Codependent No More Quotes

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Furthermore, worrying about people and problems doesn't help. It doesn't solve problems, it doesn't help other people, and it doesn't help us. It is wasted energy.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Codependents are reactionaries. They overreact. They under-react. But rarely do they act. They react to the problems, pains, lives, and behaviors of others. They react to their own problems, pains, and behaviors.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
...the pain that comes from loving someone who's in trouble can be profound.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
The formula is simple: In any given situation, detach and ask, “What do I need to do to take care of myself?
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We Are Lovable Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
In the future if my mother tries to shame me with her disapproval, I will let her know in no uncertain terms that I reject her and all of her codependent baggage. I am Codependent No More.
Susan Juby (Alice, I Think (Alice MacLeod, #1))
We rescue people from their responsibilities. We take care of people’s responsibilities for them. Later we get mad at them for what we’ve done. Then we feel used and sorry for ourselves. That is the pattern, the triangle.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Worrying, obsessing, and controlling are illusions. They are tricks we play on ourselves.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Codependents make great employees. They don’t complain; they do more than their share; they do whatever is asked of them; they please people; and they try to do their work perfectly—at least for a while, until they become angry and resentful.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
I saw people who were hostile; they had felt so much hurt that hostility was their only defense against being crushed again.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
I know when to say no and when to say yes. I take responsibility for my choices. The victim? She went somewhere else. The only one who can truly victimize me is myself, and 99 percent of the time I choose to do that no more. But I need to continue to remember the key principles: boundaries, letting go, forgiveness after feeling my feelings—not before, self-expression, loving others but loving myself, too.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Taking care of myself is a big job. No wonder I avoided it for so long. —ANONYMOUS
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Detaching does not mean we don’t care. It means we learn to love, care, and be involved without going crazy.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Codependents: don’t trust themselves. don’t trust their feelings. don’t trust their decisions. don’t trust other people. try to trust untrustworthy people.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
A codependent person is one who has let another person's behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person's behavior.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
1. We fear people because they can expose and humiliate us. 2. We fear people because they can reject, ridicule, or despise us. 3. We fear people because they can attack, oppress, or threaten us. These three reasons have one thing in common: they see people as “bigger” (that is, more powerful and significant) than God, and, out of the fear that creates in us, we give other people the power and right to tell us what to feel, think, and do.
Edward T. Welch (When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Resources for Changing Lives))
We don’t have to take things so personally. We take things to heart that we have no business taking to heart. For instance, saying “If you loved me you wouldn’t drink” to an alcoholic makes as much sense as saying “If you loved me, you wouldn’t cough” to someone who has pneumonia. Pneumonia victims will cough until they get appropriate treatment for their illness. Alcoholics will drink until they get the same. When people with a compulsive disorder do whatever it is they are compelled to do, they are not saying they don’t love you—they are saying they don’t love themselves.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Ever since people first existed, they have been doing all the things we label "codependent." They have worried themselves sick about other people. They have tried to help in ways that didn't help. They have said yes when they meant no. They have tried to make other people see things their way. They have bent over backwards avoiding hurting people's feelings and, in so doing, have hurt themselves. They have been afraid to trust their feelings. They have believed lies and then felt betrayed. They have wanted to get even and punish others. They have felt so angry they wanted to kill. They have struggled for their rights while other people said they didn't have any. They have worn sackcloth because they didn't believe they deserved silk.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We don’t have to take rejection as a reflection of our self-worth. If somebody who is important (or even someone unimportant) to you rejects you or your choices, you are still real, and you are still worth every bit as much as you would be if you had not been rejected. Feel any feelings that go with rejection; talk about your thoughts; but don’t forfeit your self-esteem to another’s disapproval or rejection of who you are or what you have done. Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay. If you have done something inappropriate or you need to solve a problem or change a behavior, then take appropriate steps to take care of yourself. But don’t reject yourself, and don’t give so much power to other people’s rejection of you. It isn’t necessary
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
The only person you can now or ever change is yourself. The only person that it is your business to control is yourself.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We don’t have to take other people’s behaviors as reflections of our self-worth. We don’t have to be embarrassed if someone we love chooses to behave inappropriately. It’s normal to react that way, but we don’t have to continue to feel embarrassed and less than if someone else continues to behave inappropriately. Each person is responsible for his or her behavior.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
the surest way to make ourselves crazy is to get involved in other people’s business, and the quickest way to become sane and happy is to tend to our own affairs.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
As I’ve said before, no wonder we think God has abandoned us; we’ve abandoned ourselves.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Many codependents, at some time in their lives, were true victims—of someone’s abuse, neglect, abandonment, alcoholism, or any number of situations that can victimize people. We were, at some time, truly helpless to protect ourselves or solve our problems. Something came our way, something we didn’t ask for, and it hurt us terribly. That is sad, truly sad. But an even sadder fact is that many of us codependents began to see ourselves as victims. Our painful history repeats itself. As caretakers, we allow people to victimize us, and we participate in our victimization by perpetually rescuing people. Rescuing or caretaking is not an act of love.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We’re so careful to see that no one gets hurt. No one, that is, but ourselves.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
