This is a weekly series of reflections regarding the day's meditation (reading) in The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie that is read aloud at the CoDependents Anonymous (CoDA) meetings I attend. Read more posts from this series of Reflections.
If you’re someone who feels stuck in your comfort zone, or considering to explore what else is “out there”; if you’re looking for the benefits of trying something new, you’ve come to the right place…
MAR 30 Meditation:
From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
Experiment. Try something new. Try stepping out.
We have been held back too long. We have held ourselves back too long.
As children, many of us were deprived of the right to experiment. Many of us are depriving ourselves of the right to experiment and learn as adults.
Now is the time to experiment. It is an important part of recovery. Let yourself try things. Let yourself try something new. Yes, you will make mistakes. But from those mistakes, you can learn what your values are.
Some things we just won’t like. That’s good. Then we’ll know a little more about who we are and what we don’t like.
There is a quiet time in recovery, a time to stand still and heal, a time to give ourselves a cooling-off time. This is a time of introspection and healing. It is an important time. We deal with our issues.
There also comes a time when it is equally important to experiment, to begin to “test the water.”
Recovery does not equal abstention from life. Recovery means learning to live and learning to live fully. Recovery means exploration, investigation, experimentation.
Recovery means being done with the rigid, shame-based rules from the past, and formulating healthy values based on self-love, love for others, and living in harmony with this world.
Experiment. Try something new. Maybe you won’t like it. Maybe you’ll make a mistake. But maybe you will like it, and maybe you’ll discover something you love.
Today, I will give myself permission to experiment in life. I will stop rigidly holding myself back, and I will jump in when jumping in feels right. God, help me let go of my need to deprive myself of being alive.
“As children, many of us were deprived of the right to experiment”
I can relate to this statement because my mother was very protective.
My sister found the way to “rage against the machine” by being a brat and demanding her way all the time. And since she was the baby of the family, she often got what she wanted.
The struggle I faced was being torn between rebelling for what I want and being the child that my mother approves of (because I craved for her approval — which I never got).
“Let yourself try things.”
I view this suggestion in both personal and professional realms.
What this reading is saying is to dare to step out of our comfort zone. Dare to dip your toe in the waters of possibility and lack of fear.
“Yes, you will make mistakes.”
This makes it sound certain that we will make mistakes.
And they’re probably right. I guess no sugar-coating here, and also great to be prepared than building castles in the sky.
And this is one area that I have great difficulty with: FEAR OF FAILURE.
I am often too hard on myself when things don’t go my way, or “as planned”. Or, in the way the world views “success”.
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie
> Get the hard copy or Kindle copy on Amazon.
> Download the book app on the App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android.
> View Thought For The Day by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (the book's publisher) here.
“Some things we just won’t like. That’s good… Some things we will like.”
I guess what Melody Beattie is saying is: If you don’t try, you’ll never know. How would you know if you’ve not tried? Sometimes too much fear and negative self-talk get in the way. That’s why some people say we lose our “innocence” as adults, because we forget how to PLAY. As kids, we didn’t overthink, we simply tried things we wanted.
“We’ll know a little more about who we are”
Giving ourselves a chance to experiment and try new things is also creating an opportunity for self-discovery, to find out more about ourselves — who we are, what we stand for…
We learn more about ourselves when we expand our horizons, open our heart and mind to welcome what the world has to offer! We say “yes” to possibility!
“Recovery means exploration, investigation, experimentation.”
Our experiences when putting ourself out there doesn’t have to be perfect. It will likely be scary.
But in CoDA I learn that I’ve a Higher Power who looks out for me. So I’m still safe, when I allow myself to be exposed.
“…being done with the rigid, shame-based rules from the past, and formulating healthy values based on self-love, love for others, and living in harmony with this world.”
Yes, we need to let go of the old ways that we have been programed — be it by our parents or other authority figures in our life.
We need to know it’s OK to become “our own person”, and develop our own values, like what the reading said, based on love for the Self and Other in the world around us.
I think most importantly, we have to keep in mind that it’s OK to take one’s time to experiment. Take one step at a time to be closer to feeling safe and comfortable with the idea and thereafter, carrying it out.
Lastly, don’t cocoon or isolate yourself if the result of trying something new garners a negative experience. Heal from it, and then try again.