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.

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.

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

Boundaries

Fence
Good fences make good neighbors…

Melody Beattie writes:

“Having boundaries doesn’t complicate life; boundaries simplify life.” Beyond Codependency.

There is a positive aspect to boundary setting. We learn to listen to ourselves and identify what hurt us and what we don’t like. But we also learn to identify what feels good.

When we are willing to take some risks and begin actively doing so, we will enhance the quality of our life.

What do we like? What feels good? What brings us pleasure? Whose company do we enjoy? What helps us to feel good in the morning? What’s a real treat in our life? What are the small, daily activities that make us feel nurtured and cared for?

What appeals to our emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical self? What actually feels good to us?

We have deprived ourselves too long. There is no need to do that anymore, no need. If it feels good, and the consequences are self-loving and not self-defeating, do it!

Today, I will do for myself those little things that make life more pleasurable. I will not deny myself healthy treats.” via Thought for the Day.

Surrender

 

Melody Beattie writes:

Master the lessons of your present circumstances.
We do not move forward by resisting what is undesirable in our life today. We move forward, we grow, we change by acceptance.
Avoidance is not the key; surrender opens the door.
Listen to this truth: We are each in our present circumstances for a reason. There is a lesson, a valuable lesson that must be learned before we can move forward.
Something important is being worked out in us, and in those around us. We may not be able to identify it today; but we can know that it is important. We can know it is good.
Overcome not by force, overcome by surrender. The battle is fought, and won, inside ourselves. We must go through it until we learn, until we accept, until we become grateful, until we are set free.
Today, I will be open to the lessons of my present circumstances. I do not have to label, know, or understand what I’m learning; I will see clearly in time. For today, trust and gratitude are sufficient.

Source: Language of Letting Go – June 17 – Surrender – SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Maybe I should change the name of this blog to The Daily Beattie?! :-D

Surrender

Melody Beattie writes:

Master the lessons of your present circumstances.
We do not move forward by resisting what is undesirable in our life today. We move forward, we grow, we change by acceptance.
Avoidance is not the key; surrender opens the door.
Listen to this truth: We are each in our present circumstances for a reason. There is a lesson, a valuable lesson that must be learned before we can move forward.
Something important is being worked out in us, and in those around us. We may not be able to identify it today; but we can know that it is important. We can know it is good.
Overcome not by force, overcome by surrender. The battle is fought, and won, inside ourselves. We must go through it until we learn, until we accept, until we become grateful, until we are set free.
Today, I will be open to the lessons of my present circumstances. I do not have to label, know, or understand what I’m learning; I will see clearly in time. For today, trust and gratitude are sufficient.

Source: Language of Letting Go – June 17 – Surrender – SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Moving Forward

Melody Beattie writes:

Much as we would like, we cannot bring everyone with us on this journey called recovery. We are not being disloyal by allowing ourselves to move forward. We don’t have to wait for those we love to decide to change as well.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to grow, even though the people we love are not ready to change. We may even need to leave people behind in their dysfunction or suffering because we cannot recover for them. We don’t need to suffer with them.
It doesn’t help.
It doesn’t help for us to stay stuck just because someone we love is stuck. The potential for helping others is far greater when we detach, work on ourselves, and stop trying to force others to change with us.
Changing ourselves, allowing ourselves to grow while others seek their own path, is how we have the most beneficial impact on people we love. We’re accountable for ourselves. They’re accountable for themselves. We let them go, and let ourselves grow.

Today, I will affirm that it is my right to grow and change, even though someone I love may not be growing and changing alongside me.

Source: Moving Forward – Language of Letting Go – SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

Responsibility

Melody Beattie writes:

Self care means taking responsibility for ourselves. Taking responsibility for ourselves includes assuming our true responsibilities to others. Sometimes, when we begin recovery, we’re worn down from feeling responsible for so many other people. Learning that we need only take responsibility for ourselves may be such a great relief that, for a time, we disown our responsibilities to others.
The goal in recovery is to find the balance: we take responsibility for ourselves, and we identify our true responsibilities to others.
This may take some sorting through, especially if we have functioned for years on distorted notions about our responsibilities to others. We may be responsible to one person as a friend or as an employee; to another person, we’re responsible as an employer or as a spouse. With each person, we have certain responsibilities. When we tend to those true responsibilities, we’ll find balance in our life.
We are also learning that while others aren’t responsible for us, they are accountable to us in certain ways.
We can learn to discern our true responsibilities for ourselves, and to others. We can allow others to be responsible for themselves and expect them to be appropriately responsible to us.
We’ll need to be gentle with ourselves while we learn.
Today, I will strive for clear thinking about my actual responsibilities to others. I will assume these responsibilities as part of taking care of myself.

