Dealing with Nay-Sayers: Leader Dog Chronicles

I'm mostly blind, and I've had guide dogs for a huge chunk of my adult life. My second, Molly, died two years ago, and I now have my third, Jemma. (#LeaderDogJemma on the social web). Since people have been so interested in my journey, I created this Leader Dog Chronicles category on my site and am sharing our story. I'm also working on a book!

Just when I started telling my friends and family about getting a new guide dog, I would have the dreaded encounter with my chief kaboshing officer, who is also someone who loves me dearly. She simply hates change.

Always a Nay-Sayer

Have you noticed that whenever you make a big decision, there's always one person among your family or friends who'll kibosh you? I know exactly who that will be in my family, and whenever I am making a big change, I know not to talk to her at all, because she'll come up with a hundred justifications why what I want is wrong.

The closer you are to living your purpose, the more imminent your encounter with negativity in the form of nay-sayers will be. It's part of the road of trials we all face. I faced it around getting my new "eyes." You'll face it around whatever your big change happens to be. I hope this will help you gain clarity and relax into the journey of dealing with your version of this issue.

When I decided it was time to get a guide dog from a school, I immediately set my mind, heart and actions on making it happen as soon as possible. I told the folks at Leader Dogs  that I'd jump on a plane tomorrow if they had a dog for me. Getting a dog was right for me.

Here's a photo of my beautiful new #LeaderDogJemma.

Leader Dog Jemma Close-up. Jemma is a golden retriever wearing a royal blue collar

Oh how I dreaded telling my mom, because I predicted with 100 per cent accuracy what she'd do, even though her actual words stunned me to the core. I told friends and other family members first, and had a lot of support and encouragement from them.

You and the detractor care about each other, otherwise their opinion wouldn't matter to you one bit.

Mom hates change. She doesn't mean to be the thunderclap of dom, but if it's a big change, she will always resist. Note that I seldom use such a strong word as "always," but it fits.

A BAD Idea?

Here's exactly what she said: "That's a BAD idea." Insert derisive nasal voice tone here.


She didn't answer. Sure, I had said I would do without a dog, but that's before I simply couldn't have the level of contentment in my life without one. I simply could not do it and be anywhere near happy.

I love my mom, and I knew she'd come around eventually, especially once the dog was with me, being helpful and adorable.  What made her reaction so difficult for me is that even though we're next door neighbors who see each other a couple times a day, she was oblivious to the depth of my pain and my need for a dog. Though seeing me every day, she could not see my pain and depression, though it was plain to others who see me much less often.

How Do I Handle the Nay-Sayer?

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