You are not a victim

Melody-Beattie.pngIt has been a long time since I quoted Melody Beattie:

You are not a victim.

How deeply ingrained our self-image as a victim can be! How habitual our feelings of misery and helplessness! Vic­timization can be like a gray cloak that surrounds us, both attracting that which will victimize us and causing us to generate the feelings of victimization.

Victimization can be so habitual that we may feel victimized even by the good things that happen to us!

Got a new car? Yes, we sigh, but it doesn’t run as well as I expected, and after all, it cost so much ….

You’ve got such a nice family! Yes, we sigh, but there are problems. And we’ve had such hard times….

Well, your career certainly is going well! Ah, we sigh, but there is such a price to pay for success. All that extra paperwork….

I have learned that, if we set our mind to it, we have an incredible, almost awesome ability to find misery in any sit­uation, even the most wonderful of circumstances.

Shoulders bent, head down, we shuffle through life tak­ing our blows.

Be done with it. Take off the gray cloak of despair, nega­tivity, and victimization. Hurl it; let it blow away in the wind.

We are not victims. We may have been victimized. We may have allowed ourselves to be victimized. We may have sought out, created, or re-created situations that victimized us. But we are not victims.

We can stand in our power. We do not have to allow our­selves to be victimized. We do not have to let others victimize us. We do not have to seek out misery in either the most miserable or the best situations.

We are free to stand in the glow of self-responsibility. Set a boundary! Deal with the anger! Tell someone no, or stop that! Walk away from a relationship! Ask for what you need! Make choices and take responsibility for them. Explore options. Give yourself what you need! Stand up straight, head up, and claim your power. Claim responsibility for yourself!

And learn to enjoy what’s good.

Today, I will refuse to think, talk, speak, or act like a victim. In­stead, I will joyfully claim responsibility for myself and focus on what’s good and right in my life.

via June 11 – Meditation from “Language of Letting Go” | Language of Letting Go.

Self-acceptance…

Melody-Beattie-8x6.jpgMelody Beattie writes:

Self-acceptance is a more humble term than self-esteem or self-love. Self-love has tones of narcissism—me first and to heck with you. Self-esteem rings of pride—holding our­selves up higher than everybody else. Self-acceptance is that gentle place we get to when we make peace with who we are.

“For a long time, when I talked to certain people. I got squeamish and uncomfortable. like it wasn’t okay to be me.” a friend said. “I thought it was me being uncomfort­able with myself. I’ve finally learned that I’m responding to how uncomfortable some people feel about themselves.”

We might feel so awkward about ourselves that we believe we have to be different from who we are. Some of that comes from low self-worth, not believing that we’re okay. Or it can stem from a need to control. We think if we pretend to be different or better. we can manipulate how other people feel about us.

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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.

Letting go in love…

codependent no moreMelody 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.

via Blog | Just For Today Meditations.

Standing Up for Ourselves

Melody-Beattie-8x6.jpgMelody Beattie writes:

“We learn some behaviors have self-defeating consequences, while others have beneficial consequences. We learn we have choices” Beyond Codependency

It is so easy to come to the defense of others. How clear it is when others are being used, controlled, manipulated, or abused. It is so easy to fight their battles, become righteously indignant, rally to their aid, and spur them on to victory.

“You have rights,” we tell them. “And those rights are being violated. Stand up for yourself, without guilt.”

Why is it so hard, then, for us to rally to our own behalf? Why can’t we see when we are being used, victimized, lied to, manipulated, or otherwise violated? Why is it so difficult for us to stand up for ourselves?

There are times in life when we can walk a gentle, loving path. There are times, however, when we need to stand up for ourselves – when walking the gentle, loving path puts us deeper into the hands of those who could mistreat us.

Some days, the lesson we’re to be learning and practicing is one of setting boundaries. Some days, the lesson we’re learning is that of fighting for our own rights and ourselves.

Sometimes, the lesson won’t stop until we do.

Today, I will rally to my own cause. I will remember that it is okay to stand up for myself when that action is appropriate. Help me, God, to let go of my need to be victimized. Help me appropriately, and with confidence, stand up for myself.

via Blog | Just For Today Meditations | Maintaining A Life.

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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.

 

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Facing fear…

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

“How do you face fear?” a woman asked.

“I suggest doing one thing each week that scares you,” I said, even though Eleanor Roosevelt said to do one thing each day that scares you.

Action: Make a list of your fears, known and unknown. Then tell yourself, someone else, and your Higher Power what’s on the list. This idea is borrowed from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Next make a list of ten things, like deep breathing or praying, that help you feel peaceful, or at least help you make peace with the fear. Learn to recognize fear. Then figure out what you need to do to make yourself feel safe.

