October 8

DISCIPLINE MONTH: DAY 8: “Manipulating someone into doing your will is NOT worth any portion of your life…. I am sorry, I practiced that in my past. Not long ago I realized that we are an extension of the deepest parts of who we really are, and by that, we have an obligation to our Higher Power to apply discipline and arrange our life story in a way that can best serve others.” ― Nick Catricala

Because I have worked for so many years with family dynamics in both addiction and otherwise, I know the first thing I think about when we speak of manipulating others and my will is sex.

Humans and sex are the most manipulative combination I know of. I can honestly say that even with the history of sexual abuse and trauma I have experienced, I still used my body to manipulate men in many ways. One beauty of aging is that it is no longer the issue it once was. And I am no longer the woman I once was.

So the two have combined to provide me with less opportunity to manipulate others. However, I also have done the kind of work Mr. Catricala is speaking of and my soul will not rest well with things that are gained through manipulation.

Codependency is rampant in our culture. The dynamics of relationship are so twisted and bent, and not only with addicts and their loved ones. This permeates our culture, both addiction and codependency. Let’s get a good definition of what I mean when I use the word codependency. It is the addiction to having to manipulate and control others at any and all costs. That happens even in relationships where there is no addiction present.

Ego needs to control and does it beautifully through the use of fear. That is Ego’s greatest tool. And it works. I can use fear to manipulate others easily. We all can. We learn it from the time we are two years old. In fact, most of us learned it from the families where we grew up. Our early development and learning was filled with someone’s fear-base. So we learned it well. It is in the dynamic of nearly everything our culture shows us and how we learn…schools use it, media REALLY uses it, families use it to death, and it is everywhere we turn.

To break free of this dynamic is to learn to practice real, authentic, connected relationships. Most of us do not know what that means. Power, money, and sex are the tools we use most of the time. They are not real, authentic, or connected tools. It takes a long time to unlearn manipulation and control. But the work is worth the life we get in return. Love this stuff…all day long!

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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