Saturday, August 20

Gentleness Towards Self=Enjoying Life More Fully

    I'm still awake.

    It's 2:05 in the morning.  Why am I alert?  I ran eight miles this evening.  I am ener-gized by the exertion and in a good mood, too.

     I have not posted a list of gratitudes in a long while.  Here they are:

1.  For the growing patience I have towards myself.  I am already patient with me.Recov-ery reveals the value of being even more gentle towards my-self.

      As I continue to not let worldly de-mands distract me from my interests, and focus on meet-ing my needs, I am growing in the kind-ness and patience I have towards myself.
"Condemning my imperfections has never enhanced my appreciation of life or helped me to love myself more."       Courage to Change, p. 19
     The benefits?   My heart rate is slower.  I'm smiling more.  Slowing down my thoughts when they want to race allows me to stay in the moment, to be present. It helps me enjoy greater peace of mind and serenity.

2.  For discipline.

      I witness con-stant reminders, every week, from clients who suffer because their desire to get better is weak-er than my desire to help them.  The re-sults?  Their life becomes difficult, they endure chaos.  I will not do for others what they need to do for themselves.

      This is not being unkind.  It means I am not codependent.  I do not cosign for the liabilities of others.  It also means I keep my sanity by adhering to boundaries.
      Rescuing people is not letting others experience the natu-ral consequences of their unacceptable behavior.  It is bail-ing them out when they live by inade-quate, immature, lazy, or false beliefs.

3.  For pushing my body with exercise.

      It's fun.  Invigorating.  When I run, I recall the joy I had as a young man, when I ran cross country and track.  I have run 42 miles (67.59 km) this week.

      Today, I ran one-way 3.5 miles in hilly country that surrounds Lake Chabot.  That is when I hit a hill that went up for .7 of a mile at a steep
incline, thirty degrees.  Then I backtracked, completing 8.4 miles (13.52 km) altogether.   The last 30 minutes was trav-eled in complete darkness.  I ran 38 hills in the process, according to my Fitbit device.

      Tonight, I stumbled upon six deer while running.Thank-fully, I bought a headband that has a light.  I was like a coal miner as I ran, my path lit before me, attracting plenty of moths.  I ate only a few while gasping for breath.

       Now, five hours later, I don't feel sore.

4.    I was honest with what I thought were friends.  I dis-covered their true nature.  They cor-rected and gave advice I did not ask for. Their comments where based on in-terpretations of what I said, what they read into what I said.  Their conclusions were not accurate.  I let them know that I need safety when relating with them. That means being free of their judgments.

      It appears they have difficulty being transparent, authentic, when communicating.  I may be wrong, but that is what it looks like.  If we want depth in relationships, there is a need for being real.

      Regarding their response to me, I choose love.  I decided to separ-ate from these advice-giving friends for awhile.  That's taking care of me.

5.  I am thankful for helpful values that guide me.  They prevent me from being externally referented.  For which I am very grateful.

How About You? 
What are your three gratitudes for today? 

Saturday, August 13

Greater Serenity For the Innkeeper............ 8/13/16

       It feels good bathing in serenity.  It does.

       It is the result of be-ing liberated from a per-son crazed by his inter-pretations, his assump-tions.  I no longer relate with a man who has a hy-per need to control.   After seeing a thera-pist for more than twenty years--not with me ---he is the worse for emo-tional wear.

       Why?  Beause he needs humility.  Only his conclusions are correct.  I prefer Goethe's perspective, "An admission of error is a sign of strength, rather than weakness."

       It would do him well to be teachable.

       However, he is not open to other points of view.  Life is only as he sees it.   For him, there are no other possibilities.  Misguided in this way, there's scant hope of him having healthy relationships.  His controlling nature prevents any other outcome.

Does this sound like anyone you know?
       He's a well-practiced player of the victim card. He avoids looking at his part in whatever dif-ficulties he encount-ers.

      The person who plays the Poor Me Victim role always places the blame on the other person.  This indi-vidual will feel wronged, but righteous.  The person I was relating with can wear false righteousness all he wants.

       But his life will continue as it is.  Miserable, full of rage.  He was an angry person before I ever met him.

       Poor fellow.  The odd thing is he harms himself.  He be-lieves the aggressive, distorted perceptions created by his active and insecure imagination.  Doing so only continues his unhappy and bitter outlook on life.  Where is the growth in that?

        Let's start from the beginning, when this drama first unfolded.

        The other day while attending an Al-Anon Family Group meeting, I read from this organ-ization's literature.  The book was One Day At A Time.  It has helped millions over the past forty-four years since it was published to overcome passivity, misery and code-pendency.

         This fellow got angry because of the page read during the meet-ing.

          He cornered me after the event.  "I am vulnerable," he said.   "I saw you pull out that book while I was sharing.  Obviously, you were thinking of me when you read that page."

         Not true.  Everything that happens in the world is not about him.  At the moment that is hard for him to believe.  I thought about shar-ing this page with the group earlier in the day.  I plan on reading it at another meeting I attend in Berkeley.

        "I feel you were judging me, saying something about me, with what you read," he continued.  He wanted to make me respon-sible for his feelings.  I am not.  That's his property.  More about that in a second.  The irony of his comment struck me im-mediately.

          We are present when we listen not to respond but to understand.  We can hear this way only when we stay in the here and now, not triggered by our baggage and assumptions.

         "You are using assumptions, not facts, to judge me.  You are doing the very thing you are accusing me of doing," I said.

          "You are a good arguer," he replied.

           Wow.  More about this interaction in a moment.

           That's when I knew to stop the conversation.   An Unsafe Person cannot see when they are wrong.

           He didn't like what the book said on page 75, the page shared with others at the meeting.  It men-tioned that continu-ally complaining about our problems doesn't do us any good.  That doing so "Is not working the Al-Anon pro-gram."  The book was written by the co-founder of Al-Anon Family Groups, Ann B.

         Here is where it gets tricky.  We are not responsible for the feelings of others.  No one can make us happy, sad, angry or have any other feelings without us first giving them permis-sion to do so.  (Paths to Recovery, p.13.)

          Our feelings are our property.  Other people's feelings are theirs.  We are not to walk on eggshells when relating with insecure, codependent people. Their fertile negative assumptions could find fault with anything we do.  You name it, even if we were to look at them crossed-eyed.

         We do not want to be anxious how others may understand our comments.  Nor fearful we may offend those who are insecure and defensive.  Worrying in this way is co-dependency, preventing us from truly feeling what we feel and in tune with what we want.   

         Instead, it is better, be re-sponsive to, but not take responsi-bility for the feel-ings of others. People at times will be disappointed in us. That's okay.  That does not devalue who we are.  People will not always get what they want. Or hear what they want.  It is their job---not ours---to han-dle the disappoint-ment.

          Back to the drama I had the other day.......

          The fellow angry with me said, "You are not showing compassion.   I don't want to have anything to do with you."   And he walked away.

         This was a form of aggressive and emotional control.  An ineffective move on his part.  Why?  Because I am not externally refer-ented.  (Click here also, for more information.)

          I stay in the here and now;  I enjoy life more fully by being pre-sent.   Some people brighten a room by leaving it.  He is one of them.  I have not seen him since.

          And my serenity has increased. 

Tuesday, August 2

Guarding Our Emotional Sobriety 8/2/16

         I'm getting stronger. 

      Emotional dust storms hap-pened this week, while relating with others.  That is when the fun began.  I'm  not saying this because I like drama.  Far from it.

Friday, July 29

No Cat and Mouse for the Innkeeper 7/29/16

          I was pre-sent.

          No, I don't mean the opposite of being absent.  I mean I was con-scious and aware while relating with someone.  Not only did we visit when we saw each other that Tuesday night, but

Sunday, July 24

Beyond Codependency, Moving Beyond Getting Triggered 7/24/16

      Innkeeper's Note:  The following has been on a hot streak.  It remains the second most read post this month.  Guests found it in the archives, reading it thousand times.  Here it is:

     I'm thankful for peace of mind. It happens when relating with healthy people.  Calmness takes place when avoiding those who are not.

     I was reminded of this second point recently, at a restaurant. I witnessed a toxic parent in his thirties. He raised the hackles on the back of my neck.  And made my heart pound, like it hasn't, in years.

     Dark emotions from long

Saturday, July 23

Checking In. Happy I Don't Make Assumptions....... 7/23/16

     I know.

     I haven't been around much.  Even so, an average of nine hundred+ guests a day drop by.  All this taking place during this month related to the great-est of all

Wednesday, July 13

Reflections During a Difficult Time 7/13/16

      Tragedy struck the United States.

      Taking place in several states last week.  African Amer-icans killed by police. Five police officers had their lives cut

Saturday, July 9

Creating a Better Today, Especially When Struggling, Revisited .............. 7/6/16

       Beyond pretense.

      A friend of sever-al decades-----a Bal-cony Person of mine, and I lunched.  This was our topic. The growth enjoyed when  facing  vulnerabili-ties. We talked about overcoming our weaknesses by re-placing them with

Wednesday, June 29

Balcony People: We Need Them To Survive Difficult Times.............. 6/29/16

Two are better than one, for they have a rich reward 
for their labor if one falls, he has another to lift him 
up.  But woe to him that is alone when he falls, for 
has not another to lift him up. Eccles., 4:9-12
Balcony People Prevent Us From Falling

Innkeeper's Note:  This post is speed-ing upwards along the sidebar to your right.  It was written nearly four years ago.  You may not have been around, then.  I am re-post-

Wednesday, June 22

An Antidote To The Frenzy of Modern Day Living........ 6/22/16

     Here I am.

     In a matter of time, you'll notice improvements here. In the meantime, I'm behind the scenes, making adjustments.  I am developing, en-hancing, my practice.  Also what I will offer at this site.

      I want this inn to

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.