At its best life is a combination of happiness and contentment mixed with heartache and tragedy. Why is it then we spend so much time believing the next thing, person or idea will cause the easier life we dream about to materialize? The fact is we never ‘arrive’ anywhere except in the lap of death. Between now and then is a mix of many contrasts. That is life! As a codependent with a strong compulsion to control I used to think it was possible to will myself into the “good life”. I thought a life free of major trouble was achievable. Complete illusion! Once I accepted that life was difficult, it ceased to be so difficult.
You’re always you,
and that don’t change,
and you’re always changing,
and there’s nothing you can do about it.
When the pain to stay the same exceeds the pain to change, we change. That thought is etched on my mind. My recovery and healing could not began in earnest until there was no other path to take. In Andy Warhol’s book “In His Own Words” is found, When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them. When the student is ready the teacher and the teachings appear.
Incredible change happens in your life
when you decide to take control
of what you do have power over
instead of craving control
over what you don’t.
One strong symptom of codependence is when a man feels his life would be great if others would only do what he wants them to do. Trying to control others is CODEPENDENCY in capital letters. There is only possible way to influence change in others: change yourself. Then by your example others may be inspired to better themselves as they have witnessed you do, but it must be without any coercion. Ultimately every adult’s life is theirs to live as they choose, and should be respected no matter how misdirected their choices may appear.
You will become as small as your controlling desire;
as great as your dominant aspiration.
Country singer Garth Brooks wrote a song that includes “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”. The more time has had to teach me wisdom, the more clearly I understand. Just because I wish and pray for something does not mean it is good for me. Until recovery begins an addict will pray for the next fix, a an alcoholic for the next bottle, a sex addict for the next encounter and so on. After pining for twenty years for her then running into an old girlfriend who had let herself go is another way I came to see the wisdom in not getting some prayers answered. What a mess she was and likely my life could have been if we had ended up together.
You’re old enough for your wants not to hurt you.
Huel Thomas Strickland
In the past I used anger as a way of pushing people away. Anyone I focused my angst on rarely knew what hit them. I never physically abused anyone, I just bellowed. To control people and keep them from getting too close I “scared them off” intentionally. Today I know my behavior came primarily from stuffed feelings about unresolved childhood issues I had buried deeply, but was still upset about. Once I was able to get a clear view of my behavior, working past it became doable. Questioning one’s behavior is often where getting better begins.
Anger is fear turned inside out.
Men growing up in Western society are taught a boy must grow up to be tough and resilient. Showing feelings is considered a weakness. Hearing “big boys don’t cry” one’s whole life does not make it true. Men do cry and emotionally healthy people accept that as a well-rounded strength. Crying too frequently can be symptomatic of mental illness that needs attention. Generally however, when a man is moved by his emotions he should not force them back. Allowing the fullness of an emotion when it comes up will avoid it coming up again and again until it is accepted and felt.
Let your tears come.
Let them water your soul.