I have a confession to make. I don’t want to hug you. It’s not that I don’t like you. I do, probably. I just really don’t enjoy hugging in any form. I know this probably makes me sound cold or like I suffer from some Monk level OCD contamination fears. Neither is true. Nor did I spend my formative years in a creepy Soviet orphanage where I had no physical contact. Hugging to me just doesn’t feel natural. It is never my instinct to hug someone. The worst is when I run into some random acquaintance I haven’t seen in a while and the first thing they do is try to hug me. In a way though, I’m jealous of these natural huggers. They certainly come off as much warmer and friendlier than me even if it might not be wholly genuine. Since I don’t want to come off as unapproachable or snobby, I’ve gotten pretty good at faking enjoying hugs over the years. I am now able to hug someone without doing the creepy straight armed Dr. Evil style hug. Progress. So I normally let other people dictate the terms of first contact. If they go in for a hug, I will return it warmly. But I will never be the “hug initiator.” Maybe someday I’ll be able to proudly own my non-hugging status and have t-shirts made that say “You seem like an awesome person and I’d like to get to know you better, but please don’t touch me.” From a post by Amanda Fox http://hellogiggles.com/confessions-of-a-non-hugger
We were not a hugging people.
In terms of emotional comfort
it was our belief that no amount
of physical contact could match
the healing powers of a well made cocktail.
From “Naked” by David Sedaris
Yes, you want a great marriage, if the other person is like this, this, and this. Yes, you want a fulfilling career, on the condition that it will always be such and such. And yes you want children so long as X, Y, and Z. That’s not to say you shouldn’t have standards, hopes, and goals. We all do. But if you’re struggling — if you’re feeling out of, or the need for, control — it’s less likely that something’s wrong with the object of your desires and more likely that there’s something you’ve been unwilling to give up in order get what it is you say you want. Including what might be impossible standards. Or, perhaps, a standard that shifts every time what you claim to yearn for gets a bit too close for comfort… When we long for things to be the way we want them to be, rather than the way they are, that’s not a quest for freedom. That’s resistance. Especially if what we want flies in the face of reality. What exactly is it that we are resisting? The circumstances of life. How we and other people are. What was. What might be. We resist life and other people. We resist the past and our future. We resist our feelings, thoughts, and even ourselves. We resist the truth. And then we delude ourselves into thinking that if we resist long enough, if we try to control hard enough, we’ll eventually be free. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Your assumptions are your windows on the world.
Scrub them off every once in a while,
or the light won’t come in.
Many partners of addicts have told me they feel bad about themselves for staying in the relationship because of the betrayal they’ve experienced. They imagine that the people who know their past judge them to be stupid for staying with the person who’s caused them so much pain. I often counter this thinking, explaining that leaving may seem quick and easy because they can pretend they’re okay and the problem has disappeared. However, if you leave your relationship, you’ll be stuck with your pain and sorrow without the person you loved to help you sort it out. Why is this true? Because even though it feels as if your pain comes from your partner, it’s actually coming from inside you. From the book “Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction” by Alexandra Katehakis,
By reacting from fear
instead of responding from love,
you inject poison directly
into the veins of your relationship.
Probably the main question in the minds of most codependent people who seek help is this: Will my husband/wife/lover quit drinking or doping if I change? The only answer is a great big unequivocal maybe. There’s no guarantee and no exceptions to the rule. The fact is that addicts usually don’t change until addiction problems outweigh perceived pleasures or benefits. And it’s harder to shift that balance, still, when someone that a dependent person loves covers for them, makes excuses, and helps minimize the seriousness of plainly destructive behavior. Because of the denial associated with chemical dependency, addicts and alcoholics generally don’t go looking for help until they don’t see many other choices. The paradox is that codependents have two choices. They can remain accomplices to their partner’s addiction or they can love them enough to let them experience the effects of their chemical use, love them enough to let them feel the pain they create, love them enough to get them started getting well. Gayle Rosellini http://www.doitnow.org/pages/804.html
Oftentimes we say goodbye to the person
we love without wanting to.
Though that doesn’t mean that we’ve
stopped loving them or we’ve stopped to care.
Sometimes goodbye is a painful way to say I love you.
