Holding Your Own

Trust yourself. Trust what you know.
Sometimes, it is hard to stand in our own truth and trust what we know, especially when others would try to convince us otherwise.
In these cases, others may be dealing with issues of guilt and shame. They may have their own agenda. They may be immersed in denial. They would like us to believe that we do not know what we know; they would like us not to trust ourselves; they would prefer to engage us in their nonsense.
We don’t have to forfeit our truth or our power to others. That is codependency.
Believing lies is dangerous. When we stop trusting our truth, when we repress our instincts, when we tell ourselves there must be something wrong with us for feeling what we feel or believing what we believe, we deal a deadly blow to our self and our health.
When we discount that important part of ourselves that knows what is the truth, we cut ourselves off from our center. We feel crazy. We get into shame, fear, and confusion. We can’t get our bearings when we allow someone to pull the rug from under us.
This does not mean that we are never wrong. But we are not always wrong.
Be open. Stand in our truth. Trust what you know. And refuse to buy into denial, nonsense, bullying, or coercion that would like to take you off course.
Ask to be shown the truth, clearly—not by the person trying to manipulate or convince you, but by yourself, your Higher Power, and the Universe.
Today, I will trust my truth, my instincts, and my ability to ground myself in reality. I will not allow myself to be swayed by bullying, manipulating, games, dishonesty, or people with peculiar agendas

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Being Honest with Ourselves

Sophie Strachen

Our relationship with ourselves is the most important relationship we need to maintain. The quality of that relationship will determine the quality of our other relationships.
When we can tell ourselves how we feel, and accept our feelings, we can tell others.
When we can accept what we want and need, we will be ready to have our wants and needs met.
When we can accept what we think and believe, and accept what’s important to us, we can relay this to others.
When we learn to take ourselves seriously, others will too.
When we learn to chuckle at ourselves, we will be ready to laugh with others.
When we have learned to trust ourselves, we will be trustworthy and ready to trust.
When we can be grateful for who we are, we will have achieved self-love.
When we have achieved self-love and accepted our wants and needs, we will be ready to give and receive love.
When we’ve learned to stand on our own two feet, we’re ready to stand next to someone.
Today, I will focus on having a good relationship with myself.

Taking Care of Ourselves

Taking Care of Ourselves

It’s healthy, wise, and loving to be considerate and responsive to the feelings and needs of others. That’s different from caretaking. Caretaking is a self-defeating and, certainly, a relationship-defeating behavior—a behavior that backfires and can cause us to feel resentful and victimized—because ultimately, what we feel, want, and need will come to the surface.
Some people seem to invite emotional caretaking. We can learn to refuse the invitation. We can be concerned; we can be loving, when possible; but we can place value on our own needs and feelings too. Part of recovery means learning to pay attention to, and place importance on, what we feel, want, and need, because we begin to see that there are clear, predictable, and usually undesirable consequences when we don’t.
Be patient and gentle with yourself as you learn to do this. Be understanding with yourself when you slip back into the old behavior of emotional caretaking and self-neglect.
But stop the cycle today. We do not have to feel responsible for others. We do not have to feel guilty about not feeling responsible for others. We can even learn to let ourselves feel good about taking responsibility for our needs and feelings.
Today, I will evaluate whether I’ve slipped into my old behavior of taking responsibility for another’s feelings and needs, while neglecting my own. I will own my power, right, and responsibility to place value on myself.

Recovery

 

How easy it is to blame our problems on others. “Look at what he’s doing.”… “Look how long I’ve waited.”… “Why doesn’t she call?”… “If only he’d change then I’d be happy.”…
Often, our accusations are justified. We probably are feeling hurt and frustrated. In those moments, we may begin to believe that the solution to our pain and frustration is getting the other person to do what we want, or having the outcome we desire. But these self-defeating illusions put the power and control of our life in other people’s hands. We call this codependency.
The solution to our pain and frustration, however valid, is to acknowledge our own feelings. We feel the anger, the grief; then we let go of the feelings and find peace—within ourselves. We know our happiness isn’t controlled by another person, even though we may have convinced ourselves it is. We call this acceptance.
Then we decide that although we’d like our situation to be different, maybe our life is happening this way for a reason. Maybe there is a higher purpose and plan in play, one that’s better than we could have orchestrated. We call this faith.
Then we decide what we need to do, what is within our power to do to take care of ourselves. That’s called recovery.
It’s easy to point our finger at another, but it’s more rewarding to gently point it at ourselves.
Today, I will live with my pain and frustration by dealing with my own feelings.

