A growing body of research… suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key to unlocking your true potential for greatness. Self-compassion is a willingness to look at your own mistakes and shortcomings with kindness and understanding – it’s embracing the fact that to err is indeed human. When you are self-compassionate in the face of difficulty, you neither judge yourself harshly, nor feel the need to defensively focus on all your awesome qualities to protect your ego. It’s not surprising that self-compassion leads, as many studies show, to higher levels of personal well-being, optimism and happiness and to less anxiety and depression. People who experienced self-compassion were more likely to see their weaknesses as changeable. Self-compassion – far from taking them off the hook – actually increased their motivation to improve and avoid the same mistake again in the future. Why is self-compassion so powerful? In large part, because it is non-evaluative – in other words, your ego is effectively out of the picture – you can confront your flaws and foibles head on. You can get a realistic sense of your abilities and your actions, and figure out what needs to be done differently next time. When your focus is instead on protecting your self-esteem, you can’t afford to really look at yourself honestly. You can’t acknowledge the need for improvement, because it means acknowledging weaknesses and shortcomings – threats to self-esteem that create feelings of anxiety and depression. Here’s an unavoidable truth: You are going to screw up. Everyone – including very successful people – makes boatloads of mistakes. The key to success is, as everyone knows, to learn from those mistakes and keep moving forward. But not everyone knows how. Self-compassion is the how you’ve been looking for. So please, give yourself a break. Taken from “Forget Self-Esteem” by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-success/201209/forget-self-esteem
If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way
that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long
would you allow that person to be your friend?
I understand addiction now. I never did before, you know. How could a man (or a woman) do something so self-destructive, knowing that they’re hurting not only themselves, but the people they love? It seemed that it would be so incredibly easy for them to just not take that next drink. Just stop. It’s so simple, really. But as so often happens with me, my arrogance kept me from seeing the truth of the matter. I see it now though. Every day, I tell myself it will be the last. Every night, as I’m falling asleep in his bed, I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll book a flight to Paris, or Hawaii, or maybe New York. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as it’s not here. I need to get away… away from him—before this goes even one step further. And then he touches me again, and my convictions disappear like smoke in the wind. This cannot end well. That’s the crux of the matter… I’ve been down this road before—you know I have—and there’s only heartache at the end. If I stay here with him, I will become restless and angry. It’s happening already, and I cannot stop it. I’m becoming bitter and terribly resentful. Before long, I will be intolerable, and eventually, he’ll leave me. But if I do what I have to do, what my very nature compels me to do, and move on, the end is no better. One way or another, he’ll be gone. Tomorrow I will leave. Tomorrow I will stop delaying the inevitable. Tomorrow I will quit lying to myself, and to him. Tomorrow. What about today, you ask? Today it’s already too late. He’ll be home soon, and I have dinner on the stove, and wine chilling in the fridge. And he will smile at me when he comes through the door, and I will pretend like this fragile, dangerous thing we have created between us can last forever. Just one last time. Just one last fix. That’s all I need. And that is why I now understand addiction. From “Strawberries for Dessert” by Marie Sexton
Here I am trying to live,
or rather, I am trying
to teach the death
within me how to live.
We are codependent because we allow the behavior of another person to effect our behavior so that we become consumed with that person and their problems. This obsession with the issues and problems of others becomes debilitating to us as we exhaust inordinate and inappropriate amounts of mental and emotional energy over them, leaving little, if any, energy for ourselves. Often our childhood was so chaotic and our environments were so out of control, we learned ways to escape to try to find serenity. As we grew into adulthood, we worked hard at trying to control our external environment, believing it was the key to our happiness and inner peace. Our family of origin was frequently dysfunctional. Sometimes we even blamed ourselves for our parent’s problems. If we were terrorized by a volatile alcoholic parent, anger became an unacceptable and unwelcomed guest in our lives. Anger was to be avoided at all costs. As a result, we learned to appease; we learned to rescue. We learned to be aware of others’ feelings in order to protect ourselves and began to lose touch with our own feelings. We made ourselves responsible for the happiness of others, and when they weren’t happy, neither were we. We are extremely loyal but also extremely insecure. Self-doubt is our constant companion, and often self-hatred. Being unacceptable to ourselves, we hide our true selves, convinced that if anyone truly knew us, they would abandon us. This fear of abandonment often fuels our codependent behavior as we seek to do everything in our power to become so valuable that others would not want to leave us. By choice, our lives are not our own and our emotions are the property of whatever crisis the person(s) closest to us is having. http://www.vvcrossroads.org/ministries/recovery/codependency/men
It’s not that you should never love something
so much that it can control you.
It’s that you need to love something
that much so you can never be controlled.
It’s not a weakness. It’s your best strength.
