Reality check: You cannot change a situation or circumstance when you’re in the process of resisting it. Just as you can’t catch a beach ball if you’re holding another one in your hands, you can’t embrace something new until you let go of the old, stale, and painful reasons for and arguments about why things are the way they are. To be clear, I’m not saying that we should release everything to the wind, watching passively as the world and other people go by. Not at all. The opposite of control is not laziness or apathy. The opposite of control is acceptance. When you accept, when you give up the illusion of control, you not only discover the peace and freedom that come with it. You become — perhaps for the first time — truly empowered to handle any and everything that comes your way. Why? Because there’s no energy being dedicated to holding yourself back any longer. The emergency brake you’ve had on yourself and your life comes off, and you’re finally able to cruise forward with power, freedom, and the ability to express yourself fully and create in the world — a world that you now realize is filled with opportunity. So make peace with life. Accept yourself, others, and the world the way they are. Surrender to riding the waves instead of standing stubborn and still as they crash down upon you. When you do, the urge to control dissipates and freedom emerges. And along with it, the sense and eventually the knowledge that anything, and everything, is possible. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Some people believe that holding on
and hanging there are signs of strength,
but there are times in life when it takes
much more strength just to let go.
People want control. We’re all desperate for it. What we wouldn’t give to have more of it in our relationships, work, and lives. Not that we come right out and say so. Instead, we hedge a bit, asking coaches, therapists, and friends how to better manage our careers and other people. How we can change this or that aspect of ourselves or our circumstances — how we might better deal with specific situations and relationships. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with wanting growth and development. Yet that’s not what most of us are really after. Subtle as we try to be, the proof is in the pudding of our thoughts, feelings, and actions; in spite of all our questioning and questing, many of us feel pretty stuck. No matter the energy we exert, we remain in a standstill. Why is this? Why do we as a culture persist in attempting to control our way to personal, creative, and professional freedom? The answer, I’ve found, is pretty interesting. And that is that most of us don’t actually want freedom. Before you disagree, take a look at your own life. Look at the areas in which you wish you had a greater level of freedom, peace, and aliveness. If you’ve yet to achieve these things, I’d gamble that what you’re really after is control. Or said another way, freedom your way. Taken from “Giving Up Control” by Jennifer Hamady (Huffington Post) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-hamady/acceptance_b_2432159.html
Everyone must choose one of two pains:
The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
There is a profound connection between writing and healing. Dr.James Pennebaker of the University of Texas, after considerable research, explained in his book, Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, that excessive holding back of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can place people at risk for both major and minor diseases. More than simply a catharsis or venting, translating events into language can affect brain and immune functions. The subjects he tested had an increase in germ-fighting lymphocytes in their blood and lower stress levels. Writing was found to reduce anxiety and depression, improve grades in college, and aid people in finding jobs. He also reported that months after people had written about traumas over 70% reported that writing helped them to understand both the event and themselves better. Writing provides a means to externalize traumatic experience and therefore render it less overwhelming. At the same time, as the upsetting experience is repeatedly confronted, the emotional reactivity one feels as s/he assesses its meaning and impact is weakened. Once organized, traumatic events become smaller and smaller and therefore easier to deal with. Having distilled complex experiences into more understandable packages, survivors can begin to move beyond trauma because the process of writing about it provides a means for the experience to become psychologically complete, therefore there’s no more reason to ruminate about it. But not just any kind of writing will do. Dr.Pennebaker explains that the more writing succeeds as narrative – by being detailed, organized, compelling, vivid, and lucid – the more health and emotional benefits are derived. Likewise, over time, the work of inhibiting traumatic narratives and feelings acts as an ongoing stressor and gradually undermines the body’s defenses. By Catherine McCall, MS, LMFT http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/overcoming-child-abuse/201209/how-and-why-writing-heals-wounds-child-abuse
A journal is a tool for self-discovery,
an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul,
a place to generate and capture ideas,
a safety valve for the emotions,
a training ground for the writer,
and a good friend and confident.
