Loving kindness is a form of love that truly is an ability, and, as research scientists have shown, it can be learned. It is the ability to take some risks with our awareness-to look at ourselves and others with kindness instead of reflexive criticism; to include in our concern those to whom we normally pay no attention; to care for ourselves unconditionally instead of thinking, “I will love myself as long as I never make a mistake.” It is the ability to gather our attention and really listen to others, even those we’ve written off as not worth our time. It is the ability to see the humanity in people we don’t know and the pain in people we find difficult. Sharon Salzberg
You don’t think your way into a new kind of living.
You live your way into a new kind of thinking.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Three basic types of male codependency: the denial expert, the control addict, and the missing man. The denial expert is the man who has simply perfected the most obvious characteristic of both the addict and the codependent, namely, denial. For example… any man would drink if he had to live with her every day. The second kind of codependent man is… a control addict. Example: raised as a “hero child” with low functioning alcoholics up and down the block, it made perfect sense that (he) should control everything and everybody around (him). The last type of codependent man is the… missing man (who) has so surrendered himself to the authority of his alcoholic loved-one and his or her need to escape continuously through mind-altering substances that he no longer exists! Ask this man what his favorite color or food is and he will not know! Full article: http://www.treatment-centers.net/men-and-codependency.html
Self-worth comes from one thing:
thinking that you are worthy.
The fear of being alone is one of the most power emotions I have ever encountered. As the view of myself has cleared somewhat in recent years the realization has come that some romantic relationships, even long-term ones, were not about love but instead about trying to fight off loneliness. That such unions never worked out is testament that having physical contact with someone is NOT a cure for feeling alone. Worse yet was the discovery of being lonesome while living with a partner is pure agony. A deserted and empty feeling while in a relationship is far worse that being miserably alone.
If you marry the wrong person for the wrong reasons,
then no matter how hard you work, it’s never going to work,
because then you have to completely change yourself,
completely change them, completely – by that time, you’re both dead.
“You’re codependent if, when you die, someone else’s life flashes in front of your eyes” is a tongue-in-check phrase often spoken in recovery circles. With humor it points to one of the strongest roots of codependency: a relationship addiction. Caretaking a person important to us is healthy to a point. However, there is a level when the behavior of a caring individual can hinder or even prevent the recovery of an addict by enabling that person to continue their addiction. No matter if the addict is hooked on overeating, alcohol, drugs, sex, or whatever the caretaker, with the best of intentions, actually prevents the addict from the help they need. As hard as it is to do, “tough love” and letting the addict hit bottom is often the only way he or she can be saved.
The journey in between what you once were
and who you are now becoming
is where the dance of life really takes place.
Barbara De Angelis
One of the issues of my dysfunction is the uncanny ability to destroy both good and bad relationships. The majority of codependents are either a love addict or love avoidant. Both tend to grab on to a partner too quickly and then feel shattered and destroyed when the breakup comes. Such times left me empty and lost outside of a relationship. So what did I do? Start another relationship quickly or fall into the arms a ‘backup’ I had already been stringing along. Either way I’d loose myself in another romance, often those not at all healthy. My tendency was to give and give, hoping and expecting to “receive” back what I gave; multiplied. Then when it was not returned, in one way or another I destroyed the relationship by picking at it and being a malcontent. That got me out of bad relationships. Problem is I destroyed some good relationships that way.
A funny thing about codependency
is that when you are so focused only on another
they become focused only on themselves, too.
Sometimes it is difficult to accept responsibility for mistakes I have made or wrongs I have done without feeling the need to explain. That’s a reflex action taken with a mostly false sense that an explanation somehow changes what happened. Unless I have been asked to talk about my actions there is no good reason for jumping to rationalize and justify them. In most cases it only makes things worse by reliving the blunder and dragging someone else through it as well. The appropriate words to say are “I’m sorry”; apologize and move on. In all circumstances, feeling misunderstood and the need to make myself abundantly clear usually comes from a weak view of myself; a shortage of self-esteem. Thinking I am what I do as it is perceived by others is not healthy. What matters most is accepting myself as a fallible human being. I am perfectly imperfect and will make mistakes and do wrong things. To see myself otherwise is to expect myself to be something other than human.
If people refuse to look at you in a new light
and they can only see you for what you were,
only see you for the mistakes you’ve made,
if they don’t realize that you are not your mistakes,
then they have to go.
When I think of gift giving I picture myself as the giver and another person as the recipient. When the situation is reversed and I am accepting a gift it used to frequently be somewhere between uncomfortable and difficult. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate another’s gesture of kindness and caring. Quite the contrary. I was at a loss to say what sufficiently communicated the gratitude I felt. In my recovery and growth I have come to know such feelings originate from a sense of being “less than” that comes from being under loved and appreciated as a child. No longer do I say “you shouldn’t have”, play down my deservedness or feel so strongly I am unworthy. Instead I respond by saying “thank you” expressed with warmth and gratefulness and have discovered that is all a giver hopes for.
There is a wonderful mythical law of nature
that the three things we crave most in life,
happiness, freedom, and peace of mind,
are always attained by giving them to someone else.
Peyton Conway March
“If it is to be, it’s up to me” is a saying I used to believe in. Enduring a difficult childhood taught taking care of myself was the only way I got cared for. That belief followed me into adulthood where I projected myself as “needless and wantless”. Asking someone for help was almost impossible and allowing help to come from a higher power was not even a thought. Human beings are wired to need and be needed, to help one another and to innately know there is a power beyond them. Instead of lamenting all the years I spend outside that natural order of things, I’m grateful the knowledge eventually came to me.
It’s only in our minds
that we are separate
from the rest of the world.