If you have done nothing to feel embarrassed about, don’t feel embarrassed. I know this is a tough concept, but it can be mastered.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
There's always something in it for the person who is allowing to be taken advantage of." Psychotherapist David in Type 1 Sociopath
P.A. Speers (Type 1 Sociopath - When Difficult People Are More Than Just Difficult People)
The vocation of putting people straight, of tearing off their masks, of forcing them to face the repressed truth, is a highly dangerous and destructive calling,
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.1 —II TIMOTHY 1:7
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We are more concerned about looking stupid (a fear of people) than we are about acting sinfully (a fear of God).
Edward T. Welch (When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Resources for Changing Lives))
We stop worrying about them, and they pick up the slack and finally start worrying about themselves. What a grand plan! We each mind our own business. Earlier, I described a person caught in
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
You are not responsible for making other people “see the light,” and you do not need to “set them straight.” You are responsible for helping yourself see the light and for setting yourself straight.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Many of the people I’ve worked with in family groups have been that obsessed with people they care about. When I asked them what they were feeling, they told me what the other person was feeling. When I asked what they did, they told me what the other person had done. Their entire focus was on someone or something other than themselves. Some of them had spent years of their lives doing this—worrying about, reacting to, and trying to control other human beings. They were shells, sometimes almost invisible shells, of people. Their energy was depleted—directed at someone else. They couldn’t tell me what they were feeling and thinking because they didn’t know. Their focus was not on themselves.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Codependents appear to be depended upon, but they are dependent.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
There's always something in it for the person who is allowing to be taken advantage of. - Psychotherapist David in Type 1 Sociopath
P.A. Speers (Type 1 Sociopath - When Difficult People Are More Than Just Difficult People)
Many of us react as though everything is a crisis because we have lived with so many crises for so long that crisis reaction has become a habit.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Except for normal human emotions we would be feeling anyway, and twinges of discomfort as we begin to behave differently, recovery from codependency is exciting. It is liberating. It lets us be who we are. It lets other people be who they are.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
People may get angry at us for setting boundaries; they can’t use us anymore. They may try to help us feel guilty so we will remove our boundary and return to the old system of letting them use or abuse us. Don’t feel guilty and don’t back down.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
For each of us, there comes a time to let go. You will know when that time has come. When you have done all that you can do, it is time to detach. Deal with your feelings. Face your fears about losing control. Gain control of yourself and your responsibilities. Free others to be who they are. In so doing, you will set yourself free. ACTIVITY Is there an event or person in your life that you are trying to control? Why? Write a few paragraphs about it.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
If you did not have that person or problem in your life, what would you be doing with your life that is different from what you are doing now? How would you be feeling and behaving? Spend a few minutes visualizing yourself living your life, feeling and behaving that way—in spite of your unsolved problem.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Frequently, when I suggest to people that they detach from a person or problem, they recoil in horror. “Oh, no!” they say. “I could never do that. I love him, or her, too much. I care too much to do that. This problem or person is too important to me. I have to stay attached!” My answer to that is, “WHO SAYS YOU HAVE TO?” I’ve got news—good news. We don’t “have to.” There’s a better way. It’s called “detachment.”3 It may be scary at first, but it will ultimately work better for everyone involved.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We work it out, or live it out.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
A codependent person is one who has let another person’s behavior affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Lately, he had been wondering if codependence was such a bad thing. He took pleasure in his friendships, and it didn’t hurt anyone, so who cared if it was codependent or not? And anyway, how was a friendship any more codependent than a relationship? Why was it admirable when you were twenty-seven but creepy when you were thirty-seven? Why wasn’t friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn’t it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified. Friendship was witnessing another’s slow drip of miseries, and long bouts of boredom, and occasional triumphs. It was feeling honored by the privilege of getting to be present for another person’s most dismal moments, and knowing that you could be dismal around him in return.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
I want to thank each person who has the courage to push through and past the set of coping behaviors we’ve come to label as codependency—who learn what it means to take care of themselves. “Nobody taught me how to take care of myself,” a fifty-year-old woman told me recently. “I didn’t have enough money to go to therapy, but I had enough to buy a book.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Once they have been affected---once "it" sets in---codependency takes on a life of its own. It is similar to catching pneumonia or picking up a destructive habit. Once you've got it, you've got it. If you want to get rid of it, YOU have to do something to make it go away. It doesn't matter whose fault it is. Your codependency becomes your problem; solving your problems is your responsibility.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
But perhaps the enthusiastic sensibility of young women of her age also played a role. This feeling sought release at every opportunity, and with it Grete now felt tempted to want to make Gregor's situation even more terrifying, so that then she would be able to do even more for him than now.
Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis)
Recovery is not only fun, it is simple. It is not always easy, but it is simple. It is based on a premise many of us have forgotten or never learned: Each person is responsible for him- or herself. It involves learning one new behavior that we will devote ourselves to: taking care of ourselves.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Taking care of myself is a big job. No wonder I avoided it for so long.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Control is an illusion. It doesn’t work.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
I reacted to other people’s feelings, behaviors, problems, and thoughts. I reacted to what they might by feeling, thinking, or doing. I reacted to my own feelings, my own thoughts, my own problems. My strong point seemed to be reacting to crises—I thought almost everything was a crisis. I overreacted.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
The rewards from detachment are great: serenity; a deep sense of peace; the ability to give and receive love in self-enhancing, energizing ways; and the freedom to find real solutions to our problems. We find the freedom to live our own lives without excessive feelings of guilt about, or responsibility toward others.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
If we weren’t trying to control whether a person liked us or his or her reaction to us, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control the course of a relationship, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control another person’s behavior, how would we think, feel, speak, and behave differently than we do now? What haven’t we been letting ourselves do while hoping that self-denial would influence a particular situation or person? Are there some things we’ve been doing that we’d stop? How would we treat ourselves differently? Would we let ourselves enjoy life more and feel better right now? Would we stop feeling so bad? Would we treat ourselves better? If we weren’t trying to control, what would we do differently? Make a list, then do it.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
We Are Lovable Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay. —Codependent No More Do you ever find yourself thinking: How could anyone possibly love me? For many of us, this is a deeply ingrained belief that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thinking we are unlovable can sabotage our relationships with co-workers, friends, family members, and other loved ones. This belief can cause us to choose, or stay in, relationships that are less than we deserve because we don’t believe we deserve better. We may become desperate and cling as if a particular person was our last chance at love. We may become defensive and push people away. We may withdraw or constantly overreact. While growing up, many of us did not receive the unconditional love we deserved. Many of us were abandoned or neglected by important people in our life. We may have concluded that the reason we weren’t loved was because we were unlovable. Blaming ourselves is an understandable reaction, but an inappropriate one. If others couldn’t love us, or love us in ways that worked, that’s not our fault. In recovery, we’re learning to separate ourselves from the behavior of others. And we’re learning to take responsibility for our healing, regardless of the people around us. Just as we may have believed that we’re unlovable, we can become skilled at practicing the belief that we are lovable. This new belief will improve the quality of our relationships. It will improve our most important relationship: our relationship with our self. We will be able to let others love us and become open to the love and friendship we deserve. Today, help me be aware of and release any self-defeating beliefs I have about being unlovable. Help me begin, today, to tell myself that I am lovable. Help me practice this belief until it gets into my core and manifests itself in my relationships.
Melody Beattie
We’ve realized that women have souls, and men have feelings.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Sharing your life with someone will have much more meaning coming from a place of independence rather than co-dependence.
Gary Hopkins
I don’t think love has to hurt as much as it did in the past. I don’t think we have to allow love to hurt us as much as it has. We certainly don’t have to let it destroy us.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
It’s okay to succeed, to have good things, and to have loving relationships that work.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Our goal is to love people more than need them. We are overflowing pitchers, not leaky cups.
