Saturday, April 28, 2012

Don't Take It Personally.

My little dog is worse today, even with the steroids and painkiller, she's in pain.  I'm trying to believe what the vet and her breeder are telling me, that her prospects are good, that she will improve, that this is early in the injury, but it's distressing to see her suffering.

A few days ago, I sat quietly listening as someone spoke of how he didn't understand why anyone would spend so much money on "just a cat or a dog." He wasn't aware of my little dog's illness, so was quite forthcoming in his scorn for these foolish owners - why didn't they put the sick animal down and get a healthy one to replace it? Why spend all that money on an animal?  A friend (who is aware) glanced over at me, worried that I would be feeling upset.

As he spoke, I'd been thinking about the fact that I understood that sort of blanket-coverage opinionated statement very well, because I'd been a distributor of them myself, before Al-Anon. I was a strange mixture of very poor self-image with very strong opinions.

What I've learned in this marvellous program is that not only is it not necessary for me to give my opinion in every situation - many times I can just listen, or interject only a small joke to lighten the mood - but that it most circumstances, I don't need to possess an opinion of any sort. I can be neutral. If asked, I can reply that I don't think anything much  about it, or that I see both sides, and care to join neither.

If I do have an idea, I can easily and happily keep it to myself, I no longer feel the need to foist it upon other people. I don't feel personally slighted or offended if we disagree. I don't take the world personally in the way I once did. That sentence encapsulates my miracle in Al-Anon - I don't go out into the world every day "loaded for bear." And as a result, the world turns a much softer, more loving and accepting face back to me.


  1. I don't mind expressing an opinion when asked but also don't push my point. I like having the right to an opinion but not taking it personally or being argumentative.

    I hope that the little dog will get better. I have spent thousands on my dogs. They are like children to me.

  2. I can sometimes sit in a room and have opinion myself when heated topics are being thrown around. But there are times when I need to speak up around certain issues. Balancing act
    Just for today it's all just fine.

  3. It's more fun to hear the crazy opinions of others, heheh....

  4. Oh - and I hope your dog gets better quickly. I have spent a fortune on my pets too. People shouldn't get pets if they can't afford them.

  5. Beautiful post. Before Al-Anon I took the entire world personally... ugh, what a waste of my energy. I can relate to that calmness when someone shares something like that that I don't necessarily agree with. What a gift this program has given!