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Owning Our Power

Melody Beattie writes:

Don’t you see? We do not have to be so victimized by life, by people, by situations, by work, by our friends, by our love relationships, by our family, by ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts, our circumstances.

We are not victims. We do not have to be victims. That is the whole point!

Yes, admitting and accepting powerlessness is important. But that is a first step, an introduction to this business of recovery. Later, comes owning our power. Changing what we can. This is as important as admitting and accepting powerlessness. And there is so much we can change.

We can own our power, wherever we are, wherever we go, whoever we are with. We do not have to stand there with our hands tied, groveling helplessly, submitting to whatever comes along. There are things we can do. We can speak up. Solve the problem. Use the problem to motivate ourselves to do something good for ourselves.

We can make ourselves feel good. We can walk away. We can come back on our terms. We can stand up for ourselves. We can refuse to let others control and manipulate us.

We can do what we need to do to take care of ourselves. That is the beauty, the reward, the crown of victory we are given in this process called recovery. It is what it is all about!

If we can’t do anything about the circumstance, we can change our attitude. We can do the work within: courage­ously face our issues so we are not victimized. We have been given a miraculous key to life.

We are victims no more unless we want to be.

Freedom and joy are ours for the taking, for the feeling, for the hard work we have done.

Today, I will remind myself as often as necessary that I am not a victim, and I do not need to be victimized by whatever comes my way. I will work hard to remove myself as a victim, whether that means setting and enforcing a boundary, walking away, dealing with my feelings, or giving myself what I need. God, help me let go of my need to feel victimized.

Source: November 18: Owning Our Power | Language of Letting Go

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Letting Go of Resistance

Melody Beattie writes:

Do not be in such a hurry to move on.

Relax. Breathe deeply. Be. Be in harmony today.

Be open. There is beauty around and in us today. There is purpose and meaning in today.

There is importance in today — not so much in what hap­pens to us, but in how we respond.

Let today happen. We learn our lessons, we work things out, we change in a simple fashion: by living our life fully today.

Do not worry about tomorrow’s feelings, problems, or gifts. Do not worry about whether we can trust ourselves, life, or our Higher Power tomorrow.

Everything we need today shall be given to us. That is a promise — from God, from the Universe.

Feel today’s feelings. Solve today’s problems. Enjoy today’s gifts. Trust yourself, life, and your Higher Power today.

Acquire the art of living fully today. Absorb the lessons, the healing, the beauty, the love available to us today.

Do not be in such a rush to move on. There is no hurry. We cannot escape; we only postpone. Let the feelings go; breathe in peace and healing.

Do not be in such a hurry to move on.

Today, I will not run from myself, my circumstances, or my feelings. I will be open to myself, others, my Higher Power, and life. I will trust that by facing today to the best of my ability, I will acquire the skills I need to face tomorrow.

Source: November 11: Letting Go of Resistance | Language of Letting Go

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Drain Pain

Melody Beattie wrote:

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.
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Celebrate

Melody Beattie writes:

Take time to celebrate.

Celebrate your successes, your growth, your accomplish­ments. Celebrate you and who you are.

For too long you have been too hard on yourself. Others have spilled their negative energy — their attitudes, beliefs, pain — on you. It had nothing to do with you! All along, you have been a gift to yourself and to the Universe.

You are a child of God. Beautiful, a delight, a joy. You do not have to try harder, be better, be perfect, or be anything you are not. Your beauty is in you, just as you are each moment.

Celebrate that.

When you have a success, when you accomplish something, enjoy it. Pause, reflect, rejoice. Too long you have listened to admonitions not to feel good about what you have done, lest you travel the downward road to arrogance.

Celebration is a high form of praise, of gratitude to the Creator for the beauty of God’s creation. To enjoy and celebrate the good does not mean that it will be taken from you. To celebrate is to delight in the gift, to show gratitude.

Celebrate your relationships! Celebrate the lessons from the past and the love and warmth that is there today. Enjoy the beauty of others and their connection to you.

Celebrate all that is in your life. Celebrate all that is good. Celebrate you!

