Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.
Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings
“The greatest damage done by neglect,
trauma or emotional loss is not the immediate pain they inflict
but the long-term distortions they induce in the way a developing child will continue to interpret the world and her situation in it."
"All too often these ill-conditioned implicit beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives.
We create meanings from our unconscious interpretation of early events, and then we forge our present experiences from the meaning we’ve created.
Unwittingly, we write the story of our future from narratives based on the past...
Mindful awareness can bring into consciousness those hidden, past-based perspectives so that they no longer frame our worldview.
’Choice begins the moment you dis-identify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present…
Until you reach that point, you are unconscious.’ …
In present awareness we are liberated from the past.”
Are we training our brain to ruminate?
Ruminating is getting on the "hamster wheel of thought" of going over and over and over the same thoughts as to obtain perceived control or change.
However we cannot change the event that happened or is going to happen.
Often we ruminate about negative events. When we do so, the brain lights up other connections to other negative events. Ruminating often triggers memories of similar situations in the past.
We then have an unproductive focus on the gap between what is real and the ideal self.
We think when we ruminate we reduce stress or distress. Yet do we?
Stop ruminating by realizing what you are doing.
Change your physical positions. Become more external than internal.
Engage in conversation, do something positive, be mindful internally by staying in the moment -and use your five senses to do so. Listen to the sound around you, the temperature, the sights you are seeing, what you may smell or taste. Choose to break the negative cycle of ruminating.
Codependency is a trauma related loss of self that happens slowly throughout our personality development.
It is fear based and is a predictable set of qualities and behaviors that grows out of feeling anxious and therefore hyper-vigilant in our intimate relationships.
Many children in dysfunctional families, those children who became caretakers and pleasers in their family, became adept at reading the behavioral cues of those around them.
Mostly to remain safe.
Their very survival depended on scanning the
environment accurately for signs of danger.
Many children lost touch with their own feelings, thoughts and needs, also into their adulthood. The coping in childhood that was formed becomes the coping one uses as an adult.
"Our scanning is tied in with our fear response, which is tied in with our survival response.
We get scared, we freeze, we scan. It is the co-dependent dance."
Often in codependency we become attracted to emotional qualities in others that we have had to disown in ourselves. The characteristics that attracted us are often the qualities that anger us later when we seek to control and fix the behaviors that attracted us in the first place.
In a couples relationship one member who has grown up over functioning as the caretaker in his or her family of origin is often attracted to the individual who becomes childlike or dependent in the relationship. Each member of the dyad is thinking "love at first sight" however by over functioning, one member of the relationship can teach to other to under function.
It is the individual who has the volume knob turned up on high to care take and no longer has control over the volume. They focus on the needs, feelings, and expectations of others to the exclusion of their own needs, and are more often than not attracted to those who "need them."
In return for the caretaking, the dominant codependent partner has unstated expectations and wants their partner to read their minds, body language and make assumptions as they had attempted to do for their partner.
Once this does not occur, the over functioning codependent complains their needs are never met and their partner does not do his/her share. The over functioning codependent often feels they have no one to lean on, feel very alone and unloved. Both codependents, the over functioning and under functioning have trouble taking care of their emotions and requesting their emotional needs to be met.
For the codependent, the over functioning behavior is a defense against anxiety.
This behavior, which was perfected in childhood, allows the individual to become "other focused" thereby escaping focus on self and their emotions.
It is a defense against feeling and coping with those feelings.
Rigidity exists because over functioning is not just a bad habit, it is a misguided attitude or overzealous wish to be helpful or a behavior pattern caused by living with it chronically. That under functioning individual in their childhood is often an alcoholic. It is also a pattern of managing anxiety that grows out of our experience in our first family and has deep roots in prior generations as well.
Healing is possible.
There is a saying, "short term pain is long term gain."
Undoing some core beliefs, discomfort in identifying needs and the vulnerability in asking for those needs to be met towards healing can be a painful process, however the rewards of leading a life that is free from the chains of the past is worth the hard work.
Taken from the book, "After the Tears"
Middelton-Moz & Dwinell
I give myself permission to be kind to myself.
I am loved and protected.
It takes courage TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF FIRST.
I have that courage.
I am worth it.
Taking care of myself will allow me to show up for others.
Take care of me will allow the feelings of anger, resentment, and hurt to melt away.
After the feelings of anger, resentment and hurt melt away, I am left with my true self.
My true self requires attention and care.
I have the ability to give myself what I need.
And today, I need kindness.
Being kind to me flows into good mental and physical health.
Good mental and physical health is available to me now.
I am deserving of good mental and physical health.
I make a commitment to be well.
I feel the benefits of being well.
Fear is a very real emotion that can render us powerless.
Much of our power is to be found in the choices we make and the actions we take, with every choice either leading us down the same familiar path or propelling us towards a new future.
Without warning, fear can take over.
There is so much turmoil in our hearts and in our heads that it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important to us. We are influenced by the myriad events in our lives -- both the joyous and grace filled events and those that blindside us and leave us hurt, angry, sad or grief ridden.
Everyday we make choices and are confronted with different possibilities that shape our future.
We often treat these choices as if they mean nothing, as if there will be no consequences, or if there are, we will deal with them later --- tomorrow, next week or whenever.
But these day to day choices either whittle away at our self esteem and confidence or add to our character making us feel strong and more alive. Our ability to cut through fear and to act with cause is determined by whether our choices are made from thoughtfulness and planning or while we are on automatic pilot which is our non thinking or non feeling state that drives us to repeat old patterns of regret. As we pause, think, and choose, we act with purpose and cause.
