“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)
You’ve heard it said ‘when all else fails, lower your expectations’ — I say ‘before!’. Why? Long ago I heard this quote and took it with me: “Discouragement is the illegitimate child of false expectations!” Loyd Ogilive. I believe most, if not all, of our disappointment comes from what expect in a certain situation. In jest I say to my wife, “if only you’d lower your expectations, I could be the man of your dreams” and there is some truth in that. The only time I get frustrated with her is when I forget that people are unmanageable and that my expectations are just that; my expectations and not anyone else’s truth or reality…
One of my favorite authors Melody Beattie shares this on the topic:
When you’re starting a first creative project or beginning the study of an art or craft, what I want you to do is lower your standards until they disappear. That’s right. You’re not supposed to be any good at the beginning. So you might as well give yourself the liberating gift of joyously expecting yourself to be bad.
— Barbara Sheer and Annie Gotlieb, Wishcraft
When I first began writing newspaper and magazine articles, it took me anywhere from one to three months to complete a short article. After writing for a few years, I brought a timer into my office one day. I told myself I knew how to do what I was doing, now I was going to learn to do it more quickly. Before long, I was able to write in two hours what had previously taken me months to accomplish. The key words here are in time.
When I first began recovering from chemical dependency, it took me eight months of treatment to understand what other people were comprehending in six weeks. In time, I became a chemical dependency counselor. In time, I wrote books on the subject. The key words here are in time.
When I first began recovering from codependency, I couldn’t tell a control gesture from setting a boundary I didn’t know when I was taking care of myself or what that even meant. I didn’t know manipulation from an honest attempt at expressing my emotions. In time, I wrote a best-seller on the subject. Again, the key words here are in time.
Start where you are. Start poorly. Just begin. Let yourself fumble, be awkward and confused. If you already knew how to do it, it wouldn’t be a lesson in your life. And you wouldn’t get the thrill of victory two, five, or ten years from now when you look back and say, “Wow. I’ve gotten good at that over time.”
All things are possible to him or her that believeth, the Bible says. Enjoy those awkward beginnings. Revel in them. They’re the key to your success.
God, help me stop putting off living out of fear of doing it poorly. Help me lower my expectations to allow room for awkward beginnings.” via September 8: Lower Your Expectations.
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.
- A Better Way (toddlohenry.com)
- True Detachment (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
- Family Buttons (toddlohenry.com)
- When Things Don’t Work (toddlohenry.com)
- Detachment (thinhealthyandlovingit.wordpress.com)
- Letting the Cycles Flow (toddlohenry.com)
- Detach Yourself: Therapy For The Soul #burningupfriday (steamboatfriday.wordpress.com)
- What If? (toddlohenry.com)
- Radio Operator vital to Personal Security Detachment (dvidshub.net)
- Borderline/Narcissistic Behavior Is Not About You (psychologytoday.com)
Melody Beattie writes:
“For those of us who have survived by controlling and surrendering, letting go may not come easily.” Beyond Codependency
In recovery, we learn that it is important to identify what we want and need. Where does this concept leave us? With a large but clearly identified package of currently unmet wants and needs. We’ve taken the risk to stop denying and to start accepting what we want and need. The problem is, the want or need hangs there, unmet.
This can be a frustrating, painful, annoying, and sometimes obsession-producing place to be.
After identifying our needs, there is a next step in getting our wants and needs met. This step is one of the spiritual ironies of recovery. The next step is letting go of our wants and needs after we have taken painstaking steps to identify them.
We let them go, we give them up – on a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical level. Sometimes, this means we need to give up. It is not always easy to get to this place, but this is usually where we need to go.
How often I have denied a want or need, then gone through the steps to identify my needs, only to become annoyed, frustrated, and challenged because I don’t have what I want and don’t know how to get it. If I then embark on a plan to control or influence getting that want or need met, I usually make things worse. Searching, trying to control the process, does not work. I must, I have learned to my dismay, let go.
Sometimes, I even have to go to the point of saying, “I don’t want it. I realize it’s important to me, but I cannot control obtaining that in my life. Now, I don’t care anymore if I have it or not. In fact, I’m going to be absolutely happy without it and without any hope of getting it, because hoping to get it is making me nuts – the more I hope and try to get it, the more frustrated I feel because I’m not getting it.”
I don’t know why the process works this way.
I know only that this is how the process works for me. I have found no way around the concept of letting go.
We often can have what we really want and need, or something better. Letting go is part of what we do to get it.
