The Year in Review: 9 Lessons We Learned This Year
It’s that time of year when I like to look back, on the year that was, and reflect on some of the major lessons we’ve discussed here on this site. So without further ado here are nine major statements we made this year:
You Don’t Need Anyone’s Permission: So many people are stuck in dysfunctional relationships because they believe that they can’t leave. They stay because they are accustomed to bad treatment, or they’re afraid to change their circumstances. They tend to lack the will, or seem to require approval and support to make a decision and they lack the fortitude to take action without back up, or proof. The notion of just being unhappy with the way you’re being treated, or just not being happy, doesn’t register as being a good enough reason to end the relationship. We need to be aware of our feelings and we need to practice Self-Care, whereby we always act in our own best interests and always have an awareness of our wellbeing.
Always Seek Stability: Whether it’s financial, or emotional, we should always be striving to limit the drama in our lives. One should not spend time or energy with individuals whose behavior can be so out of control that your jaw is resting comfortably on the floor. If someone keeps showing you crazy, then they’re crazy. I don’t mean a little crazy, cuz we’re all a little crazy, I mean shock you kind of crazy, I did not see that coming, kind of crazy. Don’t waste your time with people who want to upset your apple cart. If someone keeps showing you how unstable they are and causing you to feel unstable yourself, remove them from the front row of your life. You don’t need it.
Dear Little Voice – Shut the Hell Up: When we come from an emotionally abusive environment we probably heard a lot of criticism and walked out of our childhood feeling broken and not good enough. The funny thing is when we grow up and move away from our abusers, the abuse doesn’t stop there. Instead of our caregivers beating us up emotionally, we take on the job ourselves and beat ourselves up and we do it via our little voice. How many times has that little voice led you to a place of hurt? How many times has that little voice talked you into something you know you shouldn’t do? How many times has that voice sabotaged your success? This little voice that keeps telling you that you’re not good enough is the disease of codependency – you are not this voice. Be aware of it and know that you don’t have to listen to it. You can tell it to shut the hell up.
Stop Looking for a Reason to Be Offended: We live in a world of political correctness, but some people can take that too far. Some people are consummate victims. They like the status. I’d rather find humor in everything, rather than always being on the alert for some slight or perceived hurt. This week there was a new guy at my work. He had made some errors and I pulled him aside because his errors were affecting my job and I told him the proper way to do things. A half hour later the boss comes up to me and says, “Peter said you gave him shit today?” I started laughing and said, “No I told him how to do things properly and I even used the words, ‘I’m just telling you,’ in the nicest way I could. Should I have given him a teddy bear and a cuddle instead?” Don’t be overly sensitive and always looking for an opportunity to be a victim. You’re tougher than that. Find the humor in everything instead.
The Power of Indifference: The above example segues nicely into this one. I could have been upset at Peter. I could confront him and say, “Hey, cry baby if you think that was me giving you shit, boy you ain’t seen nothing yet.” But I’m not going to do that. Why? Because I don’t care. That may sound harsh, but it’s obvious to me that Peter is extremely sensitive and has some issues that have nothing to do with me. I’m not interested in fixing Peter’s issues. I’m not interested in getting revenge on Peter. I’m content to know that the guy’s problems have nothing to do with me and I’m not going to spend one second internalizing why he said what he said. As a recovering codependent it doesn’t mean that I’m not nice or compassionate, what it means is that I’m not responsible for someone else’s behavior or feelings. I just pass it back to him and go on with my day.
Maintain High Emotional Energy at all Times: You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are. If you spend your time focusing on low energy people, you will exude low energy and thus attract low energy experiences. Get rid of the energy suckers, start meditating and practicing gratitude and put yoursself into a higher emotional energy state.
Be Aware of Codependency in your Life: Be very aware of the way that you communicate with yourself and the core beliefs that you hold. Look for ways in which you beat yourself up for not being good enough, or your beliefs about needing to be perfect. Do you find yourself saying, it’s okay for other’s to think and act one way, but not okay for you? Do you have a dysfunctional relationship with yourself? Do you feel guilty or ashamed for being you?As you go throughout your day, be mindful of all the ways in which you punish yourself for being you. The more aware you are that this is your disease talking and not the truth, the sooner you will beat it.
Let go of your grief energy: The only way past your pain is through it. When we bottle up our feelings and try to suppress our emotions they don’t just go away. Instead they manifest in other ways in our lives. One such way is by creating emotional triggers. When faced with a similar experience it will bring up painful feelings and memories that we thought we had buried. Instead of running from your pain, move closer to it. Sit in it and marinate. Get comfortable and realize that it can’t hurt you, that you are so much bigger than your pain, so much stronger than your pain. Release it and let it flow through you.
Always, Always, Always Practice Self-Care: Self Care to me, means that I take care of and am responsible for, my own needs. I am constantly looking out for my wellbeing and I don’t engage with people or activities that are harmful to me. I don’t put others needs ahead of my own and I don’t hurt myself to make someone else happy. Self-Care isn’t about being selfish or bitchy. It’s how healthy people behave on a day-to-day basis and something as codependents we were never taught. It’s putting you first – where you should always be.
Alright my lovelies, my football team just got embarrassed, I mean humiliated, so I have to go and release some of my grief energy. Have a safe and Happy New Year and we’ll see you all in 2016.
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at freedigitalphotos.net