Wednesday, November 6

Freedom From Other People's Judgment, Revisited 11/6/13

   I'm bumping this up, originally written 10/14/11
"I have been young, and now I am old; yet have I not
seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging bread."
  Psalms 37:25
“When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her
 humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward
    gratitude."     Elie Wiesel
        How are you? I'll get to today's subject in just a minute, after today's gratitudes.  But first...........
A Provision Perspective that Promotes Peace 
     In this weak economy many are anxious about their financial security. I realize that neither my income nor my job are the source of my provision:
God is.  It's comforting resting in the Big Picture:
      Worry and anxiety reveal my focus is on the future and I have problem with trust.  Resentment and bitterness reveal my focus is on the past and I have difficulty with forgiveness.  In each case I'm not living in the present moment, which is all I have.

       What can I do now, in the next fifteen minutes?  Placing my focus there prevents me from catastrophizing.

My Gratitudes for Friday:
1. I'm thankful for God's provision.
2. I had a wonderful time with a client today.
       I'm happy to see he's open to steps that help him move beyond the trauma he experienced in childhood. I appreciate his openness to take suggestions that allow him to move forward and thrive, despite the weight of ancient emotions.
3. I'm resting more. I appreciate the ease I enjoy in my new home.
4. I'll spend time with my sons this weekend.  I look forward to us racing go karts and hanging out together.

Freedom From Other People's Judgments
      I'm happy that I'm not as co-dependent as I was.  Someone this week wanted information from me, they sought me out.  As I replied, she interrupted.  (Don't you hate that, when someone asks you a question and then they don't let you answer?  I'll pause here so you can reply.)

      Her stopping me made me forget my thoughts.  I ended up having nothing to say. This person thought that by being quiet, I'd remember.  I didn't.

      She was disappointed.  My inability to continue talking where I left off was interpreted as being "difficult."  I reminded her that perception isn't reality.  How tragic it is, when we live life, constantly making judgments, like this woman did with me.  We learn that others don't want to be with us, their good will is strained, when we frequently criticize.

       Interpretation is a form of judgment.  I don't like---nor do I do allow---others telling me my motives.  Fortunately, I don't permit others to define who I am or determine my moods.

      I was glad knowing it was her job to get over the disappointment, not mine to make up for it.  That realization reveals how much I've grown.   Detaching with love frees me from co-dependency.

      I have limitations.  Sometimes, I will forget, when startled.  Tonight, that happened.  That's fine, healthy friends accept my vulnerabilities.  Perfectionists, judgmental people, narcissists and emotional bullies don't.

      She was quiet the rest of the night.  I was comfortable with her silence.  Years earlier, I'd have felt responsible to make her feel better.  That's not my job, thank God. I've learned that I want to be responsive to, but not responsible for, the feelings of others.

Healing Codependency

      There's a great organization that helps people overcome co-dependency, Al-Anon Family Groups. No, this is not a nick name for Alcoholics Anonymous.  That program is for problemed drinkers.

       Al-Anon Family Groups is a nonprofit organization for friends, family and co-workers of Alcoholics. Alcoholism affects all who come in contact with it. This program offers principles that teaches us to focus on our needs, behavior and feelings and not just that of others, usually the Alcoholic. It's very easy to have the twin disease of being addicted to unhealthy relationships and losing our life of centeredness.

       We know this is our plight if we are over-sensitive to how others feel.  We are with another person  and they are agitated. We instantly want to placate.  An individual is depressed, we feel it is our job to make them happy or entertain them.  If this is our response, we have diseased thinking and priorities.  We are co-dependent. Don't feel bad if you are.  More than 90% of all people are co-dependent.

       Here are some characteristics, see if you can relate with any of them:
Compliance patterns:
§  I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others' anger.
§  I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
§  I am extremely loyalremaining in harmful situations too long.
§  I value others' opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
§  I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
§  I accept sex and/or sexual attention when I want love.
§  I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
§  I make decisions without regard to the consequences.
§  I give up my truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.
         It wounds my ego, too, whenever I realize I've slipped back into the no-win world of codependency.  I need to remain vigilant, if I want to avoid this tendency that can slide me to despair, resentment and self-loathing.  Placing healthy relational principles over the vulnerable areas in my life---those places where I feel like pleasing others, even if when doing so goes against my boundaries, feelings and needs.

        Again, there's liberation from the tyranny of other people's feelings when we learn are responsive to, but not be responsible for, the feelings of others.  For an encouraging perspective regarding codependency and alternatives to this unhealthy way of living, you can read this.

        I wish you a terrific day, one where you stand in your personal power, recovery and integrity. When you do, you enjoy a fantastic life, filled with healthy friends and fulfillment.
Image: "Cumbria: Langdale Fells and Esk Pass" by Tim Blessed.  All rights reserved. Used by permission.
How About You?
1.  How do you respond when someone lets you know they are disappointed in you?
2.  What do you find is helpful for people to do, if they find themselves in the compliance mode, as defined above.
3. What gratitudes might you have, as a result of this post?
Related Post:
Winning the Grand Prix of Life

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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.