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.
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)
Practicing courage, compassion, and connection in our daily lives is how we cultivate worthiness. The key word is practice. Mary Daly, a theologian, writes, “Courage is like—it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: You get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.” The same is true for compassion and connection. We invite compassion into our lives when we act compassionately toward ourselves and others, and we feel connected in our lives when we reach out and connect. Before I define these concepts and talk about how they work, I want to show you how they work together in real life—as practices. This is a personal story about the courage to reach out, the compassion that comes from saying, “I’ve been there,” and the connections that fuel our worthiness.
Brown, Brene (2010-09-20). The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are (p. 7). BookMobile. Kindle Edition.
Here’s the TED Talk in case you haven’t seen it yet…
“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.
Today you get a double shot of Melody Beattie because I need it!
“…there isn’t a guidebook for setting boundaries. Each of us has our own guide inside ourselves. If we continue to work at recovery, our boundaries will develop. They will get healthy and sensitive. Our selves will tell us what we need to know, and we’ll love ourselves enough to listen.” Beyond Codependency
What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? Listen to that voice inside. What makes you angry? What have you had enough of? What don’t you trust? What doesn’t feel right? What can’t you stand? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want? Need? What don’t you want and need? What do you like? What would feel good? In recovery, we learn that self care leads us on the path to God’s will and plan for our life. Self-care never leads away from our highest good; it leads toward it. Learn to nurture that voice inside. We can trust ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. We are wiser than we think. Our guide is within, ever present. Listen to, trust, and nurture that guide.
Today, I will affirm that gift to the Universe and myself. I will remember that nurturing self care delivers that gift in its highest form.
Melody 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.
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.
- Letting Go of Resistance (toddlohenry.com)
- Step 2 – Letting Go to a Higher Power (beingabeautifulmess.wordpress.com)
- Putting our Life on Hold (toddlohenry.com)
- Day 30: The Proof (thelivingnotebook.com)
I first heard about the ‘imposter complex’ from my thoroughly lovely friend and client @jackiedumaine. Tanya Geisler lays it out here:
For a TEDxWomen talk on Dec. 1st, I’ve decided to talk about – and take down – the Impostor Complex. You know, that beast that wants to shut you down, reminding you of allll the ways you are not ready, capable, qualified, prepared and competent.
Which is perfect, of course, because my own Impostor Complex has a TON to say about why I’m not ready, capable, qualified, prepared and competent enough to deliver this talk. So my material, at the very least, is pretty fresh.
Just recently, I was thrilled to attend Mastin’s Super Soul Sunday event in Toronto. Mastin was generously answering every last question his hungry audience had for him. I asked him how he felt when the call came about going on Oprah with Marie and Gabby. His response:
“I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a mistake. I didn’t think it would actually happen. I assumed it would be canceled.”
Familiar? You are not alone.
Any time we think that something has happened because of luck, or timing, or because someone made a mistake, we are in the hold of our Impostor Complex.
Is there ANY DOUBT in your mind that Mastin was supposed to be on that show? Is there ANY DOUBT in your mind that he earned it?
No? Me neither.
From the 1000+ hours I’ve been coaching clients, I can tell you with great certainty that almost every single high-achiever has at one point or another felt the weight of the Impostor syndrome, and it sounds like:
“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” – Maya Angelou
“You think, ‘Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?’” – Meryl Streep
And guess what else?
The Impostor and The Authority are are both Illusions
John Lennon said, “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”
Can you see the illusions at both ends of that statement? Loser is an illusion. God Almighty is an illusion. The Impostor is an illusion. The Authority is an illusion.
You are never either. You know more than you think AND you will never know it all.
It’s the very nature of the ego: it wants to want more than it wants to get.
Can you feel the relief and the grief in that?
And while I may not be THE authority, my experience as the Impostor Complex – both mine and those of my brilliant clients – certainly makes me AN authority.
So, as you face your desires for stage, for mastery in the boardroom, for the book deal, for the TV show, for the new business or for the promotion, I want you to know this:
- You are not alone.
- Those belittling voices are not real or right.
- You’ve earned your right to be here.
- You’ve got this.
- You are ready.
When I’m on stage delivering my TEDx talk, I intend to own it. There has been no mistake made: I’ve earned my right to be there. Speaking truth imbued with experience and love, in spite of what my Impostor Complex wants me to believe. It is, after all, a mere illusion.
Your call’s coming too. Answer it with an effusive YES.
I was describing to Jackie my own desire to do a TEDTalk and the trouble I was having writing my book ‘Be Known’; mainly, that people would laugh. Understanding that this feeling is so common that it has a ‘syndrome’ attached to it helped me get beyond my fears. In my experience, if you can name it you can kill it, fix it, fight it, whatever you want to do with it. Watch out for the ‘imposter complex’ in your life!
- Psychology: Imposter Syndrome (clareminnies.wordpress.com)
- Imposter Syndrome: My life as a fraud. (momedy.blogspot.com)
- Day 5. Go Ahead, Murder Yourself. (heidiwriting.wordpress.com)
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.
And, whatever we resists, persists…