of this book and getting to know all the characters." @ShazzieRimmel

"I was on the edge of my seat and holding my breath as I waited for these characters to get through the latest scrape." @MyBookishBliss

"The story whilst it’s a hunt for a missing friend also shines a light on teens who are struggling to find their place in the world." @MachinSharronm1

"Joseph Lewis has tactfully dealt with some difficult themes, and still managed to squeeze a nice amount of action and mystery into this novel." @caathycastling

Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. He has a list and has murdered eight on it so far. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement. 
Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner!
The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay. Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family.         

Caught in a Web is now available in Audio format. You can find it at:

Book One of the Lives Trilogy, Stolen Lives:
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they’ll end up like all the others- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. And the possibility exists that one of his team members might be involved.  
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
Six men, each more dangerous than the next, escaped and are out for revenge. The boys, recently freed from captivity, are in danger and so are their families, but they don’t know it. The FBI has no clues, no leads, and nothing to go on and because of that, cannot protect them.  
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they don’t know one another, the lives of FBI Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread Pete Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their lives are in jeopardy as each search for a way out.              

Photos Courtesy of Hannah Joshua and Unsplash.





  1. Great post! I especially love the story of two dogs. So true. 💕

  2. Thank you for stopping by. The story of the two dogs hit me too.


Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe