Friday, October 31

Untangled From the Tentacles of Guilt and Codependency 10/31/14

1.  Fear of abandon-ment. We covered this in link above.
2.  Defensive hope.  A big problem.  It is a fantasy-induced way of living.
3.  Fear of confrontation.
Usually a result of our co-dependency.
4.  Developing char-acter discernment.  A critical skill if we want healthy rela-tionships and peace of mind.
5.  Not being codependent---swallowed up by what others think of us or caught up in rescuing others.  See the attached link for more about this subject.
6.  Romanticizing relationships.  So easy to do.  Films and TV portray the wrong approach for having a relationship.
7.  Assuming the victim role.  Passivity.  Not facing the issues in our lives that need work.  Not taking care of ourselves.  Not protecting ourselves from abusers.

      Victims surrender their dignity.

     They fear rocking the boat in the other person's life. They are afraid of offending.  Even when this boat is a garbage barge.  And it carries a city's worth of trash.

     Victims do not stop the perpetrator from dumping this barge on them.

     They let abusive others to routinely pour condemnation, judgment, and shame within the ocean of their soul.  Victims are not proactive.

      All seven issues listed we covered earlier this month.   More must be rooted out.  That is if we want healthy, life-giving relationships.  Ones where each person is present, authentic. (See here for more about this.)  When we are with a safe person, intimacy thrives.

     We bond when relationships have emotional safety and recipro-city.     These are the friendships that bring vitality.  They are connections that invigorate.  When we are with Safe People, we are energized afterward.

      We feel we are a better person because of spent time with them. Unsafe, toxic people.  They are the opposite.  They suck life and joy out of us.

      Today, we look at guilt.  Be it false, imagined or true.  This negative feeling draws predators who can smell our vulnerability through lead.
       People who carry guilt will look for someone to play the guilt inducer role in their life.  The guilt inducer plays the martyr role, acting like his misery is the fault of the person wracked with guilt. 
      The guilty party, in turn, is hooked into taking responsi-bility for the other person's pain, anger or disappointments. [Which is not the guilty party's responsibility, ever.]  He is easily manipulated.  He never feels free in the relationship. 
      The hook, however, lies within the person who picks the guilt inducer.  She will feel as if the guilt is "put on her," or so and so "makes me feel guilty." But this thinking is a disa-vowal of responsibility .  For someone to make us feel guilty, we have to have some part of us that gets hooked into that dynamic and agrees with the accuser.                                                                          Cloud, Townsend, Safe People, 105. 
       We can free ourselves from manipulators.  It is realizing no one can make us happy, sad, angry, experience guilt or any other feeling without us first giving them permission to do so.  The following wraps up the quote above:
      This is why the power to be free [from manipulators] is within us.  We begin to deal with our guilt [and our bag-gage]. We become free of the hook that guilt inducers use to control us.  Safe People 105
     I have a difficult client.  Each time we meet, she tries pin-ning blame on me. She takes no respon-sibility for what happens in her life.

     She believes her problems are be-cause of the behavior of others.  She is unable to see her contribution to her difficulties. Dur-ing sessions, I do not accept her victim mentality.

        According to her, this makes her feel bad.  I don't accept the guilt she tries to ply.  Every time I do not accept her accusations, she's startled.

        I understand why.  Ninety-six percent of the world is code-pendent.  Such people are susceptible to guilt.  She has never met a person who wasn't moved by her manipulation.

       Until now.  I am not motivated or intimidated by the guilt.  Her blaming comments don't move me.

     People loved by a supportive network, are untangled from tentacles of code-pendency.  Wracked with guilt, they aren't.  Nor are they anguished by mistreatment.  The grip of lies and gossip cannot grasp a person with a strong supportive network.  Such an individual has a healthy self-image.

     It is derived from the love they get from their Balcony People.

     Resilient people embrace negative realities.  They use such circum-stances to further their personal growth.  They do not have a victim mentality.