We each have similar—and different—things on our list of fears. Sometimes our fears are deep rooted. They got stuck in us from our past. We each have dif­ferent ideas and levels of actions we’re ready to take to be brave and face fear. For some, it might be riding in an elevator. For others, it might be expressing how they feel.

It’s important to know your limit. But sometimes it helps to push yourself a little when your fears limit you too much.

I’ye traveled alone to Pakistan, Algeria, and East Los Angeles, and I was perfectly safe. Yet, in my own home, I’ve given myself a concussion, burned myself, and fallen down the stairs.

There are certain things we need to do to responsibly protect ourselves. I recently asked a friend to pray for my safety on a potentially hazardous journey. She said, “I’ll ask. But know that God is already with you.”

Wherever we go, God’s there. Make yourself safe wherever you are.

Gratitude Focus: Instead of resisting our fears or feeling ashamed of them, let’s try reverse psychology and be grateful each time one comes up.

via December 31.

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Laying the Foundation

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

The groundwork has been laid.

Do you not see that?

Don’t you understand that all you have gone through was for a purpose?

There was a reason, a good reason, for the waiting, the struggle, the pain, and finally the release.

You have been prepared. The same way a builder must first tear down and dig out the old to make way for the new, your Higher Power has been cleaning out the foundation in your life.

Have you ever watched a builder at construction? When he begins his work, it looks worse than before he began. What is old and decayed must be removed. What is insufficient or too weak to support the new structure must be removed, replaced, or reinforced. No builder who cares about his or her work would put a new surface over an insufficient support system. The foundation would give way. It would not last.

If the finished product is to be what is desired, the work must be done thoroughly from the bottom up. As the work progresses, it often appears to be an upheaval. Often, it does not seem to make sense. It may appear to be wasted time and effort, because we cannot see the final product yet.

But it is so important that the foundation be laid properly if the fun work, the finishing touches, is to be all that we want it to be.

This long, hard time in your life has been for laying of groundwork. It was not without purpose, although at times the purpose may not have been evident or apparent.

Now, the foundation has been laid. The structure is solid.

Now, it is time for the finishing touches, the completion.

It is time to move the furniture in and enjoy the fruits of the labor.

Congratulations. You have had the patience to endure the hard parts. You have trusted, surrendered, and allowed your Higher Power and the Universe to heal and prepare you.

Now, you shall enjoy the good that has been planned.

Now, you shall see the purpose.

Now, it shall all come together and make sense.

Enjoy.

Today, I will surrender to the laying of the foundation – the groundwork – in my life. If it is time to enjoy the placement of the finishing touches, I will surrender to that, and enjoy that too. I will remember to be grateful for a Higher Power that is a Master Builder and only has my best interests in mind, creating and constructing my life. I will be grateful for my Higher Power’s care and attention to details in laying the foundation – even though I become impatient at times. I will stand in awe at the beauty of God’s finished product.

Source: Blog | Just For Today Meditations | Maintaining A Life

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Affirmations

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

One of our choices in recovery is choosing what we want to think – using our mental energy positively.

Positive mental energy, positive thinking, does not mean we think unrealistically or revert to denial. If we don’t like something, we respect our own opinion. If we spot a problem, we’re honest about it. if something isn’t working out, we accept reality. But we don’t dwell on the negative parts of our experience.

Whatever we give energy to, we empower.

There is magic in empowering the good, because whatever we empower grows bigger. One way to empower the good is through affirmations: simple positive statements we make to ourselves: I love myself… I’m good enough… My life is good…I’m glad I’m alive today… What I want and need is coming to me… I can…

Our choice in recovery is not whether to use affirmations. We’ve been affirming thoughts and beliefs since we were old enough to speak. The choice in recovery is what we want to affirm.

Today, I will empower the good in myself, others, and life. I’m willing to release, or let go of, negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones. I will choose what I want to affirm, and I will make it good.

via Just For Today Meditations » Daily Recovery Readings – December 11, 2012.

And, whatever we resists, persists…

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Into the great unknown…

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

“When I go into the Unknown. I immediately start making lists,” one man said.

We each respond differently to loss, letting go. and the Unknown. We may try to fill up the vacuum immediately with something else. That usually doesn’t work, at least not well.

Try to he as present as you can for what you’re going through.

Action: Protect yourself. You’re vulnerable now. Do the simple. easy things that need to be done, one task at a time, even if nothing feels completely right. Remember the basics of self-care. Eat. Sleep. Shower. Get plenty of rest. Talk to trusted friends. Express what you’re feeling at the moment the best that you can.

We may vacillate between anger, rage, guilt, and sadness when we’re letting go. And then we may go numb and nor be able to think clearly. Don’t worry about that; your ability to think clearly will return. Don’t do anything that hurts yourself or anyone else. That won’t help. It’ll make things worse. Lists may help us stay on track.

Try not to see the big picture right nom It probably hasn’t been shown to you yet.” via December 3.