There’s an Al-Anon mantra, about handling ourselves when struggling with our enabling… when the winds of codependency begin to rise in and around us. It goes something like this:
You didn’t cause this.
You cannot cure this.
You cannot control this.
It’s tough to break the old habits of my ‘sacrificial helping’ that seemed to give me my identity, my self esteem. But I more easily recognize, now I have more quiet, more distance, that my enabling is neither sacrificial nor actually helpful for anyone on the receiving end.
It takes practice…and more practice…and more. But I’m truly beginning to understand…to feel without pain and to embrace, my separateness. It is freeing, as I finally breathe in and more fully comprehend, I’m actually only responsible for and in control of, myself.
I have read the words for years. And years. There was no magic, no pill, not even a divorce, that could instantly unlock the door that let the reality of those words become more than just words. Time. Distance. Self examination.
My self esteem is never higher than when I break free from those old habits and DARE to believe in and behave in new and different ways that affirm this new emerging me: healthy, capable, caring, empowering.