Vengeance is wanting to make the other person suffer as much or more than the perceived suffering you have felt because of their actions, simply because of what they did to you, and to find pleasure or amusement in their pain because of the way they wronged you. Justice means that the person pays a proper penance for the wrong they have done. They have a moral, and sometimes legal, obligation to try to make things “right” after the wrong they have done. Justice should be fair – vengeance rarely is. We have a right to seek justice – we do not have a moral right to seek revenge. Revenge does damage to you, even if you do not realize it. Justice is simply moral accounting. I realize that moral accounting is already in effect – and justice, as the universe deals it, will be served. Forgiveness means letting go of the pain inside of you, while still allowing you to seek justice served morally or legally. Life moves forward without the weight that holding on to a lost cause brings. Remember, forgiveness is not a gift you give another, but something you do inside of yourself – for yourself. When you look at it this way, forgiveness is possible in any situation, once you are ready to release the pain of the wrongdoing and move on with your life. From “Forgiveness – the Gift You Give Yourself” http://voices.yahoo.com/forgiveness-gift-give-yourself-84466.html?cat=5
Every person has a dark side.
What defines a person
with good character
is not a spotless life
of constant kindness,
smiles and even temperament.
But rather, it’s the yearning
to learn from your mistakes,
applying it, making amends for them
and choosing not to repeat them
that defines good character.
Shannon L. Alder
When a Codependent starts a romantic relationship they tend to put too many eggs in that one basket. They invest their whole lives in a guy/girl who ultimately turns out to be an addict, a betrayer, a little boy/girl, a rager, a controller, weak, lost, little, and otherwise not coming as originally advertised. Early on the Codependent is way too emotionally dependent way too quickly. Before too many years go by Codependents learn that the relationship they have arranged for themselves does not include a whole lot of goodies for them. Prince charming who put the full court press on to secure her generally is only interested in her these days to try to extract some sex from her. He is too busy and important to take the time and energy to really get to know her on an intimate and daily basis. That simply isn’t who he is. Codependents also tend to arrange their worlds so that they are financially dependent on a man. Mom is taking care of the kids so that Superman can go out and take over the world. In the mean time each year that passes by is another year that she is out of her career field, not developing her earning power and many times feeling not good enough because they aren’t earning their own money directly. Codependents have big hearts – too big. They rescue men, children, puppies, strangers, neighbors and friends. Their first thought is ‘what does my spouse or my kids need, what will work best for them’. They do not think about their own needs enough. A huge part of their Recovery process is learning to take good care of their own needs. Codependents get lost for decades in the meeting of others needs while ignoring what their own hearts were trying to say to them. Codependents many times don’t have much going on in the hobby department. They have no time devoted to what makes themselves happy. Their lives aren’t really about them. They are rest starved, fun starved and inspiration starved. They need to learn to be selfish in a healthy way. They are parched ground lacking in color and joy. http://www.familytreecounseling.com/marksblog/?s=When+a+Codependent+starts+a+romantic+relationship+
… it’s a lot easier to be lost than found.
It’s the reason we’re always searching,
and rarely discovered…
so many locks, not enough keys.
“Why don’t men express their feelings?” Well, they do. Men just express their feelings differently. First of all, they have more control over their facial expressions, where most feelings are communicated. Women are what experts call high-expressers and externalizers, whereas men are low-expressers and internalizers. Men can substitute, neutralize or minimize their emotional expression through facial expressions. In contrast, women are an “open book.” Society conditions women to think they are the emotional gender. Women are taught a separate set of rules that allow a wider range of self-expression. Women aren’t as good at hiding their facial expressions… With men, it’s more of a guessing game. Self-expression isn’t purely learned. The different brains are also at work. According to Morgan Road in her book The Female Brain, “The areas of the brain that track emotion are larger and more sensitive in the female brain.” Men notice subtle signs of sadness in a face only 40 percent of the time, whereas women pick up on the signs 90 percent of the time, Road says. When you are expressive, people also know where you stand. This, in turn, increases their comfort level and feeling of familiarity. We are always suspect of the people we can’t seem to get to know. They won’t let us in, so what are they hiding? Adapted from the book “Code Switching: How to Talk so Men will Listen” by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/he-speaks-she-speaks/201102/the-expressive-trap
They have the unique ability
to listen to one story
and understand another.
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 you have mixed feelings, say so, and express each feeling and explain what each feeling is about. For example: “I have mixed feelings about what you just did. I am glad and thankful that you helped me, but I didn’t like the comment about being stupid. It was disrespectful and unnecessary and I found it irritating”.
* Express feelings productively.
* Respectfully confront someone when you are bothered by his or her behavior.
* Express difficult feelings without attacking the self-esteem of the person.
* Clarify for you and the other person precisely what you feel.
* Prevent feelings from building up and festering into a bigger problem.
* Communicate difficult feelings in a manner that minimizes the other person’s need to become defensive, and increases the likelihood that the person will listen.