Today, I will strive to let go of those wants and needs that are causing me frustration. I will enter them on my goal list, then struggle to let go. I will trust God to bring me the desires of my heart, in God’s time and in God’s way.” via Just For Today Meditations » Blog.
I found this over at Psychology Today:
Most people think of an ideal romantic relationship as a union of two inseparable beings forged into one heart, one mind, and one dream. If either partner has a conflicting desire, he or she too often does not express it. They consciously or unconsciously choose to protect the fantasy of perfect compatibility, but may not realize the limitations that are wedded to that decision.
Eventual conflicts are not as noticeable early when relationships are new. The joy of new discovery and lustful connection often eclipse any disagreements that might arise. Newly-in-love partners too often do not want to know anything about each other that could threaten the perfection they cherish. Both may choose to leave well enough alone even if the result is incomplete or inauthentic communication. In the void of unexpressed conflicts, the partners often want to maintain the illusion of a perfect match.
“He finishes my sentences before I even know what I’m going to say.”
“She anticipates what I want before I tell her.”
“We agree on everything. It’s amazing.”
“It’s so easy to be together. We love all the same things.”
Sadly, those constructed realities of perfect compatibility cannot sustain over time. People cannot feel genuinely loved if their partners are not aware of the other’s core feelings and desires. They can only keep renewing their love if they can face their conflicts openly and work through them.
That requires that both partners are willing to follow these six principles:
They are able to say what they need from their partners
They know what they are able to offer
They honestly share those thoughts and feelings
They listen to their partner’s needs without becoming defensive
They have or are willing to learn the skills to negotiate their differences
They respect each other’s conflicting desires
To make these principles work, partners must be clear from the beginning of their relationship to set clear boundaries that they both agree to honor. Boundaries are like the borders between countries. They can be barriers to communication and cooperation, or viable interfaces for exchanging ideas and resources.
When beautifully used in intimate relationships, they are symbolic lines of demarcation that help partners understand their differences while they seek whatever ways are necessary to authentically connect. Only the acceptance of those known similarities and differences can keep partners truly validating their mutual needs.
Healthy boundaries should be fluid and openly susceptible to changes by either partner during any time in their relationship. They hopefully know or are willing to learn what is personally important to them and make every effort to share those thoughts with each other. By working together over time, they learn to quickly recognize when they are in agreement, when they need to negotiate, and when they must turn down a request that could destroy their personal integrity.” Get more here: “Yes” Doesn’t Count if you can’t say “No” – Why Clear Boundaries are Important in Intimate Relationships | Psychology Today.
Kristin Barton Cuthriell writes:
“Boundaries are those invisible lines that separate you from other people. When children grow up in families that practice healthy boundaries, these boundaries are typically passed down through generations. The same is true when individuals are raised in dysfunctional families that have no sense of healthy boundaries. These poor boundaries, too, are often passed down the generational line.
Poor boundaries are usually too rigid or too loose. Like a concrete wall, rigid boundaries keep people out. When a person is closed off with rigid boundaries, they do not allow themselves to become vulnerable, which makes true intimacy impossible.
People with loose boundaries have little fence or no fence at all. The separation between self and others is blurred. Individuals with loose boundaries do not have a clear sense of self. These people trust easily, disclose too much, have a difficult time setting limits, and often become enmeshed with others.
Healthy relationships require healthy boundaries. If you are aware that your personal boundaries are either too loose or too rigid, you can learn healthy boundaries.
The first step to change is recognizing that change is needed. What you do not acknowledge, you do not change.
What is a healthy boundary? Take a look.” Get more here: Healthy Boundaries: A Good Practice – Let Life in Practices.
- Boundaries (teristeel.com)
- A Better Way (toddlohenry.com)
- How To Teach Children The Benefits Of Developing Healthy Relationships (howtolearn.com)
- Personal Space and Boundaries in Relationships (bipolarlearningcurve.com)
- Emotional Maturity, Boundaries and Why Most of the People You Know Aren’t Actually Adults (goodmenproject.com)
- How to Draw the Line When You Have No Idea Where to Put It (toddlohenry.com)
- Why Saying No in Your Relationship Is a Good Thing (psychcentral.com)
- “Yes” Doesn’t Count if you can’t say “No” – Why Clear Boundaries are Important in Intimate Relationships (psychologytoday.com)
- The Benefits of Establishing Boundaries (rhachellenicol.com)
- How to Build Beautiful Boundaries (powerofslow.wordpress.com)
Melody Beattie writes:
“I was thirty five years old the first time I spoke up to my mother and refused to buy into her games and manipulation. I was terribly frightened and almost couldn’t believe I was doing this. I found I didn’t have to be meant. I didn’t have to start an argument. But I could say what I wanted and needed to say to take care of myself. I learned I could love and honor myself, and still care about my mother – the way I wanted to – not the way she wanted me to.” –Anonymous
Who knows better how to push our buttons than family members? Who, besides family members, do we give such power?
