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Post Info TOPIC: Book Study: Codependent No More - Chapter 7


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Book Study: Codependent No More - Chapter 7
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Set yourself free

The author starts by stating all the ways codependents try to control.  Whether we are controlling through power, the one who rules them all, manipulating behind the guise of sweetness, or controlling through martyrdom and victimization - we try to run the show and make people behave the way we think they should. 

She goes on to tell the story of Maria, married to an alcoholic.  She describes the hardships on the family and Maria's conclusion that in order for her husband to not fall apart repeatedly, she needed to be ever-present.  She became a recluse and stopped doing anything that made her happy.  In response to financial difficulties caused by her husbands drinking she got a job in which she was doing well and experiencing some happiness.  Then her husband drank again and she quit her job to go back to guarding her husband.  She needed to control the situation.  The author asks a VERY good question:

"Who's controlling whom?"

She goes on to give an example of some client's of hers where the wife confronts the husband about her controlling him - and his control in return.  We let alcoholism/compulsive behaviors control us.  When we try to control we lose control of ourselves to the very thing we are trying change by force.

We need to stop trying to control.  When we grab onto something so fiercely we block our HP's will from being done.  We keep others and ourselves from being able to grow and be happy.  Control is an illusion.  We can't change anyone's behaviors or feelings, we can barely control ourselves.  People are going to do what they want to do, and that is the plain and simple truth.  It is time to detach.  "You don't have to stop caring or loving.  You don't have to tolerate abuse.  You don't have to abandon constructive, problem-solving methods such as professional intervention.  You only need to put your emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical hands back in your own pockets and leave things and people alone.  Let them be.  Make any decisions you need to make to take care of yourself, but don't make them to control other people.  Start taking care of yourself."


"Free others to be who they are.  In so doing, you will set yourself free."

Activities:

1) Is there an event or person in your life that you are trying to control?  Why?


2) In what ways (mentally, physically, emotionally, etc.) are you being controlled by whatever or whomever you are attempting to control?


3) What would happen (to you and the other person) if you detached from this situation or person?  Will that probably happen anyway, in spite of your controlling gestures?  How are you benefiting by attempting to control the situation?  How is the other person benefiting by your attempts to control?  How effective are your attempts at controlling the outcomes of events?



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This is a wonderful lesson.  I have (and still do to a degree) in the past let people and their behaviors completely control who I am, how I feel, and what I do.  In return, I expect them to be a certain way, act a certain way, try to change them to be what I think is right.  But now I realize that  I have a seriously hard time controlling myself.  I have to be somewhat vigilant while remembering to gently let go ... kind of a weird balance.  Trying to control another now just seems foolish. 

That doesn't mean that I have to let people come in and reek havoc on my life, or I have to let my children run rampant and cross boundaries, I am still in charge of keeping myself safe and my life peaceful.  I am still in charge of deciding what is attractive to me and what is not.  I still get to have an opinion.  But I get to do it with the acceptance that these people are who they are.  Change is absolutely possible, but it is not up to me to instigate or demand that change.  I can state my needs and I am by no means going to make myself hoarse repeating those needs over and over.  It either happens or it doesn't.  They can either be a part of my life or not.  That is up to me and doesn't mean I am controlling anything but myself.

"People think it is holding on that makes you stronger, but sometimes it's letting go."



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Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.   ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. ~St. Francis of Assisi



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Thank you, Linistea, for your insightful postings on the Miracles in Progress Codependency Recovery on-line forum on

www.12stepforums.net

 

Best wishes,

Janeen in Seattle

 



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Janeen in Seattle

 



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Thanks, Janeen.  I used to be Linistea but due to technical issues on the forum I had to change my name.  I miss it!  I means serenity.

But Willing works too .

 

So glad you are here.  Please keep coming back.

 

Beautiful weather we are having! 

 

Willing



__________________

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.   ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. ~St. Francis of Assisi

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