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Post Info TOPIC: Book Study: Codependent No More - Chapter 12


Guru

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Book Study: Codependent No More - Chapter 12
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Chapter 12 - Learn the Art of Acceptance

I'd like to make a motion that we face reality.  ~Bob Newhart, from the Bob Newhart Show

Everyone is faced with accepting reality on a daily basis.  Doing so is a lot easier if life is going well.  When life is being difficult reality is more difficult to grasp.  When things are not as one expects, we get thrown off balance.  We codependents never seem to know what to expect.  We may create drama in our own lives or those in our lives may bombard us with it.  Especially if we are involved with an addict.  We can lose everything, including ourselves.  We can suffer terribly due to someone else's mistakes.

"Perhaps the most painful loss many codependents face is the loss of our dreams, the hopeful and sometimes idealistic expectations for the future that most people have."

We look back at our childhood and see the possibilities that never happened.  Or we remember the hope, love and promises that filled our wedding day.  As we endured the tough times we held onto these hopes and dreams with all our might.  "We flew into the face of reality, shaking these dreams at the truth, refusing to believe or accept anything less."  Then the truth can no longer be hidden and we suffer extreme grief in the loss of our dreams and those we love.

Then we enter recovery and we need to accept more change.  We have to step outside our comfort zone and practice new behaviors.  It feels like more loss and we have lost so much.  Now we are asked to accept reality when we may not even know what it is.  We have been lied to by others and by ourselves.  Sometimes we are too busy trying to control the constant chaos that we can't even see what is right in front of us.

In order for things to change, to be able to build new dreams, we must accept reality.

Acceptance does not mean changing to fit our environment.  It doesn't mean you have to stay where you are.  No one should tolerate abuse.  But in order to change we must accept what is really happening.  Abused women need to accept that this is happening to them and it will not stop before they can make a change.  Alcoholics, over eaters, codependents and many others need to accept they are powerless in order to recover.  It is essential that we accept who we are.

If we let go of our fantasies and accept where we are, we let go of fighting reality and give our higher power room to work.  Acceptance seems to follow the same steps as the grieving process.  These stages can apply to losses big or small or even change that is good, such as buying a better house. 

1.  Denial
2.  Anger
3.  Bargaining
4.  Depression
5.  Acceptance

Acceptance is not "giving up".  It means we are FREE!  We have accepted our loss and now we can move on.  It is not a comfortable process to go through, in fact it may be very painful.  There is not set time frame for this process, it could last a minute to our entire lifetime.  We may bounce around the stages or experience more than one at once.  We must go through the process though, to get to the other side.  We are not weak if we grieve and repressing our emotions can cause us a lot of problems, emotionally and physically.

Activity

1.  Are you or is someone in your life going through this grief process for a major loss?  Which stage do you think you or that person is in?

2.  Review your life and consider the major losses and changes you have gone through.  Recall your experiences with the grief process.  Write about your feelings as you remember them.




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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



Guru

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When I first got into recovery awareness was my guiding light.  I was learning so much about myself and acceptance just seemed to be a byproduct of that.  I was like a kid in a candy store "oooo, look at that!  I had no idea that's why I did that! (or that I even did it at all)  Let's dig a little deeper."

Now that I am a little farther along, acceptance has truly become my answer to peace and being centered.  Everything ... every tiny thing in life is "what it is".  People are who they are.  I am who I am.  Things happen.  People get sick or pass away.  We get sick.  We suffer.  We live.  We love.  Sometimes we are happy, sad, afraid, disappointed and so many other things.  We even doing things we wish we hadn't.  Life happens whether we like it or not.  Making the choice to stop fighting and starting accepting life on life's terms let me shift the energy from resisting or denying and simply celebrate life - even the painful parts.

The visual I get in my head (seems there is always one) is that I have been released or unburdened.  I have shed the wrappings of denial, the world I made up in my head of what reality was - who I was.  Now I try to accept reality, even if I don't have a clear picture of what that is.  I am willing to step back and take a look from a different view.  I am willing to admit that I am wrong.  I am free to change at any moment in any way I want to.  I was afraid of this place.  I was so scared of anything outside my fantasy world with strict lines of right and wrong, black and white, guilt and shame.  This realm of reality is so much nicer.  I was who I was.  I will be who I will be.  I am who I am right at this moment.

It seems to have released a light in me and it feels so good.

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-- Edited by willing on Wednesday 18th of January 2012 08:58:44 AM

__________________

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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Hi,

this has brought up so much for me.

 

I have been in the grief process for around 7 or 8 years now.  My first husnabd was a compulsive gambler we where childhood sweeyhearts he was my best friend my first love.  I fought for 17 years to make it work.  Finally his disease progressed to a level were me and the kids lost our home and he went off the rails completly and got himself into a terrible state.  he had to leave our town and change his name he no longer see our children its like he has died.  Then I jumped into a relationship with a friens of my brother we have been together 7 years and he is an alcoholic in recovery.  All my hope and dreams as mentioned have died.  In the process of recovery I have had to end lots of relationships with friends and change other as i realise that do to my caring, rescuing nature I was surrounded by a lot of sick people.  I do not know where I fit anymore.  All I know is that when I am with people in recovery I feel safe.  I have a higher power today and i believe he is leading me to a better life just feel like the caterpillar struggling to get my wings and fly.

 

thanks for the topic xxxxxxx



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Guru

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Hello Tracy,

I am sorry to hear of your struggles.  It is important to have a place to feel safe and I remember well the days of not fitting anywhere, even questioning who I was, why I had lived the life I had, and where to go from that point. 

For me, the beauty is that it finally came - serenity.  I even had to go back and try some of the old kool-aid a few times but finally hit my stride.  For me, it was possible to loose all my dreams and find new ones.  I even left everything behind and moved away to a new place where I knew no one ... and then jumped back into an old, destructive relationship.  Those clothes didn't fit anymore, not that they were ever comfortable in the first place ... more like a straight jacket.  But they were familiar and I thought familiar was synonymous with comfort, love and safety.  It was not.

It truly is One Day at a Time and there were days I didn't think life would get better.  The small spark of hope, belief in myself and my values, and the willingness to keep working on myself have paid off.  Life is life.  I don't live in a rose garden ... but I accept the thorns of living and seem to have gotten better at avoiding the stink bugs.

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-- Edited by willing on Sunday 22nd of January 2012 10:56:44 PM

__________________

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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