Put Down the Phone and Back Away Slowly

From Echoes of Eternity by Hal M. Helms, Page 98, May Tenth

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:6,7

Peace be with you, [Amy], My child. A settled peace is My gift to you, if you will accept it. In your earthly pilgrimage you have known little inward peace. You have not been at peace with yourself or your circumstances. A constant restlessness stirred within. When you caught a glimpse of heavenly peace, it was from a far country.

I give My peace to those who will receive it. It is a pearl of great price, but it cannot abide in a heart bent on its own way. My will is peace, and in spite of difficulties brings peace to the heart. Peace be with you, [Amy], My child.

As I read this, I realized this is Step 11 at its finest.  I am not at peace this morning.  I cannot relax; I cannot detach.  Small things feel huge.  My heart is “bent on its own way.”  I should have “[s]ought through prayer and meditation to improve [my] conscious contact with God…praying only for knowledge of His will for [me] and the power to carry that out” (Step 11).  Instead, I got pissy with someone who needed my support, then later I made the “drunken” 3 a.m. phone call.  Followed up by the “drunken” 3 a.m. instant Facebook message.  Nice.

(Noteworthy:  My disease is codependency rather than alcoholism, therefore, my drug of choice is control, rather than a substance.  I was not drunk on wine, but on the need to control a person and a situation.)

If I needed any advice, I should have just looked to my own blog post, “Accepting the Things we Cannot Change” which I had already written the day before and set to be autoposted.

For further wisdom, I needed to look no further than my friends.  Here’s some experience, strength, and hope from people who know, shared with me last night before I made that phone call:

Get over it. . . .I’m not saying your feelings aren’t valid, I have often felt exactly like you’re describing.  I’m saying that this prob[lem] isn’t something that is going to change so you may need to accept it.

Just slow down and enjoy the ride….these things happen & it’s an annoying inconvenience, but if you get all pissy about little things often, well…those little things will blow the whole deal. . . .Emotional agitation, anger, and hurt feelings, cause stress and unhappiness, and lead nowhere, except to more pain, suffering, and broken relationships. They disturb your mind, disrupt your concentration, and prevent you from focusing on the matters at hand. If you wish to enjoy inner peace, it is imperative that you try to gain at least some degree of emotional detachment.

I agree you should probably think on it a bit.

Getting past my baggage and typical MO has been liberating and essential. But I’m not letting anyone treat me in a way I can’t handle. Balance.

I. . .[stand] up for myself. . . .It doesn’t mean I become a raving lunatic about it.

I just go find a place to cry and get it out and then for some reason I can move on, or at least discuss it in a productive way without losing my mind.

Amy, I understand you are trying to work out what to accept and what you can’t change, etc. I agree, you can’t change other people. But, I think that it is important to take care of yourself and your needs rather than accommodating another person’s wishes and demands. That isn’t fair or healthy. No, you can’t change it, but you don’t have to accommodate it to make it ok. . . .That isn’t unreasonable, and it doesn’t have to be pissy. It just makes sense. It’s logical. . . .That is where the work is– is getting yourself to see that with clarity and not irritation. It really is just sense; it doesn’t have to be emotional. . . . I just would keep aiming for “what makes sense here?” It’s how I’ve learned to remove some of the emotion from my interactions when I’m struggling with the feeling.   It works with kids, husbands, ex husbands, work issues with colleagues, haha.

Respect yourself and your own needs, and set boundaries for yourself. Otherwise you are giving [someone] tacit permission to continue to disrespect you. . . .You can do this without it being a big fight, if you are willing to command respect for your own. . .needs.

It so sucks to see it though as the person doing the bad behavior and later, when you realize what you did and you would just like to kick your own ass for not seeing it before and stopping it. Hell even when you know it’s happening it’s not always easy to stop.  [Thank you, friend, that’s exactly how I felt over the “drunken” 3 a.m. phone call!]

I am blessed with some wise and articulate friends, for whom I thank God.

A few weeks ago, during my last overemotional, codependent crisis, a member suggested that when I’m upset and tempted to make that unhealthy call, I should call an Al-Anon member instead.  Yes, friends, I should have taken that advice last night.  I’m a slow learner sometimes.

Father God, thank you for your love, mercy, and unmerited favor.  Thank you for the experience, strength, and hope of my wonderful, wise friends and my fellow Al-Anon members.  I want to remember to set my heart on the things of God.  I want to always seek knowledge of your will, rather than trying to force situations to go my way.  After spending an hour with you, I am not yet at peace, but I am much closer.  

Progress, not perfection.  One day at a time.


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