         Guilt no longer rules the feelings of those who stand in their power, recovery and integrity.  The resilient are bathed in love.  They are acquainted with authenticity.  Reciprocity and emotional safety mark their relationships.   Condemnation, within or without is given perspective.

         When we are resilient, mistakes are not seen as failures.  Lapses of character or fortitude are opportunities for growth.  We are gentle towards ourselves during when we fail.  We forgive ourselves.

       We maintain our integrity.  During tough times we remain true to our values. This includes enjoying healthy relationships. We also maintain integrity by being honest---present---with our friends.

        People with recovery are loved.  We are filled with grace.  Emotionally healthy friends do not condemn us when we err.  Acceptance, not ridicule happens when revealing our vulnerabilities.  We are loved by our supportive network.

        Moments of vulnerability----admitting weaknesses---are easy. We take to heart the quote above from Goethe. We are aware of our triggers.  We mention them when they surface.  This openness with others is a result of an accurate perspective of who we are---the true definition of humility, teachability.

       Recovery allows us to be transparent.  Errors are seen as opportunities for growth.  Negative generational legacies are replaced.

        Condemnation once known when making a mistake is replaced with self-compassion.  We are tender towards our wounds.  When we err, compassion replaces self-judgment.

         Living authentically, we reveal our warts to close friends. We know our flaws do not define us.  They do not reveal there is something wrong with us.

        We are forthright about who we are, the good and the bad.

        When our vulnerable, less-than-best part of ourselves is loved, it can be healed and transformed.  If this Hunchback portion of Our Inner Self is condemned, we have a problem.  Our progress will be slow. The wounded parts of who we are retreats.  When this happens, growth does not happen. The Quasimodo that lives within does not get restored.

       Healing takes place when the truth is matched with loving grace.  Our inner deformed self transforms into a prince.  I know this to be true.

        I see this take place every day in my work.  It requires effort, not excuses.  It happens when the truth is balanced with grace.

       With recovery, we learn we are not loved for what we do or don't do.  This is true even when we think we should have done more, try harder.  It is fantastic, being loved for who we are.

       Our outlook changes when we realize who we are is good enough.  If that isn't so in another person's eyes, that individual is unsafe, not us.

       If a person is falsely accused, boundaries and recovery allow him to not swallow the poison of shame proffered by the accuser.  Guilt mongers no longer manipulate a person who is internally referented.  The unsafe person who accuses us needs to process his inaccurate judgments.

       It is his problem.

How About You? 
How do you prevent guilt from eating or manipulating you? 

Monday, October 27

The Unhealthy Dance of Passivity 10/27/14

       Last month I covered eight char-acteristics that prevent us from having healthy rela-tionships.  Tonight, I tackle number nine.

Playing the Victim Role
     A victim does not exercise the power he has.  He is pas-sive, making excuses for

Saturday, October 25

Calmness in the Eye of the Storm, Revisited.......... 10/25/14

          Hi.  I am beat, working long, in-tense hours and spending time catching the World Series----baseball.  All four games played I have taken in.   An important appointment tomor-row awaits me.  I need rest.  So, I am not

Thursday, October 23

Gratitudes ........ 10/23/14

Gratitudes for Thursday: 
1.  For honest conversations.  It meets my need for integrity and authenticity.
2.  For relaxing tonight. To the movies I went again.  It is great unwinding, spending time with friends being

Wednesday, October 22

Slowing Down, Part II ........................ 10/22/14

Picture taken on my way home from Las Vegas, in August.  Big Sur. 
       How are you?  Tonight's post is short.  My team, the San Francisco Giants won the first game in the World Series, the champ-ionship contest for major league base-ball.  I was with friends, taking in the game, enjoying time away from

Sunday, October 19

Experiencing a Tsunami.......... 10/19/14

       More drama than happens in a mid-afternoon soap opera transpired this weekend.  Before today started, I was physically, mentally wiped out.  Yes, really.  A tsunami of unpleasant feelings and negative thoughts crashed upon

Friday, October 17

The Day the Earth Did Not Stand Still 10/17/14

The Cypress Viaduct after the earthquake. 
      Yes, it happened on this day.

