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So that’s how it goes…

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie has a loooong post on New Year‘s mindfulness. Here’s an excerpt:

I began to list the qualities or skills I applied that helped me go from loser to a winner at something I knew absolutely nothing about when I started.  I didn’t take me long to see that these are identical to the qualities that help me succeed at anything I want to do. While these ideas aren’t revolutionary, it’s easy to forget that each is within our power to do.

  1. Realize I’m where I am on purpose, even if it’s an accident. Sometimes the most trivial things that happen to us are more important than we believe.  When I look for the big, the exciting and the momentous – I leave empty-handed.  When I surrender to the present moment, understanding the sheer magnificence of each of these in my life – even those that suck — and then follow that with gratitude, my wheelbarrow overflows.  (I use that expression because my entire life, I wanted a wheelbarrow and now I have one, a good one I won one for not much money at all at DealDash and because “cups overflowing” has become a cliché, something writers should avoid.) I really am thrilled about having a wheelbarrow and in my most far-fetched moments of self-love, couldn’t justify buying one.

Full story at: SO THAT’S HOW IT GOES | Melody Beattie.

 

…on feeling good

Todd Lohenry, e1evation, llc, Personal Digital Coaching, 'personal news aggregation'“Make yourself feel good. It’s our job to first make ourselves feel better and then make ourselves feel good. Recovery is not only about stopping painful feelings; it is about creating a good life for ourselves. We don’t have to deny ourselves activities that help us feel good. Going to meetings, basking in the sun, exercising, taking a walk, or spending time with a friend are activities that may help us feel good. We each have our list. If we don’t, we’re now free to explore, experiment, and develop that list. When we find a behavior or activity that produces a good feeling, put it on the list. Then, do it frequently. Let’s stop denying ourselves good feelings and start doing things that make us feel good. Today, I will do one activity or behavior that I know will create a good feeling for me. If I’m uncertain about what I like, I will experiment with one behavior today.” via Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 126). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Today I’ll be working hard on making myself feel good even though my wife is far away and I miss her terribly. What ‘feel good challenge will you over come today?

…on Control

Melody Beattie has a good reminder I needed to hear this morning…

“Control is an illusion, especially the kind of control we’ve been trying to exert. In fact, controlling gives other people, events, and diseases, such as alcoholism, control over us. Whatever we try to control does have control over us and our life. I have given this control to many things and people in my life. I have never gotten the results I wanted from controlling or trying to control people. What I received for my efforts is an unmanageable life, whether that unmanageability was inside me or in external events. In recovery, we make a trade-off. We trade a life that we have tried to control, and we receive in return something better—a life that is manageable. Today, I will exchange a controlled life for one that is manageable.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 125-126). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.”

You Are a Work of Art

Melody Beattie shares this today….

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life. ~ M. C. Richards

What you do is not who you are.

You are more, much more, than that.

It’s easy to get so caught up in what we do that we’re only identifying ourselves through our daily tasks. I am a me­chanic. I am a parking lot attendant. I am a doctor. I am a dishwasher. When we link ourselves too closely to our jobs, we deny ourselves the chance to ever be anything else. We limit ourselves by believing that’s all we are and all we’ll ever be.

Our concept of who we are is one of the hardest, but most rewarding, ideas we can change. If you have been brought up believing that you are clumsy, you will probably demon­strate this belief in your actions—until you identify that idea, let go of it, and let yourself be something else.

Don’t limit yourself by saying you are just what you do. Stop seeing yourself as a static being. If I am “just” a parking lot attendant, then how can I hope to ever influence someone through my words, my art, my music, my life? But if I am a vital, living, growing soul who happens to be parking people’s cars, then everything I do can become a symphony. I can have an influence for good in the lives of everyone I touch. I can learn from them, and they from me. I can learn the lessons that I am supposed to learn at this place in my life, and I can move on to other lessons.

God gave us the power to change. You’re more than what you do. You’re a vital vibrant soul that came here to experi­ence, grow, and change. Make a masterpiece out of your life.

God, help me realize the glory of my soul. Thank you for my mor­tality and for the ability to learn and grow.

