September 5

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 5: “Because inside me is a beast that snarls, and growls, and strains toward freedom… and as hard as I try, I cannot kill it.” ― Veronica Roth

This is what happens to most of us when we try to appease others, pleasing them before owning our own responsibility for our happiness.

Our social structure invites us to be “self-less”…taking care of everyone and waiting for our own needs to be met. By whom? How? In what ways?

That is the problem. We cannot give what we do not possess. If I am hungry and I feed you and wait to eat until everyone else is fed, I will die of hunger also. That does not give me permission to let others starve, but I must eat first. There is a balance point in all of life.

When we tip that balance point too far from where we need to be, we become caught up in the trap of our own making. We are angry and resentful because we are not getting what we need.

I have this beast inside me as well. And I get to see how badly it growls when I am busy taking care of other people and not myself.

Then we swing to the opposite extreme and say “f… that”…I will take care of myself only. That does not work either. And most of the people I know are convinced that they don’t like other people. This is not true. We are just too spiritually lazy to take responsibility for being in healthy and functional relationship with them.

We expect them to carry our happiness and meet our needs. That is not their job. It is ours. And we don’t know how to set healthy and appropriate boundaries. We are using and manipulating them, and they us. No wonder we have so many on our inventories and our amends list!

So, rather than learn how to have healthy relationships with others, we demand that they leave us alone, and our prison sentence (self-inflicted!) begins.

We all want the freedom to not NEED others, but to be able to live well with others in our lives. Without the stress of being so damned needy or catering to their needs.

Life is good when we can walk these roads. It resolves those feelings of anger and resentment that destroy our interaction with others. Finding balance in relationships is the whole point of the 12 steps. The only reason they exist. Not to just help us get and stay off drugs and alcohol, but to see the deep damage done by our beliefs about life and our part in it. The only reason. Let’s get on with THAT kind of healing, not just skimming the surface of this stuff.

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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