Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Controllers Don't Trust

A controller doesn't trust his/her ability to live through the pain and chaos of life. There is no life without pain just as there is no art without submitting to chaos.
--Rita Mae Brown
It is very hard for most of us to see how controlling we are. We may feel uptight or careful, but we haven't seen it as controlling ourselves or controlling how people respond to us. We may be worried about a loved one's behaviour or safety, but not realize our hovering over that person is a controlling activity. We may be keenly aware of other people's controlling behaviour with us, but unaware we have equalled their control by monitoring them and trying to change their behaviour.
What a moment of spiritual adventure it is to risk living through the pain! When we do not seek an escape or a quick fix but have patience with the process, new possibilities often do develop. We can only let go of our control - or turn it over to our Higher Power. And we will do it and forget, taking control back within minutes or within an hour. Then we let go again.
Today, I will submit to the insecurity of a changing universe and have faith that I can live through the process and grow.  

from Hazelden Thought of the Week

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Into the Light page 28

True Confessions of a Therapist

There doesn't appear to be a way for me to give someone else what I know. All I can do is help create opportunities whereby they might see "different" for themselves.
When I do attempt to give someone else what I know or what I think I know and then make the fatal mistake of believing I have succeeded in passing on this piece of wisdom, I often discover I have not.  I have often discovered to my own chagrin that by thinking I have succeeded in keeping someone from going through one more private, painful little hell, I haven't.  And the long run always proves me wrong. That can be disheartening at times.  It seems that it is a universal rule that they have to go through that private, painful, little hell for themselves.  It is as if it was necessary, a rites of passage, part of the 'deal' of being here, it needed to be done - it seems as simple as that. So …
The truth of the matter seems to be that each person has to learn 'it' for themselves and usually experience it over and over again before the message is ferreted out and understood at the deepest levels of the psyche. And.
They seem to be able to do this better when I have stepped out of the shadow of my good-guy helper role and am just here as a facilitator. So …
It's obvious to me now that many of the problems I have to face in my life are a result of how things were when I was growing up. This seems to be true for just about everybody else too!
It follows then, that my life's conundrum is:
So I am here spending the rest of my life suffering from personality traits I never really asked for.
Where is the justice in that?
Well, there isn't any ... is there!
But on the other hand I was never promised justice was I. So ...
It seems that healing, health and life style are all really the same thing.
They are all simply habits.  Habits that will, one way or another, develop along the way; learned as actions and/or reactions that should become involuntary or habitual at some point. Habitual, and hopefully, helpful towards discerning my life and what to do with it now that I am in the middle of it.
That's The Theory Anyway! So it seems that there are more complex conundrums to solve as I move deeper into my journey. It seems that I have to overcome my original "involuntaryisms" - habits - the ones that I picked up early in life to save me from a fate that nearly scared me to death.  The ones that helped me originally survive 'til now.  I still carry them with me and use them daily. Actually I trip over them now more then I use them but they are and were the habits that I really trust.
Here is the problem: These habits are the 'grandchildren' of those habits I used to survive, in the face of overwhelming evidence that I either wouldn't survive the next few moments or shouldn't have survived those few moments but did.  These 'grandchildren' of my survival traits are all cloaked in a strange aura that seems so inviting and strangely familiar but I am learning that they are dangerous.  They seem to work best only in my mind.
What I am coming to learn is that when I (do) attempt to put those old habits into practice in reality ... they hurt, and cause pain for, both others and me.
But they are so familiar, and they are my habits.