Source: April 24: You are a Work of Art | Language of Letting Go

Control

Cover of "The Language of Letting Go (Haz...

Melody Beattie shares…

Many of us have been trying to keep the whole world in orbit with sheer and forceful application of mental energy.

What happens if we let go, if we stop trying to keep the world orbiting and just let it whirl? It’ll keep right on whirling. It’ll stay right on track with no help from us. And we’ll be free and relaxed enough to enjoy our place on it.

Control is an illusion, especially the kind of control we’ve been trying to exert. In fact, controlling gives other people, events, and diseases, such as alcoholism, control over us. Whatever we try to control does have control over us and our life.

I have given this control to many things and people in my life. I have never gotten the results I wanted from controll­ing or trying to control people. What I received for my ef­forts is an unmanageable life, whether that unmanageability was inside me or in external events.

In recovery, we make a trade-off. We trade a life that we have tried to control, and we receive in return something better — a life that is manageable.

Today, I will exchange a controlled life for one that is manageable.

Source: March 26: Control | Language of Letting Go

Empowering

Cover of "The Language of Letting Go (Haz...Here’s a lesson from Melody Beattie I found so good I had to share it right away…

You can think. You can feel. You can solve your problems. You can take care of yourself. Those words have often benefited me more than the most profound and elaborate advice. How easy it is to fall into the trap of doubting ourselves and others. When someone tells us about a problem, what is our reaction? Do we believe we need to solve it for the person? Do we believe that that person’s future rests on our ability to advise him or her? That’s standing on shaky ground—not the stuff of which recovery is made. When someone is struggling through a feeling, or a morass of feelings, what is our reaction? That the person will never survive that experience? That it’s not okay for someone to feel? That he or she will never get through this intact? When a person is faced with the task of assuming responsibility for their life and behaviors, what is our response? That the person can’t do that? I must do it myself to save him or her from dissipating into ashes? From crumbling? From failing? What is our reaction to ourselves when we encounter a problem, a feeling, or when we face the prospect of assuming responsibility for ourselves? Do we believe in ourselves and others? Do we give power to people—including ourselves—and their abilities? Or do we give the power to the problem, the feeling, or the irresponsibility? We can learn to check ourselves out. We can learn to think, and consider our response, before we respond. “I’m sorry you’re having that problem. I know you can figure out a solution. Sounds like you’ve got some feelings going on. I know you’ll work through them and come out on the other side.” Each of us is responsible for ourselves. That does not mean we don’t care. It does not mean a cold, calculated withdrawal of our support from others. It means we learn to love and support people in ways that work. It means we learn to love and support ourselves in ways that work. It means that we connect with friends who love and support us in ways that work. To believe in people, to believe in each person’s inherent ability to think, feel, solve problems, and take care of themselves is a great gift we can give and receive from others. Today, I will strive to give and receive support that is pure and empowering. I will work at believing in myself and others—and our mutual abilities to be competent at dealing with feelings, solving problems, and taking responsibility for ourselves.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 73-74). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Me? I still struggle with thinking I can change other people or that I’m entitled to ask them to change and expect that they will. When they don’t ‘comply’, frequently I give away too much of my power. I need to accept responsibility for my own condition and get off the Crazy Train

Being right

Cover of "The Language of Letting Go (Haz...

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In recovery, we are learning how to strive for love in our relationships, not superiority. Yes, we may need to make decisions about people’s behavior from time to time. If someone is hurting us, we need to stand up for ourselves. We have a responsibility to set boundaries and take care of ourselves. But we do not need to justify taking care of ourselves by condemning someone else. We can avoid the trap of focusing on others instead of ourselves. In recovery, we are learning that what we do needs to be right only for us. What others do is their business and needs to be right only for them. It’s tempting to rest in the superiority of being right and in analyzing other people’s motives and actions, but it’s more rewarding to look deeper. Today, I will remember that I don’t have to hide behind being right. I don’t have to justify what I want and need with saying something is “right” or “wrong.” I can let myself be who I am.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 47). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Owning our Power

