We can be loving, trusting people and still not allow ourselves to be used or abused. We don’t have to let people do whatever they want to us. Not all requests are legitimate! Not all requests require a yes!
Life may test us. People may seek out our weak spots. We may see a common denominator to the limits that are being tested in our life. If we have a weak spot in one area, we may find ourselves tested repeatedly in that area by family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Life, people, our Higher Power, and the Universe may be trying to teach us something specific.
When we learn that lesson, we will find that problems with that area dwindle. The boundary has been set, the power has been owned. For now, the lesson has been learned. We may need to be angry with certain people for a while, people who have pushed our tolerance over the edge. That’s okay. Soon, we can let go of the anger and exchange it for gratitude. These people have been here to help us learn about what we don’t want, what we won’t tolerate, and how to own our power.
We can thank them for what we have learned.
How much are we willing to tolerate? How far shall we let others go with us? How much of our anger and intuition shall we discount? Where are our limits? Do we have any? If we don’t, we’re in trouble.
There are times to not trust others, but instead trust ourselves and set boundaries with those around us.
Today, I will be open to new awareness about the areas where I need healthier boundaries. I will forego my naive assumption that the other person is always right. I will exchange that view for trusting myself, listening to myself, and having and setting healthy boundaries.
It’s healthy, wise, and loving to be considerate and responsive to the feelings and needs of others. That’s different from caretaking. Caretaking is a self-defeating and, certainly, a relationship-defeating behavior — a behavior that backfires and can cause us to feel resentful and victimized — because ultimately, what we feel, want, and need will come to the surface.
Some people seem to invite emotional caretaking. We can learn to refuse the invitation. We can be concerned; we can be loving, when possible; but we can place value on our own needs and feelings too. Part of recovery means learning to pay attention to, and place importance on, what we feel, want, and need, because we begin to see that there are clear, predictable, and usually undesirable consequences when we don’t.
Be patient and gentle with yourself as you learn to do this. Be understanding with yourself when you slip back into the old behavior of emotional caretaking and self-neglect.
But stop the cycle today. We do not have to feel responsible for others. We do not have to feel guilty about not feeling responsible for others. We can even learn to let ourselves feel good about taking responsibility for our needs and feelings.
Today, I will evaluate whether I’ve slipped into my old behavior of taking responsibility for another’s feelings and needs, while neglecting my own. I will own my power, right, and responsibility to place value on myself.
Learn to let yourself be guided into truth.
We will know what we need to know, when we need to know that. We don’t have to feel badly about taking our own time to reach our insights. We don’t have to force insight or awareness before it’s time.
Yes! Maybe the whole world saw a particular truth in our life, and we denied it — until we were ready to deal with it. That is our business, and our right! Our process is our own, and we will discover our truths at the right time, when we are ready, when the learning experience is complete.
The most growth-producing concept we can develop for ourselves and others is to allow ourselves to have our own process. We can give and receive support and encouragement while we go through this process. We can listen to others and say what we think. We can set boundaries and take care of ourselves, when needed. But we still give ourselves and others the right to grow at our own pace, without judgment, and with much trust that all is well and is on schedule.
When we are ready, when the time is right, and when our Higher Power is ready — we will know what we need to know.
Today, I will let myself and others have our own pace and time schedule for growth and change. I will trust that I will be empowered with insights and the tools for dealing with these insights, at the right time.
Sometimes, there is not enough money to make ends meet, much less afford any luxuries.
People may tell us to do a budget, and we chuckle. The expenses we need to pay for survival surpass the income.
We look at the situation, shake our heads, and say, “No way”
Many of us have had to live through these situations. This is not the time to panic; this is not the time to despair.
Panic and desperation will lead to bad judgment and desperate moves. This is the time to substitute faith for fear. This is the time to trust God to meet our needs.
Take life one day and one need at a time. Use your survival skills positively. Know your possibilities are not limited by the past or by your present circumstances.
Examine any blocks that might be stopping the flow of money in your life. Do you have an attitude, an issue, a lesson that might be yours to change or learn?
Maybe the lesson is a simple one of faith. In Biblical times, it is said that Jesus walked on the water. It is said His followers could, too, but the moment they let fear take over, they sank.
During financial hard times, we can learn to “walk on water” with money issues. If we make out a budget, and there’s not enough money to survive and pay legitimate expenses, do your best, then let go. Trust your Source to supply your needs. If an emergency arises, and there is no cash to meet the need, look beyond your wallet. Look to your source. Claim a Divine supply, an unlimited supply, for all that you need.
Do your part. Strive for an attitude of financial responsibility in thought and action. Ask for Divine Wisdom. Listen to God’s leadings. Then let go of your fears and your need to control.
We know that money is a necessary part of being alive and living; so does our Higher Power.
God, bring any blocks and barriers within me concerning money to the surface. Help me take care of myself financially. If money is tight, I will dispel fear and learn to “walk on water” concerning finance issues. I will not use this attitude to justify irresponsibility. I will do my part, including letting go of fear and trusting you to do the rest.
Surrender to the pain. Then learn to surrender to the good. It’s there and more is on the way.
— Beyond Codependency
Our goal in recovery is to make ourselves feel comfortable, peaceful, content. Happy. We want to be at peace with ourselves and our environment. Sometimes, to do that, we need to be willing to face, feel, and get through discomfort.
I am not talking here about being addicted to misery and pain. I am not talking about creating unnecessary pain. I’m talking about the legitimate discomfort we sometimes need to feel as we heal.
When we have surgery, the pain hurts most the day after the operation. When we do the kind of work we are facing in recovery, we are doing an emotional, mental, and spiritual surgery on ourselves. We’re removing parts of us that are infected and inflamed.