Edward T. Welch (When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man)
Go easy. You may have to push forward, but you don’t have to push so hard. Go in gentleness, go in peace. Do not be in so much of a hurry. At no day, no hour, no time are you required to do more than you can do in peace.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
Don’t give up hope. It took many of us twenty years or more to acquire these protective behaviors we umbrella with the word codependency. It may take as much time as that to let go of them.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
To look to Christ to meet our perceived psychological needs is to Christianize our lusts. We are asking God to give us what we want, so we can feel better about ourselves or so we can have more happiness, not holiness, in our lives.
Edward T. Welch (When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Resources for Changing Lives))
they had felt so much hurt that hostility was their only defense against being crushed again.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
I believe detachment can become a habitual response, in the same manner that obsessing, worrying, and controlling became habitual responses—by
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little coarse, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice? Up again; you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
People ultimately do what they want to do. They feel how they want to feel (or how they are feeling); they think what they want to think; they do the things they believe they need to do; and they will change only when they are ready to change. It doesn’t matter if they’re wrong and we’re right. It doesn’t matter if they’re hurting themselves. It doesn’t matter that we could help them if they’d only listen to, and cooperate with, us. IT DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER, DOESN’T MATTER. We
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
[Reactionaries] Just feeling urgent and compulsive is enough to hurt us. We keep ourselves in a crisis state...ready to react to emergencies that aren't really emergencies. Someone does something, so we must do something back. Someone says something, so we must say something. Someone feels a certain way, so we must feel a certain way. WE JUMP INTO THE FIRST FEELING THAT COMES OUR WAY AND THEN WALLOW IN IT.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We can let ourselves enjoy life. If we want something and can afford it, buy it. If we want to do something that is legal and harmless, do it. When we’re actually involved with doing something that is recreational, don’t find ways to feel bad. Let go and enjoy life.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
As Thomas Wright writes in an article from the book Co-Dependency, An Emerging Issue, “I suspect codependents have historically attacked social injustice and fought for the rights of the underdog. Codependents want to help. I suspect they have helped. But they probably died thinking they didn’t do enough and were feeling guilty.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
From our first day alive on this planet, they began teaching society everything it knows and experiences. It was all brainwashing bullshit. Their trio of holy catechisms is: faith is more important than reason; inputs are more important than outcomes; hope is more important than reality. It was designed to choke your independent thinking and acting—to bring out the lowest common denominator in people—so that vast amounts of the general public would literally buy into sponsorship and preservation of their hegemonic nation. Their greatest achievement was the creation of the two-party political system; it gave only the illusion of choice, but never offered any change; it promised freedom, but only delivered more limits. In the end, you got stuck with two leading loser parties and not just one. It completed their trap of underhanded domination, and it worked masterfully. Look anywhere you go. America is a nation of submissive, dumbed-down, codependent, faith-minded zombies obsessed with celebrity gossip, buying unnecessary goods, and socializing without purpose on their electronic gadgets. The crazy thing is that people don't even know it; they still think they're free. Everywhere, people have been made into silent accomplices in the government's twisted control game. In the end, there is no way out for anyone.
Zoltan Istvan (The Transhumanist Wager)
It is only when we feel deprived that we resent giving to others. Self-care does not mean you stop caring about others; it just means you start caring more about you. Start thinking about yourself more and others less. Since you have a choice between taking care of someone else, or giving to yourself, try choosing yourself sometimes.
Beverly Engel (The Right to Innocence: Healing the Trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Therapeutic 7-Step Self-Help Program for Men and Women, Including How to Choose a Therapist and Find a Support Group)
Few situations—no matter how greatly they appear to demand it—can be bettered by us going berserk. Why do we do it, then? We react because we’re anxious and afraid of what has happened, what might happen, and what is happening. Many of us react as though everything is a crisis because we have lived with so many crises for so long that crisis reaction has become a habit. We react because we think things shouldn’t be happening the way they are. We react because we don’t feel good about ourselves. We react because most people react. We react because we think we have to react. We don’t have to. We don’t have to be so afraid of people. They are just people like us. We don’t have to forfeit our peace. It doesn’t help. We have the same facts and resources available to us when we’re peaceful that are available to us when we’re frantic and chaotic. Actually we have more resources available because our minds and emotions are free to perform at peak level.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
I’d like to make a motion that we face reality. —BOB NEWHART, FROM THE BOB NEWHART SHOW
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Even recovery brings losses, more changes we must struggle to accept.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
And what I'm saying is obviously I'd cope without you because wonderful as you are, I like to think this isn't a codependent relationship. But I'd rather not have to. My life is more interesting with you in it, and you make me a worse person.