Source: Language of Letting Go – June 10 – Responsibility – SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information

For the Next 24 Hours…

Melody Beattie writes:

For the next twenty-four hours…

In recovery, we live life one day at a time, an idea requiring an enormous amount of faith. We refuse to look back—unless healing from the past is part of today’s work. We look ahead only to make plans. We focus on this day’s activity, living it to the best of our ability. If we do that long enough, we’ll have enough connected days of healthy living to make something valuable of our life.

…I pray for knowledge of Your will for me only,…

We surrender to God’s will. We stop trying to control, and we settle for a life that is manageable. We trust our Higher Power’s will for us—that it’s good, generous, and with direction. We’re learning, through trial and error, to separate our will from God’s will. We’re learning that God’s will is not offensive. We’ve learned that sometimes there’s a difference between what others want us to do and God’s will. We’re also learning that God did not intend for us to be codependent, to be martyrs, to control or caretake. We’re learning to trust ourselves.

…and the power to carry that through.

Some of recovery is accepting powerlessness. An important part of recovery is claiming the power to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, we need to do things that are frightening or painful. Sometimes, we need to step out, step back, or step forward. We need to call on the help of a Power greater than ourselves to do that. We will never be called upon to do anything that we won’t be empowered to do.

Today, I can call upon an energizing Power Source to help me. That Power is God. I will ask for what I need.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 122-123). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Affirm Yourself…

Cover of "The Language of Letting Go (Haz...

Melody Beattie writes:

Who or what do you want to become? A good parent? A sober, recovering person? A good girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse? Do you want to become happy, peaceful, tolerant? Don’t wait until you’re successful to tell yourself you’re that. Start now by saying you are what you want to become instead of reinforcing the words I’m not. Yes, you have much to learn. Yes, there’s a ways to go on that path. And you may not be proficient at it, or an expert, yet. But you don’t have to be to say those two little words I am.

Help create the new part of your personality by using and affirming those powerful words I am. Then watch as a new part of yourself emerges.

God, help me use my creative powers to create a better, more fulfill­ing life. Help me use the words I am to create who you and I want me to be…

via April 23: Affirm Yourself | Language of Letting Go.

On being connected…

LOL. ‘Make me one with everything’…

What did the Buddhist monk say to the hot-dog vendor? Can you make me one with everything?

I was buckling my seat belt in the little Cessna one day, get­ting ready for flight training, when my instructor Rob turned to me.

“I just take a second when I strap myself in and tell myself I’m becoming one with the plane as I do,” Rob said. “It really helped me in the beginning when I was nervous and felt so separate from the airplane.”

What a great idea, I thought. That day turned into one of my most comfortable flying sessions. It reminded me of a lesson I had learned a while back.

For most of my life, I felt disconnected from things: from myself, from other people, from life. That feeling of separate­ness haunted me. It explains why I tried so desperately to attach myself codependently to people, places, and things.

Over the years, I began to see that my separateness was an illusion. The same energy, the same life force, that runs through all the universe runs through you and me, too.

We’re connected, whether we know it or not.

Nobody has to make you one with everything. You already are.

Let go of your illusion of separateness.

Connect yourself.

God, help me know my oneness with the world. Help me know how connected I really am so I don’t have to connect in ways that don’t work.

via April 15: Connect Yourself | Language of Letting Go.

Something else I like about Melody Beattie — she’s a pilot, or at least a student pilot…

Choices

Melody Beattie says:

“We have choices, more choices than we let ourselves see. We may feel trapped in our relationships, our jobs, our life. We may feel locked into behaviors — such as caretaking or controlling. Feeling trapped is a symptom of codependency.

When we hear ourselves say, “I have to take care of this person…”, “I have to say yes….” ,”I have to try to control that person…”, “I have to behave this way, think this way, feel this way…” we can know we are choosing not to see choices.

That sense of being trapped is an illusion. We are not controlled by circumstances, our past, the expectations of others or our unhealthy expectations for ourselves. We can choose what feels right for us, without guilt. We have options.

Recovery is not about behaving perfectly or according to anyone else’s rules. More than anything else; recovery is about knowing we have choices and giving ourselves the freedom to choose.” via Inspiration.

Loving Ourselves Unconditionally

More Melody Beattie:

“Love yourself into health and a good life of your own.

Love yourself into relationships that work for you and the other person. Love yourself into peace, happiness, joy, success, and contentment.

