HUMILITY MONTH: DAY 6: “Humility permits me to own my feelings – and to admit them. Now I’m free to say, ‘I’m angry’. I’m free to admit what I am reacting to. I am free to ask if anger is what the person wanted to produce in me, and to ask for help in changing if my reaction is inappropriate.” ― Gayle D. Erwin
I love the general idea of this. If I am having a difficult response to someone’s actions or words, it is up to me to recognize that they may or may not have intended something they did or said to create that reaction in me. I have to own my emotions by examining what is happening for me in that situation. Why am I happy or unhappy?
I can be manipulated when others do things just to please me or appease me. That is not what I want. I want others to be present in my life because it brings them happiness and we enjoy each other. In relationships with addicts, it is difficult to determine with any certainty what motivates either us or them. We have to be mindful, always of these interactions and who is trying to control and manipulate whom.
Being controlling or being willing to be controlled are the same thing, for the most part. We are not able to act according to our own highest and best self when we are people-pleasing or being the puppet master. Both of these have payoffs, but they are not authentic.
So, while I love the concept and idea of owning my feelings, I must also understand that they are 100% a product of what I believe about what is happening, not due to what is happening. You cannot make me angry. Powerful concept! Especially for us addicts who are always willing to blame others or lay the responsibility on them for our feelings.
This is a huge part of learning to be authentic in this thing. Owning myself 100%. If something upsets me and I cannot make peace with it, there is more for me to examine. I know some people are not able to be where I want to be. So, it has happened that we need to step away from our relationships from time to time, even when we don’t want to. We may be getting something we want, but cannot overlook the things that don’t work for us.
Authenticity and honoring myself mean that I must do that, even though I may have a stake in what is going on in a situation. I step away. I let it go. It isn’t right, and no amount of manipulation or trying to put the square pegs into round holes is going to work for me. Some folks seem able to do this, but I have found it is not my way. I am grateful for the many teachers who come into my experience to teach me what is good for me and what is not. I am blessed.