If you grew up without a strong sense of self, you second guessed yourself constantly. Confused by the internal doubt filled chatter you most likely shrank in the face of adversity, hid when you needed to be seen, and kept your mouth shut when your voice needed to be heard.
Fear will have you choose what you believe will keep you safe even when the opposite is true.
There are kinds of lies that keep fear in power.
Codependency is prioritizing others needs, expectations, problems over one's own mental and physical health.
In codependency, a person's sense of worth comes from others rather than internally.
Codependent individuals do not believe in their inherent value so they need external measures to prove their worth. One may over focus on their partner.
Keeping that partner is worth more than anything else.
The goal of recovery is inter-dependency.
:This is where a person can care and nurture others but never to one's own personal detriment.
This external focus leads a codependent person to want to control the other person in the relationship. This highlights the fundamental paradox of codependency.
The more someone tries to control another, the more out of control they feel
since no person can change another.
This paradox leads them to feel powerless and victimized.
Codependency is a pervasive experience, it is a lens through which one sees the people in one's life.
In codependency, emotional experience is often reduced to feelings of fear or anxiety; (I am not safe) or a resentment (You should be the way I want you to be) or guilt (I cannot say no or I am bad) and shame
(I am not worthwhile or lovable).
Furthermore, people with codependency have the disorder whether there are in relationship or not,
it exists within them.
Codependent relationships are inherently imbalanced. Usually there is someone who gives beyond what is appropriate, reasonable, or honest, and there is someone who takes inappropriately.
Recovery is possible. Therapy can provide understanding of the development of codependency in the family system. Also can provide the understanding of how to develop self worth, self assertiveness and boundaries, and identification of needs and asking one's needs to be met. The goal being how do I achieve and maintain an interdependent relationship.
Resources from The Codependeny Recovery Plan, K. Mazzola LMFT
As we look at our communication style, we sometimes wonder why we are not being seen and heard. We may realize it is time to understand what beliefs or thoughts may get in the way.
There are some aspects of our thinking that we may have taken from our early years, our caregivers, generational beliefs, education, experiences and how we manage life as adults.
We can challenge our old beliefs and thinking today to learn more about ourselves and how we communicate. As we become stuck, we are able to re-evaluate ourselves. We can seek a deeper listening style and provide more honest responses.
Take a look and evaluate yourself and your beliefs and how you communicate to others.
Ask yourself, "What am I doing that may interfere with my communication?"
Below you will find ten cognitive distortions we may not realize we use our daily communication with others. Identify what may be a habit, journal how you use the distortion in your communication today and how you can challenge these mal-adaptive thoughts and ways you can improve to communicate better.
List of Cognitive Distortions
All or Nothing Thinking
You look at things black and white categories/absolute.
You view a negative event as a never ending pattern.
Dwelling on negatives and ignoring positives.
Insisting that accomplishments or positive qualities do not exist.
Jumping to conclusions
You assume people are responding negatively to you when there is no definite evidence.
Fortune Telling: You arbitrarily predict things will turn out badly.
Magnification or Minimization
You blow things way out of proportion or shrink their importance.
“I feel like an idiot so I must be one.” Or “I don’t feel like doing this so I will put it off.”
You criticize yourself or others with, “Shoulds. Ought to’s, Have to’s, are similar offenders.
You identify with your shortcomings. Instead of saying “I made a mistake” you say, “I am a jerk.”
Personalization and Blame
You blame yourself for something you were not responsible for, or you blame other people and overlook ways that your behavior has contributed to the problem.
We know the moments when we find connection again:
the universe lights up.!
These instances leap from the parts of novels, burn in our brains when we watch them in movies --- and, of course, entrance us when they happen in our own precious relationships. Everything comes together; suddenly all the blocks roll away and there is an open, easy connection.
But how did we get there? If we don't know the path, how can we get there again?
Renewing your connection is something you and your partner do together. You both help each other keep your emotional balance and turn toward each other and tune in.
Its a dance. It is not something you can "fix" all by yourself from the outside by just saying the right words.
The goal is to understand the disconnection dance.
And please know that the first step in healing is not just recognizing stopping destructive behaviors and words. This is just the first step. The second step which is even harder, is actively working together to build a stronger and more durable emotional union. This requires dumping old emotions.
For example, that love operates in a fixed steady state, and that becoming more proactive, such as by being alert to the small bends in the fabric of emotional connection and knowing how to repair them.
The process of renewing bonds, we have learned, is continuous and inspiring, taking emotional connection to a whole new level. It makes us more emotionally accessible, responsive, and engaged, and thus it leads to deeper bonding and greater relationship stability and satisfaction.
It also transforms us as people. As we take risks and confront our vulnerabilities, our trust grows --- not just in our partners but also in ourselves.
Taken from Love Sense, Sue Johnson
Freud said, "Change depends on the relationship between pain and fear. If the pain associated with the old increases and/or the fear of the new decreases, we will change."
Reasonable changes can be taken by one who knows that if something does not work out they would still have learned and gained from the experience. This is our Adult part.
There may be delay and disappointment --- perhaps even pain --- in reaching the desired goal.
However not the devastation of being rendered helpless.
The antidote to the poison of feeling helpless (our lingering old Child part) is allowing oneself to be vulnerable whenever appropriate and recognizing that choices always exist.
The ability to exercise these options will result in life improvement empowers us and enables us to attain once "only wished for" and "dreamed of" places.
Taken from Breaking Free, Kardener/Kardener