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.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990,
Dealing with anger
"The most heated bit of letter-writing can be a wonderful safety valve," AA co-founder, Bill W. said, "providing the wastebasket is somewhere nearby."
This is a delightful bit of advice about the right way to handle anger. Writing an angry letter is at least a way of bringing our feelings out so that we can see them. This is far healthier than the peculiar method of "Stuffing" one's feelings and pretending that there was no hurt or offense. But an angry letter, once mailed, can be more destructive than a bullet. We may live to regret ever having mailed it. It could have unintended consequences of the worst kind.
That's why the wastebasket becomes the second hand way to deal with our anger. We throw the letter away and let time and wisdom heal the matter. What usually happen under the guidance of our Higher Power is that we find a much more satisfactory way of settling whatever has happened.
Action For the Day: If I become angry today, I'll admit it to myself. Perhaps I'll even put my feelings on paper. But I'll have the good sense not to go further with such outbursts.
All my life I had lived the deepest of lies, not sharing with anyone
my true thoughts and feelings. I thought I had a direct line to God,
and I built a wall of distrust around myself.
In AA, I faced the pervasive "we" of the Twelve Steps and gradually realized
that I can separate and protect my sobriety from outside hazards
only inasmuch as I rely on the sober experience of other AA members
and share their journey through the steps to recovery.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 451
Thought to Ponder . . .
Sharing is sometimes more demanding than giving.
AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
E S H = Experience, Strength and Hope.
Doubt can be very reasonable, yet it's not a good idea to reason with it. For whether you argue against your doubt or whether you argue for it, in both cases you make that doubt stronger.