If you are codependent and struggle with your basic sense of self-worth, it can be easy to believe that you are inherently defective. Taking time to look beyond the lie that you are just plain defective to really understand how you personally learned your codependent patterns is a significant step in learning to respect yourself more. Every person has a story that is worth listening to and understanding, including you. As you begin to understand how you have been impacted by your experiences and recognize that your codependent patterns are understandable ways of trying to cope with difficult situations and not signs of inherent defectiveness, you will experience less self-blame and more compassion for yourself. You also will experience restored hope that you really can learn healthier ways of relating to yourself and others. The first step is to face the problem honestly. Chances are, you have rationalized and justified and even spiritualized your codependent style. Now is the time to face it head-on. For someone who has spent a lifetime using denial to ward off pain, shame, or fear of rejection, this can be a terrifying experience. You will need support from people who can provide safe relationships that allow you to be emotionally honest on your journey. These supportive relationships might come from friendships, support groups, or professional counseling. Jason T. Li. Ph.D. http://lifecounsel.org/pub_li_overcomingCodependency.html
The thing you fear most has no power.
Your fear of it is what has the power.
Facing the truth really will set you free.
I believed I developed codependent behaviors to cope with my fathers drinking, which resulted in constant fighting between my father and mother for twenty years until they divorced. I never felt safe to express my thoughts and feelings so I retreated inward and became invisible, the lost child. I wore a stoic stone face as a mask as if I were okay. My heart also became as numb as a stone. It has been said a codependent has a compulsive need to control an otherwise out of control life. This may be true as I experienced an out of control family life because of the unpredictability of my father’s drinking and anger outbursts. I took control by withdrawing and numbing all my feelings. I hid my thoughts even from my mother who assumed I was okay because I never expressed anything. I always felt ashamed of my family and my father’s drinking. As an adult, my relationships involved codependent behaviors, which I remained unaware of until my early 40’s. In these relationships, I avoided expressing any feelings for fear of rejection. The women in my life criticized me for lack of feeling. I felt like something was wrong with me. I questioned if I even had the capacity to love. http://www.emotionalhealthtips.com/codependency-recovery
Why is it that hate
comes out so easily,
It gets trapped inside.
What exactly does trusting the process mean? There are many definitions and examples: Non-attachment. Turning it over. That it is about the journey and not the destination. That we are not alone. That we are supported every step of the way. That there are no wrong choices. That every step of the way is sacred. Many may intellectually believe this, yet on an emotional, soul level may have doubts. Many carry deep wounding and trauma around whether “God” (or whatever name is used for a Higher Power) is even trustworthy. This may be a hidden, subconscious fear, yet it still affects our ability to trust that the proverbial other shoe is not always about to drop. Is it any surprise why someone with this fear would look for solace, comfort and joy in such “false gods” of addictions? It all starts with saying thank you, even when we don’t feel grateful. All that is required is a willingness to be open to the possibility of hope. Trusting the process is a daily spiritual practice of gratitude. It is similar to exercising. We may not feel like doing it in the beginning, or that we will ever be in better health, but we do it anyway and soon we start to feel better. The more we say thank you, the more we begin to feel it. And the more we begin to feel it, the more we begin to call into our lives what we want, rather than what we don’t. From http://www.sanctuary.net/healing-center/category/codependency/
Never be afraid to trust
an unknown future
to a known God.
Corrie Ten Boom
Nursing resentments toward a parent does more than keep that parent in the doghouse. We get stuck there, too, forever the child, the victim, the have-not in the realm of love. Strange as it may seem, a grudge is a kind of clinging, a way of not separating, and when we hold a grudge against a parent, we are clinging not just to the parent, but more specifically to the bad part of the parent. It’s as if we don’t want to live our lives until we have this resolved and feel the security of their unconditional love. We do so for good reasons psychologically. But the result is just the opposite: We stay locked into the badness and we don’t grow up. From May 2003 issue of “O”, the Oprah Magazine
Slide the weight
from your shoulders
and move forward.
You are afraid
you might forget,
but you never will.
You will forgive and remember.
People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all. from “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand
Things come apart so easily
when they have been
held together with lies.
Meeting a group of new people I sweat with discomfort worrying the whole time the impression I am making isn’t good. My concern is what thoughts of me they will be left with. Will they think I am dressed ok? Will I express myself in an intelligent way? Will I make others uncomfortable with the uneasiness I am feeling inside or will I successfully hide it? Such circumstances have happened so many times I wonder sometimes if I really know who I am. Is the real me the confident and in control persona I project? Or is the real me only the insecure and unsure feelings that swirl so strongly within me at times? Truth? Probably somewhere between the two. Slowly but surely with great effort I am learning to let go and not worry so much. It’s amazing the difference it makes in how much joy I get from getting to know new people. By enjoying myself more everything about life is better.
The “self-image” is the key to human personality
and human behavior. Change the self-image
and you change the personality and the behavior.