Tag Archives: addiction

Intimacy

love-couple
“We can let ourselves be close to people.

Many of us have deeply ingrained patterns for sabotaging relationships. Some of us may instinctively terminate a relationship once it moves to a certain level of closeness and intimacy.

When we start to feel close to someone, we may zero in on one of the person’s character defects, and then make it so big it’s all we can see. We may withdraw, or push the person away to create distance. We may start criticizing the other person, a behavior sure to create distance.

We may start trying to control the person, a behavior that prevents intimacy.

We may tell ourselves we don’t want or need another person, or smother the person with our needs.

Sometimes, we defeat ourselves by trying to be close to people who aren’t available for intimacy – people with active addictions, or people who don’t choose to be close to us. Sometimes, we choose people with particular faults so that when it comes time to be close, we have an escape hatch.

We’re afraid, and we fear losing ourselves. We’re afraid that closeness means we won’t be able to own our power to take care of ourselves.

In recovery, we’re learning that it’s okay to let ourselves be close to people. We’re choosing to relate to safe, healthy people, so closeness is a possibility. Closeness doesn’t mean we have to lose ourselves, or our life. As one man said, “We’re learning that we can own our power with people, even when we’re close, even when the other person has something we need.”

Today, I will be available for closeness and intimacy with people, when that’s appropriate. Whenever possible, I will let myself be who I am, let others be who they are, and enjoy the bond and good feelings between us.”

– The Language of Letting Go

Neptune stations

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This week begins with Neptune stationing (standing still) above our heads at 16 degrees Pisces, and slowly going retrograde (reversing) over the next week.

Neptune breaks up, diffuses and dissipates the place where it lands in your chart. It could also aspect one of your natal planets, dissolving the boundaries of that planet and house. If you are a Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius, you could be very effected by Neptune’s influence in the next few months.

With Neptune, you always have a choice. You can escape your fears by drinking or using drugs, OR you can ask for spiritual strength. I whole-heartedly encourage you to ask for the spiritual strength 🙂 The next few months offer a special time to do deep healing on yourself and your life.

Here’s a great article

from Ronnie Pontiac:  “This can indicate a spaced out but potentially dreamy quality for this week into next. Take care when you commute. For some this may be a time of exhaustion and confusion, if so stop, meditate, get some rest. Dreams may provide useful insights. Inspiration and imagination can be strong so if you’re a creative person make time to receive these gifts of perspective.
Tuesday Mercury trine Jupiter is exact however with Mercury opposition Saturn fading but still an influence this may not be as fun a time as Mercury trine Jupiter can indicate. At worst avoid over optimism, arrogance, over doing, over spending and especially overindulgence. With Neptune stationary the urge to intoxicate and other forms of escapism can be very strong. Use common sense. A good time for meditation with Neptune and Saturn so strong.
Wednesday Mercury trine Neptune one minute before 1 PM is another aspect of inspiration and imagination. Again, dreams can be insightful. Jupiter trine Neptune is still strong and with Neptune stationary the beginning of this week could be a time for profound spiritual insights. Study a spiritual path. Open yourself to mystical exploration. Enjoy some relaxing time by water.
Early Thursday morning just after 3 AM the Summer Solstice arrives as the sun enters Cancer. Can you believe it? 2018 is half over. Look back on the year so far. Are you accomplishing your goals? What would you like to accomplish over the next six months?
Also Thursday just before 10 AM Venus opposition Mars is exact. With Mars going stationary retrograde five days later the Mars side of this opposition will be emphasized. On the negative side it can indicate conflict between the genders and a generalized state of irritation. But on the positive side the tension can be romantic and sexual, and creative. A good time to complete, or turn the corner toward completion, for artistic projects. To get best results find balance between the pleasure seeking appreciation for harmony and beauty that is Venus and the forceful willpower and aggression of Mars.
Friday just before 11 PM sun sextile Uranus is exact indicated possible opportunities for greater freedom. The unexpected may give you a sense of liberation. Look to new tech, new perspectives and new communities for inspiration but be careful as Mercury opposes Pluto just a few hours later.
Very early Saturday morning Mercury opposition Pluto is exact. Expect more ugly secrets and more political power plays. Be careful of saying bitter or hateful things under the pressure of the moment. At worst this can be a time of suspicion, paranoia, and obsession. A time of irritation and arguments that can turn violent. Avoid power struggles and wasting energy on fruitless conflict. At best this can be a time to learn about healing, to communicate catharsis, to repair and reform and to discard where necessary. Pluto favors meditation.

Do this when you feel icky

PUG

“What Science Really Says About Negative Emotions.

Pretending unwelcome feelings don’t exist isn’t helping. Here’s what to do instead:

by Shelby Lorman.

Source.