      Don and I had just picked up residents from downtown.  They  had gone out on a pass, using their yellow or red "P," or privilege card.  Having dropped the residents at the front door, Don opening it for them, I pulled the extended Econoline

Wednesday, October 15

Lessons Learned From Those Who Succeed ...... 10/15/14

       I slowed down my day.  Others wanted my services but I stayed true to taking care of me.  Besides, yesterday depleted my reserves.  I don't need to wear myself to the bone, to prove to myself how hard I work.

     Today was great.  I made time, catching the latest

Monday, October 13

The Innkeeper Is Growing and Happy 10/13/14

1.  My character continues to be stretched, all for the good.  It's reassuring knowing my life evolves, becoming more satisfying.  I am learning better ways to relate.  My growth is a great way to prevent dementia.  Once dormant dendrites are being exercised.
2.  For healthy communication.  I love connecting with others where

Sunday, October 12

Lifted Up By Friends and Family 10/12/14

          As a kid growing up, I could not express my feelings.  Not allowed.  This week I did.  But only after my emotions were tempered by common sense received from friends and family.

         My supportive network rescued me from my younger fiery ways.  Being petulant about my circumstances was my fondest desire, early last week.  It would have been satisfying to act out----------for maybe ten minutes.   As much as I would want to dance before Hells Angels in a tutu, is how much I wanted to be

Saturday, October 11

The Innkeeper Is Inspired.......... 10/11/14

     I just arrived home after going out this evening, with friends, taking in a good movie, The Judge with a favorite actor of mine, Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr., both gifted per-formers.  You prob-ably don't know that Mr. Duvall is a descendant of Robert E. Lee, an expert horseman and a talented Tango dancer.

Assisted a Deserving Person
      I recently wrote a resume for the assistant general manager of a twenty-five screen movie house in Union City.  Part of the deal was I get to

Thursday, October 9

Slowing Down... 10/9/14

         I will not sacrifice physical or mental health in order to write something tonight.  I am too exhausted to write an in-depth post.  Today---for twelve hours---work consumed all of me.  So, this post is about not writing one.  Tomorrow, I may have the time and energy.  Not  writing reveals

Tuesday, October 7

Life, Ever Vibrant, If.......................... 10/7/14

      I did not plan on writing tonight.  Be-cause of my recent ongoing condition---exhaustion. This eve-ning's commentary will be simple.  I would like hearing your response to yesterday's post,

Monday, October 6

Freedom From Fearful Fantasies That Prevent Dynamic Living 10/6/14

     I love the pro-gress I see with most clients. They are handling a tyrant that lives within.  A dicta-tor, their default mode is.  He us-ually shows up when they are stressed.

    Clients are gain-ing freedom from false fantasies.  Illusions develop-ed in the past---as children---often cloud their per-ceptions of present-day real-ity. It is tinctured by the drama-filled perspective of childhood.

     The behavior of many people reveals these phantoms are every-where.  Life reeks of them.  Unaddressed, they poison our soul. They hamper confidence.  Success will be crippled.

     To enjoy recovery, phantoms of fear must be faced and confronted.
 If we want to overcome passivity or a negative outlook.  It is dan-gerous dwelling within our head.  Especially if false assumptions and paralyzing outdated beliefs suck out whatever courage we have.

      Yielding to them, our relapses will be many.  Our growth will be sparse.

"The damage done in childhood cannot be undone, since we can-not change anything in our past. We can, however, change ourselves. 

"We can repair ourselves, gaining our lost integrity by choosing to look closely at the knowledge stored inside our bodies, bringing this knowledge closer to our awareness. This path is not easy.  But it is the only route to leaving behind the cruel, invisible prison of [the abusive aspects of] our childhood."                               Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child, The Search for the True Self,  2. 

