Recovery

Melody-Beattie-8x6.jpgMelody Beattie writes:

Recovery is not about being right; it’s about allowing ourselves to be who we are and accepting others as they are. That concept can be difficult for many of us if we have lived in systems that functioned on the “right-wrong” justice scale. The person who was right was okay; the person who was wrong was shamed. All value and worth may have depended on being right; to be wrong meant annihilation of self and self-esteem. 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). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.

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The Best Present Is Presence

Lexus Dec to Remember

I HATE CHRISTMAS. Or perhaps it would be better to say I hate what Christmas has become. The consumerism, the expectations, the obligations; none of which have anything to do with ‘reason for the season’ — celebrating relationship with a higher power…

Perhaps that is why I like this perspective from The Minimalists so much:

What if you could receive only one Christmas present this year? What would it be?

The answer for us is simple: time.

You see, the people we care about mean much more to us than a new pair of shoes or a shiny new gadget or even a certified pre-owned luxury car with a huge bow on top.

And yet, many of us attempt to give material items to make up for the time we don’t spend with the people we love. But possessions can’t ever make up for lost time.

The next time someone asks you what you want for Christmas, consider responding with, “Your presence is the best gift you can give me.”

When you’re completely focused in the moment—no TV, no Internet, no distractions—it makes a marked difference in the lives of the people around you. When you’re fully present, your love radiates.

And if you’re going to give gifts this holiday season, why not give your unencumbered time and attention first? Your loved ones will be glad you did.” via The Best Present Is Presence | The Minimalists.

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Letting Go

Melody Beattie writes:

Stop trying so hard to control things. It is not our job to control people, outcomes, circumstances, life. Maybe in the past we couldn’t trust and let things happen. But we can now. The way life is unfolding is good. Let it unfold.

Stop trying so hard to do better, be better, be more. Who we are and the way we do things is good enough for today.

Who we were and the way we did things yesterday was good enough for that day.

Ease up on ourselves. Let go. Stop trying so hard.

Today, I will let go. I will stop trying to control everything. I will stop trying to make myself be and do better, and I will let myself be.

via November 19: Letting Go.

 

Create Healthy Habits!

Take 21 days to create a new healthy habit and the habits you create will take care of you! With what healthy habits would you like to start the new year? A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today…

Oh, and by the way if you’re a geeky type you might want to look into tools like Habitforge to get you started!

image via Visual Inspiration: Create Healthy Habits!.

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This note…

…is all I have left from the woman who, for the most part, raised me in my earliest years:

The backstory? My birth father abandoned my mother and me before I left the womb. My grandmother [who we called 'Ma moo' because some cousin that went before me couldn't say Grandma]  and my maternal relatives rushed in to fill the gap. My mother worked as an administrative assistant to support my grandmother and me in my earlier years. This note was written around the time I was 3 or 4 when my mom met and married my dad and we moved out to start a life of our own. Today, on the 34th anniversary of her death with tears in my eyes I remember this remarkable woman and the sacrifices she made for me…

It was only last year on this day I learned that when she was married to my alcoholic grandfather there was a time when she left him and put her 4 children up for adoption to protect them from the horrible abuses at home — abuses so bad that my uncles later enlisted in WWII preferring to fight the Japanese and Germans to living with their own father. My grandmother, however, reconsidered out of a deep and abiding love for her children and went back to my grandfather despite the verbal and physical abuse. The number 4 is significant because my mother is the 5th child in the family and she was conceived after my grandmother put the family back together. In a very real way, I would not be here if not for her courage in the face of overwhelming adversity…

Today and every day I thank God for the gift of this courageous woman in my life. There are so many happy memories of early life with her — to this day when I feel happy, I sometimes crave a Cherry Coke. Why? When I was a good boy she took me to the soda fountain and rewarded me with one. This note — 50 years old this year — hangs in my home office and is a constant reminder of her loving presence in my life then, now and always!

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Dreams

Melody Beattie writes:

I want a new home. a great job. and lots of money” one man said.

“What practical steps are you taking to help that happen?” I asked.

“I’m not very good at practical steps,” he said. “But I’m an expert at dreams.”

It’s important to fantasize. but if you want your fantasies to materialize. you have to take practical steps. Turn dreams into achievable written goals.

It takes courage to go for what we want. Giving some­thing our all. then failing, is a risk. Anyone I know who has accomplished anything of value has failed on the road to success.

Challenge: The hardest thing about going for our goals, hopes, and dreams can be fighting off that part of us that says, “What’s the use?” Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things when they make a choice to do something, then surrender to God’s Will.” via October 25.

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Holding Your Own

Melody Beattie writes:

Trust yourself. Trust what you know.

Sometimes, it is hard to stand in our own truth and trust what we know, especially when others would try to convince us otherwise.

In these cases, others may be dealing with issues of guilt and shame. They may have their own agenda. They may be immersed in denial. They would like us to believe that we do not know what we know; they would like us not to trust ourselves; they would prefer to engage us in their nonsense.

We don’t have to forfeit our truth or our power to others. That is codependency.

Believing lies is dangerous. When we stop trusting our truth, when we repress our instincts, when we tell ourselves there must be something wrong with us for feeling what we feel or believing what we believe, we deal a deadly blow to our self and our health.

When we discount that important part of ourselves that knows what is the truth, we cut ourselves off from our center. We feel crazy. We get into shame, fear, and confusion. We can’t get our bearings when we allow someone to pull the rug from under us.

This does not mean that we are never wrong. But we are not always wrong.

Be open. Stand in our truth. Trust what you know. And refuse to buy into denial, nonsense, bullying, or coercion that would like to take you off course.

Ask to be shown the truth, clearly – not by the person trying to manipulate or convince you, but by yourself, your Higher Power, and the Universe.

Today, I will trust my truth, my instincts, and my ability to ground myself in reality. I will not allow myself to be swayed by bullying, manipulating, games, dishonesty, or people with peculiar agendas.” via Just For Today Meditations – Maintaining A Life.

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Detaching in Relationships

Melody Beattie writes:

When we first become exposed to the concept of detachment, many of us find it objectionable and questionable. We may think that detaching means we don’t care. We may believe that by controlling, worrying, and trying to force things to happen, we’re showing how much we care.

We may believe that controlling, worrying, and forcing will somehow affect the outcome we desire. Controlling, worrying, and forcing don’t work. Even when we’re right, controlling doesn’t work. In some cases, controlling may prevent the outcome we want from happening.

As we practice the principle of detachment with the people in our life, we slowly begin to learn the truth. Detaching, preferably detaching with love, is a relationship behavior that works.

We learn something else too. Detachment – letting go of our need to control people – enhances all our relationships. It opens the door to the best possible outcome. It reduces our frustration level, and frees us and others to live in peace and harmony.

Detachment means we care, about others and ourselves. It frees us to make the best possible decisions. It enables us to set the boundaries we need to set with people. It allows us to have our feelings, to stop reacting and initiate a positive course of action. It encourages others to do the same.

It allows our Higher Power to step in and work.” via Detaching in Relationships – Saturday, August 21 – Adult Children Anonymous.