When you first start using these techniques they will be cumbersome and awkward to apply, and not very useful if you only know them as techniques. However, if you practice these techniques and turn them into skills, it will be easy for you to express difficult feelings in a manner that is productive and respectful. by Larry Nadig,Ph.D. http://www.drnadig.com/feelings
You cannot make someone love you.
You can only make yourself
someone who can be loved.
It’s not a good idea to label yourself codependent, unless you plan to do something constructive about it. Because labels don’t empower you; they reinforce the undesired effect. Codependency is, however, a label of our time. So many facets of society are codependent. It’s usually synonymous with romance, too. Codependency is so ubiquitous that first of all, it’s hard to recognize. Secondly, it’s hard to end it — the healthy way. You need to do three things to determine if a relationship you’re in is codependent: 1. Educate yourself on codependency. Learn about what codependency is, and why it’s so fatal. 2. Be honest about how you relate to others and yourself. Understanding codependency at an intellectual level doesn’t do you much good. You need to recognize your codependent behaviors so that you can choose more functional and healthier ones. 3. Be mindful of how you use the label. The whole point of using the label “codependency” is to quickly identify dysfunctional behaviors and assertively reprogram them. In other words, the whole point is so that you take care of yourself. It’s empowering to refer to the label only when you’re ready to move on from it. By Melissa Karnaze http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/07/09/end-a-codependent-relationship-the-healthy-way/
The only consistent feature
of all of your dissatisfying relationships
One careless choice led to another and another made with little thought except the dysfunctional compulsions that mindlessly drive me. Like one person split in separate parts I am pulled in two directions at once. One is the self-destructive part that moves constantly toward danger and the darkness that feeds its desire. The other drags me toward the light where this half believes contentment and safety can be found if I am good enough. Stuck in the middle I feel like I am splitting apart much of the time, even wishing I could get it over with and go one way or the other. No matter what I do the dark chases me relentlessly and is always one step behind me. Bouncing like a pinball in a pinball machine I simply bounce off what ever I come in contact with and go sailing off to bump into the next one. It’s slow madness that gets worse as time passes but is as familiar as my hand is when I look down at it. I can’t remember when I wasn’t like this. But I do hate it so very much. I am in control of being out of control.
How did I make such a mess
of a life so richly blessed?
Boundaries are sort of an imaginary line between you and others. It divides up what’s yours and somebody else’s, and that applies not only to your body, money and belongings, but also to your feelings, thoughts and needs. That’s especially where codependents get into trouble. They have blurry or weak boundaries. They feel responsible for other people’s feelings and problems or blame their own on someone else. Some codependents have rigid boundaries. They are closed off and withdrawn, making it hard for other people to get close to them. Sometimes, people flip back and forth between having weak boundaries and having rigid ones. A consequence of poor boundaries is that you react to everyone’s thoughts and feelings. If someone says something you disagree with, you either believe it or become defensive. You absorb their words, because there’s no boundary. With a boundary, you’d realize it was just their opinion and not a reflection of you and not feel threatened by disagreements. By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/symptoms-of-codependency/
Boundaries define who we are.
They establish ‘what is me’
and ‘what isn’t me.’
Melanie Tonia Evans
I’ve realized that I’m co-dependent. Really co-dependent.There are so many things I can’t stand about myself. When I do something wrong, even if it’s small, I beat myself up over it mentally. My brain screams, “Look at that, you’re a failure. You just keep screwing up. I can’t stand it when anyone around me is upset because it makes me upset, too. It makes me upset because I desperately want to be able to make them feel better, and I feel incredibly guilty if I can’t. I feel like I should know what to say to someone to make them happy, and when I can’t do that, I end up feeling just as miserable as they do. I’m constantly waiting for things in my life to go wrong, to go back to the crappy life I “deserve.” I feel like everything that goes right in my life is just God teasing me, and that eventually he’s going to just snatch it away from me, PROVING that I never deserved it in the first place. I can’t be assertive to anyone because I’m so worried that I’m going to do something wrong. I can’t object to anyone’s opinions because I’m afraid I’ll look like an idiot and the other person will hate me. taken from a post on emptyclosets.com
Beliefs create reality.
There have been many attempts to define codependence, but a simple one I read that stuck is “codependency is a dysfunctional relationship with the self.” When my recovery truly got started I discovered what a stranger I was to myself. Trying to mold me to what I thought others wanted caused a loss of who I was. What a waste of life! Truly one of the worst things about codependency is how much time it wastes. And to top if off, I passed codependency on to my son and have seen some of my dysfunction played out and magnified in his behavior. Even though he is a grown man now I try to help him get past some of what he learned by watching me. By admitting where I was wrong in the past, making amends and telling him why my old behavior is not healthy to emulate has produced good results and brought us closer. I am blessed that he usually listens, gets it and responds positively. In recovery from codependency I have been able to shift the relationship with myself and through example been able to help others do the same.
Nothing is more contagious than example,
and no man does any exceeding good
or exceeding ill but it spawns
new deeds of the same kind.
Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld