Tuesday, February 23, 2016

warriors in training

Rollins Pond Campground
Saranac Lake, NY - July, 2013
Photo by me
From Pema Chödrön:

Each time we retaliate with aggressive words and actions we are strengthening the habit of anger.

We are warriors in training being taught how to sit with edginess and discomfort. We are being challenged to remain and relax where we are.

Once we click into solid views of justification or blaming, our minds become very small. Closing down in any form causes suffering to escalate.

I like to re-read my self-help books a lot. One of my favourites is Codependent No More by Melanie Beattie. People with loved ones who are alcoholics often feel alone. Responsible. Guilty. Hopeless. Unloved. Out of control. Drowning. Hurt. Shut out. It is so hard to take care of one's self when all you want is to be loved and cared for by the alcoholic. It begins to drive you. You tirelessly seek out what you crave so badly. Sometimes you get a little smidge of attention. I call this the 'dangling carrot.' It's just enough to keep you hanging on for a little longer.

Alcoholics are selfish people who can only think about alcohol and themselves. They say the disease of alcoholism prevents one from feeling any compassion for others. And for so long I thought I was the one causing all the problems. Sure I have some issues but I have worked on them. But we still are not getting anywhere. No improvements, because the alcoholic is all-consumed. My need to control, parent, nag, obsess, etc., is codependency. It’s what I do. I previously believed I was just intensely insecure. I didn’t even realize what was happening at first. The alcoholics in my life made good and sure I knew everything was "my fault." I accepted so much blame for things that were not my fault. I took care of everything, fixed everything, smoothed everything over. That responsibility does not belong to me.
I learned how to stop. It was loving detachment in the name of self-preservation.

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
― Pema Chödrön

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