Alexis Hall (Husband Material (London Calling, #2))
Detachment involves “present moment living”—living in the here and now. We allow life to happen instead of forcing and trying to control it. We relinquish regrets over the past and fears about the future. We make the most of each day. Detachment
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Reactionaries...just feeling urgent and compulsive is enough to hurt us. Someone does something, so we must do something back Someone says something, so we must say something back. Someone feels a certain way, so we must feel a certain way. WE JUMP INTO THE FIRST FEELING THAT COMES OUR WAY AND THEN WALLOW IT.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
A friend, Scott Egleston, who is a professional in the mental health field, told me a therapy fable. He heard it from someone, who heard it from someone else. It goes: Once upon a time, a woman moved to a cave in the mountains to study with a guru. She wanted, she said, to learn everything there was to know. The guru supplied her with stacks of books and left her alone so she could study. Every morning, the guru returned to the cave to monitor the woman's progress. In his hand, he carried a heavy wooden cane. Each morning, he asked her the same question: " Have you learned everything there is to know yet?" Each morning, her answer was the same. "No." she said, " I haven't." The guru would then strike her over the head with its cane. This scenario repeated itself for months. One day the guru entered the cave, asked the same question, heard the same answer, and raised his cane to hit her in the same way, but the woman grabbed the cane from the guru, stopping his assault in midair. Relieved to end the daily batterings but fearing reprisal, the woman looked up at the guru. To her surprise, the guru smiled. " Congragulations." he said, " you have graduated ". You know now everything you need to know." " How's that"? the woman asked. " You have learned that you will never learn everything there is to know," he replied. " And you have learned how to stop the pain".
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Whatever problem the other person has, codependency involves a habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that can cause us pain. Codependent behaviors or habits are self-destructive. We frequently react to people who are destroying themselves; we
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
an emotional, psychological, and behavioral condition that develops as a result of an individual’s prolonged exposure to, and practice of, a set of oppressive rules—rules which prevent the open expression of feeling as well as the direct discussion of personal and interpersonal problems.”2
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
The big reason for not repressing feelings is that emotional withdrawal causes us to lose our positive feelings. We lose the ability to feel. Sometimes, this may be a welcome relief if the pain becomes too great or too constant, but this is not a good plan for living. We may shut down our deep needs—our need to love and be loved—when we shut down our emotions. We may lose our ability to enjoy sex, the human touch. We lose the ability to feel close to people, otherwise known as intimacy. We lose our capacity to enjoy the pleasant things in life.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
It is possible that our present-day discussion about needs might be framed more by secular psychological theories than by Scripture. If this is so, we should be careful about saying, "Jesus meets all our needs." At first, this has a plausible biblical ring to it. Christ _is_a friend; God _is_ a loving Father; Christians _do_ experience a sense of meaningfulness and confidence in knowing God's love. It makes Christ the answer to our problems. Yet if our use of the term "needs" is ambiguous, and its range of meaning extends all the way to selfish desires, then there will be some situations where we should say that Jesus does not intend to meet our needs, but that he intends to change our needs.
Edward T. Welch (When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Resources for Changing Lives))
We don’t have to be controlled by what other people say; we don’t have to try to control them with our words and special effects. We don’t have to be manipulated, guilted, coerced, or forced into anything. We can open our mouths and take care of ourselves! Learn to say: “I love you, but I love me, too. This is what I need to do to take care of me.” We
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Codependent forgiveness is this fantasized tear-filled beautiful reconciliation where everything is magically cured by love and compassion. As with most codependent issues, it’s focused on other people. Their problems. Their childhood. Their past. You think you understand them so much, maybe even more than they understand themselves! You make up excuses and reasons for them, your heart melts, you take them back, and then they hurt you again.
Jackson MacKenzie (Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse)
Of all the judgments that we pass in life, none is as important as the one we pass on ourselves, for that judgment touches the very center of our existence. … No significant aspect of our thinking, motivation, feelings, or behavior is unaffected by our self-evaluation….