Sometimes the process hurts.
We are strong enough to survive discomfort and temporary feelings of emotional pain. Once we are willing to face and feel our discomfort and pain, we are almost to the point of release.
Today, I am willing to face my discomfort, trusting that healing and release are on the other side. Help me, God, be open to feeling whatever I need to feel to be healed and healthy. While I am doing this, I will trust I am cared for and protected by myself, my friends, my Higher Power, and the Universe.
There are many paths to self-care with families. Some people choose to sever connections with family members for a period of time. Some people choose to stay connected with family members and learn different behaviors. Some disconnect for a time, then return slowly on a different basis.
There is no one or perfect way to deal with members of our family in recovery. It is up to each of us to choose a path that suits us and our needs at each point in time.
The idea that is new to us in recovery is that we can choose. We can set the boundaries we need to set with family members. We can choose a path that works for us, without guilt and obligation or undue influence from any source, including recovery professionals.
Our goal is to detach in love with family members. Our goal is to be able to take care of ourselves, love ourselves, and live healthy lives despite what family members do or don’t do. We decide what boundaries or decisions are necessary to do this.
It’s okay to say no to our families when that is what we want. It’s okay to say yes to our families if that feels right. It’s okay to call time-out and it’s okay to go back as a different person.
God, help me choose the path that is right for me with family. Help me understand there is no right or wrong in this process. Help me strive for forgiveness and learn to detach with love, whenever possible. I understand that this never implies that I have to forfeit self-care and health for the good of the system.
|Be Who You Are October 1|
In recovery, we’re learning a new behavior. It’s called Be Who You Are.
For some of us, this can be frightening. What would happen if we felt what we felt, said what we wanted, became firm about our beliefs, and valued what we needed? What would happen if we let go of our camouflage of adaptation? What would happen if we owned our power to be ourselves?
Would people still like us? Would they go away? Would they become angry?
There comes a time when we become willing and ready to take that risk. To continue growing, and living with ourselves, we realize we must liberate ourselves. It becomes time to stop allowing ourselves to be so controlled by others and their expectations and be true to ourselves — regardless of the reaction of others.
Before long, we begin to understand. Some people may go away, but the relationship would have ended anyway. Some people stay and love and respect us more for taking the risk of being who we are. We begin to achieve intimacy, and relationships that work.
We discover that who we are has always been good enough. It is who we were intended to be.
Today, I will own my power to be myself.
|Not a Victim September 30|
You are not a victim.
How deeply ingrained our self-image as a victim can be! How habitual our feelings of misery and helplessness! Victimization can be like a gray cloak that surrounds us, both attracting that which will victimize us and causing us to generate the feelings of victimization.
Victimization can be so habitual that we may feel victimized even by the good things that happen to us!
Got a new car? Yes, we sigh, but it doesn’t run as well as I expected, and after all, it cost so much ….
You’ve got such a nice family! Yes, we sigh, but there are problems. And we’ve had such hard times….
Well, your career certainly is going well! Ah, we sigh, but there is such a price to pay for success. All that extra paperwork….
I have learned that, if we set our mind to it, we have an incredible, almost awesome ability to find misery in any situation, even the most wonderful of circumstances.
Shoulders bent, head down, we shuffle through life taking our blows.
Be done with it. Take off the gray cloak of despair, negativity, and victimization. Hurl it; let it blow away in the wind.
We are not victims. We may have been victimized. We may have allowed ourselves to be victimized. We may have sought out, created, or re-created situations that victimized us. But we are not victims.
We can stand in our power. We do not have to allow ourselves to be victimized. We do not have to let others victimize us. We do not have to seek out misery in either the most miserable or the best situations.
We are free to stand in the glow of self-responsibility. Set a boundary! Deal with the anger! Tell someone no, or stop that! Walk away from a relationship! Ask for what you
need! Make choices and take responsibility for them. Explore options. Give yourself what you need! Stand up straight, head up, and claim your power. Claim responsibility for yourself!
And learn to enjoy what’s good.
Today, I will refuse to think, talk, speak, or act like a victim. Instead, I will joyfully claim responsibility for myself and focus on what’s good and right in my life.
We cannot afford to allow our focus in life to be money. That will not lead us into the abundance were seeking. Usually, it will not even lead to financial stability.
Money is important. We deserve to be paid what we’re worth. We will be paid what we’re worth when we believe we deserve to be. But often our plans fail when our primary consideration is money.
What do we really want to do? What do we feel led to do? What are our instincts telling us? What do we feel guided to do? What are we excited about doing? Seek to find a way to do that, without worrying about the money.
Consider the financial aspects. Set boundaries about what you need to be paid. Be reasonable. Expect to start at the bottom, and work up. But if you feel led toward a job, go for it.
Is there something we truly don’t want to do, something that goes against our grain, but we are trying to force ourselves into it “for the money”? Usually, that’s a behavior that backfires. It doesn’t work. We make ourselves miserable, and the money usually goes wrong too.
I have learned that when I am true to myself about work and what I need to be doing, the money will follow. Sometimes it’s not as much as I want; sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised, and it’s more. But I’m content, and I have enough.
Money is a consideration, but it cannot be our primary consideration if we are seeking spiritual security and peace of mind.
Today, I will make money a consideration, but I will not allow it to become my primary consideration. God, help me be true to myself and trust that the money will follow.
Here are some of my favorite prayers:
Help. Please. Don’t.
Show me. Guide me. Change me.
Are you there?
Why’d you do that?
Today, I will tell Cod what I want to tell God, and listen for God’s answer. I will remember that I can trust God.