Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

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Brian Johnston
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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Brian Johnston » 12 Aug 2009, 13:40

What an awesome post Heber13! Thank you so much for opening up and sharing what is going on in your heart and mind. This is an emotional and spiritually enlightening discussion, a great blessing. I also hope and pray that many people will come and see this thread, those who need to see someone else going through the same thing who describes it so well. We have many times more people that read the material here than those who actively participate. That is an important part of our community.

Heber, you captured the essence of the struggle so well in words. I can't add a lot more to the great responses from the other people here. I just want to add one thing.
Heber13 wrote:But I am currently really stuck on obedience to my mormon commandments. Tithing, the Word of Wisdom, and Home Teaching are nagging at me. I've backed off taking things so literally in the church, yet many mormon commandments like these are specific and literal.
Even being someone who does take a different track on things sometimes these days, I can't say it with enough emphasis -- There is absolutely nothing wrong with continuing to follow all those commandments! Anyone who says different is wrong. Those are all good things to do, to serve people and build the community. The Church doesn't ask anything that is morally wrong. None of it is useless or a waste. Sometimes I think they ask too much for individual circumstances, but nothing is "bad."
"It's strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone." -John O'Donohue, Anam Cara, speaking of experiencing life.

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Rix
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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Rix » 12 Aug 2009, 15:16

Tom Haws wrote: Codependency. I desire to learn more about this.
If you're sincere about this, get ready for a real ride! For one thing, there are many definitions of codependency...so without reading a few descriptions, it can be quite confusing (maybe a better way to say that is when you DO read about each definition, it may confuse you even more!). "Codependency" started in the drug/alcohol recovery field. Melody Beattie wrote the book that most of us druggies trying to get well had to read called "Codependent No More." It's a great place to start. But I'll tell you that most read her descriptions and think to ourselves "but that's what we do when we love somebody!"

And of course there is some truth to that. But we must each find our healthy boundaries as it relates to relationships. As parents, we are natural enablers to our children. The question becomes how and when do we cut the umbilical chord? When we don't, both parties become "sick." One definition I find helpful is:

"As adults, codependent people have a greater tendency to get involved in relationships with people who are perhaps unreliable, emotionally unavailable, or needy. And the codependent person tries to provide and control everything within the relationship without addressing their own needs or desires; setting themselves up for continued unfulfillment."

I personally like to define it as "when a person's well-being depends on the outcomes of another's behaviors."

Fast-forward to religion...particularly Mormonism. We are taught to have "stewardship" over many people; our families, our HTing families, our ward members (as leaders), and so on. Then we go on missions and charged to convert people there. We spend so much time and effort on others that we tend to disregard our own needs. To an extent, "spirituality" is experienced only when serving others. That leaves out a whole segment of spiritual experience! Some of my most sacred spiritual experiences have been while I was alone in nature.

To top it off, there is a common tendency to consider self-improving activities as "selfish," a negative trait in the church culture.

So the point is (I hope), that when we live for another's outcomes in life, we set ourselves up for disappointment, since we only can totally control ourselves. Others are different than we are, and they will have different ways of thinking and doing life. That results in disappointment and depression. It is only when we learn to truly put ourselves first, and not feel the least bit guilty about doing so, that we can find our ultimate bliss.

That's the start....
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

Poppyseed
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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Poppyseed » 13 Aug 2009, 11:40

OMGOSH! I just reread my post. Did I really just tell a grown man to "buck up little camper"? Oh dear.

Heber, if you need to dump a bucket of water over my head, please do. In fact here, let me give you a big one! I filled it for you already.

:oops: ( shaking my head)
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Heber13 » 13 Aug 2009, 13:02

Poppyseed wrote:OMGOSH! I just reread my post. Did I really just tell a grown man to "buck up little camper"? Oh dear.

Heber, if you need to dump a bucket of water over my head, please do. In fact here, let me give you a big one! I filled it for you already.