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We need to make a distinction between powerlessness and owning our power. The first step in recovery is accepting powerlessness. There are some things we can’t do, no matter how long or hard we try. These things include changing other people, solving their problems, and controlling their behavior. Sometimes, we feel powerless over ourselves—what we feel or believe, or the effects of a particular situation or person on us. It’s important to surrender to powerlessness, but it’s equally important to own our power. We aren’t trapped. We aren’t helpless. Sometimes it may feel like we are, but we aren’t. We each have the God-given power, and the right, to take care of ourselves in any circumstance, and with any person. The middle ground of self-care lies between the two extremes of controlling others and allowing them to control us. We can walk that ground gently or assertively, but in confidence that it is our right and responsibility. Let the power come to walk that path. Today, I will remember that I can take care of myself. I have choices, and I can exercise the options I choose without guilt.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 37). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Hooks

Red Bait Hook

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We can learn not to get hooked into unhealthy, self-defeating behaviors in relationships—behaviors such as caretaking, controlling, discounting ourselves, and believing lies. We can learn to watch for and identify hooks, and choose not to allow ourselves to be hooked. Often, people do things consciously or without thinking that pull us into a series of our self-defeating behaviors we call codependency. More often than not, these hooks can be almost deliberate, and the results predictable. Someone may stand before us and hint or sigh about a problem, knowing or hoping that hint or sigh will hook us into taking care of him or her. That is manipulation. When people stand around us and hint and sigh about something, then coyly say, “Oh, never mind, that’s not for you to worry about,” that’s a game. We need to recognize it. We’re about to get sucked in, if we allow that to happen. We can learn to insist that people ask us directly for what they want and need. What are the words, the signs, the looks, the hints, the cues that hook us into a predictable, and often self-defeating behavior? What makes you feel sympathy? Guilt? Responsible for another? Our strong point is that we care so much. Our weak point is that we often underestimate the people with whom we’re dealing. They know what they’re doing. It is time we give up our naive assumption that people don’t follow agendas of their own in their best interest, and not necessarily in ours. We also want to check ourselves out. Do we give out hooks, looks, hints, hoping to hook another? We need to insist that we behave in a direct and honest manner with others, instead of expecting them to rescue us. If someone wants something from us, insist that the person ask us directly for it. Require the same from ourselves. If someone baits the hook, we don’t have to bite it. Today, I will be aware of the hooks that snag me into the caretaking acts that leave me feeling victimized. I will ignore the hints, looks, and words that hook me, and wait for the directness and honesty I, and others, deserve.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 25-26). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

You’re Being Protected

Garth Brooks (album)

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Melody Beattie blogs this…

It’s easy to be thankful for answered prayers, easy to be joyfully grateful when the universe gives us exactly what we want. What’s not so easy is to remember to be grateful when we don’t get what we want.

John wanted an executive position in the company he worked for. He worked hard for the promotion. He prayed daily for his promotion, while giving a hundred percent of his energy and dedication to the position that he was in. But when the time came, he was passed over for his dream job. He left the company shortly after that. Today, he runs his own company with more responsibility, success, and joy than he could have ever hoped for at his old firm.

Susan, a recovering addict, wanted to date Sam more than anything. They got along great those times they ran into each other at work. He was charming, handsome, and sober, she thought. For months she tried to arrange a date with him, prayed that God would bring him into her life. But things never seemed to work out. She didn’t know why. He seemed so interested in her. She was positive that the relationship was divinely ordained. She was stunned when she arrived at work one morning to find that Sam had died the night before of a drug overdose. He had been using drugs and lying about it the whole time.

Sometimes we get what we ask for. Sometimes we don’t. God says, “No.” Be grateful—force gratitude; fake it if you must—when God answers your furtive prayers by saying no.

Take the rejections with a smile. Let God’s “no’s” move you happily down the road. Maybe you’re not being pun­ished, after all. Maybe God is protecting you from yourself.

God, thank you for not always giving me what I think is best.

Source: January 22: You’re Being Protected | Language of Letting Go

Good stuff! Reminds me of the Garth Brooks classic…