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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Coulda been Saturday's Post....

Passage 1
For some time I had difficulty detaching. When I tried it, my focus shifted to me, and I had a hard time just being with myself. I began to understand that my skill in detaching rested on my ability to accept my own thoughts and feelings and to become comfortable with myself.
As I felt accepted in Al-Anon, I grew in self-acceptance, which gave me courage to practice detachment. I tried it with the active drinker. When my spouse went drinking after work and was late for dinner, the kids and I ate and went to an early movie. I didn't stay home waiting with anger and bitterness.
When someone struggled with a dilemma at work, I learned to offer my experience and then to let go of whether the person tried my ideas. I didn't lose my focus or productivity by taking over someone else's problem.
Then I began detaching from my alcoholic parent as well as the sober one. When they argued, I learned to say, "I'm sure you'll find a creative solution," and then leave the room. To increase my self-care options, I rented a car when I visited them. If one of them tried to draw me into a disagreement, I got in the car and drove somewhere safe until I could calm myself enough to return.
Now with lots of practice, I find it easier to detach. The more I detach, the more time I get to know, accept, and spend time with a really wonderful person -- me!
Thought for the Day
Detaching from others and getting to know myself go hand in hand.
"Because my fate -- my very life -- was no longer tied directly to theirs, I was able to accept them for who they were and to listen to their ideas and concerns without trying to exercise control." Courage to Change, p. 199

Passage 2 
An interesting exercise, and one well worth a few moments of reflection, would be to consider the exact meaning of the phrase "to take offense."
These words describe an act of willingly taking into ourselves a hurt we feel somebody intended to inflict on us. We take offense. We don't have to take it. We are free to refuse to be hurt by a spiteful remark or malicious action.
So the whole matter really rests with us. The choice of accepting or rejecting an offense is ours alone.
Today's Reminder
It may not be easy at first, but if I keep reminding myself that I will not permit myself to be hurt by what anyone says or does, it can bring about an amazing change in my attitude and disposition.
Whenever I feel I am being hurt by someone, I will silently refuse to take offense, or take any action to retaliate. What a relief it will be to have such incidents vanish into thin air, leaving not a mark on me! I will not accept offense.
"What can words do to me unless I take them to heart?"

**The idea that I can choose whether to be offended is not a new one.  But, in the thick of it, that is a lot of control.  In fact, so much so, that I don't believe I could do it without higher power and some proactive and reactive strategies in place.  I spent time with family on Saturday and had a negative experience (only one out of 95% positive interactions).  I allowed myself to "take offense."  But, I wasn't prepared to act instead of proactive.  Next time, I hope to prep myself better. 

2 comments:

  1. Passage 1 is a hard one for me to wrap my head around. Only recently have I been aware of this practice. Passage 2 I've known for a long time, but I still choose to be offended, mostly when I know there is intentional hurt, though sometimes when people mean well but are insensitive. All this self-improvement takes a lot of work!

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  2. It really does!! But, it is pretty neat to see the improvement. Even with the row I had with hubby, there was a LOT of healthy things happening or just unhealthy things that used to be the norm not happening. And we used to argue somewhat regularly and now it almost never happens like that. It's probably been more than a year since something like that. Before L was born, for sure. Really.... al anon has given me so many valuable tools! And hubby just seems to pick some of them up through osmosis, which is helpful.

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