September 24

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 24: “It was a long story, and the spirit which moved it was the spirit of man’s freedom. But what is freedom? Freedom from what? There is nothing to take a man’s freedom away from him, save other men. To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else.” ― Ayn Rand

To be free of my brothers (and sisters, of course) is to be free of the burdens imposed when my behavior is not to MY liking. If I have done things to harm others, I must be very, very clear that it was not to MY liking.

Why? Because others have an agenda. You may believe I have done you harm, but is it really? Or is it that you have some expectations about what I should do, in relation to you; OR that you want me to be someone or something other than who and what I am. I don’t carry THAT burden; it is on you. So, I examine these wrongs to be sure they ARE wrong.

Many of my family members were certain I had done them grievous harm because they were disappointed by me in some way. I don’t own that. They wanted me to behave in ways that were their path for me. Sorry…it ain’t happening.

In doing this work, we have to address our deep codependence and people pleasing behaviors. To make amends for these things is impossible. What we would be saying to them is that, “I will do everything you want me to do. I will be your puppet.”

This is a serious set up for resentments, anger, frustration and pain down the road, and not too very far down the road either. Why? Because we cannot mask this anger with drugs and alcohol. We will go deeper and deeper into our codependence.

I can ALWAYS tell people with deep-seated issues around this. How? They are chronically pissed off! All the time. And want to kill others when THEY are the problem. Most of them will say that they are just trying to be nice. Oh hell no!

Being nice in this vernacular is people pleasing…a terrible character defect that will seriously kick my ass if I think it is EVER possible to make another person happy. NOT MY JOB!!! NEVER WAS, NEVER WILL BE!!

It is MY job to find MY happiness. No one else can give me that…they cannot EVER make me happy!!! Ever. Nor I them. It is a trap, a manipulation of the highest degree.

Ms. Rand is correct. The ONLY source of freedom is to be free of the shackles of these debilitating relationships of control and manipulation, where guilt is the bartering chip used by others to keep us in their viewfinder.

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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