Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Self-awareness And Healing Controlling Behaviors

Page 216, The Invisible Force: 365 Ways to Apply the Power of Intention to Your Life, written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer:

"Be aware that learning to identify ways in which you're creating your own obstacles can be tremendously enlightening."

I have been blessed to use books like this one at different stages in my healing to give me more self-awareness. Only though self-awareness does healing have a chance of happening.

I used the 12-Step programs of Adult Children of Alcoholics and Al-Anon to give me self-awareness too. Those meetings taught me about self-worth, dysfunctional behaviors and the dysfunctional family system that resists all change. 

Those meetings introduced me to the books Codependent No More and Beyond Codependency both written by Pia Melody. I learned about abandonment and my own controlling behavior. I was able to identify a behavior that was causing me major unhappiness in my life---controlling.

Trying to control everything and everyone in my life in order to feel safe only created more obstacles for me to overcome during my healing process. The stress that I was creating for myself with my own behavior was unbelievable. The perfectionism and responsibilities that I put on myself were too much, but I didn't know how to live without them. In the dysfunctional family system of my childhood, I was the family hero and taught that I had to be perfect or I wasn't good enough and I was always at fault. I was also given the responsibility to make everyone else happy, often at my own expense. All of those set me up to become a controller as an adult. Add on that I thought if I could control everything that I would be safe from abuse.

The 12-Step slogan "Let Go And Let God" helped me tremendously. I made lots of mistakes and lots of apologies as I changed my controlling behaviors. I used affirmations like the one above to help me see and change my behavior. I did lots of writing and talking to friends and in 12-Step groups as I figured things out and got new self-awareness. I looked at the lies of my abusers and at the lies that I told myself. While learning to love myself, I looked at what was my responsibility and what was not. I read every book I could find about incest, alcoholic family systems and codependency. 

For 3 years, I used a God Box to teach me the principle of "Let Go And Let God". If you don't like the idea of God, use the Universe or your own Higher Self. Call the box whatever you want or don't call it anything. Do what is necessary to let go of the stuff that is not yours to handle. I will leave a link at the bottom of the page explaining how the idea of a God Box works.

You don't need the stress of trying to control the world. The world is much too big for one little person to manage. You are doing yourself and those around you a disservice by trying. Healing doesn't have time to happen when you are too busy trying to control everything else. 

All controlling does is take you away from what you are feeling and is a distraction from what is going on inside of you. Controlling behaviors keep you focused on others, not on yourself. Healing needs you to focus on you, not on your abuser's current behavior, not on what your spouse might be doing today, not on your friend that goes from drama to drama. They will all survive without your help/interference. Without your attention/advice, they might even start to look at their own lives with a sense of self-awareness. Become an example of what healing looks like by focusing on and healing your own stuff. 

Let go of the fears of childhood that keep you trying to control everything. Look at those fears, one at a time. Become friends with your fear. See fear for what it is---mostly unrealistic and from your past. Help your inner child to see that you don't have to live in that fear today and she/he doesn't either. 

Know that you can't control another person, unless they let you and that isn't healthy for you or for them. You aren't meant to control others. You can offer better guidance by the example of how you live your own life. Others never have to follow your example or your words. Don't resent them when they don't. Giving advice sets you up for resentment when people don't do what you tell them to. You need to acknowledge to yourself that you really don't know what is better for another person. That person may need those experiences to grow, to see their own value, to learn a major lesson, or to learn what love really is. They may miss those lessons if you step in and try to fix everything for them.

Years ago, a very wise lady told me that when I try to fix things for others, I am, in effect, telling them they are too stupid to do it for themselves. I didn't like what she said. I never wanted anyone to feel stupid because of my words or actions. My parents did that to me as a child. I did it to others, until I learned not to.

Look at where your controlling behavior comes from and the fears that cause it. Then you can free yourself of those fears. You can stop controlling what isn't yours to control. You can't control other people no matter how much you may want to.

What can you control?
Your fears
Your words
Your thoughts
Your attitude
Your reactions

Look at your world through the eyes of gratitude instead of negativity. Use affirmations. Learn to meditate and find peace within your center. Learn to love yourself. Forgive yourself for the mistakes of the past and for the mistakes you will make as you learn to let go of controlling.

Changing any behavior takes time, persistence, focus and self-awareness. Give yourself all of those. Practice kindness and patience with yourself. You deserve both.

