Depression: a condition of feeling emotionally down; a prolonged sadness; feelings of inadequacy; waning interest in things outside the self; generally sad mood, and thoughts that affect the way a person eats, sleeps, feels about himself, and thinks about things. By that definition it becomes obvious that just about all codependents suffer at least from occasional depression. Many deal with it regularly. Most males don’t ever seek help for depression. As men it’s often hard to admit we need help as we’ve been taught to keep our self under control. Accepting something emotional can get a hold on us that we can’t control is thought wrongly by many to be male weakness. That’s all macho bravado and unadulterated BS! Trying to control what can’t be controlled can even make it worse. Men get depressed just as often as women! Men just don’t do anything about it as frequently. Feelings are not a weakness nor is feeling depressed, sad or inadequate. Real and true weakness is not seeking help and treatment when a man needs it. Simply stated, it is STUPID to be depressed and not reaching out for help for it!
He who is afraid of asking
is ashamed of learning.
First posted here July 22, 2012
For years I’ve heard about Universal Laws, mysterious rules that govern our world at an unseen level. The problem with these laws? No list exists. Nobody tells us the rules, like they do at a seminar, in a classroom or even on a website unless you count Moses etching the Ten Commandments in Stone. So clearly stumbled into two of these Universal Laws. No, three.
1-If we jump out of an airplane, we’ll fall down, not up.
2-If we eat every single thing we want, we’ll gain weight.
3-If all we see is the negative, we’ll begin to see more and
more of the negative. We’ll feel worse.
Feeling badly will become a way of life. We’ll see nothing but the problems, the things that didn’t work out and the wrongdoings others have done to us. We’ll see our picture and think, Ick. It’s an ugly way of life. The only antidote I’ve found for it… is gratitude. If you couple gratitude with non-dualistic thinking, or non-black and white thinking (this is good, this is bad), which then means we’ll begin to express gratitude for most if not all of life (except for sheer tragedies in which case we’ll learn it’s okay to mourn), we’ll be lifted out of that rut of negativity we’ve learned to call home. We don’t see rejection. We know we’ve been saved from ourselves, saved for something better. Melody Beattie from her blog at http://melodybeattie.com/the-other-side-of-that-story-6/
Hard is trying to rebuild yourself,
piece by piece,
with no instruction book,
and no clue as to where
all the important bits are supposed to go.
First posted October 31, 2012
Healing is more about accepting the pain and finding a way to peacefully co-exist with it. In the sea of life, pain is a tide that will ebb and weave, continually.
We need to learn how to let it wash over us, without drowning in it. Our life doesn’t have to end where the pain begins, but rather, it is where we start to mend. Jaeda DeWalt
You have no power over your past,
but you do over your present.
You have no power over your history,
but you do over your future.
You have no power over your fortune,
but you do over your actions.
You have no power over your reputation,
but you do over your character.
You have no power over destiny,
but you do over yourself.
You have no power over anyone,
but you do over your world.
One of the greatest myths that is pervasive in our culture today is that you are entitled to a great life and that somehow, somewhere, someone is responsible for filling our lives with continual happiness, exciting career options, nurturing family time and blissful personal relationships simply because we exist. But the real truth is that there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live. That person is you.
Everything about you is a result of your doing or not doing. Income. Debt. Relationships. Health. Fitness level. Attitudes and behaviors. That person who reflects back at you in the mirror is the chief conductor in your life. Say hello!
I think everyone knows this in their hearts, but the mind can play games, tricking plenty of people into thinking external factors are the source of failure, disappointment, and unhappiness. But the truth of the matter is that external factors don’t determine how you live. You are in complete control of the quality of your life.