:oops: ( shaking my head)
You're fine, poppyseed. You've been a good friend to encourage me. But I draw the line at you never being able to call me "L'il buckaroo", ok? ;)
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Poppyseed » 13 Aug 2009, 13:10

Ok. Deal. :)

Ty.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by swimordie » 13 Aug 2009, 22:53

@TomHaws:
I was working on a review of the book Rix presented "Codependent No More". I got frustrated because there's too much good stuff in the book to summarize.

I've probably said it too much on this forum/site but that book will change your life. I know it did mine and it did for everyone else I've ever talked to that read it.

There is a "dark side" to self-sacrificing and service: we're human and want to be thanked, validated, rewarded for what we do vis-a vis self-sacrifice and service. If you are a person who truly does everything for the right reasons, then we'd probably call you "Jesus Christ". If you're not, then you may sometimes do things for the wrong reason and this is where the codependent cycle begins, and it always ends with feelings of low self-worth, bitterness, resentment, shame, and self-pity.

In reality, the idea of gaining emotional health by breaking the cycle of codependency is not to be selfish, rather it's to be truly self-less in one's actions, intentions, and motivations, in any and all human relationships. Because one is doing these things out of unconditional love, without regard to reward, praise, thanks, or validation.
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Poppyseed » 14 Aug 2009, 12:44

I hate to beat the dead horse, but I have to absolutely agree with Swimordie on Codep No More. But I would add that I was particularly helped/changed/liberated by her following book "Language of Letting Go." There have been times in my reading where I just felt like every latter-day saint should have a copy because I think sometimes we really don't know what is caring vs. caretaking or perfectionistic vs. progressing. I find that Codep. robs us of so many things Christ would have us feel and be. And the more I study it, I really think Melody Beattie has such a great understanding of Christlike Charity. It makes "Do unto others, as you do yourself" take on a whole new meaning.

Anyway....I yeild the floor back to the main issues at hand.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Orson » 14 Aug 2009, 13:17

swimordie wrote:In reality, the idea of gaining emotional health by breaking the cycle of codependency is not to be selfish, rather it's to be truly self-less in one's actions, intentions, and motivations, in any and all human relationships. Because one is doing these things out of unconditional love, without regard to reward, praise, thanks, or validation.
WOW! That is a profound statement. Thanks so much for sharing what I was trying to grasp.

When I read Rix comment:
Rix wrote:It is only when we learn to truly put ourselves first, and not feel the least bit guilty about doing so, that we can find our ultimate bliss.
I got what he was saying - but at the same time I sensed a deeper dimension than the two dimensional words may express. I could sense that truly putting ourselves first will make us that much more healthy and capable of serving others...

And then your post just nailed it smack on the head!

Thanks for that!
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I first found faith, and thought I had all truth. I then discovered doubt, and claimed a more accurate truth. Now I’ve greeted paradox and a deeper truth than I have ever known.

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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Curt Sunshine » 14 Aug 2009, 15:07

I'd like a chance to drink some milk in HP Group. The whiskey they normally drink often is WAY too strong. :P
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: Still struggling in stage 4: Selfish justifications are evil

Post by Rix » 14 Aug 2009, 16:06

swimordie wrote:@TomHaws:
In reality, the idea of gaining emotional health by breaking the cycle of codependency is not to be selfish, rather it's to be truly self-less in one's actions, intentions, and motivations, in any and all human relationships. Because one is doing these things out of unconditional love, without regard to reward, praise, thanks, or validation.
Boy that's powerful! And I think it's hard for "lower stage" folks to understand, but as it relates to substance abuse, there is a common family dynamic that points to the addict's spouse/parent enabling the user in one way or another. During counseling, we find that the spouse often "cannot" see the addict suffer, so they struggle to set appropriate boundaries. But when we dig deeper it is a lack of self love on the part of the spouse where she/he feels the need to be accepted by the other, and that "other" learns this and pushes the buttons to instill enough guilt to get what "he" wants. This is the codependency cycle.

As it relates to spirituality, as one develops self love, they can behave with others in ways that are best for them...not needing the personal praise. IOW, when one is "right with God," we don't need another person to tell us we're okay. That is the ultimate spirituality.

IMHO.
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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