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
I look away, farther down the hall, and I see Tish in line with her Sunday school class. Tish sees me and her face lights up. In that instant, I realize I owe nothing to the institution of Christianity—not my health, not my dignity, not my silence, not my martyrdom. I do not answer to this place, I answer to God, to myself, and to the little girl in that line. None of us wants me to try to pass off cowardice for strength, willful ignorance for loyalty, codependence for love. That little girl doesn’t want me to die for her; she never asked to bear that burden. She wants me to live for her. She needs me to show her not how a woman pretends her life is perfect, but how a woman deals honestly and bravely with an imperfect life. She needs to learn from me that these four walls don’t contain God and that the people inside them don’t own God, that God loves her more than any institution God made for her. She will learn this only if I show her that I believe it myself. She will know this only if I know it first. She will learn her song only if her mother keeps singing.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
I believe in the two-way bridges we build that connect us to one another. I believe in the deep interconnectedness of everything, in the benefits of our codependency, and in the opportunity of today when we believe in a tomorrow. I believe in the gift that creative people are given and in the obligation to use it. I believe that we have done well, but I think we can do better. I believe we can do much, much better. There is more making to be done. There are dreams out there that must be made real.
Frank Chimero (The Shape of Design)
or to what we hope they are. The more we work through our family of origin issues, the less we will find ourselves needing to work through them with the people we’re attracted to. Finishing our business from the past helps us form new and healthier relationships. The more we overcome our need to be excessive caretakers, the less we will find ourselves attracted to people who need to be constantly taken care of. The more we learn to love and respect ourselves, the more we will become attracted to people who will love and respect us and who we can safely love and respect. This is a slow process. We need to be patient with ourselves. The type of people we find ourselves attracted to does not change overnight. Being attracted to dysfunctional people can linger long and well into recovery. That does not mean we need to allow it to control us. The fact is, we will initiate and maintain relationships with people we need to be with until we learn what it is we need to learn—no matter how long we’ve been recovering. No matter who we find ourselves relating to, and what we discover happening in the relationship, the issue is still about us, and not about the other person. That is the heart, the hope, and the power of recovery.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
I feel more passionately about the importance of healing from our abuse issues. I feel more passionately. I’ve become more spontaneous, embraced my femininity, and learned new lessons along the way—about boundaries, flexibility, and owning my power. And about love. I’m learning to respect men. My relationships have deepened. Some have changed.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
To love God more is never to love people less. It’s to love people best. It’s to relieve them of the responsibility of being your false Christ. It’s to keep their sins against you from being unforgivable and your sins against them from being ignorable. It’s to guard them from our mean-streaks and strong human tendencies to respond to disappointment with punishment. It’s to keep the people close by from cutting their wrists on the razor-sharp blades of our insecurities. It’s to dull the edge of our cravings to be adored. It’s to untie the double knots of codependency. It’s to let the affirmations of others be the overflow and not the essential source of our emotional survival. To love God is to guard man.
Beth Moore (Audacious)
I just want to say one thing. If I ever write a novel again, it's going to be in defense of weak women, inept and codependent women. I'm going to talk about all the great movies and songs and poetry that focus on such women. I'm going to toast Blanche DuBois. I'm going to celebrate women who aren't afraid to show their need and their vulnerabilities. To be honest about how hard it can be to plow your way through a life that offers no guarantees about anything. I'm going to get on my metaphorical knees and thank women who fall apart, who cry and carry on and wail and wring their hands because you know what, Midge? We all need to cry. Thank God for women who can articulate their vulnerabilities and express what probably a lot of other people want to say and feel they can't. Those peoples' stronghold against falling apart themselves is the disdain they feel for women who do it for them. Strong. I'm starting to think that's as much a party line as anything else ever handed to women for their assigned roles. When do we get respect for our differences from men? Our strength is our weakness. Our ability to feel is our humanity. You know what? I'll bet if you talk to a hundred strong women, 99 of them would say 'I'm sick of being strong. I would like to be cared for. I would like someone else to make the goddamn decisions, I'm sick of making decisions.' I know this one woman who's a beacon of strength. A single mother who can do everything - even more than you, Midge. I ran into her not long ago and we went and got a coffee and you know what she told me? She told me that when she goes out to dinner with her guy, she asks him to order everything for her. Every single thing, drink to dessert. Because she just wants to unhitch. All of us dependent, weak women have the courage to do all the time what she can only do in a restaurant.
