In Rescue life, I find myself saying no very often. And it’s not a struggle for me. I attribute that to my logical, black-and-white, organized nature. We don’t have a shelter facility; all of our rabbits are fostered in private homes. Thus, we can’t do anything unless someone can offer a space in their own home. Once we find a space, then things spring into motion, but before that, it’s just no. No, we can’t help until someone steps up to foster. No, we can’t take your rabbit that you’ve grown tired of. No, you can’t house a domestic rabbit in an outdoor hutch. No, we can’t give you hundreds of donated dollars to pay for the spay/neuter of a rabbit whom you decided to purchase from a breeder.
Do I sound cold? Sorry. But to me, these are just facts. There’s a logical procedure to making all of this happen, to saving as many lives as we can and then providing a high quality of life for those we save. If we just said yes to everyone, everybun, every request, we would be financially broke (we run solely on your donations, 100% of which go directly to the rabbits and are tax-deductible) and the rabbits we have in our care wouldn’t have exercise time, food and supplies, and the love they deserve. So, no is my answer often. Even when dealing with the cutest of cotton bottoms, you have to harden the F up sometimes… a lot of the time…
So take this sense into the rest of real life. With some minor exception, I’ve never been a people-pleaser. I’m loyal. I’m honest. I’m dependable. But be damn sure that I won’t do anything I don’t want to do and I’ll never commit to something that I don’t plan on fulfilling.
In many cases, saying no is a gift to yourself, a gift you deserve. No, I don’t want to _______ because I really need to rest, handle my own business, do something that fulfills my spirit. Put yourself first. I always do. Always. I don’t care if that sounds selfish or crass. Putting myself first, saying no to some people and things along the way has enabled me to create the life of my dreams. I’ve written here before that the life of my dreams is probably far from the one of your dreams—how great that we can all have it all, in whatever way we want it?! Anyway, saying no in Rescue life and in real life is really just a yes to something else, something that we choose to give priority.
So when I say no to having lunch on a Sunday with you, I’m really saying yes to myself, my family and my home—I need that day to get shit together! When I say no to an abandoned rabbit, I’m really saying let’s get the best possible scenario arranged first to truly save this life, all while saying yes to keeping the safe and loved quality of life for our foster and sanctuary rabbits. No keeps me grounded. No keeps the quality of yeses super high and wonderful.