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Yes, U Can Think, Chapter 15 Codep No More
April 8, 2007
6:22 pm
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Rasputin
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Hey folks,

I'm starting chapter 15 of this series of book study of Melody's book. I hope you can join us in big numbers.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

-II Timothy 1:7

As codpes, many of us don't trust our minds. We truly understand the horror of indecision. The smallest choices, such as what to order at a restaurant or which bottle of bleach to purchase, paralyze us. The larger significant decisions we face, such as how to solve our problems, what to do with our lives, and who to live with, can overwhelm us. Many of us simply give up and refuse to think about these things. Some of us allow other people or circumstances to make these choices for us.

For a variety of reasons, we may have lost faith in our ability to think and reason things out. Believing lies, lying to ourselves (denial), chaos, stress, low self-esteem, and a stomach full of repressed emotions may cloud our ability to think. We become confused. That doesn't mean we can't think.

Can someone relate or share some personal experience that is relevant?

April 8, 2007
7:31 pm
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ggfred4
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Thank you Ras for continuing the book study. I will definitely reread the chapter and post when I can soon...Again, THANKS!!!

gg

April 9, 2007
2:31 pm
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bevdee
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I have thought about this for quite a while since reading it.

*Can someone relate or share some personal experience that is relevant*

Well I could, but it would throw us right back to that scripture at the beginning of the thread, and I wonder if that would just sully and irritate this whole subject. In this book study, once the material veered into the author's Christianity- I veered away because I don't agree with the author. Her use of scripture to cover psychological matters seems like an oxymoron to me, and it just seemed more polite to keep it to myself.

What the hell- here goes.

The use of this scripture -

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. -II Timothy 1:7 " - from that contradictory bible that tells christians how to live their life, to fear the wrath of god, to subjugate women, etc... and what thoughts to have - in this particular chapter just blows me away

Now, I could speculate that due to the christian culture I was raised in, not just my family, but my neighborhood in my town, in my county, in my state, in this country, - part of the reason I was not taught to rely on my own intelligence and innate common sense was because of the thinking that the christian bible presents. There are tons of other threads on the Libs side that offer all the differing opinions on this subject so there is no need to go into detail about it.

Or- I can say that it is because I was raised by a woman that was so wrapped into deception- her own self-deception and her efforts to deceive everyone else, a woman that was terrified of my ever discovering her lies. She shot me down and told me I was wrong every chance she got. When I was honest about my feelings, I was not rewarded, I was punished, and it destroyed my confidence.

Every time I ever tried to talk to a christian counselor or minister about my feelings, I was told to

*honor your father and mother*

*take it to the lord in prayer* and to

*read the good book*. I was taught that my anger and my sexuality was unacceptable to that godman. But- these were my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions.

I was taught to make excuses for goofy, inconsistent reasoning (the bible and my family), and behaviour (the bible and my family). When I had a question about the illogic, I was told to pray about it. Back to the external. I did this so much, I doubted myself. Holding up unqualified or mythical figures as authority or for nurturing undermined my confidence.

But it is also because I was raised as I was - to become codependent. I was taught by my family of origin and it was reinforced by their religion to look to the external for validation.. I can stop looking to my family or friends or love relationships for external validation, and turn to religion, but to me that is the same as switching addictions, and that is why I disagree with the author in her use of scripture.. I think she needs to take it further and quit deluding herself. I looked at her sequel- Beyond Codependency and there were just too many references to the author's religion (for me), so I didn't buy it.

So anyway, that's why I have held off in this thread recently. There has been alot of christianity references slung in here, and while that might be necessary for some at their phase in a journey out of codep, it doesn't work for me.

I mean!! That whole WWJD bracelet phenomena. Doesn't that seem like the indecision the author is talking about?

April 9, 2007
2:45 pm
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ggfred4
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I am not sure of my views now on religion as I seem to be in some sort of standstill in my life on that subject. Now this book and the Boundary book I am reading have lots of scripture documentation. I just read it and take what I want from it. Is it right? who knows? I am using these books to work on my codependency and those issues alone, so I tend to ignore the religious references keeping in mind that those are the writer's.

I am still thinking and processing the concepts of codependency and learning about boundaries, so I guess that is a good thing. I know religion is such a personal issue, so like I said, I take what I want and leave the rest. Am I right or wrong here?

April 9, 2007
3:21 pm
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bevdee
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Well Rouxlady

I believe you are right and you probably have a more well adjusted attitude about it than I do.

But obvious (to me) inconsistencies might make me crazy(er) So am I wrong or am I right? 🙂

April 9, 2007
3:31 pm
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ggfred4
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Bev, there is no wrong or right when you think about it. Everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint. Now how are those viewpoints developed? Yes, our past places a role, our education, our peers, society, etc. About the subject of religion, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's view on that subject. I find it very interesting and educational. The inconsistencies you mentioned may make you crazy, but try and remember that is that person's relevance to the subject. If it makes you crazy, just take a step back... BUT, don't let it hinder your growth.