Elizabeth Berg (Home Safe)
Lately, he had been wondering if codependence was such a bad thing. He took pleasure in his friendships, and it didn’t hurt anyone, so who cared if it was codependent or not? And anyway, how was a friendship any more codependent than a relationship? Why was it admirable when you were twenty-seven but creepy when you were thirty-seven? Why wasn’t friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn’t it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified. Friendship was witnessing another’s slow drip of miseries, and long bouts of boredom, and occasional triumphs. It was feeling honoured by the privilege of getting to be present for another person’s most dismal moments, and knowing that you could be dismal around him in return.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Detachment is not a cold, hostile withdrawal; a resigned, despairing acceptance of anything life and people throw our way; a robotical walk through life oblivious to, and totally unaffected by people and problems; a Pollyanna-like ignorant bliss; a shirking of our true responsibilities to ourselves and others; a severing of our relationships. Nor is it a removal of our love and concern... Detachment is based on the premises that each person is responsible for himself, that we can't solve problems that aren't ours to solve, and that worrying doesn't help. We adopt a policy of keeping our hands off other people's responsibilities and tend to our own instead. If people have created some disasters for themselves, we allow them to face their own proverbial music. We allow people to be who they are. We give them the freedom to be responsible and to grow. And we give ourselves that same freedom. We live our own lives to the best of our ability. We strive to ascertain what it is we can change and what we cannot change. Then we stop trying to change things we can't. We do what we can to solve a problem, and then we stop fretting and stewing. If we cannot solve a problem and we have done what we could, we learn to live with, or in spite of, that problem. And we try to live happily — focusing heroically on what is good in our lives today, and feeling grateful for that. We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more. Detachment involves "present moment living" — living in the here and now. We allow life to happen instead of forcing and trying to control it. We relinquish regrets over the past and fears about the future. We make the most of each day.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Some of us may be without a special person to love. That can be difficult, but it is not an impossible situation. We may want and need someone to love, but I think it helps if we love ourselves enough. It’s okay to be in a relationship, but it’s also okay to not be in a relationship. Find friends to love, be loved by, and who think we are worthwhile. Love ourselves and know we are worthwhile. Use our time alone as a breather. Let go. Learn the lessons we are to be learning. Grow. Develop. Work on ourselves, so when love comes along, it enhances a full and interesting life. Love shouldn’t be the concern of our whole life or an escape from an unpleasant life. Strive toward goals. Have fun. Trust God and His timing. He cares and knows all about our needs and wants. Whatever
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
We don’t have to take rejection as a reflection of our self-worth. If somebody who is important (or even someone unimportant) to you rejects you or your choices, you are still real, and you are still worth every bit as much as you would be if you had not been rejected. Feel any feelings that go with rejection; talk about your thoughts; but don’t forfeit your self-esteem to another’s disapproval or rejection of who you are or what you have done. Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay. If you have done something inappropriate or you need to solve a problem or change a behavior, then take appropriate steps to take care of yourself. But don’t reject yourself, and don’t give so much power to other people’s rejection of you.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Self-care is an attitude toward ourselves and our lives that says, I am responsible for myself. I am responsible for leading or not living my life. I am responsible for tending to my spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial well-being. I am responsible for identifying and meeting my needs. I am responsible for solving my problems or learning to live with those I cannot solve. I am responsible for my choices. I am responsible for what I give and receive. I am also responsible for setting and achieving my goals. I am responsible for how much I enjoy life, for how much pleasure I find in daily activities. I am responsible for whom I love and how I choose to express this love. I am responsible for what I do to others and for what I allow others to do to me. I am responsible for my wants and desires. All of me, every aspect of my being, is important. I count for something. I matter. My feelings can be trusted. My thinking is appropriate. I value my wants and needs. I do not deserve and will not tolerate abuse or constant mistreatment. I have rights, and it is my responsibility to assert these rights. The decisions I make and the way I conduct myself will reflect my high self-esteem. My decisions will take into account my responsibilities to myself.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
You might be too enmeshed with the other person, or “codependent,” and you must learn to set better “boundaries.” The basic premise underlying this point of view is that the ideal relationship is one between two self-sufficient people who unite in a mature, respectful way while maintaining clear boundaries. If you develop a strong dependency on your partner, you are deficient in some way and are advised to work on yourself to become more “differentiated” and develop a “greater sense of self.” The worst possible scenario is that you will end up needing your partner, which is equated with “addiction” to him or her, and addiction, we all know, is a dangerous prospect. While the teachings of the codependency movement remain immensely helpful in dealing with family members who suffer from substance abuse (as was the initial intention), they can be misleading and even damaging when applied indiscriminately to all relationships.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
What happens when you hit your daughter. First, she will bond to you out of fear, mistakenly thinking she has done something wrong, and if she can just manage to not do it again or somehow please you, you might not hit her or anyone else anymore. She will even think you will love her properly if she can earn your approval. She won't realize this is impossible. Then she will either do that with every man she comes within 100 feet of for the rest of her life or until she learns not to - this will take much doing - or she will despise them with such vehemence that she can barely stomach one around. Sometimes she will do a combination of both of those things, working herself into a pattern of push and pull - I love you, I hate you, I need you, I don't need anyone - that will drive her a little crazy. She won't understand at first, if ever, why she only attracts other masochists. Whatever numbing agent she's picked for herself - she will probably try drugs, drink too much alcohol, starve herself or binge and purge, maybe cut herself, act out sexually - in fact, she may do all of those things - that continues to help kill her spirit and dulls her enough to keep her participating in living like a maniac will be consumed to varying degrees depending on need. She will be more likely to commit suicide than if you hadn't abused her. She will give herself away and will mistake admiration and infatuation and sometimes even abuse for love.
