When I was told I wasn't the right owner for Titan, I was devastated because I was (am) full of fear that I would (will) never change. I've always had a tendency to feel like the odds were (are) stacked against me or that people didn't (don't) like me and I placed(d) a lot of value on what I worried (worry) people thought (think) about me. I hated (hate) criticism and I couldn't (can't) stand feeling judged. Weird to think all of these selfish worries affected (affect) my relationship with my dog. Even worse, It not only affects my relationship with my dog also affects how I relate to the world around me and the people in it. It promoted the feeling that it was all these outside things that were at fault, not myself, I was just "trying" to do the right things and everyone else was getting in the way. And how could we possibly change these deep rooted unhealthy behaviors that bring me some kind of sick reward, anyway?
I thought it meant I had to turn into teflon, you know - so whatever happened, nothing would stick. I'll admit, I need to learn to be a little less sensitive, but at the core of this, I had to identify what threw me out of balance, what was it that made me tick, how do I catch it, and how do I change the outcome?
I remember the moment when my friend let me know the following clip had been put on the internet, entitled, "Pit Bull Owner Loses It..."
It had been months since that was filmed and I was in an incredible amount of pain back then, just breathing felt uncomfortable. I was a different person when I looked back and watched it and I was immediately pulled back into that chaos, and anger, and I was embarrassed that I was even in the presence of someone who could bring out such ugliness in me and it rocked me to the core, people were going to know what I was that day, not what I am today.
I texted the trainer Cesar had set me up with and said, "I'm MORTIFIED." His response is something I will carry with me forever, "You never have to make the same mistakes that got you stuck so bad you couldn't see that you were stuck. Look where you are now and become aware of the instant you feel less than what you were feeling befoand readjust your feeling back to what it was. Earlier is always best. You can still see where the malfunction occurred. If you want to continue to feel mortified, then you are just leaching on to some sort of reward for feeling mortified and will continue to feel mortified. So feel proud again for who you are."
Now insert anger, frustration, sadness, or any other feeling where mortified is and see if you could use that gem of advice today. My dogs have forced me to realize that sure, I can choose to leave a relationship or end a friendship but the things that cause me to become unbalanced are within myself and I can acknowledge and choose a different feeling or course but it takes daily examination and practice. I am still working on that "earlier is always best," part and it's taken practice to see the malfunction but the good news is, I'm better at it than I used to be and that's progress.