April 9, 2007
3:39 pm
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bevdee
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"The inconsistencies you mentioned may make you crazy, but try and remember that is that person's relevance to the subject." That's why I coudn't let this one go unremarked. For the reasons I listed. I think it is admirable to be able to overlook it.

Hindering my growth? Not anymore. I need to remember that just because a person needs religion or uses scripture in an effort to prove a point or sell books does not mean I can't learn something (other than religion and scripture) from that person. Otherwise, I will become as narrowminded.

Thanks for diffusing me, Rouxlady. I will probably lurk this thread from here on out.

April 9, 2007
4:15 pm
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ggfred4
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bev, it may not be that I have a well-adjusted attitude at all; just remember how I was raised...quite a bit different, almost opposite of yours in that area. I think I posted it awhile back on libs.

gg

April 9, 2007
9:30 pm
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ggfred4
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Okay, read the chapter again and these are statements that were relevant to me:

"As codependents we don't trust our minds"

"Hating ourselves, telling ourselves we won't make good decisions..."

"Maybe they criticized our choices"

Activity questions: Who makes your decisions for you? How do you feel about that? I would like to answer that I make my own decisions, but can't do that honestly, at least not anymore. I used to make most decisions in my home, but somewhere along the way that changed. I lost confidence in my decision making. Yes, I was criticized a LOT by my h for my decisions. I know now that he can't take the blame for anything and has to throw it in my direction and then I tend to believe it to be so. My dad is VERY critical and I did not and do not like making mistakes when it deals with him. Last year he asked me to measure something outside for something he was building. I was literally shaking with the tape measure, afraid of not getting an EXACT measurement. I put him on hold and measured 5 times to make sure and then was criticized for the time I took. I knew that would happen, but I knew a wrong measurement would be worse.

I can't stand to pick a restaurant or make decisions with others in case things don't go well; it will be my fault.

2.Did someone important in your life tell you that you couldn't think and make decisions? Who? I don't recall anyone doing this to me. This may not relate, but when it was report card day, I always brought home the best report card out of my siblings and I took pride in it. My sister would be congratulated if she brought a "D" to a "C". If I had a "B", my dad would ask, "Why wasn't it an "A"? What did you do wrong?" This would hurt and I would feel like a failure and would no longer feel proud of my grades.

I like the suggestion in the chapter about using our minds, by making decisions, formulating opinions, and expressing them. Now I might not be good at making decisions yet, but I have enjoyed the "thinking" questions asked by others where I have formulated opinions and I hope I am beginning to express them. Okay, I am beginning to feel safe here now though....that helps...

April 10, 2007
11:21 am
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Rasputin
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(((GG))) Very well & wisely said. Thanks for answering since I was unable to be here.

Bev! Sorry you're experiencing some unpleasantness. I will see what I can do when I have the time to post.

Have a great day folks!

April 10, 2007
2:52 pm
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on my way
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"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

-II Timothy 1:7"

Just a thought, but for some isn't part of codependency being fearful of not allowing anyone else to do it but ourselves? The fact that we don't trust anyone to do it as well, because each time we trusted we were let down or the bottom fell out? So to rely on God, whom we cannot see in the literal sense, and that involves trust...that could be rather difficult for some people.
On the other hand, sometimes codependency is feeling like we need others to complete us, and when we finally figure that out, it is a revulsion to do otherwise. I can see how hard it would be for some to grasp the concept of God helping, but for Melody Beatty, God has been the source of her recovery.

Read this book a long time ago, but now I can see how this fits together.

April 10, 2007
2:57 pm
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on my way
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let me splain a bit...when it could be a revulsion to do otherwise, then it would be a revulsion to allow for some, even God to step in, especially with our religious backgrounds. Growing up in an alcoholic family with mounds of stress, yet I had to go to church every Sunday, and love was preached there, but at home...my parents hated each other....it has taken me a long time to figure out that verse, but am glad I did. I don't know about you all, but I HAD to be self-reliant growing up...OUT OF FEAR, because I did not believe I was safe. Looking back as an adult I can see what happened, and my family of origin dynamics have changed since then, but it is difficult to let go, turn over our lives to anyone sometimes.

April 11, 2007
9:32 pm
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Rasputin
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Bev~I've had negative religious people in my life and believe me hon...if allowed those negative folks to influence my decisions and choices today...I would have ended up atheist.

Bottom line is...don't let negative people control or run your life. You be in control of your own life. Take back that power and control to your life. Look at good healthy peoople. In fact, surround and saturate yourself with good, kind, positive people.

Churches are filled with people who come from all walks of life and every church is free & open to all. They can't monitor who will be there or how positive or good they are.

