August 26

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 26: “Whatever course you decide upon there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires….courage.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

In a dysfunctional social environment, which by the way, is the one you and I both live within, there is always another who believes they know what you are supposed to do and how and when to do it. There is also a particular need you may have to let them dictate your life for you.

The first is the dysfunction of cultural codependency. That is a term I have made up to describe the sad state of our culture. Where we tell each other what to do, like we know something. It is also the dynamic of the second type of dysfunction, otherwise known as people-pleasing or pre-determined victimhood.

If I let you take responsibility for my life, two things are guaranteed. You will resent me because I take no responsibility for my life. And the other is that I will resent you because you have no respect for any choice-making on my part. There is no boundary-setting involved here. We are enmeshed to the point of neither of us being able to recognize where I begin and end or you begin and end. It is the most toxic way to establish and maintain relationships ever.

And yet, it is the absolute standard for almost all relationships in our culture. Accepted and recognized in every aspect of our culture. Isn’t that sad?

It is so lazy and horrifying that no one knows how to stand up and take responsibility for their own life and their own choices. It is the primary dysfunction of all addictions. Blame and hatred abound! And this is the thing, the absolutely necessary ingredient for cleaning up our messes.

When we make that list, we must be sure to include all those on it who we take responsibility for without allowing them the dignity of being able to make it or break it on their own. I will NEVER learn from those things you do for me. It is crippling and we do it on a global scale in this world. There are children who are crippled with entitlement and lack of boundaries. They hate those who do that to them and for them. And the ones who are perpetrating that truly toxic behavior hate and resent the ones they do it to and for. Ain’t that swell?

No wonder we don’t know how to let go. Everyone gets crippled in this dance.

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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