Successful people take full responsibility for the thoughts they think, the images they visualize, and the actions they take. They don’t waste their time and energy blaming and complaining. They evaluate their experiences and decide if they need to change them or not. They face the uncomfortable and take risks in order to create the life they want to live. http://jackcanfield.com/7-steps-for-creating-the-life-you-want/
You cannot borrow half
of who you are
from someone else,
yet people try to do it
all of the time,
they just call it
High school chemistry taught me a very valuable lesson: When certain substances come into close contact, they can form a chemical reaction. I proved that one day during my senior year of high school when I dropped a jar full of pure sodium off a bridge into a river and nearly blew up the bridge! What I’ve learned since then is that many people don’t respect the laws of chemistry any more than I did as a teenager. They mix volatile ingredients without giving much thought to the consequences. I’ve discovered that many married people don’t understand that a chemical reaction can occur with someone other than their spouse. Don’t misunderstand me—I’m not just talking about sexual attraction. I’m referring to a reaction of two hearts, the chemistry of two souls. This is emotional adultery—an intimacy with the opposite sex outside of marriage. Emotional adultery is unfaithfulness of the heart. When two people begin talking of intimate struggles, doubts, or feelings, they may be sharing their souls in a way that God intended exclusively for the marriage relationship. Emotional adultery is friendship with the opposite sex that has progressed too far. I’ve talked with many men and women who have fallen into full-fledged adultery, and I’ve discovered that, in most cases, the adulterous relationships started as a casual relationship at work, school, or even church.
You may be converging on a chemical reaction with another person when:
• You’ve got a need you feel your mate isn’t meeting—a need for attention, approval, or affection.
• You find it easier to unwind with someone other than your spouse by dissecting the day’s difficulties over lunch, coffee, a ride home, or through email or social media.
• You begin to talk about problems you’re having with your spouse.
• You rationalize the “rightness” of this relationship by saying that surely it must be God’s will to talk openly and honestly with a fellow Christian.
• You look forward to being with this person.
• You wonder what you’d do if you didn’t have this friend to talk with.
• You hide the relationship from your spouse.
From an article at http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/troubled-marriage/infidelity/emotional-adultery-unfaithfulness-of-the-heart#.U-ORZ010yM8
The new infidelity is between people
who unwittingly form deep,
passionate connections before realizing
that they’ve crossed the line
from platonic friendship into romantic love.
Infidelity is any emotional
or sexual intimacy that violates trust.
Usually adult males who are unable to make emotional connections with the women they choose to be intimate with are frozen in time, unable to allow themselves to love for fear that the loved one will abandon them. If the first woman they passionately loved, the mother, was not true to her bond of love, then how can they trust that their partner will be true to love. Often in their adult relationships these men act out again and again to test their partner’s love. While the rejected adolescent boy imagines that he can no longer receive his mother’s love because he is not worthy, as a grown man he may act out in ways that are unworthy and yet demand of the woman in his life that she offer him unconditional love. This testing does not heal the wound of the past, it merely reenacts it, for ultimately the woman will become weary of being tested and end the relationship, thus reenacting the abandonment. This drama confirms for many men that they cannot put their trust in love. They decide that it is better to put their faith in being powerful, in being dominant. Bell Hooks
Sometimes we have to
behave indifferent towards
people who proclaim
their love for us,
just to see if they
are really different.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Out of all the emotional vampires out there, being in relationships with emotionally unavailable people is the worst. Despite what some think, emotional distant people don’t always come across that way—at least, not at first. Indeed, many of them are fans of self-help or members of the mind and body community and on the surface appear to be emotionally available people. They often show great moments of tenderness and intimacy. For the people who end up falling in love with them, that is what lures them in and why they stay. Those moments do not last long. You may be in a relationship with an emotionally unavailable individual if: 1. There’s a tendency to have relationships with people who are physically unavailable. Many emotionally unavailable people have a history of long-distance relationships or a habit of falling in love with people they have known for only short periods of time. (Think of the classic, “I met the girl/guy of my dreams on vacation.”) The fact that the person they long for is out of reach is often the spark that keeps the relationship going. However, once they get them—say, the person moves closer to be with them—the relationships tend to quickly fizzle out. It’s easy to “love” someone we don’t know a lot about. It’s easier not to have to deal with those quirks and faults on a daily basis which over time may end up bothering us. For the emotionally unavailable, there is the added benefit that they can have some of the perks of a relationship without actually having to be around them most of the time. There is literally distance between them. From a post by Kimberly Loon http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/02/3-signs-of-an-emotional-unavailable-person/
In the end, I’ll regret
all the chances
I didn’t take with you.