Sophie Strachan

Getting Through Hard Times

Sophie Strachen

We are sturdy beings. But in many ways, we are fragile. We can accept change and loss, but this comes at our own pace and in our own way. And only we and God can determine the timing.
—Codependent No More
Hard times, stressful times, are not all there is to life, but they are part of life, growth, and moving forward.
What we do with hard times, or hard energy, is our choice.
We can use the energy of hard times to work out, and work through, our issues. We can use it to fine-tune our skills and our spirituality. Or we can go through these situations suffering, storing up bitterness, and refusing to grow or change.
Hard times can motivate and mold us to bring out our best. We can use these times to move forward and upward to higher levels of living, loving, and growth.
The choice is ours. Will we let ourselves feel? Will we take a spiritual approach, including gratitude, toward the event? Will we question life and our Higher Power by asking what we’re supposed to be learning and doing? Or will we use the incident to prove old, negative beliefs? Will we say, “Nothing good ever happens to me…. I’m just a victim…. People can’t be trusted…. Life isn’t worth living”?
We do not always require hard energy, or stress, to motivate us to grow and change. We do not have to create stress, seek it, or attract it. But if it’s there, we can learn to channel it into growth and use it for achieving what’s good in life.
God, let my hard times be healing times.

SEXUAL VIOLENCE …. Break the silence

 

Women ages 20 -50 years old

Use one sentence to describe your first sexual encounter

Responses:

I was led to believe that we were going to meet his mother… his mother was not at home; he forced me to have sex.   I had avoided being alone with him for 1 year because I was determined to delay sex until marriage.     I was 14 years old

 

My first sexual encounter was embarrassing and painful.  I never planned to have sex, he did …I was forced…  I was 17

 

My first encounter was with a friend, I was gang raped by 7 of his family members and then given $2,000, I was 15 years old

 

It was not part of our friendship as children.  His friends held me down and gang raped me… My father was going to kill all of them… I was 13 years old

 

I was terrified and sad, I was influenced by friends…I was 14

 

Molestation started when I was 7 years old by a family friend…he was a big man… I was pregnant at age 13 for the landlord he was an old man

 

At age 16 I went to live with my uncle, he would come into my room and have sex with me.  He was in his late fifties

Perspective

Sophie Strachen

Too often, we try to gain a clear perspective before it is time.
That will make us crazy.
We do not always know why things are happening the way they are. We do not always know how a particular relationship will work out. We do not always understand the source of our feelings, why we’ve been led down a particular path, what is being worked out in us, what we are learning, why we needed to recycle, why we had to wait, why we needed to go through a time of discipline, or why a door closed. How our present circumstances will work into the larger scheme of events is not always clear to us. That is how it needs to be.
Perspective will come in retrospect.
We could strain for hours today for the meaning of something that may come in an instant next year.
Let it go. We can let go of our need to figure things out, to feel in control.
Now is the time to be. To feel. To go through it. To allow things to happen. To learn. To let whatever is being worked out in us take its course.
In hindsight, we will know. It will become clear. For today, being is enough. We have been told that all things shall work out for good in our life. We can trust that to happen, even if we cannot see the place today’s events will hold in the larger picture.
Today, I will let things happen without trying to figure everything out. If clarity is not available to me today, I will trust it to come later, in retrospect. I will put simple trust in the truth that all is well, events are unfolding as they should, and all will work out for good in my life—better than I can imagine.