“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde
Melody Beattie writes:
When people with a compulsive disorder do whatever it is they are compelled to do, they are not saying they don’t love you – they are saying they don’t love themselves.
—Codependent No More
Gentle people, gentle souls, go in love.
Yes, at times we need to be firm, assertive: those times when we change, when we acquire a new behavior, when we need to convince others and ourselves we have rights.
Those times are not permanent. We may need to get angry to make a decision or set a boundary, but we can’t afford to stay resentful. It is difficult to have compassion for one who is victimizing us, but once we’ve removed ourselves as victims, we can find compassion.
Our path, our way, is a gentle one, walked in love – love for self, love for others. Set boundaries. Detach. Take care of ourselves. And as quickly as possible, do those things in love.
Today, and whenever possible. God let me be gentle with others and myself. Help me find the balance between assertive action taken in my own best interests, and love for others. Help me understand that at times those two ideas are one. Help me find the right path for me.
- Are You Sabotaging Yourself? (letlifeinpractices.com)
- Standing Up for Ourselves (toddlohenry.com)
- Nurturing Self Care (toddlohenry.com)
- Rejecting Shame (toddlohenry.com)
- Codependency? – ADD Working The Program – Part 2 (focusedonadhd.wordpress.com)
- Do You Have a Codependent Personality? (everydayhealth.com)
Codependency is one of those words that gets tossed around a lot, but I’m not sure many people really know what it means. The definition can be both vague and all-encompassing.
Codependency is not a word I use too often because I find that it can come off sounding derogatory—like something is wrong with you if you’re codependent. And I personally like to steer clear from labeling people as flawed.
But another reason I don’t use the word often is because I prefer the phrase “to be human”—because from my experience, we all have codependent tendencies. (So let’s agree to drop the pejorative label right here, shall we?)
The reality is, codependent behavior is quite common in relationships. Therefore it seems appropriate to give it some air-time. In this article I am going to discuss what I know about codependency and give you some suggestions on how to shift this pattern in your life.
Codependency is a word used to describe the process of using another person’s feelings to dictate how you feel.
So this could mean that you are dependent on someone else’s positive attention or positive affect to feel good. And this could mean that someone’s negative attention or negative affect makes you feel bad. (And anything in between.)
When you are codependent, you make another person your higher power. Your sense of well-being (and lack thereof) is dependent on them.
Full story at: How To Let Go Of Codependency.
- The best of ‘what I see’ for 12/17/2012 (toddlohenry.com)
- Are You Sabotaging Yourself? (letlifeinpractices.com)
- Codependency (lkg4btrlife.wordpress.com)
- Do You Know How Hard it is to NOT be Codependant? (chipinmyheart.wordpress.com)
…or does it seem like most ‘love songs’ are really deeply codependent?
Boundaries aren’t limited to saying no. Boundaries reflect what we believe we deserve. Some people were born into situations that encouraged listening to and trusting themselves. Others had their right to self-respect violated at an early age. If our ability to trust ourselves was tampered with when we were young. we may have to work extra hard to acquire and keep boundaries—and selfesteem—in place.
“Someone who barely knew me mentioned to a friend that he thought I was selfish,” a woman said. “For the next six months, I had the worst time setting limits. I kept trying to prove how unselfish I was.”
No matter how many boundaries we’ve set, it’s not unusual to still feel guilty each time we say no. We may be afraid that we’ll lose the other person. or that he or she will go away if we say no. But when we don’t honor ourselves by setting boundaries, we’re the ones who disappear.
Challenge: The hardest thing about boundaries can be recognizing that we’ve lost or misplaced ourselves again. Maybe we could look at setting boundaries as an ongoing process of discovering who we are.
via December 15.
In her meditation for February 20, she writes:
We are powerless over other people’s expectations of us. We cannot control what others want, what they expect, or what they want us to do and be. We can control how we respond to other people’s expectations. During the course of any day, people may make demands on our time, talents, energy, money, and emotions. We do not have to say yes to every request. We do not have to feel guilty if we say no. And we do not have to allow the barrage of demands to control the course of our life. We do not have to spend our life reacting to others and to the course they would prefer we took with our life. We can set boundaries, firm limits on how far we shall go with others. We can trust and listen to ourselves. We can set goals and direction for our life. We can place value on ourselves. We can own our power with people. Buy some time. Think about what you want. Consider how responding to another’s needs will affect the course of your life. We live or own life by not letting other people, their expectations, and their demands control the course of our life. We can let them have their demands and expectations; we can allow them to have their feelings. We can own our power to choose the path that is right for us. Today, God, help me own my power by detaching, and peacefully choosing the course of action that is right for me. Help me know I can detach from the expectations and wants of others. Help me stop pleasing other people and start pleasing myself.
Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 49). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.
Joshua Fields Millburn writes:
Some relationships are incredibly pernicious. We often develop relationships out of convenience, without considering the traits necessary to build a successful bond with another person—important traits like unwavering support and shared trust and loving encouragement.
When a relationship is birthed out of convenience or proximity or chemistry alone, it is bound to fail. We need more than a person’s physical presence to maintain a meaningful connection, but we routinely keep people around because … well, simply because they’re already around…
We’ve all held on to someone who didn’t deserve to be there before. And most of us still have someone in our lives who continually drains us: Someone who doesn’t add value. Someone who isn’t supportive. Someone who takes and takes and takes without giving back to the relationship. Someone who contributes very little and prevents us from growing. Someone who constantly plays the victim.
But victims become victimizers. And these people are dangerous. They keep us from feeling fulfilled. They keep us from living meaningful lives. Over time, these negative relationships become part of our identity—they define us, they become who we are.
Fortunately, this needn’t be the case. Several actions can be taken to rid ourselves of negative relationships.
Go to the source: Letting Go of Shitty Relationships | The Minimalists
Jasmin Bedria writes:
When most people envision the ideal relationship, they think of engulfing, inseparable love. Being “attached at the hip” is typically an early sign that you and your new love share the ever-consuming, romantic high of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
You want to keep learning about each other, acting as sponges to the other’s every word and affection.
So, how in the world can detachment actually strengthen an intensely loving and growing relationship?
Detachment is one of the most important aspects in achieving true, profound fulfillment. Believe it or not, practicing detachment while remaining vulnerable will benefit you in remarkable ways.
Get the full story here: 5 Reasons Detachment Can Save Your Relationship
And, for me it’s one of the most difficult concepts imaginable. Sigh…
Sometimes it helps to understand that we may be receiving a payoff from relationships that cause us distress.
The relationship may be feeding into our helplessness or our martyr role.
Maybe the relationships feeds our need to be needed, enhancing our self-esteem by allowing us to feel in control or morally superior to the other person.
Some of us feel alleviated from financial or other kinds of responsibility by staying in a particular relationship.
“My father sexually abused me when I was a child,” said one woman. “I went on to spend the next twenty years blackmailing him emotionally and financially on this. I could get money from him whenever I wanted, and I never had to take financial responsibility for myself.”
Realizing that we may have gotten a codependent payoff from a relationship is not a cause for shame. It means we are searching out the blocks in ourselves that may be stopping our growth.
We can take responsibility for the part we may have played in keeping ourselves victimized. When we are willing to look honestly and fearlessly at the payoff and let it go, we will find the healing we’ve been seeking. We’ll also be ready to receive the positive, healthy payoffs available in relationships, the payoffs we really want and need.
Today, I will be open to looking at the payoffs I may have received from staying in unhealthy relationships, or from keeping destructive systems operating. I will become ready to let go of my need to stay in unhealthy systems; I am ready to face myself.” via Just For Today Meditations – Maintaining A Life.
And, there are ALWAYS payoffs. They just might not be so obvious…
No, I don’t mean a clogged kitchen sink or a shower stall that empties slowly.
I’m talking about allowing people, places and things to slowly and insidiously creep in and begin sucking the soul, energy, life force – and resources – out of us. No matter how many years ago we learned about not being codependent, it can still happen to us. Again.
Drain Pain occurs so slowly and subtly, we may not see it happening. Following you’ll find a list of symptoms and the remedy for each:
- We leave our bodies – disconnect from ourselves. We’re experts at fleeing the body. We hover around ourselves doing everything except feeling what we feel and valuing ourselves. When this happens, we often feel numb, confused and afraid. We may also feel emotional (generalized) pain. The thoughts that accompany this condition include: I CAN’T STAND THIS ANYMORE. IT, HE, SHE OR THEY IS OR ARE DRIVING ME INSANE. This means it’s boundary-setting time again.
- We complain about the same thing, behavior or person or problem for days, weeks, months or years but nobody hears us. The cure for this means listening to ourselves.