What changes are you afraid of? Why? What would happen if you make those changes? I assure you, you won't die. Keep telling your inner child that she/he is safe. Today you can keep her/him safe. You are strong, courageous, and wise when you listen to your own inner voice. Learn to love yourself. Loving yourself creates true safety.
I am Patricia.

Related articles:

ASCA Anonymous @

The Secret---Affirmations Change Your Life @

Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics Played Major Roles In My Recovery From Incest @

Surrender---Using A God Box @

Dialogues With Dignity And 22 Ways To Love Yourself @

Fear Is My Fear @

Resources For An Incest Survivor And Adult Children Of Dysfunctional Families @

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Believing You Are Worthy

This morning I was reading another Wayne Dyer book called The Invisible Force: 365 Ways to Apply the Power of Intention to Your Life. It is a daily meditation book that I read several pages each of the past few days. On page 198, it says:

"If you don't believe that you're worthy of fulfilling your intention for health, wealth, or loving relationships, then you're creating an obstacle that will inhibit the flow of creative energy into your daily life."

I do know, that as an incest survivor and a survivor of emotional domestic violence in my childhood home, I am blessed that I married a good man instead of another abuser. My non-existent self-worth could have attracted someone into my life that would have treated me in the way that I thought I deserved. It happens frequently to incest and domestic abuse survivors. Often we recreate our childhood environment until we figure out that we don't have to do that any more, that we do deserve better. 

One way to not attract abusers is to learn and establish healthy boundaries. An article that I read this last week written by my friend Dan Hays at HEALTHY PLACE, America's Mental Health Channel talks about setting up healthy boundaries. Here is the link to Dan's article:

Boundaries are such an important part of healing. Dysfunctional families don't want boundaries, especially the abusers. When I was a child, I used walls to hide behind and to feel safe. The wall let no one in but it also kept me a prisoner inside. Boundaries are flexible. Walls are not. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reading Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's Memoir I Can See Clearly Now

page 365, I Can See Clearly Now, written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer:

"Ask yourself how to fulfill your soul purpose by serving others first."

I have always known I would one day write a book about surviving and healing from incest. To me, writing is a way to tell my story and to reach out to other survivors of incest. I can help other survivors by letting them know they are not alone and that healing is possible. That is my purpose for this lifetime.

I have been reading Dr. Dyer's memoir as an assignment from Paula Balzer's book writing & selling your memoir. Ms Balzer has her students read other memoirs as a way to find their own writing style. I chose Dr. Dyer's memoir because he has been one of my spiritual teachers for a few years now and because of his recent death.  I was curious to know more about the life of one of my teachers. I have read a number of his books and seen several of his PBS specials on TV. 

Dr. Wayne Dyer was the first person that taught me to look at life's challenges as lessons to be learned. Looking at how my life has been affected by the incest and noticing my reactions has helped me figure out my patterns of behavior that I need to change. I can't change the past, but I definitely can change how I react. I can become aware of triggers and find what fears they bring up. I can, with awareness, eventually stop the triggers by working through the fears, one by one, and letting go of them. I can see the fear as coming from my inner child. I can protect her today. I can love her today.

I can see more clearly today that my abusers no longer have control over my life or who I am today. I don't have to focus on the pain of my childhood. I can look for joy in my life today and I can share that joy with others. I don't have to sit in the grief and sadness that used to rule my life, from my early childhood. 

I can find the blessings and small miracles in my day. I am here. I am alive and well. So many are not. I can look at the darkness and evil of the incest and its pain and I can see the miracle of who I have become. I can see the character and strength that the pain gave me. I can see the lessons that I have learned and I can freely share those lessons with others to lessen their pain too. 

I can see the love and light that are in my world today and I can share that with family, friends and other survivors around the world. Those are all good reasons to write my book.

Dr. Dyer tells me to, "Stay in touch with and honor the calling you feel deep within you." (page 366) My calling is to write this book and to use my words to help others. 

On page 366, Dr. Dyer says:  

"As you begin to see more and more clearly not only how and why your life took all of its twists and turns but what direction it is going to take from here on in, you will see that your soul will not ever lead you astray. This is because this is truly who you are---not your accomplishments or possessions, but that inner sense of purpose that seeks out immensity and expansion."

I am a writer. I am a willing participant in my own life. Writing my book is the next stage of breaking the silence of abuse. I am fully capable of taking this step to the end. I am a published author. I am Patricia.