Love yourself into all that you always wanted. We can stop treating ourselves the way others treated us, if they behaved in a less than healthy, desirable way. If we have learned to see ourselves critically, conditionally, and in a diminishing and punishing way, it’s time to stop. Other people treated us that way, but it’s even worse to treat ourselves that way now.

Loving ourselves may seem foreign, even foolish at times. People may accuse us of being selfish. We don’t have to believe them.

People who love themselves are truly able to love others and let others love them. People who love themselves and hold themselves in high esteem are those who give the most, contribute the most, and love the most.

How do we love ourselves? By forcing it at first. By faking it, if necessary. By acting as if. By working as hard at loving and liking ourselves as we have at not liking ourselves.

Explore what it means to love yourself.

Do things for yourself that reflect compassionate, nurturing, self love.

Embrace and love all of yourself – past, present, and future. Forgive yourself quickly and as often as necessary. Encourage yourself. Tell yourself good things about yourself.

If we think and believe negative ideas, get them out in the open quickly and honestly, so we can replace those beliefs with better ones.

Pat yourself on the back when necessary. Discipline yourself when necessary. Ask for help, for time; ask for what you need.

Sometimes, give yourself treats. Do not treat yourself like a pack mule, always pushing and driving harder. Learn to be good to yourself. Choose behaviors with preferable consequences – treating yourself well is one.

Learn to stop your pain, even when that means making difficult decisions. Do not unnecessarily deprive yourself. Sometimes, give yourself what you want, just because you want it.

Stop explaining and justifying yourself. When you make mistakes, let them go. We learn, we grow, and we learn some more. And through it all, we love ourselves.

We work at it, and then work at it some more. One day we’ll wake up, look in the mirror, and find that loving ourselves has become habitual. We’re now living with a person who gives and receives love, because that person loves him or herself. Self-love will take hold and become a guiding force in our life.

Today, I will work at loving myself. I will work as hard at loving myself as I have at not liking myself. Help me let go of self-hate and behaviors that reflect not liking myself. Help me replace those with behaviors that reflect self-love. Today, God, help me hold myself in high self-esteem. Help me know I’m lovable and capable of giving and receiving love.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.” via the language of letting go | Tumblr.

Warning! Video: NSFW…

Getting Needs Met

“I want to change careers . . .  I need a friend . . . I’m ready to be in a relationship . . .

Regularly, we become aware of new needs. We may need to change our behavior with our children. We may need a new couch, love and nurturing, a dollar, or help.

Do not be afraid to recognize a want or need. The birth of a want or need, the temporary frustration from acknowledging a need before it’s met, is the start of the cycle of receiving what we want. We follow this by letting go, then receiving that which we want and need. Identifying our needs is preparation for good things to come.

Acknowledging our needs means we are being prepared and drawn to that which will meet them. We can have faith to stand in that place in between.

Today, I will let go of my belief that my needs never get met. I will acknowledge my wants and needs, and then turn them over to my Higher Power. My Higher Power cares, sometimes about the silliest little things, if I do. My wants and needs are not an accident. God created me and all my desires.” via Daily Meditation ~ Getting Needs Met – Miracles In Progress Codependents Anonymous Group.

Perfection?

Another great perspective from Melody Beattie…

Melody Beattie

…on Taking One Day at a Time

More Melody Beattie…

“My best friend was going through some tough situations in her life. I was in the midst of a hard stretch too. We didn’t particularly like the things we had to do in our lives. We talked about our feelings and decided that what we were going through was necessary and important, even though we didn’t like it.We expressed gratitude for our lives.

“It’s still a dreadful time,” I said.

“Brutal,” she said. “I guess we’re back to the old one­ day-at-a-time approach. We’re so lucky. What do people do that haven’t learned that gem?”

There are times when we can look at the stretch ahead and like what we see. Taking life one day at a time is still a good idea, even when things are going well.

Taking life one day at a time can be particularly use­ful when the road ahead looks dreadful. We may not even know where to start with some challenges. That’s when taking life one day at a time is essential.

“I’ve been using alcohol and other drugs every day since I’ve been twelve years old,” I said to my counselor years ago in treatment. “Now you’re telling me I need to stay sober the rest of my life. Plus get a job. And a life. How am I going to do that?”

“One day at a time,” she said. She was right. Sometimes I had to take life one minute at a time or one hour at a time. And all these years later, it still works.

Value: Taking life one day at a time is the gem we’ll focus on this week.” via May 8.

