Write: Putting your feelings down on paper not only enables you to begin unloading your emotional baggage, it also allows you to process the situation so that perhaps you may a) gain objectivity, b) understand the other person’s point of view, and more importantly c) be free to move on with the more important and pleasant things in life. Plus, if you do this regularly in the form of a journal or diary it makes a fascinating read many years later.
Music: If you play an instrument, write a song about what is bothering you. Not only is it a release, it is a way to take that negative energy and be creative with it positively. Sometimes it may be a song that no one else will hear, but that’s fine. It would have served its purpose. If you’re not musically inclined, listen to someone else’s song about a similar subject. Music has the power to move you deeply and by the same token has the power to heal.
Confide in someone: If you feel you can’t talk to the people in your immediate circle, look outside it. They do not know the details of your life as they have been out of contact so may be able to provide an objective point of view or “outside advice. Bear in mind, if the advice given is not what you wanted to hear, do not be angry and defensive toward someone who is trying to help. Be honest with yourself.
Pray: Even if you’re not religious, even if you don’t believe in God, just give it a shot. You have nothing to lose by asking for help. Don’t be surprised if you bump into someone the next day that will make you smile, or you see an ad on tv or a show that makes an impact on your life for the better. There is always a solution, no matter how bad the problem is.
Everybody bottles up their emotions at some point. The trick is to realize that doing so is not healthy. When you learn to let go of the hurt or anger or frustration within and are no longer carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, you will feel much happier with life. Taken from an article at http://marcofratelli.hubpages.com/hub/Ways-To-Release-Your-Bottled-Up-Emotions
All the art of living lies
in a fine mingling
of letting go
and holding on.
Couples who can sit down together and discuss problems calmly, without blaming, criticizing and accusing, find that looking for a mutual solution to their problems increases their commitment, their intimacy and bonds them together. Nothing binds you in relationship more powerfully than the awareness that by working together, you can solve whatever problems arise. No relationship will be perfect; and how to successfully interact your lover cannot be worked out in advance. Yes, you can learn basic communication techniques, build your self-esteem, and develop patterns for healthy, equal, balanced loving before you get together — and all of these will make your relationship, when you do find it, much more successful. But, because you are unique, and so is your partner, what works for the two of you must be developed on-the-spot. The only way I know to do this is through experience, communication and negotiation. If you understand that your relationship, to be successful, must be healthy and satisfying for both you and your partner, you will also understand that codependently putting your partners feelings, needs and wants before your own is as harmful as compulsively putting your wants, needs and feelings before your lover’s. Adapted from “Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Squabbling About the Three Things That Can Destroy Your Marriage” by Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. http://www.tinatessina.com/dysfunctional_relationship.html
When you model your relationship on someone else’s,
your partner can never match up to the fantasy.
One of the negative emotional habits that codependents develop is categorical thinking. Everything is black and white with no shades in between. This always/never way of thinking leads them to over-react in social situations. Roger, for example, heard that some of the members of his Sunday school class were dissatisfied with his teaching methods. Instead of consulting with them on how to make the class more meaningful, he resigned and joined another class. Another childlike behavior of codependents is personalization – interpreting everything that is said and done in their immediate environment as if it were directed at them. This creates a paranoid perspective, which leads to defensiveness, hostility, and isolation. At a meeting with his prayer group, Mark questioned the unwitting use of sexist language that had begun to occur. Another member of the group, realizing that he was guilty, assumed that Mark was chiding him personally. He took offense and dropped out of the group. A third habit many codependents acquire is what I call obsessive over-analyzing. The mind goes round and round in circles until the emotional system either explodes or shuts down as a result of the overwhelming anxiety that is generated. Another emotional habit typical of codependents is exaggerating or “awfulizing”. Children who have grown up in addictive or traumatized family systems learn to expect the worst. They are constantly waiting for the other shoe to fall. In adulthood, they are prone to place the worst possible interpretation on every event. They see neutral or even positive situations as negative, and they anticipate disaster. This expectation often sets off an emotional chain reaction that creates the very thing they most fear. People who are “stuck” in these immature emotional habits consider them normal. They don’t know any other way to think/believe/behave. Such individuals are not at fault! They need gentle and respectful guidance. http://www.thebridgetorecovery.com/overcoming-codependency.html
The consequences of your denial
will be with you for a lifetime
and will be passed down
to the next generations.
Break your Silence on Abuse!
Patty Rase Hopson
Trust your heart; if it is ready to embrace someone who has harmed you, it will open, without force. Indeed, by giving yourself permission to say “no,” to follow your truth, you are offering yourself the only real chance you have to genuinely want to be with them, at some time. Without permission to say “no,” we cannot find the authentic desire to say “yes.” And if that desire never comes, that too is as spiritual a path as any other. Spirituality is not about becoming the person that you are supposed to be — not about doing the “spiritual” thing. To be spiritual is to compassionately welcome your truth — what you actually feel — whether you like that truth or not. To be spiritual is to stop trying to be a more spiritual and open-hearted version of yourself, and instead, to open your heart without judgment to who and how you actually are. Perhaps the hardest task of all, being spiritual is about letting yourself — and what is so — be. By Nancy Colier “Letting Go of Toxic People: When Staying in It Is Not More Spiritual” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-colier/toxic-relationships_b_2758794.html
To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself. Be true to the very best that is in you and live your life consistent with your highest values and aspirations. Those who are most successful in life have dared to creatively express themselves and in turn, broaden the experiences and perspectives of everyone else. http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/betruetoyourself.html
Few are those
who see with
their own eyes
and feel with
their own hearts.