No matter how long we or our family members have been recovering, relationships with family members can be provocative.
One telephone conversation can put us in an emotional and psychological tailspin that lasts for hours or days.
Sometimes, it gets worse when we begin recovery because we become even more aware of our reactions and our discomfort. That’s uncomfortable, but good. It is by beginning this process of awareness and acceptance that we change, grow, and heal.
The process of detaching in love from family members can take years. So can the process of learning how to react in a more effective way. We cannot control what they do or try to do, but we can gain some sense of control over how we choose to react.
Stop trying to make them act or treat us any differently. Unhook from their system by refusing to try to change or influence them.
Their patterns, particularly their patterns with us, are their issues. How we react, or allow these patterns to influence us, is our issue. How we take care of ourselves is our issue.
We can love our family and still refuse to buy into their issues. We can love our family but refuse their efforts to manipulate, control, or produce guilt in us.
We can take care of ourselves with family members without feeling guilty. We can learn to be assertive with family members without being aggressive. We can set the boundaries we need and want to set with family members without being disloyal to the family.
We can learn to love our family without forfeiting love and respect for ourselves.
Today, help me start practicing self care with family members. Help me know that I do not have to allow their issues to control my life, my day, or my feelings. Help me know it’s okay to have all my feelings about family members, without guilt or shame.
Go to the source for additional self-care thoughts on attachment and detachment.
“Joy fixes us to eternity and pain fixes us to time. But desire and fear hold us in bondage to time, and detachment breaks the bond.” Simone Weil.
We live both in the material realm and the spiritual. In our material dimension we seek material pleasures, inherent in which is pain. Our human emotions are tied to our material attachments, and joy, at its fullest, is never found here. Real joy lies outside of the material dimension while living fully within us too, in the secret, small place inside where we always know that all is well.
We are on a trip in this life. And our journey is bringing us closer to full understanding of joy with every sorrowful circumstance. When you or I are one with God, have aligned our will with the will of God, we know joy. We know this, fully, that all is well. No harm can befall us.
Each circumstance in the material realm is an opportunity for us to rely on the spiritual realm for direction, security, and understanding. As we turn within, to our spiritual nature, we will know joy.
Every day in every situation I have an opportunity to discover real joy. It’s so close and so ready for my invitation.” via Just For Today Meditations » Daily Recovery Readings – June 28, 2012.
Turmeric has some serious anti-inflammatory power.
See on greatist.com
Melody Beattie writes:
Divorce. Breaking up. Moving. A new job. Getting sober. Stopping using or abusing drugs. Discovering we’re codependent, and redefining ourselves, our relationships (including our relationship with ourselves) and our behaviors. Finding out we have a chronic illness, and we need to center our lives around it. Empty nest syndrome (yes, it’s real).
We wake up in the morning and before we go to bed that night, our lives have been irrevocably changed. They’ll never be the same again.
Sometimes we lose it all (or almost all of it) all at once. A friend from many years back woke up one morning. That day, he discovered that his wife of 15 years had been cheating on him from day
one; that neither the son nor his daughter he thought belonged to him were his; and that day, his business went belly-up.
Some people may call it “reorganization.” Others name it a “new beginning.” Most of the time I hear it described like this: “Sigh. I’m starting all over. Again.”
I hate it, at least in the beginning. We’re walking in the dark and living in the mystery. We don’t have a clue about what’s next. Sometimes we may wonder if we’re dying – the transformation feels that profound. Usually the person isn’t dying – not in the physical sense. But the changes taking place can be so profound that the experience feels similar to a death.
Times it feels like our heart has been broken. If we tell people that, they may look at us like we’re overplaying the drama queen role, but recently Mayo Clinic identified “Broken Heart Syndrome” as a legitimate physical illness. A broken heart, which can be caused by the loss of a loved one or an overload of stress, shows itself with symptoms similar to those of a real heart attack. These symptoms may include heart pain that worsens with each heartbeat; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; and nausea or vomiting.