Fear & Codependency

“Fear is at the core of codependency. It can motivate us to control situations or neglect ourselves. Many of us have been afraid for so long that we don’t label our feelings fear. We’re used to feeling upset and anxious. It feels normal. Peace and serenity may be uncomfortable. At one time, fear may have been appropriate and useful. We may have relied on fear to protect ourselves, much the way soldiers in a war rely on fear to help them survive. But now, in recovery, we’re living life differently. It’s time to thank our old fears for helping us survive, then wave good-bye to them. Welcome peace, trust, acceptance, and safety. We don’t need that much fear anymore. We can listen to our healthy fears, and let go of the rest. We can create a feeling of safety for ourselves, now. We are safe, now. We’ve made a commitment to take care of ourselves. We can trust and love ourselves.

God, help me let go of my need to be afraid. Replace it with a need to be at peace. Help me listen to my healthy fears and relinquish the rest.Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 127). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

…on feeling good

Todd Lohenry, e1evation, llc, Personal Digital Coaching, 'personal news aggregation'“Make yourself feel good. It’s our job to first make ourselves feel better and then make ourselves feel good. Recovery is not only about stopping painful feelings; it is about creating a good life for ourselves. We don’t have to deny ourselves activities that help us feel good. Going to meetings, basking in the sun, exercising, taking a walk, or spending time with a friend are activities that may help us feel good. We each have our list. If we don’t, we’re now free to explore, experiment, and develop that list. When we find a behavior or activity that produces a good feeling, put it on the list. Then, do it frequently. Let’s stop denying ourselves good feelings and start doing things that make us feel good. Today, I will do one activity or behavior that I know will create a good feeling for me. If I’m uncertain about what I like, I will experiment with one behavior today.” via Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 126). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.

Today I’ll be working hard on making myself feel good even though my wife is far away and I miss her terribly. What ‘feel good challenge will you over come today?

…on Control

Melody Beattie has a good reminder I needed to hear this morning…

“Control is an illusion, especially the kind of control we’ve been trying to exert. In fact, controlling gives other people, events, and diseases, such as alcoholism, control over us. Whatever we try to control does have control over us and our life. I have given this control to many things and people in my life. I have never gotten the results I wanted from controlling or trying to control people. What I received for my efforts is an unmanageable life, whether that unmanageability was inside me or in external events. In recovery, we make a trade-off. We trade a life that we have tried to control, and we receive in return something better—a life that is manageable. Today, I will exchange a controlled life for one that is manageable.

Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 125-126). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.”

…on Making Yourself Do Uncomfortable Things!

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life...

“Many of us do not understand what we are responsible for and what we are not responsible for. We may believe we have to get into a tizzy when someone has a problem because it is our responsibility to do that. However, at the heart of most rescues is a demon: low self-worth. We rescue because we don’t feel good about ourselves.. caretaking provides us with a temporary hit of good feelings, self-worth, and power. Just as a drink helps an alcoholic momentarily feel better, a rescue move momentarily distracts us from the pain of being who we are. We don’t feel loveable, so we settle for being needed. We don’t feel good about ourselves, so we feel compelled to do a particular thing to prove how good we are.” ~ Melody Beattie via Today’s Quotes: What Joy!? Make Yourself Do Uncomfortable Things!.

You Are a Work of Art

Melody Beattie shares this today….

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is our life. ~ M. C. Richards

What you do is not who you are.

You are more, much more, than that.

It’s easy to get so caught up in what we do that we’re only identifying ourselves through our daily tasks. I am a me­chanic. I am a parking lot attendant. I am a doctor. I am a dishwasher. When we link ourselves too closely to our jobs, we deny ourselves the chance to ever be anything else. We limit ourselves by believing that’s all we are and all we’ll ever be.

Our concept of who we are is one of the hardest, but most rewarding, ideas we can change. If you have been brought up believing that you are clumsy, you will probably demon­strate this belief in your actions—until you identify that idea, let go of it, and let yourself be something else.

Don’t limit yourself by saying you are just what you do. Stop seeing yourself as a static being. If I am “just” a parking lot attendant, then how can I hope to ever influence someone through my words, my art, my music, my life? But if I am a vital, living, growing soul who happens to be parking people’s cars, then everything I do can become a symphony. I can have an influence for good in the lives of everyone I touch. I can learn from them, and they from me. I can learn the lessons that I am supposed to learn at this place in my life, and I can move on to other lessons.

God gave us the power to change. You’re more than what you do. You’re a vital vibrant soul that came here to experi­ence, grow, and change. Make a masterpiece out of your life.

God, help me realize the glory of my soul. Thank you for my mor­tality and for the ability to learn and grow.

Source: April 24: You are a Work of Art | Language of Letting Go

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