So as you can see you are not alone, many folks had similar experiences. You have OMW, myself and pretty sure they are so many other folks who have had negative experiences with some fundamental or negative religious people.

Just forgive, forget and focus on the positive ones!

April 13, 2007
3:24 am
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armyleo
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I had to respond to this...

When I talked to a sheriff chaplain ~ 1 1/2 to 2 years ago...he gave me this verse...I told him, I wanted it to be true for me one day...I wanted to not be afraid of my H to stand up to him...He told me to believe in this verse...

Bevdee, sometimes I don't know where I stand with my spiritual beliefs...you know where you are...

Growing up I went to church...Catholic...my mom took us, because we went to catholic school...but not because we were super religious...we didn't pray at meals, we didn't pray together...it was almost, like we went through the motion of going to church, however, I'm not sure...if we were really into it....Then with H he was anti church...after they started saying you had to give a certain percentage of your income and they started tracking it....I sent the kids to Lutheran school, but we're not lutheran...

When I met this chaplain....he is non-denominational, however he is Christian...he had me really thinking and looking @ christianity in a different way...it was about this personal relationship I have with Jesus...my own personal walk...he saw me look at things differently, I thought he would tell me I had to stay with H...but he didn't...

He basically said what Free has told me all along...it's simple you either, stay with him or get out...because he has been abusive and cheating on me, there is no reason for me to stay...

I attended his community church several times, but I got scared away...scared of changing, scared of people praying all the time, scared of losing control, left because H didn't want me to attend, making fun of it...

So a part of me is searching...searching for a place to fit in, searching for my nich...

I guess I'm babbling here, I've lost my train of thought...

April 13, 2007
2:55 pm
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on my way
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army,
I have been there too. So I just decided to spend some alone time with just God for a while. That's where it begins and ends. I agree there are many churches that are scary these days, don't feel bad about that. Hopefully they will change, but I think it will get worse.

I lose sight of the fact of who I am sometimes. And I know I come across as arrogant or condescending on these threads. Not that way at all in person, but I am here when it comes to discussing my faith. So to any I have offended, forgive me. There are some matters that I am still in the dark about, but am noticing my muck-ups. It's a process.

RAS...very good advice what you say.

April 13, 2007
3:51 pm
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ggfred4
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Such a sensitive, personal topic. We all come from so many backgrounds that have a great effect on it also. I wish everyone would feel comfortable to state how they feel and believe without worry. For myself, I really like reading the different beliefs and backgrounds of each person. I think it broadens my thinking and helps me to appreciate others.

(((bev))) (((Ras))) (((omy))) (((army)))

April 13, 2007
4:09 pm
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armyleo
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Growing up I only knew 1 denomination, since it was the only one I knew I thought it was the right one...

When I sent my kids to a Lutheran school, my grandmother just about disowned me...I was stepping into another church....how sacriligious...

Anyways, I too like reading the different beiefs and backgrounds of people...

I've learned that one religion might not be the only and right one...I've learned I can grow in my understanding, and it's okay...

For me it's hard because I want to know and understand more...I want to feel the peace some people feel in their church, yet without going overboard...

I have never come from a strong religious family, never really shoved down my throat, our family never really attended church every Sunday...My mom tried to get us to go, however, it wasn't so much because, of a religious conviction but rather, because we were in a catholic school and SHOULD go.

So Bevdee, sometimes I think I am the opposite of you...where you grew up with strong/fanatical (maybe wrong word) upbringing...

I grew up in a well, if we wake up let's go to church...

Maybe it's just an avenue I haven't explored, and think it might help me and H, I don't know....I guess, I want to make sure I try eveything, and it shouldn't matter about H....It should be about me, and me and if it brings peace to me....

April 14, 2007
2:49 pm
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Beattie ends up this chapter by listing an inventory of some suggestions that can help us as codeps to reclaim our lost self-confidence & mental abilities:

- Treat our minds to peace. detach, get calm. If we're facing a big decision, get peaceful 1st then decide.

- Ask God to help us think.

- Quit abusing our minds. Worry & obsession constitute mental abuse. Stop doing those things.

- Feed our minds. Give our minds info such as alcoholism, relationships...then let them sort thru things which would help us to come up with answers and solutions.

- Feed our minds healthy thoughts. Induge in activities that uplift our thoughts and give us a positive chagre, a meditation book.

- Strech our mind. Many of us become so concerned about our problems and other's problems that we stop reading newspapers, watching documentaries, reading books etc. Get interested in the world around us. Learn something new.

- Quit saying bad things about our minds. Stop telling yourself things like: "I can't make good decisions," "I'm really not very smart," Start instead, to say good & positive things about yourslef.

- Use our mind. Make decisions. Formulate opinions. Express them. Create! Think things thru, but don't worry & Obsess. Letting people make our decisions for us means wer're getting rescued, which means we're feeling like victims.

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