Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Too many balls.....in the mouth and in the air

Lou at Subdural Flow invited us to post a photo that makes me smile. I have quite a few silly dog photos that always make me smile.  Here is a dog who has a lot of balls.  The nature of Labradors is such that they not only love their humans unconditionally, but they love having things in their mouths.  That may include tennis balls, frogs, squirrels, your hand, or any number of other things which they hold gently, even softly without damaging the critter. The animals are like children to us, and we love them. (And yes, we have dogs--actually several of them and three cats.)

Speaking of balls,  this seems to be the time of year when every one is juggling too many of them, and a few have come crashing down.  The rooms are filled with newcomers these days with about 3-4 at each meeting I attend. Maybe the holiday drinking has brought them to a point in which they realize that there is a problem--not just with the person who is drinking or using but with their behavior around them. Their world is falling apart.

Last night was no exception.  There was a new man at the meeting.  He was very angry and came in shouting and yelling.  His daughter, who is his qualifier, had taken his debit card and spent the money.  She is an adult, but the parents have done a lot of enabling of her over the years.  Now, he has come to the realization that he has been fooled, manipulated, and lied to.

That's a tough place to be.  Even though he was stuck in his own anger and misery,  I hope that he heard something that will resonate.  I have been where he was and stayed that way for many years. I am thankful that I learned about the solution through Al-Anon.

Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, friends, and spirit - and you're keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls - family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life. Bryan Dyson


  1. I love the photo! One of our new rescues is a red lab. She is one big fuzzy, drooling lap dog! We are having newcomers stuck in the victim mode..with all the drama that comes with it. We had an awesome meeting on choices, detachment with love, and boundaries. Stuff I need to hear again and again.


  2. I love labs, I am hoping to get a yellow or white lab puppy for a psychiatric helper dog......

    this was the perfect blog entry to see on the day before the big snowstorm.......

    Do you have a dog Syd?

  3. Striving for balance has not worked for me. Surrendering has been a much better strategy. Long story and the outcomes look the same but a different process.
    Thanx for the pic and the discussion.
    Blessings and aloha.

  4. I have started reading your blog lately and find myself looking forward to it each day. Today's post finally made me sign in. The picture of your dog is great and made me smile (also, the one you shared of him sleeping last weekend). Being a dog person myself, I can relate to the unconditional love that these wonderful beings transmit. Being a parent, I can also relate to the new man at your meeting. I saw myself in him a few years back when I first joined alanon. I loved the words of wisdom that you shared at the end of your post - very fitting. Thank you.

  5. Love the dog picture. Awesome. Balance...wow, powerful quote and much needed. Thanks as always for talking about the things that are so important to all of us! Jeanne

  6. you know there is only hope for those who refuse to see. he sounds like he may be at his bottom as much as he is hurting.

    i LOVE the picture of that sweetheart with his mouthful!!
    i told Wes when we get a dog we are going to get a Labrador and a beagle puppy. yes that is more then one dog but my experience is if they are raised together they will be more accepting of each other and both those breeds are awesome to have. of course we have to wait until my puppies are older.

  7. Syd, the quote on the balls was something I needed to hear today! What a great analogy.

    "They will never be the same" We must indeed be careful with those four.

  8. Syd,
    I love that photo! It made me smile, too.

  9. Your photo of the Lab is adorable. It reminded me of a blog I posted in 2007 about Steve Huneck who paints animals...mainly dogs and my favorite picture is of a lab in water retrieving a tennis ball. I will re-post that this week and hope you get a chuckle out of it.

  10. I really liked the passage at the end and of course the doggy pic. I was so surprised to see so many folks at my Al-Anon group last week, we had to get more chairs. I hope they stick around. It is so gratifying to see where I once was and no longer need to be, by the grace of God and that loving program.

  11. No wonder this photo makes you smile.
    I doubt I will look at another photo of a lab with a ball in the mouth again without remembering this post!
    Hubby has been going to meeting much longer than I have and what I hear from his friends is that this time of year the newcomers are plentiful. The man spewing anger, was it at the daughter, his part in it, or just the injustice as he sees it now?

  12. thanks for the post.
    Awesome picture....I miss by big dog!
    It is difficult enough trusting people when you've lived through so many lies....and then to step out on a branch and have it snap...

    it is constant stuggle somedays.

  13. Nice.We are down to one cat now.Harvey has a special cat toy that he will cart it all over the house.He even likes to play fetch with it.

  14. I have learned that sometimes the best thing I can do is just gently put down ALL the balls I'm trying to juggle. Then I get on my knees and ask God to pick them up and take care of them.

    The picture reminds me of our dog Lucky. He holds a whole blue rubber bone, a half a blue one, and a blue ball all in his mouth at once. I've tried to take a picture, but he is always running around like mad when he's playing this marvelous game. :)


  15. The picture is priceless. I am gaining a lot from the Alanon blogs these days and am so grateful for your contributions.

  16. Great picture!
    Great achievement...
    Congratulations. Your story also put a smile on my face.

    You are very beautiful at this photo.

  17. Love that last example about the balls in our life!

  18. This is an amazing post and so true, before moving to WV I attended many Al Anon meetings too since I was raised by an alcoholic, the wisdom shared in those rooms still helps me today, just as your blog and others; thank you Syd.

  19. yea I am a newcomer. I just started going to alnon thank-you for sharing your journery


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