I’ll regret all the moments
I let slip by. I’ll regret all
the times I hid my feelings
from you. And in end,
my biggest regret
was losing you.
Mahmoud El Hallab
Many of us struggle with underlying feelings of being unlovable. We have trouble feeling our own value and believing anyone could really care for us. We all have a “critical inner voice,” which acts like a cruel coach inside our heads that tells us we are worthless or undeserving of happiness. This coach is shaped from painful childhood experiences and critical attitudes we were exposed to early in life as well as feelings our parents had about themselves. While these attitudes can be hurtful, over time, they have become engrained in us. As adults, we may fail to see them as an enemy, instead accepting their destructive point of view as our own. These critical thoughts or “inner voices” are often harmful and unpleasant, but they’re also comfortable in their familiarity. When another person sees us differently from our voices, loving and appreciating us, we may actually start to feel uncomfortable and defensive, as it challenges these long-held points of identification. With real joy comes real pain. Any time we fully experience true joy or feel the preciousness of life on an emotional level, we can expect to feel a great amount of sadness. Many of us shy away from the things that would make us happiest, because they also make us feel pain. The opposite is also true. We cannot selectively numb ourselves to sadness without numbing ourselves to joy. When it comes to falling in love, we may be hesitant to go “all in,” for fear of the sadness it would stir up in us. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201401/7-reasons-most-people-are-afraid-love Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone at http://www.psychalive.org/author/dr-lisa-firestone/
Your greatest task
isn’t to find love,
but to discover
all the barriers
that you have
built against it.
Real love makes us feel vulnerable. A new relationship is uncharted territory, and most of us have natural fears of the unknown. Letting ourselves fall in love means taking a real risk. We are placing a great amount of trust in another person, allowing them to affect us, which makes us feel exposed and vulnerable. Our core defenses are challenged. Any habits we’ve long had that allow us to feel self-focused or self-contained start to fall by the wayside. We tend to believe that the more we care, the more we can get hurt. When we enter into a relationship, we are rarely fully aware of how we’ve been impacted by our history. The ways we were hurt in previous relationships, starting from our childhood, have a strong influence on how we perceive the people we get close to as well as how we act in our romantic relationships. Old, negative dynamics may make us wary of opening ourselves up to someone new. We may steer away from intimacy, because it stirs up old feelings of hurt, loss, anger or rejection. As Dr. Pat Love said in an interview with PsychAlive, “when you long for something, like love, it becomes associated with pain,” the pain you felt at not having it in the past. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201401/7-reasons-most-people-are-afraid-love Read more from Dr. Lisa Firestone at http://www.psychalive.org/author/dr-lisa-firestone/
Love takes off masks
that we fear we
cannot live without
and know we cannot
James Arthur Baldwin
Feelings are an important part of you. In order to live fully and effectively, you need many sources of information (e.g., your senses, your thoughts, your perceptions) to guide you, motivate you, and help you make sense of things. Your emotions provide one such source. Often, there is a strong relationship between the events in your life and your feelings–for example, to feel sadness in response to loss, or to feel happiness in response to something desirable. Feelings may also be related to past events or even to expectations of the future. For example, sorrow about a recent loss may evoke sadness from past losses. These feelings can be an important source of information as well. Rather than ignore or exaggerate your feelings, it is helpful to be able to take your feelings as they are, accept them, think about them, and learn from them. When you are feeling something consider asking yourself the following kinds of questions:
What is this feeling?
What is this feeling telling me about this situation?
Why has this feeling come up right now?
Raise your words, not voice.
It is rain that grows
flowers not thunder.