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Language of Letting Go - May 13 - Property Lines

Old 05-13-2008, 02:13 AM
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Ann
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Language of Letting Go - May 13 - Property Lines

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go

Property Lines

A helpful tool in our recovery, especially in the behavior we call detachment, is learning to identify who owns what. Then we let each person own and possess his or her rightful property.

If another person has an addiction, a problem, a feeling, or a self-defeating behavior, that is their property, not ours. If someone is a martyr, immersed in negativity, controlling, or manipulative behavior, that is their issue, not ours.

If someone has acted and experienced a particular consequence, both the behavior and the consequence belong to that person.

If someone is in denial or cannot think clearly on a particular issue, that confusion belongs to him or her.

If someone has a limited or impaired ability to love or care, that is his or her property, not ours. If someone has no approval or nurturing to give away, that is that person's property.

People's lies, deceptions, tricks, manipulations, abusive behaviors, inappropriate behaviors, cheating behaviors, and tacky behaviors belong to them, too. Not us.

People's hope and dreams are their property. Their guilt belongs to them too. Their happiness or misery is also theirs. So are their beliefs and messages.

If some people don't like themselves, that is their choice. Other people's choices are their property, not ours.

What people choose to say and do is their business.

What is our property? Our property includes our behaviors, problems, feelings, happiness, misery, choices, and messages; our ability to love, care, and nurture; our thoughts, our denial, our hopes and dreams for ourselves. Whether we allow ourselves to be controlled, manipulated, deceived, or mistreated is our business.

In recovery, we learn an appropriate sense of ownership. If something isn't ours, we don't take it. If we take it, we learn to give it back. Let other people have their property, and learn to own and take good care of what's ours.

Today, I will work at developing a clear sense of what belongs to me, and what doesn't. If it's not mine, I won't keep it. I will deal with my issues, my responsibilities, and myself. I will take my hands off what is not mine.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie 1990, Hazelden Foundation. All rights reserved.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:23 AM
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Ann
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Today, I will work at developing a clear sense of what belongs to me, and what doesn't. If it's not mine, I won't keep it. I will deal with my issues, my responsibilities, and myself. I will take my hands off what is not mine.
:codiepolice

Learning to define ownership before I got drawn in (or willingly marched right in) was a new experience for me. Was I not in control of my family/my child/my job/my neighbourhood/the world? Nope, no matter how much I tried to take ownership of other people and their behaviour it just wasn't mine to own.

If someone is angry, even at ME, and is rude or aggressive verbally....I don't own it, he does. Even if his anger is justified, his tone and behaviour is not. I walk away/hang up/disconnect/remove myself from this situation quickly. I'll talk all night to anyone who can maintain respect in their behaviour or voice but I will never tolerate disrespect because "my reaction" is the only part of this equation that I own.

His action = his consequence. If I rob him of the consequence, I have robbed him of the lesson....hands off the consequence.

Sometimes I have to take a giant step back and ask myself "Does this have MY name written all over it?" If it does not, I don't own it.

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Old 05-13-2008, 07:19 AM
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Ann,

This has always been one of my favorite readings. I have it in my archives, and it's one I still pull out and refer to from time to time.

As a card carrying co-dependent, I used to feel acutely responsible for every negative feeling that my loved ones had. Not that I caused it, but that I was somehow responsible for lessing their pain or the severity of their consequences.

It's funny ~ now ~ that I believed I had that much power.

My life has become MUCH more manageable and happy since I gave up that illusio and I allowed people the dignity of making their own choices and the joy of experiencing their own consequences.

Most of what goes on in the world around me isn't ABOUT me. Thanks for the reminder.

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Old 05-13-2008, 11:13 AM
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I'm printing this one and thank you!
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