Codependents usually don’t want their relationships to fall apart, even though in moments of anger they may talk divorce or threaten to leave. And the most common reason they give for staying with a drinking or using partner is the simplest reason of all: Love. And in the name of love, they hang on to each shred of hope that their partner will get straight or somehow transform into a social drinker or a weekend user. In the meantime (and while waiting for a miracle that never comes), they invent excuses for their kids, for relatives and friends, for the boss or supervisor. Then, when the dependent partner turns up, remorseful and contrite, after another binge or bender, the codependent accepts the tearful apologies and believes the heartfelt promises. Again. If the partners of codependents are sick, so are codependents. On the other hand, they can both recover. But codependents can help the process along immeasurably by realizing that only they can help themselves. That’s why they need to get help. Because their problem isn’t their partner’s drinking or cocaine habit, any more. It’s their own fear, their own anger, their own anxiety, their own resentment. Gayle Rosellini http://www.doitnow.org/pages/804.html
We can easily forgive a child
who is afraid of the dark;
the real tragedy of life
is when men are
afraid of the light.
Gifts are a far more common cause of personal discomfort and interpersonal conflict than most people realize. Why the Conflict? There are many potential sources for discordant attitudes toward gifts. Cultural and family differences are certainly important. Gifts may have been a big deal in some families and all but ignored in others. Psychologists maintain that issues of power and vulnerability underlie many gift-related problems. Consciously or otherwise, some people try to use gifts to buy love or friendship, assert dominance or instill a sense of obligation. Others — men in particular — have difficulty accepting gifts because it makes them feel weak and vulnerable; in effect, in someone else’s power. They seem to fear the feelings of tenderness that are awakened by receiving a thoughtful gift. Among couples having interpersonal difficulties, underlying relationship problems can also show up as a conflict over gifts. One person may always be the giver and the other the receiver, with the receiver feeling helpless and dependent and the giver feeling resentful and unappreciated. Those who neither give nor receive may be too self-occupied to nurture their relationship. And those who continually give to one another may be locked in a power struggle that has many other dimensions. Jane E. Brody http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/06/health/personal-health-look-some-strains-well-delights-giving-receiving-gifts.html
Even in social life,
you will never make
a good impression
on other people
until you stop thinking
about what sort of impression
Having a healthy sense of one’s self is not being selfish. It goes hand in hand with being able to enter into loving relationships. A solid personal identity and awareness of our needs leads to mutual respect and love. Every codependent needs relationships where they can work on relating in new and healthier ways. Seek relationships with mature people with healthy boundaries. Then work on developing a mature, mutual relationship instead of a dependent one. Make sure that you and your friends communicate honestly. Share your thoughts, wishes, and feelings mutually. And learn to make mutual decisions and to give and take and compromise equally. This may initially be difficult since you may have developed a “sixth sense” for finding people with poor boundaries who need rescuing. But only this kind of mutuality growing out of a healthy sense of your own self-hood or identity allows for intimacy and mature closeness to develop. In a mature relationship neither party is demanding or controlling and each opens up his inner self to being loved and being truly loving. A very practical step is starting to set boundaries that you are comfortably able to live with. You simply cannot learn to care and give of yourself in a healthy manner until you have a basic place of safety for yourself. This includes having the ability to set clear boundaries and to say no. At times, saying no is more important to our spiritual growth than saying yes to another activity. If you are growing out of codependency, you don’t always need to have a clearly articulated or spiritual-sounding reason for saying no. Sure, you may occasionally say no when it may have been good to say yes, but after a lifetime of erring on the yes side, don’t be afraid of occasionally missing the perfect ideal! It is far more likely that you will continue to err on the side of compulsive giving or doing. Jason T. Li. Ph.D. http://lifecounsel.org/pub_li_overcomingCodependency.html
Half of the troubles of this life
can be traced to saying yes too quickly
and not saying no soon enough.
For years I’ve heard about Universal Laws, mysterious rules that govern our world at an unseen level. The problem with these laws? No list exists. Nobody tells us the rules, like they do at a seminar, in a classroom or even on a website unless you count Moses etching the Ten Commandments in Stone. So clearly stumbled into two of these Universal Laws. No, three.
