I spent a year trying to prove to my husband how much his drinking was hurting me. When I began to recover, I realized I was the one who needed to realize how much his drinking was hurting me.
I spent months trying to prove to a man I was dating how responsible and healthy I was. Then I realized what I was doing. He didn’t need to realize how responsible and healthy I was. I did.
Trying to prove how good we are, trying to prove we’re good enough, trying to show someone how much he or she has hurt us, trying to show someone we’re understanding, are warning signs that we may be into our self-defeating behaviors.
They can be an indication that we are trying to control someone. They can be an indication that we are not believing how good we are, that we’re good enough, that someone is hurting us.
They can be a warning that we’ve allowed ourselves to get hooked into a dysfunctional system. They may indicate that we’re stuck in that cloudy fog of denial or doing something that is not good for us.
Trying excessively to make a point with another may mean that we have not yet made that point with ourselves. Once we make that point with ourselves, once we understand, we will know what to do.
The issue is not about others understanding and taking us seriously. The issue is not about others believing we’re good and good enough. The issue is not about others seeing and believing how responsible or loving or competent we are.
The issue is not about whether others realize how deeply we are feeling a particular feeling. We are the ones who need to see the light.
Today, God, help me let go of my need to control outcomes by influencing the beliefs of others. I will concentrate on accepting myself rather than trying to prove something about myself. If I catch myself in the codependent trap of trying to emphasize something about myself to another, I will ask myself if I need to convince myself of that point.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
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