Ever been told to smile when you’re feeling down? While there’s science to support the idea that forced positivity can temporarily boost your mood, convincing yourself that you’re always happy may do you more harm than good, according to an insightful piece on Quartz by Lila MacLellan. Research suggests suppressing your less-than-pleasant feelings can harm your psychological well-being, and that accepting them is a better option.
Acceptance isn’t about making peace with your negative emotions: the “magic of acceptance is in its blunting effect on emotional reactions to stressful events,” Brett Ford, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, told MacLellan. Ford added that over time, acceptance of negative emotions can lead to “positive psychological health, including higher levels of life satisfaction.”
How and why this happens isn’t exactly clear. But Ford’s recently published research (in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) offers some insights. The research is from a few years ago, when Ford was a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley. She and a few other Berkeley researchers designed a three-part experiment in hopes of learning more about the link between acceptance and psychological well-being. The participants were from various socioeconomic backgrounds and races, and included people who had dealt with major and minor negative experiences (think the difference between losing a job and losing track of your keys).
Ford and her fellow researchers found that people who were more accepting of negative emotions (MacLellan calls them “habitual acceptors”) like anger or anxiety had reduced feelings of ill-being, something backed up by previous research, and were more likely to have better well-being. MacLellan notes that “accepting dark emotions like anxiety or rage won’t bring you down or amplify the emotional experience. Nor will it make you ‘happy’—at least not directly.” Instead, acceptance is linked to overall “better mental health when it’s used in response to negative emotions, not positive ones,” MacLellan writes.
Ford hopes her research can improve future mental health treatments, which “currently rely on some approaches that fail people,” she told MacLellan. “When something happens and you try to reframe it like, ‘Oh it’s not such a big deal.’ or ‘I’m going to learn and grow from that,’ it doesn’t necessarily work,” Ford said.
Bad experiences are inevitable. But if we only let in the positive emotions, we’re less equipped to deal with the rollercoaster ride that is just part and parcel of being alive. “People die in our lives, we lose them, if we have only been accustomed to being allowed to have more positive thoughts, then these realities can strike us even more intensely when they happen—and they will happen,” according to Svend Brinkmann, a psychology professor at Denmark’s Aalborg University quoted in the piece.
Part of the challenge of acceptance is that it runs counter to our culture’s expectation to be happy all of the time. We’re living in a “cultural age that’s decidedly pro-positivity,” MacLellan writes, which makes the “pressure to suppress or camouflage negative feelings” all the more pronounced. In the West (especially in the U.S.) “happiness and positivity are seen as virtues,” MacLellan notes. Ford told her that “some companies want their customers and employees to be delighted all the time. That’s unreasonable, and when we’re faced with unreasonable expectations, it’s natural for us to start applying judgement to the negative mental experiences we have.”
This probably isn’t helped by the fact that social media today is awash in well-curated and filtered frames of positivity. While a quick mood boost might feel great, continually suppressing our own negative emotions in favor of feel-good things only sets us up for a “striving state of mind,” according to Ford, which is paradoxical to finding peace and acceptance.
The good news is that acceptance can be learned. You can start by thinking of “your emotions as passing clouds, visible but not a part of you,” MacLellan suggests. Next time you experience a negative emotion or feel pressured to smile when you’re really not feeling it, remember that, as Ford explains, “acceptance involves not trying to change how we are feeling, but staying in touch with your feelings and taking them for what they are.”
Read more on Quartz.

Alanon meditation

ToolMe

The Language of Letting Go” is one of my favorite books of wisdom. Today’s sentiment really resonates with me, and I want to share it 🙂

Happy Monday!

Powerlessness and Unmanageability

“Willpower is not the key to the way of life we are seeking. Surrender is.

“I have spent much of my life trying to make people be, do, or feel something they aren’t, don’t want to do, and choose not to feel. I have made them, and myself, crazy in that process,” said one recovering woman.

I spent my childhood trying to make an alcoholic father who didn’t love himself be a normal person who loved me. I then married an alcoholic and spent a decade trying to make him stop drinking.

I have spent years trying to make emotionally unavailable people be emotionally present for me. I have spent even more years trying to make family members, who are content feeling miserable, happy.

What I’m saying is this: I’ve spent much of my life desperately and vainly trying to do the impossible and feeling like a failure when I couldn’t. It’s been like planting corn and trying to make the seeds grow peas. Won’t work!

By surrendering to powerlessness, I gain the presence of mind to stop wasting my time and energy trying to change and control that which I cannot change and control. It gives me permission to stop trying to do the impossible and focus on what is possible: being who I am, loving myself, feeling what I feel, and doing what I want to do with my life.

In recovery, we learn to stop fighting lions, simply because we cannot win. We also learn that the more we are focused on controlling and changing others, the more unmanageable our life becomes. The more we focus on living our own life, the more we have a life to live, and the more manageable our life will become.

Today, I will accept powerlessness where I have no power to change things, and I’ll allow my life to become manageable.”

It’s not what you think

Fantastic insights depression and the death of Chris Cornell. I also found this study that links addiction to childhood trauma:

http://upliftconnect.com/addiction-is-a-response-to-childhood-suffering/

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING, PLEASE GET HELP. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak, it’s a way of taking care of yourself and the people that love you.

The First Ten Words by Rich Larson

Chris Cornell, 1964-2017

Chris Cornell died early Thursday morning. His band Soundgarden played a show on Wednesday night at the Fox Theater in Detroit. Two hours after the show ended, he was gone.

For two days, I’ve been working on a piece to pay tribute to him, and it’s been a struggle. Usually when I have a problem like this it’s because I’m staring at a blank screen trying to figure out what I want to say. That’s not the problem this time. The problem is I have way too much to say.

I’m not going to sit here and claim to have been a huge fan of Soundgarden. I didn’t dislike them, I just had to take them in small doses. I was a fan of Cornell. I love “Seasons,” the solo song he had on Cameron Crowe’s movie, Singles. It’s a droning acoustic song about isolation and the…

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Are You A Giver Or A Pleaser?

Excellent reflection on codependency, which I’ve also suffered from. My personal solution has been to stay PRESENT with myself, and to be clear about my motivations. I’d love to hear your thoughts in my comments section.

“Unfortunately when we live like this nobody wins because we lie to ourselves and those around us; and superficial dishonest relationships don’t last.”