Withdrawal is the emotional reaction to the loss of something that gives great pleasure. It’s similar to the feelings an alcoholic has when he makes a commitment never to drink again. It’s also similar to the grief that comes from the loss of a loved one. A lover is like alcohol and like a loved one. Not only do unfaithful spouses miss what it was their lovers did, meeting important emotional needs, but they also miss the person they had come to love. Our most common emotions are anger, anxiety and depression. Symptoms of withdrawal usually include all of these in a very intense form. I usually suggest that anti-depressant medication be used to help alleviate these symptoms. While the most intense symptoms of withdrawal usually last only about three weeks, in some cases they can linger for six months or longer before they start to fade. It is extremely likely that a commitment to remain separated from a lover will be broken unless extreme measures are taken to avoid it. That’s because the emotional reaction of withdrawal is so painful. Honesty is an extremely important element in reconciliation, and it should be understood that if the unfaithful spouse ever sees or communicates with the lover, he or she should immediately tell the spouse that it happened. They should then agree on a plan that would prevent a recurrence of contact in the future. But as soon as any contact is made, it throws the unfaithful spouse back to the beginning of withdrawal, and the time it takes to overcome the feelings of grief begins all over again. It’s the stage of recovery after withdrawal that gives spouses the best opportunity to learn to meet each others most important emotional needs… By Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5060_qa.html
If a relationship
is to evolve,
it must go through
a series of endings.
Sex is not love, but where love is true and real, sexual intimacy can be a deeply moving expression of what is in one’s heart. American culture tries to push men into stereotypical roles that tend to gratify being sexually promiscuous. Sex or the hint of it is frequently shown to be the cure for just about anything that might trouble an American male, at least according to Madison Avenue advertising agencies. A “real man” is often advertised to be one who can attract and bed women easily. What bulls#it! I swallowed the “Playboy” lifestyle as being cool when I was young and my relationships suffered dearly because of it. Choosing to keep sex out of my life for a long time was one of the best things I could have done. The awkward lack of recent practice will add innocence and a newness last felt in my twenties.
So that’s what I thought love was:
Savage as a bull prodded with a spike;
Brutal, smelly, sweaty.
Like a brawl in which man and woman
Wrestled pleasure from each other,
Fighting, incapable of thought,
Half stunned, wheezing,
Less than human.
When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear…. When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all. Gerald G. Jampolsky
Forgiveness does not change the past,
but it does enlarge the future.
Advice giving comes to me about as easy as breathing. That does not make it a good thing necessarily because it is my inclination to give it whether someone asks for my thoughts or not. Feeling I can almost always see what others should do does not make my opinion accurate or the best for someone. It was a bit of a shock to learn that giving advice not asked for is a codependent behavior and a form of trying to control others. When someone asks my counsel and I respond with recommendations, that’s truly trying to help, assuming I don’t try to push them toward my guidance (that’s controlling). For a person with issues of codependency the line between giving advice and trying to control is a faint one easily missed if I am not cognizant of my tendency. Often the best use of my advice is to use it on myself!
The true secret of giving advice is,
after you have honestly given it,
to be perfectly indifferent
whether it is taken or not,
and never persist
in trying to set people right.
Hannah Whitall Smith
Now a few years into codependency recovery it’s clear to see in the past how I was controlled by what was “outside me” to a large degree. That’s ironic since I thought then I was in control. In one of his books Dr. Charles Whitfield calls this way of being as “addiction to looking elsewhere”. It is rooted in childhood. My external focus came about as a means of avoiding pain in my inner world while growing up in an out-of-control dysfunctional family. Then a lot of my thinking was how to avoid upsetting the adults in control of me. What was a survival skill in youth became difficulty as an adult. I was a grown man but still acting like a child, but could not see it since such behavior seemed “normal” to me. Then I never understood why others might say things like “you’re acting like a child”, “quit being a baby” or “you’re acting like you’re six years old”. I get it now and know they were correct. Half the cure is knowing.
is the incapacity
to use one’s intelligence
without the guidance of another.
Every time I have loved a woman it left a mark on me and became a part of what I think love is. Every failed love, when I was fooled or got lost in deception is marked on me. When I loved and lost there is a scar left behind. Sometimes it all combines to make me not want to love again which is always followed with the sure knowing that love is like air to breathe; I must have it. A few days ago I came across a perspective that helps. Love is like grass. If you fall on it, it may leave a stain and some temporary pain. But you’ll get over the pain, it will eventually stop hurting. Now maybe the stain ruined your favorite pair of jeans, or maybe it was nothing special that was ruined, but either way the stain remains there. And with time, it will begin to fade, but it will always be there, a permanent reminder that you, too, once fell. And if I fell once or fifty times… I can fall again.
We are not held back by the love
we didn’t receive in the past,
but by the love
we’re not extending in the present.