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 will we become lovable? When will we feel safe? When will we get all the protection, nurturing, and love we so richly deserve? We will get it when we begin giving it to ourselves.”Beyond Codependency
The idea of giving ourselves what we want and need can be confusing, especially if we have spent many years not knowing that it’s okay to take care of ourselves. Taking our energy and focus off others and their responsibilities and placing that energy onto ourselves and our responsibilities is a recovery behavior that can be acquired. We learn it by daily practice.
We begin by relaxing, by breathing deeply, and letting go of our fears enough to feel as peaceful as we can. Then, we ask ourselves: What do I need to do to take care of myself today, or for this moment?
What do I need and want to do? What would demonstrate love and self-responsibility?
Am I caught up in the belief that others are responsible for making me happy, responsible for me? Then the first thing I need to do is correct my belief system. I am responsible for myself.
Do I feel anxious and concerned about a responsibility I’ve been neglecting? Then perhaps I need to let go of my fears and tend to that responsibility.
Do I feel overwhelmed, out of control? Maybe I need to journey back to the first of the Twelve Steps.
Have I been working too hard? Maybe what I need to do is take some time off and do something fun.
Have I been neglecting my work or daily tasks? Then maybe what I need to do is get back to my routine.
There is no recipe, no formula, no guidebook for self-care. We each have a guide, and that guide is within us. We need to ask the question: What do I need to do to take living responsible care of myself? Then, we need to listen to the answer. Self-care is not that difficult. The most challenging part is trusting the answer, and having the courage to follow.
- Owning Our Power (toddlohenry.com)
- What If? (toddlohenry.com)
- Combating Shame (toddlohenry.com)
- Family Buttons (toddlohenry.com)
- Letting Go (toddlohenry.com)
- Boundaries (toddlohenry.com)
- Recognizing Choices (toddlohenry.com)
- MELODY BEATTIE: Taking Care of Herself (time.com)
“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!.
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.
“We often refer to recovery from codependency and adult child issues as “self-care.” Self-care is not, as some may think, a spin-off of the “me generation.” It isn’t self-indulgence. It isn’t selfishness—in the negative interpretation of that word. We’re learning to take care of ourselves, instead of obsessively focusing on another person. We’re learning self-responsibility, instead of feeling excessively responsible for others. Self-care also means tending to our true responsibilities to others; we do this better when we’re not feeling overly responsible. Self-care sometimes means, “me first,” but usually, “me too.” It means we are responsible for ourselves and can choose to no longer be victims. Self-care means learning to love the person we’re responsible for taking care of—ourselves. We do not do this to hibernate in a cocoon of isolation and self-indulgence; we do it so we can better love others, and learn to let them love us. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s self-esteem. Today, God, help me love myself. Help me let go of feeling excessively responsible for those around me. Show me what what I need to do to take care of myself and be appropriately responsible to others.”
Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (pp. 105-106). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.
Feel free today to take care of yourself…
- You are Responsible for You (toddlohenry.com)
- Go easy (toddlohenry.com)
- On taking care of your self… (toddlohenry.com)
- Owning our Power (toddlohenry.com)
- Thursday Quote – Melody Beattie (elizaggie.wordpress.com)
C. M. MacNeil shares this from Melody Beattie…
Our most important focus during times of stress is taking care of ourselves. We are better able to cope with the most irregular circumstances; we are better able to be there for others if we’re caring for ourselves. We can ask ourselves regularly: What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? What might help us feel better or more comfortable?
Self-care may not come as easily during times of stress. Self-neglect may feel more comfortable. But taking care of us always works.
Today, I will remember that there is no situation that can’t be benefited by taking care of myself.
- Owning our Power (toddlohenry.com)
- Coping devices (toddlohenry.com)
- Go easy (toddlohenry.com)
- Anger at Family Members? (toddlohenry.com)
- You have the power (toddlohenry.com)
More Melody Beattie for those who can benefit from it…
We often refer to recovery from codependency and adult child issues as “self-care.” Self-care is not, as some may think, a spin-off of the “me generation.” It isn’t self-indulgence. It isn’t selfishness — in the negative interpretation of that word.
We’re learning to take care of ourselves, instead of obsessively focusing on another person. We’re learning self-responsibility, instead of feeling excessively responsible for others. Self-care also means tending to our true responsibilities to others; we do this better when we’re not feeling overly responsible.
Self-care sometimes means, “me first,” but usually, “me too.” It means we are responsible for ourselves and can choose to no longer be victims.
Self-care means learning to love the person we’re responsible for taking care of — ourselves. We do not do this to hibernate in a cocoon of isolation and self-indulgence; we do it so we can better love others, and learn to let them love us.
Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s self-esteem.
Today, God, help me love myself. Help me let go of feeling excessively responsible for those around me. Show me what I need to do to take care of myself and be appropriately responsible to others.
Take care of your self today!
We need to make a distinction between powerlessness and owning our power. The first step in recovery is accepting powerlessness. There are some things we can’t do, no matter how long or hard we try. These things include changing other people, solving their problems, and controlling their behavior. Sometimes, we feel powerless over ourselves—what we feel or believe, or the effects of a particular situation or person on us. It’s important to surrender to powerlessness, but it’s equally important to own our power. We aren’t trapped. We aren’t helpless. Sometimes it may feel like we are, but we aren’t. We each have the God-given power, and the right, to take care of ourselves in any circumstance, and with any person. The middle ground of self-care lies between the two extremes of controlling others and allowing them to control us. We can walk that ground gently or assertively, but in confidence that it is our right and responsibility. Let the power come to walk that path. Today, I will remember that I can take care of myself. I have choices, and I can exercise the options I choose without guilt.
Beattie, Melody (2009-12-15). The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series) (p. 37). Hazelden. Kindle Edition.
- Expectations of others (toddlohenry.com)
- Strategies for dealing with family drama… (toddlohenry.com)
- Needs and boundaries (toddlohenry.com)