Love and Dependency

At first I thought I was in love.
Then I discovered I was just dependent.
-Joan H.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love and dependency are as different as night and day.
Although at times they may look and even feel the same,
understanding the differance may be the only way to preserve self-esteem.

Whenever we are dependent, we devalue ourselves.
Addiction always results in the loss of freedom and dignity.
To compulsively cling to any relationship is to forgo choice,
which is a requisite of love. Rather than loving as an act
of free will, we are simply acting out an addiction.
When a relationship focuses only on the wishes
and needs of the other, self-respect is impossible.

The person experiencing an addicitive relationship suffers enormous
stress at the thought of losing the relationship. Thus there
is irrational willingness to do, say, or think whatever
it takes to keep the relationship going. Self-esteem
is always traded off in such situtations. Whether
we deny them or not, we do have our own needs.
What we think matters, how we feel counts, and what we have
to say must be listened to and taken seriously. Fear, not love,
is what impells us to put any relationship before our own well well-being.

Emotional independence is a must for my self-esteem
as well as for my relationships.

Excerpt from: Believing In Myself~Daily Meditations for Healing and
Building Self-Esteem~Authors:

Earnie Larsen & Carol Hegarty

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
-"The Desiderata"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Self-esteem is not static. Within boundaries, depending on the ebb
and flow of the tide of our lives, our sense of well-being
naturally fluctuates. Many of our low points,
however, have not so much to do with a particular problem
as they do with the state of mind we bring to that problem.

We may not always have control over certain fears. If we were
once badly burned, for example, we may always have a residual
overreaction to fire--and there are of course, many kinds
of fire. But we do have control over the fatigue and
loneliness that had set us up for fear of attacks. Of all the
efforts we may make to bilster self-esteem, avoiding such fatigue
and loneliness may be the most important.

Is it always necessary to work as hard as we do? Can we never
take a break or a little nap? When was the last time we
took a vacation? And how often do we set aside time for a good
long conversation with a friend? Sometimes "alone" is not
a healthy place to be. Especially if we're also tired.
Those are times when our fears find us most vulnerable.

Excerpt from: Believing In Myself~Daily Meditations for Healing and
Building Self-Esteem~

Authors: Earnie Larsen & Carol Hegarty

Addictions medicate pain.
-Chuck Holton

Many of us are heroically trying to shake one or more addictions.
Addictions and self-esteem, of course, are incompatible.
But many of us find, even after we have broken a primary
addiction, that our self-esteem doesn't soar as we had expected it would.

The fact is that the addiction itself is not the whole picture of
the addictive life. After the addiction has been broken, we have
to face our feelings. Now we must deal with reality
without our crutch. Now we come to grips with all the
character defects that were hidden behind the addiction. The battle
is not merely to arrest our addiction, but to arrest our fear
of all the repressed truths and hurts that
were always there.

The on going journey seems especially tough when all the old
"shoulds" crowd around. "I should be happier,"
"I should be making faster progress," "I should feel better
about myself." But the only thing we really
need to do is accept that once the addiction stops,
the feelings start. Then the long walk begins--but so does the reward.

To run from my pain is to create more pain. The only
solution for me is to stand fast and fight it out.




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