“Some walks you have to take alone.” — curiano.com

Humility helps us realize we are not as indispensable as we imagine. The more we put others on a pedestal in order to pull them in, or the more time we dedicate to those who are manifesting love avoidance, the more we feel taken for granted.

Part of the problem of being codependent is codependents seek to make themselves indispensable in order to secure a place for themselves, but this pursuit precipitates the opposite effect. As Mari Ruti, says,

“There’s no greater test of our respect for our friend’s autonomy than letting someone know she is free without protest when that’s what she needs. This is one of the greatest gifts – one of the greatest acts of love we can ever give. Love is bighearted. It wants what is best for the other even if the best doesn’t involve us.” *

Letting go is a part of loving. If you’re always with someone, you’ll never know how strong your connection is.  Though letting go can seem too much, we can derive inward consolation as Ruti explains,

“Letting a friend walk away before we are ready to let go is one of the hardest things we will ever do… It might help us to remember that friendship can die without us having done anything to kill it.  It’s better to lose a friendship than to watch its initial passion turn into a faint shadow of its former self.”

Whenever we sense disparity of feeling, even in friendship, it is time to let go. It is a needless weight upon the heart. We become desperate for someone’s affection, at the cost of our dignity.  We approach the friendship according to what we want to hear, rather than what is being said or done. Roger de Bussy-Rabutin uses a metaphor to help us read where we stand with another when he says,

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.”

~ vincenzo ©

*in these two quotes by Mari Ruti, I have substituted the word, “lover” for “friend” in order to contextualize the quote to my present situation

when you show yourself vulnerable

and your friend pulls away

your deepest feelings fly into a tailspin

it hurts when someone treats you special

then at once their affection, it fades away

coz soul friends, they don’t come around every day

when you don’t know what to do

you can play the victim

or you can stop doing what doesn’t work

let your friend go where they need to be

stop chasing her and with time

learn to embrace your inner strength

make your life a resting place

feel the carathis of your pain

when true friends understand they are free

they will find their way back to you

and if they do not, do yourself a favor

just learn to let it be

~ vincenzo ©

“…her words were always like ready-made clothes, and never fitted individual thoughts. Anybody might have used them, and with a change of proper names, they might have served to describe any subject.” – Elizabeth Gaskell

The quote above may seem a small annoyance to some, but it portrays one of my greatest sources of distress. The beauty of an imaginative soul is the power to visualize vitality even when reality is insipid and cold. I shun doing anything in a run-of-the-mill way. It is not only what I express, but how I express it that matters. Whenever I give expression to something, I am compelled to give it full flight.

Creativity is a kind of viewfinder you carry with you wherever you go. Your artistic leanings cannot help but shape your outlook. Although muted, art has its own language, principles and codes. Therefore, if someone clothes an idea or belief in conventional/prosaic language, it may collide with your heightened sensitivity. It causes you to resist certain phraseologies and truisms that create cognitive dissonance not only to your readers or viewers, but inside yourself as well. Therefore for the artist, there are not only differences of content to consider, but expressions /styles as well. This diversity requires heavy doses of humility and self-examination.

~ vincenzo ©

Whoever seeks to change anyone but himself, only adds to the misery he wishes to eliminate. ~ vincenzo ©

Insecure love – that choppy, messed-up way of caring – operates from extreme to extreme in families: tossing us about from royal treatment to out-of-control behaviour. It is like looking through whale eyes. You cannot see what is in front of you, but only from lateral sides – each view completely different from the other. On one side all is peace and love; on the other wretched hail storms of emotion. And so the pendulum swings from one side to the other … blindsided or harpooned.

I entered teaching where conflict intervention was mandatory. The ups and downs produced sea-sickening panic attacks. I always excelled as a student, but this new kind of test exacerbated my nerves. I either flew under the radar or risked losing control. I didn’t seem to have any middle ground.

Don’t ask me how I learned more redemptive responses. I haven’t reached that far in my contemplations.

~ vincenzo

i struggled with
compulsive behaviors
like rescuing others
excessive gift-giving
and “falling in love” too fast
my locus of motivation
hopelessly focused externally
seeking to get my supply
of what kept eluding me

~ vincenzo

I thought I had sufficient experience in taking care of fish tanks, yet found myself mystified one day. Some of catfish were dying.  As quickly as I replaced the dead ones, the new arrivals suffered the same fate.

I asked the owner of a pet shop what it could be. He happened to be a marine biologist. He explained how changing the water of an aquarium not only removes dirt and grime, but essential bacteria culture that sustain aquatic life. If you don’t replace this bacteria, the fish die ingesting their own toxic waste as it mixes with the food bits that settle into the gravel below. The good bacteria neutralize the fish’s body waste.

This insight helped me see my spiritual journey in a new light.  Like good bacteria we need grace.  Without it we perish in the toxicity of our own self-contempt since we cannot fulfill our own high standards — even less God’s holy ones.  Statistics say 80% of psychiatric patients are religious (Fitchett, Burton, & Sivian, 1997) to the point of pushing themselves off the edge.

The Christian faith isn’t meant to pull us down into despair and loathsomeness, but to raise us up toward health, strength and everlasting hope.  Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11: 28-30

~ vincenzo