Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Claw Marks

One of the most respected authors in the recovery field, Melody Beattie, said... Everything I have ever let go of has had claw marks on it.

Learning to let go is a lifelong process. The earliest lessons in our lives occur within our family of origin. These lessons teach us basic skills... what love feels like... how to relate to others... survival. When our family of origin is dysfunctional in some way we still learn lessons... but those lessons may be skewed. Instead of learning that love is positive and pleasurable we may learn that love equals pain. We may learn that interpersonal interaction include habits that no longer work... sending mixed messages... inability to communicate... fear of intimacy. These defense mechanisms probably served us well in the past... kept us safe... allowed us to survive in a dysfunctional environment. But these same defenses may be responsible for sabotaging our relationships in the present.

Letting go of outdated habits and defense mechanisms is hard work... but something we must strive to accomplish if we wish to succeed in our personal lives. We struggle to let go and get past the fears that keep us in emotional bondage. Lessons present themselves throughout our lives. If we pay attention and seek to learn we will grow and overcome. The lessons may be difficult but what we learn is worth the trials. Eventually we feel gratefulness for the guidance and wisdom the lessons provide. These lessons prepare us for the eventuality of letting go of this life.

Practicing self care... learning to pay attention to the lessons when we suffer losses... learning to let go... becoming grateful for the wisdom imparted via life's lessons... these are the goals of recovery.