October 25, 2010

Like Father, Like Daughter, or Do I Define Myself?

Do I make choices passively--hoping things will happen, rather than taking action?

My dad is my example, sometimes, of what not to be.  Passive. He stood by and watched us kids suffer, while my mom went on her dry drunk rampages. Was he unwilling to face conflict?  Unable to see any effective choices? Did he think staying and keeping the peace was the most important thing?

My adult life got off to a bumpy start, and I had my own issues deciding between committing to and separating from a less-than-ideal mate. Partly because I'd been affected by [life with a borderline parent]  I was not capable of being anything more proactive at the time. The author's words from CTC today could be my own words of forgiveness. "It was the best I could do under the circumstances, but harm was done, and I owe[d] an amends."

I stopped being ambivalent and I left when I knew the price of staying would be my sanity and might result in children who would also be mistreated by my spouse. I've learned the best amends is to stop practicing the defect.  I do my best to be true to my values.  I am more willing to face the consequences of making a decision.  "In every area of my life, I can ask myself: ...Am I making choices that I can be proud of at home, at work, and in my community, or am I letting the choices be made for me?"

Today's Reminder

In Al-anon I get to  define my responsibilities and select my own values.  Program challenges me to "define my values, to take responsibility for choices I am already making, and to make amends where I have done harm." I have a choice, and even when I choose not to choose, I have a part in every consequence of my life.

It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character.  Dale Turner

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