If the alcoholic has more or less continued to hold down a job, he is politely called a “functioning alcoholic.” But he is an alcoholic nonetheless. He works much below his potential, he neglects or abuses his family and he may not live very long if he continues the self-abuse. Like all addicts he lies (bold-faced lies, lies of omission, cover-ups, minimization), he makes excuses, he blames others for his drinking, and he continues to seek out and use alcohol regardless of consequences. If there are children present, they copy the lying, justifying, blaming behavior which they see modeled. They also learn to keep family secrets and to cover for their alcoholic parent. In other words they join in the “dance of alcohol” and participate with their parents, learning how to be alcoholics or how to live with them when they grow up. If you are living with an alcoholic, there are steps you can take too. Perhaps more importantly at first, there are things you can learn to avoid so that you don’t further your partner’s alcoholism. Making excuses for him, for example, only makes things worse. By Neill Neill http://ezinearticles.com/?Youre-Married-to-an-Alcoholic—What-to-Do?&id=930249
That’s the problem with drinking,
I thought, as I poured myself a drink.
If something bad happens you drink
in an attempt to forget;
if something good happens
you drink in order to celebrate;
and if nothing happens
you drink to make something happen.
Loving too much can be problematic when it hurts the lover, which typically occurs in the long-term. The lover’s intense love might be excessive in the sense that it prevents her from realizing the true nature of their relationship. Lovers may also feel that they love too much when they believe that their beloveds do not love them to the same extent. When a lover feels that she gives more than she gets, she will feel that she loves her partner too much. People who love too much often keep investing in a relationship that has no chance of surviving as their beloved does not love them to the same extent. Loving too much may also hurt the beloved. A typical example of this is when the lover does not allow the beloved to enjoy sufficient private space. It should be noted that the wish to be with each other as much as possible is a main characteristic of love and not an external feature of it. The nature of the private space is determined by the given personalities and by other factors, such as the stage in which the relationship is currently. Thus, this wish may be more pronounced in the infatuation stage, when it makes little sense to accuse lovers of loving too much. Profound romantic love is not in its nature excessively wrong; but some cases of such love has a greater chance of being so. From “ Loving Too Much” by Aaron Ben-Zeév http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/200908/loving-too-much
To fall in love is
but to fall out of love
is simply awful.
Romantic love is described in idealistic terms as something huge, uncompromising, and without limitations. Statements like “The world has changed, everything is different now,” “Loving him is wonderful; my whole being expands into unprecedented realms,” “I am surrounded by nothing but you” are common among lovers. If “All you need is love,” and “You are everything I need,” then it is difficult to see how love can be criticized as being excessive. Emotions might be harmful when they are excessive. Emotional excess is harmful for the same reasons that other kinds of excess are harmful. As in other emotions, excessiveness in love can impede the lover from seeing a broader perspective. Even normal cases of romantic love tend to create a narrow temporal perspective that focuses on the beloved and is often oblivious to other considerations. Although it is difficult to define what constitutes excessiveness in love, characterizing love as “too much” implies that some damage has been done-either to the lover or the beloved. When intense love blinds our sight and makes us act improperly, people may say that such intense love is too much. A remark such as, “I couldn’t help it, I was madly in love with her,” indicates that sometimes love can be excessive. From “ Loving Too Much” by Aaron Ben-Zeév http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/200908/loving-too-much
People always think that the most painful thing
is losing the one you love in your life.
The truth is, the most painful thing
is losing yourself in the process
of loving someone too much,
forgetting that you are special too.
“Big boys don’t cry.” “No pain no gain. Tough it out.” “Only sissies get hurt feelings.” “It’s a sign of weakness to let people know you’re hurting.” Men are cautioned to not discuss their feelings, to avoid feelings altogether and to not discuss love, sorrow or pain. Men will often make a joke out of a difficult situation rather than face it directly. Men are taught to be checked out toward the emotions of others, and keep their true feelings inside. All this is not to say that men are incapable of intimacy, dependency or vulnerability. They are quite able but our culture does not support it. One of the main reasons for drug and alcohol use is for medicating pain and that would include emotional pain. Men, who feel bottled up, sad, angry and depressed will often become workaholics, drink or do drugs to avoid feelings. For men to understand how to be intimate they must first learn more about who they are, what they want and what is truly important to them. Feelings tell us what we want and what we need so without them we are like a ship without a rudder. So many men lead lives of quiet desperation, never letting anyone in or themselves out. For men to take a look at who they really are and allow their essence to be known are actually far stronger than the burly silent types who live their lives in utter isolation. Taken from an on-line article by Bill Cloke http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-why-men-have-trouble-with-intimacy/
will never die.
They are buried alive
and will come forth later
in uglier ways.