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Post Info TOPIC: Courage to Change August 31


~*Service Worker*~

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Courage to Change August 31


Hello MIP! 

In today's reading, the author reflects on their past efforts to change people to suit their own desires and needs. The author often thought of the problem as being with the other person if the author's needs weren't met. They wanted someone to be present, but not overly imposing. Upon further reflection, the author realized that they almost wanted a pet, not a relationship with a person. 

Thanks to Alanon, the author learned the difference between what they expected and that they needed. No one person can meet all of another person's needs. They also reflected on their expectations and whether those expectations were realistic, whether they respected the other person's individuality, and whether the author was able to appreciate what they did receive. 

Today's Reminder: Trying to change other people is futile, foolish, and certainly not loving. Today, instead of assuming that they are the problem, I can look at myself to see what needs changing within.  

Today's Quote: "The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image." Thomas Merton

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Today's reading is a great reflection for me. My AW has often talked about how I expect her to change, and how I do not accept her for who she is. I the past, I can say that this was certainly true, I expected her to want to spend more time at home, to stay away from alcohol, and stay away from the bars. To my mind, I didn't want to change who she was, I didn't want the disease of alcoholism in the driver's seat. Lately, I've come to reflect on that a bit more, as it is still a topic of conversation. I think I'm setting my boundaries and vocalizing what I will and will not tolerate, but I don't think I have an expectation for her to change. It's my intent to share what I cannot accept or tolerate, and let her make the decision of what to do with that information. I've been trying to be more thoughtful about how I express those boundaries so that they can be heard as boundaries, and not demands for change. It's a journey of growth for me, for sure. 

 



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Skorpi

If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. - Lao Tzu



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Thanks skorpi for the reading and your heartfelt share. This is something I struggle with.

"... whether those expectations were realistic, whether they respected the other person's individuality, and whether the author was able to appreciate what they did receive. "

I have made some health and lifestyle changes this year that have resulted in very positive outcomes. My recovering alcoholic partner has been supportive of me throughout this ongoing process and complimentary never shoulding on me in any way whatsoever. Much like when I found Al-anon and discovered it's benefits, I am now inclined to want others especially my partner to also personally experience the rewards of the healthy lifestyle choices that I am making. This touches on the part of the quote about respecting another person's individuality. My partner at no time gave me personal input without my asking nor does he now as I continue to make healthy lifestyle changes. He doesn't assume to know what's best for me and respects my separateness from him.

I, on the other hand am in that "a little knowledge can be dangerous," place just as I was when I discovered how much better I felt with Al-anon. I just wanted to share it with everyone. I made the assumption that others would want what I wanted. Who wouldn't? Well... uh, lots of people ;) So, just as Al-anon suggests appreciating others as they are and not forcing my will on others; I need to apply that principle to this situation as well.

I once asked someone in Al-anon to be my sponsor who told me, "If you want what I have, you need to do what I've done." I told that person I was an adult and not a newcomer to the program and not in need of that kind of guidance. It's something for me to remember now. It's egocentric to assume that others would just naturally want what I have, should do what I do. To try to impose my thinking is interfering in another person's affairs. Loving support on the other hand is to exhibit recovery behaviors and allow others to take what they like (if anything) and leave the rest. Awareness of one's wants and needs come through conscious contact with one's higher power. It is not for me to try to take up that role in the life of another person. Thy will not my will be done.

And what about that loving support, the compliments and not shoulding on me by my alcoholic? Well.. that's his recovery in action. I can appreciate it as the reading mentions. I can try to practice those behaviors more. Not just get more physically healthy but be point the finger inward to continue my process toward better emotional health as well. Maybe do a few readings on the 4 M's. It's so easy to rationalize good intentions, to say I just want someone to get healthier and have better chance of having a long life. But none of us has a crystal ball concerning any of that. Instead, I can return to one day at a time focus on myself and allow others the dignity to make their own choices.

 



-- Edited by tiredtonite on Wednesday 31st of August 2022 11:57:48 AM

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Surround yourself with people and elements that support your destiny, not just your history.



Senior Member

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Thank you for this. When I read the post yesterday, suddenly I realized that for the last couple of months, I had been feeling APATHY. It was easy work to not try to change others because frankly, I didn't give a damn. Thankfully I still cared enough to check this board and each day I got a helpful message. I hope everyone experiences a miracle on this 1st day of September.

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Thanks Skorpi and everyone else for your shares.. I particularly like the quote at the end of this reading because it reminds me that I can still love people who aren't a part of my life anymore precisely because allowing others to be who they are means accepting that that might mean we don't have a role in each other's lives. I find that comforting when stuck in the "if only I had" kinds of thoughts regarding past relationships/ friendships and especially in coming to terms with regrets over a dear friend I lost last year to depression. This quote reminds me that my thoughts of "If only I had said the right thing", "If only I had made her feel heard/ appreciated/important" aren't respectful to her because it isn't my place to make someone feel anything at all really. Or that's my takeaway from this reading anyway.

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