Most people live life on the path we set for them, too afraid to explore any other. But once in a while people like you come along who knock down all the obstacles we put in your way. People who realize freewill is a gift that you’ll never know how to use until you fight for it. “The Adjustment Bureau“ More than any other factor my attitude, deeds and choices will paint this day. If there are things I wish were different and want changed, I can change them even if only a tiny, tiny bit, by how I view them. My thoughts are colors on the palette and which ones I put upon the canvas of today is mostly up to me. Over time the complete scene that is painted will be largely of my own doing.
The thought you have now
shapes your experience
of the next moment.
Practice shaping the moment.
Lust is bewildering. Lust is powerful and intense. It can feel good, even great, but usually only for a relatively short time. By itself lust is only a man’s primal drive for sex and is superficial attraction based on instant chemistry rather than genuine caring or emotion. It’s easy to mistake feelings of strong attraction with love and though my codependent tendencies I have confused it many times. The draw can be incredibly intense with feelings fanned like a wildfire by pop-culture all around us. Advertising more often than not shows lust when love is being talked about. In movies, all over television, in music; everywhere there seems to be an insinuation lust is good. Physical attraction is an important component within love, but the real thing goes deeper. Love is a shared feeling between two people who have a vested interesting in one another’s happiness. Love is a positive giving feeling. Lust is a negative feeling about taking.
True love isn’t expressed
in passionately whispered words,
an intimate kiss or an embrace.
…love is expressed in self-control,
patience, even words left unsaid.
Definition of CHANGE: To cause to be different; to transform: to exchange for or replace; to lay aside, abandon, or leave for another; to become different or undergo alteration; to undergo transformation or transition. When we make a change, It’s so easy to interpret our unsettledness as unhappiness, and our unhappiness as a result of having made the wrong decision. Our mental and emotional states fluctuate madly when we make big changes in our lives, and some days we could tight-rope across Manhattan, and other days we are too weary to clean our teeth. This is normal. This is natural.This is change. (Jeanette Winterson)
I have found that the only thing
one can be sure of changing is oneself.
Yes, Jim Morrison was a malcontented rock star who loved to stir up controversery. A good bit of that was just a “bad boy” act. He had a troubled childhood and was undoubtedly a codependent. Morrison was also a deep thinker and a poet who sometimes spoke with deep truth like when he said this. People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bulls#!t. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.
Pain is temporary.
It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year,
but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.
If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
A dead giveaway that I am a codependent is loving people who can’t love me back. Often in my past meeting a woman who was damaged and emotionally impoverished, yet smart, attractive and sexy caused a deeply yearning response. Like a moth to a flame I would be drawn to her and not infrequently ‘fall head over heels’. While thinking I’d found a great love I’d usually just fallen into the pit of my own neediness. My feeling was if I could show her with all my being how much I loved her she would fix me and give me the love I lacked. Getting “fixed” by “fixing” someone is not the path to love. That knowledge has been mine for a good while, but the knowing didn’t stop me from continuing to hit the trip wire of my old conditioning from time to time. The compulsion to “fix” others can make me crazy and has… frequently. Those tendencies still exist but I don’t let them take me over like they used to. The only difference is being in recovery. No one can over come the power of codependence all by them self. The force is too strong. Therapy helped but substantial growth only began when my higher power led me to CoDA (Codependence Anonymous) where I met others much like me. Discovering I was far from alone and not uniquely crazy was a HUGE step forward.
If you can’t get what you want,
you end up doing something else,
just to get some relief…
Just to keep from going crazy.
Because when you’re sad enough,
you look for ways to fill you up.
“Welcome to the United States, the worry capital of the world”. It’s ironic that in such a land of plenty, arguably the highest standard of living ever achieved, we chose to anguish over so much and so many trivial things. Everything from what car a man drives to who he knows are relatively meaningless things many American men worry about. Research has proven that as material comfort, food and healthcare has improved and the amount of leisure time has increased over the last 100 years, dissatisfaction with life has increased markedly. Personally I have achieved a quality of life I could never have even dreamed of when I was a kid. Yet, I too got caught up in the worry and dissatisfaction trap. Once this became clear to me, there was no choice but to begin to try to alter my behavior and my view of things. It took getting very uncomfortable with the way I had been before meaningful change began. While still a work in progress, being uncomfortable is a lot better than being dissatisfied!