Today, I will indulge in the joy of celebrating.” via August 26: Celebrate | Language of Letting Go.

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Self care

Melody Beattie writes:

“When will we become lovable?  When will we feel safe?  When will we get all the protection, nurturing, and love we so richly deserve?  We will get it when we begin giving it to ourselves.”Beyond Codependency

The idea of giving ourselves what we want and need can be confusing, especially if we have spent many years not knowing that it’s okay to take care of ourselves.  Taking our energy and focus off others and their responsibilities and placing that energy onto ourselves and our responsibilities is a recovery behavior that can be acquired.  We learn it by daily practice.

We begin by relaxing, by breathing deeply, and letting go of our fears enough to feel as peaceful as we can.  Then, we ask ourselves:  What do I need to do to take care of myself today, or for this moment?

What do I need and want to do? What would demonstrate love and self-responsibility?

Am I caught up in the belief that others are responsible for making me happy, responsible for me?  Then the first thing I need to do is correct my belief system.  I am responsible for myself.

Do I feel anxious and concerned about a responsibility I’ve been neglecting?  Then perhaps I need to let go of my fears and tend to that responsibility.

Do I feel overwhelmed, out of control?  Maybe I need to journey back to the first of the Twelve Steps.

Have I been working too hard?  Maybe what I need to do is take some time off and do something fun.

Have I been neglecting my work or daily tasks?  Then maybe what I need to do is get back to my routine.

There is no recipe, no formula, no guidebook for self-care.  We each have a guide, and that guide is within us.  We need to ask the question:  What do I need to do to take living responsible care of myself?  Then, we need to listen to the answer.  Self-care is not that difficult.  The most challenging part is trusting the answer, and having the courage to follow.

Today, I will focus on taking care of myself.  I will trust myself and God to guide me in this process.” via Blog Archives – help and hope ministry.

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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, and 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, and 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 Just For Today Meditations » Blog.

 

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Insisting on the Best

Melody Beattie writes:

We deserve the best life and love has to offer, but we are each faced with the challenge of learning to identify what that means in our life. We must each come to grips with our own understanding of what we believe we deserve, what we want, and whether we are receiving it.

There is only one place to start, and that is right where we are, in our current circumstances. The place we begin is with us.

What hurts? What makes us angry? What are we whining and complaining about? Are we discounting how much a particular behavior is hurting us? Are we making excuses for the other person, telling ourselves we’re “too demanding”?

Are we reluctant, for a variety of reasons, especially fear, to tackle the issues in our relationships that may be hurting us? Do we know what’s hurting us and do we know that we have a right to stop our pain, if we want to do that?

We can begin the journey from deprived to deserving. We can start it today. We can also be patient and gentle with ourselves as we travel in important increments from believing we deserve second best, to knowing in our hearts that we deserve the best, and taking responsibility for that.

Today, I will pay attention to how I allow people to treat me, and how I feel about that. I will also watch how I treat others. I will not overreact by taking their issues too personally and too seriously; I will not under react by denying that certain behaviors are inappropriate and not acceptable to me.” Source: Language of Letting Go – July 16 – SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

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When Things Don’t Work

Melody Beattie writes:

Frequently, when faced with a problem, we may attempt to solve it in a particular way. When that way doesn’t work, we may continue trying to solve the problem in that same way.

We may get frustrated, try harder, get more frustrated, and then exert more energy and influence into forcing the same solution that we have already tried and that didn’t work.

That approach makes us crazy. It tends to get us stuck and trapped. It is the stuff that unmanageability is made of.

We can get caught in this same difficult pattern in relationships, in tasks, in any area of our life. We initiate something, it doesn’t work, doesn’t flow, we feel badly, then try the same approach harder, even though it’s not working and flowing.

Sometimes, it’s appropriate not to give up and to try harder. Sometimes, it’s more appropriate to let go, detach, and stop trying so hard.

If it doesn’t work, if it doesn’t flow, maybe life is trying to tell us something. Life is a gentle teacher. She doesn’t always send neon road signs to guide us. Sometimes, the signs are more subtle. Something not working may be a sign!