I went out to do errands. Around lunch-time, I decided to find someplace to eat. I had driven out of my usual neighborhoods and didn’t recognize the mall I pulled into, at least not at first. Then I saw it – the restaurant where we celebrated my son, Shane’s last birthday – the one two days before the date of his death.
The pain hit hard and fast – right in my chest. I felt paralyzed. My hands gripped the steering wheel. I couldn’t move them to rummage around in my purse and find my cell phone. Movement of any kind hurt too much. I couldn’t even roll down my window and yell, “Help.” I’d rate the pain as a ten on the pain scale from one to ten.
For just over one hour I sat in the same position, leaning forward, clutching the steering wheel, stopped in my tracks by this pain in my heart. Then slowly the debilitating pain began to subside. I
didn’t get out of the car; I went home instead. A week later I went to my doctor. (This was before the identification of Broken Heart Syndrome as an actual physical illness.) The doctors made me stay overnight.
The diagnosis? “It’s the strangest thing,” the doctors said. “For all purposes, it looks like you had a myocardial infarction (heart attack). But then, it also doesn’t appear as though you actually suffered from a heart attack. It left the doctors scratching their heads but I’d known from the minute – the second – the nurse at the Emergency Room asked me if I had someone I could call after Shane’s
accident that his death had broken my heart.
Don’t rely on self-diagnosis. If your heart hurts, get a checkup.
Then, when your body stabilizes – which it will – you can get on with the business of Starting Over Again (SOA). One idea that may be helpful: although it feels like you’re starting over again, is remembering you’re not really starting over. Life is a continuum. You’re either jolted or sliding into the next experience. You’re moving on.
Here are a few tips for those of you in that uncomfortable place of SOA when you thought the last time you started over would be the last, only to find yourself SOA.
- Let yourself grieve your loss or losses. You don’t need to be so stoic. Give yourself room to be human. What you’re going through may be extremely difficult and it may hurt. But you will get through it.
- Remind yourself that what you’re going through won’t last forever. If you have to leave post-it notes around the house, then do it. Remember other times you’ve started over, and how you got through those experiences? Draw on what you learned, including that you did survive that devastating time.
- Give yourself time to cocoon. No, you’re not isolating. You’re resting, giving your body a chance to adapt to this sudden change.
- Tell your story as often as you need to, and tell it to people who will listen and care. While some people may accuse us of obsessiveness, telling our story over and over is an important way we integrate the unthinkable into our life story.
- Set goals. In the beginning, start by writing a list of what you want or need to accomplish just that day. Take life in small chunks. After some time passes, begin writing goal lists that go further into the future. For now, while you’re in shock, a list for today is enough.
- Be kind to yourself. There may be days when all you accomplish is getting out of bed and taking a shower. Instead of focusing on how little you did, tell yourself you did great – because you did.
- Slowly, as new people and interests come into your life, be willing to say “yes” to opportunities. I never fail to be amazed at how either a person or an interest that I think is just a “time killer” slowly becomes a major part of my new life.
- If you need help, ask.
- If you need to cry or get angry, cry or get angry. You may even be furious with your Higher Power. That’s okay. You’ll work it out further down the road.
- Know there is no one right way to start over. We have tools, not rules. Now is the time to dig into your toolbox and use what you’ve been given: living in the present moment; prayer; meditation; exercise (when your body can handle it); detachment (which involves feeling all your emotions); and sometimes Acting As If. Know that if the emotions become too intense, you can shut them down for a while without going into denial. Something as simple as taking a shower, going into another room, or going to the grocery store can help you stop falling deeper into what may feel like a bottomless pit of pain.
Although I said there aren’t any rules, I lied. There are three: don’t let anyone hurt you; don’t hurt anyone else; and don’t hurt yourself.
You will get through this – I promise. It might not happen as quickly as you want it to or it may happen so quickly it surprises you. But one morning you’ll wake up and find yourself living in a new normal instead of waking up to a blast of pain from what you’ve lost. Instead, your new life will be there, fully formed. You’ll be living it.
You’ve done it. You started over again, whether you wanted to or not. Now the next time you need to start over, you’ll be more prepared.
- Broken Heart Syndrome (Stress Cardiomyopathy) Symptoms, Causes, Treatments (webmd.com)
- ‘Broken heart syndrome’ protects the heart from adrenaline overload (medicalxpress.com)
- Research suggests “broken heart syndrome” protects heart from adrenaline overload (gizmag.com)
- Sadness (toddlohenry.com)
- It’s official! Fear can actually kill you (news.bioscholar.com)