August 22

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 22: “Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.” ― Ann Landers

Some of us grew up with Ann Landers and her sister “Dear Abby.” They were advice columnists in the 1950s and 1960s. The idea of others asking for advice goes back a long time. There are several recovery issues in this idea. The first is that someone else knows your journey and can tell you when to turn right and when to turn left. Not true!

The second is that when we ask others to make our decisions and choices for us, we are volunteering to be victims. That is why we have the old saying: “There are no victims, only volunteers.” If I make your choices for you, and you allow that, you are deciding to be a victim of my choices for you. That is what we do when we are lazy and don’t want to take responsibility for our own lives.

The third is the formation of co-dependence and the dysfunction that comes from that. Making our own decisions is what we do as grown-ups. Accepting the responsibility for my choices is what I do as an adult. Blaming others for what we do is the immature and juvenile approach to me turning my life over to the control of another human being and making them the decision maker for what happens. It is a guarantee that they are not going to do what needs to be done in my life and I will garner resentments. Grow the hell up and pull up your own pants and begin to choose wisely for yourself.

I have honestly heard people who have committed murder tell me that their victim(s) made them do it. I have worked with violent offenders who tell me they “had” to kill or hit the other person, because they goaded or pushed them to their limits. Wow! Talk about immature beliefs!

Life IS going to bring trouble, it is going to bring scary days with things that are going to be challenging to navigate. It IS going to bring pain and joy and birth and death and beginnings and endings and love and dislike and all the full range of stuff. We may be robbed or beaten up or not. We may be robbers and beaters ourselves, because that is what we believe we need to do to protect ourselves or survive.

We are here to learn to be different. To learn to navigate those scary days and overcome them. We are here to SUCCEED! And when we are willing to change the way we THINK about what is going on in our lives, we will be able to change how we respond to what is going on in our lives. That is how simple this is…we ARE bigger than life…we are here to learn to ACCEPT and live, not fight or run away. Neither of those is life or love, they are fear. Let’s stop blaming others and giving them the power to run our lives and our emotions. Let’s get on with living and letting go of the BS that keeps us locked up inside.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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