Over and over…

July 5, 2013

Boxing glove and inflatable clown

Over and Over…

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of Happy Destiny”…

I’ve heard insanity defined as repeating the same actions yet expecting different results. Like playing Whack-a-Mole,” or pounding an inflatable clown, I can pummel away all I want — yet some problems keep popping back up.

On many a Monday morning I’ve thought “Today, I’m going to dedicate 20 minutes to prayer and meditation, no matter what! And on many a Monday night I realize I didn’t get around to it. I say the same thing on Tuesday, then Wednesday, and finally on Sunday I realize: nothing changed. My solution? Get up on Monday and start the whole thing again — only harder.

Given enough replays of this scenario, there comes a time when I have to admit I may not have the power to change this. If not, perhaps the questions aren’t “What’s wrong with me?” or “What’s all my resistance about?”

If I look at the underlying proposition, it comes down to me trying to change me into a better me, according to me. Now, there’s a pattern. Albert Einstein wrote “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” So if left to my own devices, using my own best thinking, I don’t have the power to change something, the question could be rephrased as: “Where do I get some power?

Where do you shop for power when you’ve run out?

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Codependence Day

July 4, 2010

Declaration of Codependence

Declaration of Codependence

Greetings, fellow trudgers on “the road of happy destiny”….

This weekend we celebrate Dependence Day, in remembrance of the time our forefathers* gathered to ratify the Declaration of Codependence. It’s a terribly stirring holiday for me: It’s so healing to have my codependent behavior affirmed by this noble document. It shows that even 200 years ago, some of the greatest minds in literature, government, philosophy and the law came to the same brilliant conclusions I have about how to manage the alcoholics in our lives.*

It may be hard to read the little tiny script, so I’ve transcribed the first few paragraphs—I consider them among the most spiritually moving of the entire Declaration:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one person to take over the management of a relationship which may have connected us with another, and for us to assume, among the powers of the earth, the superior station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle us, a grudging respect to the opinions of lesser men requires that we should declare the causes which impel us to this domination.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that while it may indeed be all our fault, we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Compulsive Self-Reliance, Manipulation, and the relentless pursuit of Control. — That to secure these rights, some of us are instituted among Men, deriving our just powers from the obvious haplessness of the afflicted, — That whenever any of their behaviors becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of Us to alter or to abolish their rights, and to institute new Management, either through passive-aggressive behavior, displays of temper, the use of The Silent Treatment, or whatever occurs to us at the time, thus laying the foundation of these principles and organizing our powers in such form, as to us shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness, nevermind how any of this leaves us feeling. After all—we’re fine.”

Amen! I hope you use this inspiration to handle the lives of others to the best of your abilities, always following the Codependent’s Credo:

Figure It Out,
Your Way is Best,
Don’t Bother God.

Happy trails!

* PS  By a quick and rough estimation consulting short biographies of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (the real one) and a list of the most significant “forefathers” of the United States of America, over half of these men (and yes, they were all men) were either alcoholic or had a serious problem with alcohol in their lives.