Tag Archives: Codependency

Generosity. #reverb14

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Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?

My mother was generous. She laughed a lot, gave what she could and when we needed help, help was given to our family. I made it to the age of 13 knowing that people were warm and kind. That when you suffered, that was the best time to help others.

We were one of those families that have their names, ages and a small wish list put upon some random office or school Christmas tree. People fulfilled those wishes for us. It was nice. I remember sitting on the twin size bed that shared a room with my brother’s at my dad’s apartment, playing with the slime lab that I was given. We got some clothes, some toys. People always gave us food.

After my mom died, I learned that not everyone was generous. I remember being 15 and asking my dad for lunch money, $20. Enough for $1 a day, which was the bare minimum to have a lunch, a cup of noodle soup. He gave me $5. My friends fed me and then I got a job when I was 16. This is not new information. I’ve mentioned this many times.  But I learned from him that sometimes when you ask for what you need, the bare minimum, you don’t even get that. I learned the feeling of shame and guilt in asking for anything.

My goal is that whoever comes to me for help, I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed. So, I give. Love, joy, time, concern, sometimes I can even afford gifts. I want Josh to always feel cozy and loved at home. Home should be a safe space. I give big hugs, because people forget how wonderful they can be. I’ve had someone cry in my arms because of how loving my hug was. FOR REALZ. She just burst into tears. She was, incidentally, a big crier. But still. My hug made someone cry in joy.  I want to be that safe space for people.

I’ve been lucky in that my life is full of generous people. I always feel like I take more than I give. It is a perpetual guilt that I feel. My car, my home, even my bed are mine because of my friends’ generosity. There are beautiful things in my life because people have given them to me. I’ve gone to wonderful places and had great times because of my friends’ generosity. I feel grateful to them but also awkward,  because I’ll never be able to give them the things they give me. How can I ever match the joy and love they provide me with?

I try to make the world better in little ways that mean so much to other people. I don’t like talking about it because it’s not about getting a pat on the back. It’s about making a conscious choice to make a difference. When I’m having a hard time in life, I try to give, because making someone else happy makes my day better too.

With all that said, I’m still a dick. I’m still judgmental and abrupt. Making people uncomfortable with my honesty will always be an unfortunate side effect of being me. Awkwardness is embraced and accepted. I just know that I can do small things to make others happy, so I do those things.  Cultivating my generosity is something that I try to do daily. Sometimes I fail, but most days, I can get one or two things done to make someone’s day brighter.

So, thank you. Thank you for helping me through my life.

12 things. Well, 10. NOW 12! #reverb11

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12 Things – What are 12 things your life doesn’t need in 2012? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 12 things change your life? (Props to original Author: Sam Davidson)  If you did Reverb10, how are you making out on your 11 Things from last year?

Oh my. I think we’re all daunted by this list. Last year, I had fun. I was a little drunk when I wrote the post and yet I managed to accomplish ridding myself of a few things I mentioned. Numbers 3, 4,5, 8, 9 & 11 were addressed in one way or another.

This year, I’m not drunk, I’m cold and a little trepidatious.

1. I can do without fear stopping me this year. I don’t mean I want to be fearless. I want to be scared NOT to make a choice that will make my life epic. I want to sit on that precipice and jump despite the fear. I have some major options opening up to me that if they become valid, I cannot for any reason deny them. I will have to set aside my fear and act.

2. Codependency. Everyone is codependent to some degree, but this crippling need I have to fix and help to the detriment of myself and my health is unacceptable. That I’m done with. I’ve already started to shake off those shackles. I work every day at it. I examine my actions to a degree that most don’t. I can tell you that I have not said a word or done something without considering the codependant nature of it for several months. It will always be a work in progress.

3. I’m keeping three from last year. I am not okay with being poor. I have climbed from depths last year, and I have still further to go, but it has been a decided effort to make my finances turn a corner. Granted the turning radius sucks, so there’s a little backing up and maneuvering to do, but its moving.

4. Hurting myself. HAHAHAHAHA. Right. I’m so damned catastrophic. I cut off a bit of my thumb today. I wasn’t even surprised. I will try to be a bit more graceful, but I doubt it will work. But I’ll seek medical attention when I need it from now on. How’s that?

5. #4 brings me to Self Abuse. Seriously, I’ve worked very hard to shut up that mean bitch inside that tells me I’m not pretty, or smart, or good, or just enough. I mostly can ignore her now. She only gets heard now and again. I listen to the one who gives constructive criticism, but its been a long road from age 15 telling myself 3 nice things in the mirror. I have a level of confidence now that I usually only see in men. I am cocky. I may not always have a right to be, but dammit, I’m going to love myself. I am at a point of self acceptance that makes me pretty happy. I know that this is the only body I’ll ever have. I will never look like anyone but me. I’m pretty fucking awesome, so I’m cool with just being me. I am 5’6″ and have bumper curves, but I can make heads turn as I walk in a room because I believe that I am worth it.

6. Accepting abuse from others. This sort of lumps in with 2 & 5, but I’m done. I don’t need it. I am taking a page from LittleYawps book and standing up for myself. I’ve seen her in action and it is a thing of searing beauty. I endeavor to be unrelenting in my intolerance for people abusing me and those I like. That goes for friends who are self abusers.

7. Inattention to things that others find a part of life. I want to learn how to play a video game. I want to go to a political debate and see it in person. I want to volunteer to help people who really need it. I want to sit through different religious ceremonies. I want to do something with consequences I can clearly see and then ignore. Like white water rafting or sky diving or something. I want to feel as if I’m a part of something, a part of moving history.

8. Shame in tears. I’ m crying a lot more lately. I think I’m okay with it. The tears wash away the broken bits. I’ve learned enough about healing from being so clumsy that I’m going to start applying it to my emotions. I don’t want to bottle it up anymore, or schedule my crying. Yeah. I did that. I only used to cry on certain days, in the shower. Seriously. So bring it on emotions. I’m gonna just let you be when you show up. If I’m all teary, I’m teary. If I’m laugh-y, I’m laugh-y.  That’s how it will be.

9. Losing contact with wonderful people. It is my goal to stay in contact with my friends. Some have already moved, some are moving. I want to keep these amazing people in my life.

10. A lack of trust in my own choices. I make mistakes. Often. I will continue this pattern because I am human. I am tired of being afraid of being oblivious. Hyper vigilant about identifying my reasons for the actions I take, I have pushed away emotions because I was not ready to handle them. I have tried to make it so that I knew everything about what I was doing and feeling. As someone who is goofy and spontaneous I can’t force that aside. I have to allow myself to do what I said in #1, but not fear the codependency in #2. Can we say balancing act?

I’m reserving 11 and 12 for a later date. I promise to come back to them. Really. Within the week.

annnd lets continue.

11. Dishonesty. I’m rarely dishonest with anyone other than myself. I ask for honesty in a relationship. The least I can do is give it, as uncomfortable or vulnerable it makes me.

12. Over the years, I have built a tower around myself. Stone by stone, I have built it. Intentionally picturing it as uneven, strong stones creating a wall that can be patched when holes are found. I can peek out and see the world around me, safe inside my stone tower. The only opening is at the top, but it stretches so high that it would take a monumental effort to join me in my tower. Maybe this year, I can do without those walls. Or maybe, I can make a door. Maybe I don’t need to protect myself so much. Maybe I don’t need to hide. Maybe.