- We know that something’s wrong but we aren’t sure what it is (because we’re not listening to ourselves). When we mention the problem to the Drainer(s) — the people or institutions in the first symptom above — they look at us askance and reassure us that nothing is wrong except us – who we are, how we feel and what we think is going on just isn’t occurring, they insist. Remember the story from the first Language of Letting Go, about the scene in a movie where a wife catches her husband in his pickup truck? He’s parked at the drive-in movie theatre all cuddled up and kissing with another woman. When the wife confronts him about having this affair, he denies it vehemently while the other woman sits there kissing his neck, arm, hand and more. “What are you going to believe?” the infidel asks his wife. “Me or what you think you see?” Crazy as that sounds, it can easily describe us when we’re in codependent mode.
- We feel tired, unfocused and somewhat like a Boxer looks (the dog, not Mohammed Ali) when it’s chasing not a tail, but the remnants of one before the vet clipped or docked it. We’re caught up in trying to do the impossible. It’s time to assess what we can and can’t change and then put energy into assessing and solving the right problem – the real issue that’s going on.
- We feel increasingly angry at the people, places or things in our personalized list in the first symptom above, but as soon as we feel anger we also start to feel guilt. The guilt’s not real. It’s the codependent guilt that’s followed us around for most of our life. The guilt yammers about how there must be something wrong with us because the other person wouldn’t do that — whatever that is. We wonder what’s wrong with us for feeling this angry and then decide that the problem is us. ZZZZZT. Wrong answer. Solution? Look in the mirror and tell ourselves that who we are is okay.
- Of all the signals that someone’s manipulating or lying to us, feeling cruddy and confused after our interactions with this person or institution — if they’ll stand still long enough to talk to us — ranks highest and indicates that it’s time to open our eyes, shake off the denial dust and start a self-care revival.” This is a long post. You can get the rest here: Drain Pain | Melody Beattie.
Melody Beattie writes:
In a relationship, there are those wonderful times when things go smoothly for both people, and neither person needs to focus too heavily on the concept of detachment. But there are those challenging times when one person is in crisis or changing – and we need to detach.
Then there are stressful cycles when both people in a relationship are in the midst of dealing with intense issues. Both are needy and neither has anything to give.
These are times when detachment and taking care of ourselves are difficult.
It is helpful, in these moments, to identify the problem. Both people are in the midst of dealing and healing. Neither has much to give, at least at the moment. And both are feeling particularly needy.
That is the problem.
What’s the solution?
There may not be a perfect solution. Detachment is still the key, but that can be difficult when we need support ourselves. In fact, the other person may be asking for support rather than offering it.
We can still work toward detachment. We can still work through our feelings. We can accept this as a temporary cycle in the relationship, and stop looking to the other person for something he or she cannot give at the moment.
We can stop expecting ourselves to give at the moment as well.
Communication helps. Identifying the problem and talking about it without blame or shame is a start. Figuring out alternative support systems, or ways to get our needs met, helps.
We are still responsible for taking care of ourselves – even when we are in the best of relationships. We can reasonably expect conflicts of need and the clashing of issues to occur in the most loving, healthy relationships.
It is one of the cycles of love, friendship, and family.
If it is a healthy relationship, the crisis will not go on endlessly. We will regain our balance. The other person will too. We can stop making ourselves so crazy by looking for the other person to be balanced when he or she isn’t.
Talk things out. Work things out. Keep our expectations of other people, our relationships, and ourselves healthy and reasonable.
A good relationship will be able to sustain and survive low points. Sometimes we need them, so we can both grow and learn separately.
Sometimes, people who are usually there for us cannot be there for us. We can find another way to take care of ourselves.
Today, I will remember that my best relationships have low points. If the low point is the norm, I may want to consider the desirability of the relationship. If the low point is a temporary cycle, I will practice understanding for myself and the other person. God, help me remember that the help and support I want and need does not come in the form of only one person. Help me be open to healthy options for taking care of myself, if any normal support system is not available.” via Just For Today Meditations – Daily Recovery Readings – September 11, 2012.
- A Better Way (toddlohenry.com)
- Self approval (toddlohenry.com)
- When Things Don’t Work (toddlohenry.com)
- detachment (urdamage.wordpress.com)
- Entanglement and its Antidote, Detachment (thistimethisspace.com)
- Book Review: BackBone Power The Science of Saying No, by Dr. Anne Brown (hilarytopper.com)
- Getting Unstuck By Letting Go (omtimes.com)
- Family Buttons (toddlohenry.com)
- Detachment breaks the bond (toddlohenry.com)
- Discover what works for YOU (toddlohenry.com)