April 13

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 13: “You’re only responsible for being honest, not for someone else’s reaction to your honesty.” ― Kelli Jae Baeli

Most of us are codependent. There are so few of us who are not also very dysfunctional at every level of human interaction. We will seek out others who can and will dance this dance with us. It is the fiber of all our interface with the world around us.

It keeps us in patterns of manipulation and coercion with each other in damaging ways. Telling the truth in these relationships is very damaging. We take responsibility for others’ feelings and how they react to our truth.

I can only be me. If that is displeasing to you, it is because it serves you better for me to be someone or something else. That is not okay for either of us.

It takes great strength to let others dislike us. It takes a great deal of personal integrity to be able to walk away from what others want of us or to be told that we are somehow wrong when we are being the best version of ourselves we can be.

Learning to stand apart from these enmeshed relationships with others, risking their disapproval or scorn is a challenge for a codependent. We base our worth on the views and opinions of others. This is not okay. There may be a story around all of this, but it MUST cease, or we are feeding the diseased parts of us and them.

Freedom means I clean up my side of the street and let you work on yours. I could help you, but that will not bring you the satisfaction I receive when I clean up my own. It is crippling to let you believe that you cannot do it on your own.

You probably don’t want to, but that kind of cleaning is not yours. Now you have no ownership of the process. Therefore, it is crippling you when I do that. If I do anything for you, it is to allow you to be a witness to the ways in which I become self-determined and self-actualized.

Nothing is going to help you but that. I can show you and I can tell you how I did it, but you are going to have to do it for yourself.

One of the greatest joys in the world is to watch a sponsee take responsibility for their own shit. It is great to give them this tool of freedom, but watching them pick it up and own it is priceless. I love these steps, and Step 4 is the greatest of them all.

When I can own ME, I can own me. There is nothing better. When I quit laying blame on others and the world around me, I get ownership. Of my attitudes, my beliefs, my behaviors and all that goes along with that. If I don’t like any of that, I can work on changing. You can’t do it to me, and you can’t do it for me. Only I can claim freedom. And I cannot take any credit (or blame) for what you think or feel about any of it.

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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