Allison Moorer (Blood: A Memoir)
I still found codependents hostile, controlling, manipulative, indirect, and all the things I had found them before. I still saw all the peculiar twists of personality I previously saw. But, I saw deeper. I saw people who were hostile; they had felt so much hurt that hostility was their only defense against being crushed again. They were that angry because anyone who had tolerated what they had would be that angry. They were controlling because everything around and inside them was out of control. Always, the dam of their lives and the lives of those around them threatened to burst and spew harmful consequences on everyone. And nobody but them seemed to notice or care. I saw people who manipulated because manipulation appeared to be the only way to get anything done. I worked with people who were indirect because the systems they lived in seemed incapable of tolerating honesty. I worked with people who thought they were going crazy because they had believed so many lies they didn’t know what reality was. I saw people who had gotten so absorbed in other people’s problems they didn’t have time to identify or solve their own. These were people who had cared so deeply, and often destructively, about other people that they had forgotten how to care about themselves. The codependents felt responsible for so much because the people around them felt responsible for so little; they were just taking up the slack. I saw hurting, confused people who needed comfort, understanding, and information. I saw victims of alcoholism who didn’t drink but were nonetheless victimized by alcohol. I saw victims struggling desperately to gain some kind of power over their perpetrators.
Melody Beattie (Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself)
Do you remember the Third Insight, that humans are unique in a world of energy in that they can project their energy consciously?” “Yes.” “Do you remember how this is done?” I recalled John’s lessons. “Yes, it is done by appreciating the beauty of an object until enough energy comes into us to feel love. At that point we can send energy back.” “That’s right. And the same principle holds true with people. When we appreciate the shape and demeanor of a person, really focus on them until their shape and features begin to stand out and to have more presence, we can then send them energy, lifting them up. “Of course, the first step is to keep our own energy high, then we can start the flow of energy coming into us, through us, and into the other person. The more we appreciate their wholeness, their inner beauty, the more the energy flows into them, and naturally, the more that flows into us.” She laughed. “It’s really a rather hedonistic thing to do,” she said. “The more we can love and appreciate others, the more energy flows into us. That’s why loving and energizing others is the best possible thing we can do for ourselves.” “I’ve heard that before,” I said. “Father Sanchez says it often.” I looked at Julia closely. I had the feeling I was seeing her deeper personality for the first time. She returned my gaze for an instant, then focused again on the road. “The effect on the individual of this projection of energy is immense,” she said. “Right now, for instance, you’re filling me with energy. I can feel it. What I feel is a greater sense of lightness and clarity as I’m formulating my thoughts to speak. “Because you are giving me more energy than I would have otherwise, I can see what my truth is and more readily give it to you. When I do that, you have a sense of revelation about what I’m saying. This leads you to see my higher self even more fully and so appreciate and focus on it at an even deeper level, which gives me even more energy and greater insight into my truth and the cycle begins over again. Two or more people doing this together can reach incredible highs as they build one another up and have it immediately returned. You must understand, though, that this connection is completely different from a co-dependent relationship. A co-dependent relationship begins this way but soon becomes controlling because the addiction cuts them off from their source and the energy runs out. Real projection of energy has no attachment or intention. Both people are just waiting for the messages.
James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1))