1-If we jump out of an airplane, we’ll fall down, not up.
2-If we eat every single thing we want, we’ll gain weight.
3-If all we see is the negative, we’ll begin to see more and more of the negative. We’ll feel worse. Feeling badly will become a way of life. We’ll see nothing but the problems, the things that didn’t work out and the wrongdoings others have done to us. We’ll see our picture and think, Ick. It’s an ugly way of life. The only antidote I’ve found for it… is gratitude. If you couple gratitude with non-dualistic thinking, or non-black and white thinking (this is good, this is bad), which then means we’ll begin to express gratitude for most if not all of life (except for sheer tragedies in which case we’ll learn it’s okay to mourn), we’ll be lifted out of that rut of negativity we’ve learned to call home. We don’t see rejection. We know we’ve been saved from ourselves, saved for something better. Melody Beattie from her blog at http://melodybeattie.com/the-other-side-of-that-story-6/
Hard is trying to rebuild yourself,
piece by piece,
with no instruction book,
and no clue as to where
all the important bits are supposed to go.
The past is a bottomless pit. No matter how far I fall into its depth there is no bottom; no sense to be made of it; no previously unknown reality to be found. Sometimes I yearn to forget the past, but could not be who I am without it. As I remember, it’s critical to acknowledge those memories are about who I ‘was’, not who I ‘am’ or ‘can be’. Yes, to a large degree I am a product of my past. However, as I man I am still moldable clay, not as pliable as I once was, but still with the ability to be shaped. It is my choice, and FULLY my choice, if I stay the same or not; whether I grow or not; whether I take responsibility for myself or continue to blame others and my circumstances. “There are no lessons to be learned from the past. This is the first thing I learned from it. There is nothing back then that there isn’t here now. There is nothing here now – nothing that matters – that wasn’t back then.” Tom Lichtenberg
I have learned that if you must leave a place
that you have lived in and loved
and where all your yesteryears are buried deep,
leave it any way except a slow way,
leave it the fastest way you can.
Never turn back and never believe
that an hour you remember
is a better hour because it is dead.
Codependence kills! Everyone knows there are diseases that kill rapidly, but it is a surprise to many that a dis-ease like codependency is a killer. It snuffs out relationships. It destroys careers. It emotionally lacerates lives. Then there are the “addictions”: alcohol, drugs, sex, food, money, gambling, smoking and more that kill more slowly, but just as surely as a fast acting poison. Each comes from an attempt to mask the hurt and feel better, yet all that is accomplished is to trade one type of pain for another. As long as an addiction is active, most can never see the root of their problem and why they work so hard to medicate and hide it away. Frequently, if not almost always, codependency is at the root of an addict’s addiction. Until it is treated successfully and recovery is underway, old behaviors will usually come back again and again until codependence shows itself as the killer it is.
If you were to meet me on the street
and I’d smile and introduce myself
could you tell the scars I hide underneath theses clothes?
would you see thru my eyes?
that I’m killing myself slowly inside
or could you only tell that they are blue.
From “Killing Myself Slowly” by “silenttears09”
Found at allpoetry.com
I used to get mad way TOO much, far too easily. I wasn’t angry all the time, but embers of past pain needed little to flame into a blaze. My thinking was it was a natural tendency for me from either heredity or environment and not in my control. Clear in memory is being told numerous times I had a bad temper and needed to do something about it. When one is ‘in-control of being out-of-control” such things are impossible to see. What I know now is the vast majority of my anger was very old and just kept recycling up within me over and over. Like a lion with a thorn stuck in its paw, when pressure was applied the pain came and anger followed that was stored within me form a long, long time ago. Once I began to see my behavior in the present had a lot to do with what was deeply imbedded from my distant past, I was finally able to see and overcome my volatile temperament which was actually a self-protective bad habit.
The more anger towards the past
you carry in your heart,
the less capable you are
of loving in the present.
Barbara De Angelis