Worrying is stupid.
Its like walking around with an umbrella
waiting for it to rain.
Someone once said that codependency is needing others so much that a codependent becomes too afraid of losing someone to ask for what he wants. Or else, if I do ask for what I need a person may not be able to give it to me or choose not to. Simply asking to have my needs and wants met was a huge step and to this day presents a giant challenge. As a child I was taught to “shut up and be quiet” and that the desires of a kid did not matter. Things like being ignored when I had a horrible toothache and begged to go to the dentist taught formative dysfuction which followed me into adult life. Even though I have learned to ask to have my needs met by others (sometimes), I often feel guilty when I do. Even something as simple as asking a friend to help me my piano around is something I hesitate doing. Somehow it feels like I am being a burden if I ask. When I do manage to ask for and get help, it is empowering. As a recovering codependent I will always be one who jumps up too quickly to help others or give advice, but too slowly getting around to asking to have my needs and wants met. Doing a little better, a little at a time, is a rewarding struggle.
If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.
You’re a lot more right than you are wrong! One of the tendencies when I started working on my dysfunctions, was they were about all I could see. The focus I had to improve was healthy, but that narrow gaze saw little past my issues. For a time I kind of lost sight of a long successful career, loving friendships, a loving relationship with my son and brother, respect of my peers and so on. Further having accomplished a number of ‘bucket list” items got pushed out of view including learning to fly planes, visiting Machu Picchu and getting my photography published and recognized. When I got serious about recovery I fast became an expert (or at least it seemed so) on what was wrong with me. Granted, I had some serious things to work on like depression, PTSD and compulsions, but they did not occupy anywhere near the majority of my life. Real recovery began to move faster when I recognized what was right and good in my life, as well as what I needed to work on. Beginning to be able to see myself with truth and balance was necessary and took time.
Your vision will become clear
only when you can look
into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside, awakens.
Every one of us indulges occasionally in self-pity, but no one likes to admit it. Self-pity is the emotion of covering up. It is a method we often use to cover up our feelings of aggression and our feelings of guilt. It is our excuse for failing to face life objectively – an alibi for inaction. When he learns to walk, the little child must take one step at a time. Even that one step is a faltering attempt. He always takes the risk of falling, but until the child learns to walk he does not become discouraged when he loses his balance. He gets back upon his feet and tries again. Gradually his muscles strengthen and the ability to balance increases. The child leans to walk with confidence, with head erect, rather than half bent over in a position where he expects to fall on his face. In overcoming negative emotions, which limit our lives, we must have courage to stand erect and with patience to take one step at a time, recognizing that growth takes time. Even after we have taken positive action, it is easy to revert to the old, negative emotions. We should not cease to try because of a fear of falling. (From “Search For Serenity…” by Lewis F. Presnall)
Depression: a condition of feeling emotionally down; a prolonged sadness; feelings of inadequacy; waning interest in things outside the self; generally sad mood, and thoughts that affect the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself, and thinks about things. By that definition it becomes obvious that just about all codependents suffer at least from occasional depression. Many deal with it regularly. Most males don’t ever seek help for depression. As men it’s often hard to admit we need help as we’ve been taught to keep our self under control. Accepting something emotional can get a hold on us that we can’t control is thought wrongly by many to be male weakness. That’s all macho bravado and unadulterated BS! Trying to control what can’t be controlled can even make it worse. Men get depressed just as often as women! Men just don’t do anything about it as frequently. Feelings are not a weakness nor is feeling depressed, sad or inadequate. Real and true weakness is not seeking help and treatment when a man needs it. Simply stated, it is STUPID to be depressed and not reaching out for help for it!
He who is afraid of asking
is ashamed of learning.