Sunday, May 12, 2013
You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go
We can let ourselves be close to people.
Many of us have deeply ingrained patterns for sabotaging relationships. Some of us may instinctively terminate a relationship once it moves to a certain level of closeness and intimacy.
When we start to feel close to someone, we may zero in on one of the person's character defects, and then make it so big it's all we can see. We may withdraw, or push the person away to create distance. We may start criticizing the other person, a behavior sure to create distance.
We may start trying to control the person, a behavior that prevents intimacy.
We may tell ourselves we don't want or need another person, or smother the person with our needs.
Sometimes, we defeat ourselves by trying to be close to people who aren't available for intimacy - people with active addictions, or people who don't choose to be close to us. Sometimes, we choose people with particular faults so that when it comes time to be close, we have an escape hatch.
We're afraid, and we fear losing ourselves. We're afraid that closeness means we won't be able to own our power to take care of ourselves.
In recovery, we're learning that it's okay to let ourselves be close to people. We're choosing to relate to safe, healthy people, so closeness is a possibility. Closeness doesn't mean we have to lose ourselves, or our life. As one man said, "We're learning that we can own our power with people, even when we're close, even when the other person has something we need."
Today, I will be available for closeness and intimacy with people, when that's appropriate. Whenever possible, I will let myself be who I am, let others be who they are, and enjoy the bond and good feelings between us.
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie ©1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.