Let go. If we have become frustrated by repeated efforts that aren’t producing desired results, we may be trying to force ourselves down the wrong path. Sometimes, a different solution is appropriate. Sometimes, a different path opens up. Often, the answer will emerge more clearly in the quietness of letting go than it will in the urgency, frustration, and desperation of pushing harder.

Learn to recognize when something isn’t working or isn’t flowing. Step back and wait for clear guidance.

Today, I will not make myself crazy by repeatedly trying solutions that have proven themselves unsuccessful. If something isn’t working, I will step back and wait for guidance.” via Just For Today Meditations » Daily Recovery Readings – June 28, 2012.

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Into Orbit

Melody Beattie writes:

“It doesn’t matter if they’re hurting themselves. It doesn’t matter that we could help them if they’d only listen to, and cooperate with, us. IT DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER.” Codependent No More

I think I can change him. Nobody’s ever really loved him and appreciated him before. I’ll be the one to do that, and then he’ll change.. .. She’s never been with anybody trust­worthy before. I’ll prove how trustworthy I am, and then she’ll be able to love. . . . Nobody’s been able to get to her, to conquer her, before. I’ll be the one to do that … Nobody’s ever really given him a chance. . . . Nobody’s ever really believed in him before….

These are warning signs. Red lights. Red flags. In fact, if we’re thinking these thoughts, they need to be stop signs.

If we have gotten hooked into believing that somehow we will be the one who will make the difference in someone’s life, if we are trying to prove how good we can be for some­one, we may be in trouble.

This is a game. A deception. It won’t work. It’ll make us crazy. We can trust that. We’re not seeing things clearly. Something’s going on with us.

It will be self-defeating.

We may be “the one” all right — the one to wind up victimized.

The whole thought pattern reeks of codependency, of not being responsible for oneself, and of victimization. Each per­son needs to do his or her own work.

Nobody in the past has really understood him…. Nobody has seen what I see in her…. It’s a set-up. It sets us up to stop paying attention to ourselves while we focus too much on the other person. It takes us away from our path and often puts us in orbit.

Nobody has appreciated him enough…. Nobody has been good enough to her, or done for her what I can do…. It’s a rescue. It’s a game move, a game we don’t have to play. We don’t have to prove were the one. If we’re out to show people we’re the best thing that ever happened to them, it may be time to see if they’re the best thing that ever happened to us.

We have not been appointed as guardian angel, god­mother, godfather, or “the one who will.”

The help, support, and encouragement that truly benefits others and ourselves emerges naturally. Let it.

God, help me let go of my need to meet dysfunctional challenges in my relationships.” via June 29: Into Orbit.

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Owning Our Power

More goodness for my spirit from Melody Beattie:

We don’t have to give others so much power and ourselves so little. We don’t have to give others so much credit and ourselves so little. In recovery from codependency, we learn there’s a big difference between humility and discounting ourselves.

When others act irresponsibly and attempt to blame their problems on us, we no longer feel guilty. We let them face their own consequences.

When others talk nonsense, we don’t question our own thinking.

When others try to manipulate or exploit us, we know it’s okay to feel anger and distrust and to say no to the plan.

When others tell us that we want something that we really don’t want, or someone tells us that we don’t want some­thing that we really do want, we trust ourselves. When others tell us things we don’t believe, we know it’s okay to trust our instincts.

We can even change our mind later.

We don’t have to give up our personal power to anyone: strangers, friends, spouses, children, authority figures, or those over whom we’re in authority. People may have things to teach us. They may have more information than we have, and may appear more confident or forceful than we feel. But we are equals. Our magic is not in them. Our magic, our light, is in us. And it is as bright a light as theirs.

We are not second-class citizens. By owning our power, we don’t have to become aggressive or controlling. We don’t have to discount others. But we don’t discount our­selves either.

Today, I will own my power with people. I will let myself know what I know, feel what I feel, believe what 1 believe, and see what I see. I will be open to changing and learning from others and experience, but I will trust and validate myself too. I will stand in my own truth.” via June 24: Owning Our Power.