     Ignoring the past is to not see how it frequently influences present actions.  The shadow of the past will continue haunting our present lives, whether we are aware of its impact or not.  It is living from the perspective of our wounded childish selves, not aware that this reality of youth no longer exists.
"[It is] living in their repres-sed childhood situation.... They are continuing to fear and avoid dangers that, al-though once real, have not been real for a long time."              Drama, 2. 
      I help clients learn how to stay present.  They use the strength and principles learned from sessions. Their adult, stronger self stays with the vulnerable little self.  They comfort the child within.  When this happens, it often the first time this little one has received comfort dur-ing a time of stress.

     I love the work I do.  I thought I'd give you a window into its nature.


My Gratitudes for Today: 
1.  I love taking care of me, something I didn't do for decades.  It is critical tending to the little guy who lives within me.  I'm letting him have fun, too.
2.  I was present with someone, expressing my voice, hurts and values.  There was no effort at manipulating the outcome.  I tried discovering
it, instead.
3.  I love the clarity of mind I have by living by healthy principles.
4.  I experienced disappointment recently.  I was hap-py seeing my reaction: none. I did not react. I respond-ed.  Key to happiness is learning it is our job, dealing with life's disappointments.  It is not anyone else's.  No one can make me happy, sad, angry, fearful or any other feeling without me giving them permission to do so. (Paths to Recovery, p 13, penultimate paragraph.)

      My feelings are my respon-sibility.  Other people's emo-tions are theirs.  And never shall the twain intersect.

      That only happens when I am boundaryless.  Or if I am co-dependent.  I am neither.

       I am responsive to, but not responsible for the feelings of others.  I take responsibility for my feelings.

How About You?
    What are your three gratitudes for today?  You heard mine.  When you post comments here, you add to the community we share. 

Friday, October 3

The Joy of Being Threatened....... 10/3/14

I love the skyscape.  Image: "England: Northampton
-shire: Summer Day" 
by Tim Blessed.  Copyrighted
 photo.  Used by permission. 
      This week, someone threatened me.  It helped me see where my source of joy lies.  It wasn't the area he threatened . He touched a place where I was vulnerable as a kid. I don't let others determine my moods or define my reality. 
      This person's behavior left no doubt about his character. No way in heck will I befriend him.  He's entirely unsafe.  He does not respect others.  Instead he tried using the hammer of fear to motivate.

      This person tried intimidating. We wanted to drag me into the alley of fear.  He thought he could mug my serenity.  He was hoping to rob me from the joy that is a strong part of my life.  He is controlling: trying to manipulate an outcome.
Or keep on liking you. 

      That's insulting.  I don't take lightly, being treated like a child.  Fortunately recovery lighted up the alley.  My equanimity was untouched.

        He was not loved as a child. His past did not pollute my present.  Meanwhile, he remains an unhappy man.  Conscious and aware people look for other conscious and aware people to relate with.  He isn't one.


   The following are my highs for the week that ends tomorrow:

1.  Surprises from God.  Good ones.   People wanting my services.  Delighting in great times with others.  I like making my life count.   Nothing of value is gotten cheaply, without struggle and sweat.
2.  For a life that continually improves.  My life grows richer, by the day.  Sometimes by the hour.  I am happier than I have ever been.
3.  Knowing God.  I appreciate His love.
4.  For balance.  In spite of being buffeted by many competing demands, I take care of myself.  I made time.  I  watched the playoffs for major league baseball.  I love the San Francisco Giants baseball team. They are playing in the postseason.
5.  Creating new material for clients.  I empty out my thoughts on paper.  Clients enjoy taking home material that helps them.
6.  I met with a terrific client. Our time together is a joy.  We speak the left-handed language, we both being lefties.  Right hemispherically oriented, we are.  I walked him to his car, when the session was done.

   Before we parted, he asked for a hug, right there, on the street. That made my day.  :->  I love authenticity, com-passion and connection with others. What an amazingly excellent, positive bookend to the crappy one I had at the beginning of the day, with the guy who threatened me.

How About You? 
What were your highs? 

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.