I’ve heard, “It Never Hurts to Ask”

It never hurts to ask and what I learned from Honda

Honda stojan

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I am a believer in Honda.  They’ve won me over with their automatic doors, convenience in just about any way they can, but mostly because of their Starbucks coffee, fresh-baked cookies and 10% discounts.  “Ten percent?,” you ask.  Well, not so easy as that.  We have to ask.  Ask nicely.

Honda has, if not taught me, reinforced my once shaky belief that if you ask for something, you’re more likely to get it.  Sounds obvious but how often we don’t.  We don’t ask.  What are the barriers?  Flip it and we wonder what helps us ask?

We bring out our biopsychosocial model again.  (Hear the whip-ahhh! as it comes out of our pocket?!)

Question:  What do you find when you break it down?

Those barriers or the helps we have in other areas of our life, including with our own friend, Me.

Self-Care Tip #277 – If you want to change something, ask.  Including when it’s about yourself from yourself.

Finding What Perfectionism Can Offer Our Self-Care – In Summary

Gold star forehead

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We managed to run a series on perfectionism without even knowing it was happening.  Pretty cool.  Perfect?  No.

  1. Lady Gaga – Born This Way
  2. Try, Knowing We Will Fail
  3. Loving Me Without Ambivalence
  4. Codependent

Your comments have added to our momentum and interest.  Here are a few from a range of thoughts and opinions:

Jasmine said,

…there’s a fine line between accepting yourself for who you really are and not just who you would like to be…

Patricia didn’t mince words,

I don’t like the word fail as it implies failure which is defeatist. Lots of times I try something and have less success than I would like but that is not failing. It is learning, if only learning what doesn’t work or what not to do again.

I don’t think I would try anything if I knew I was going to fail!

Paula tells us that in her quest toward being perfect she has suffered,

…considerable self-flagellation over the years. i still bear the scars.

Sarah, our literarian, grammarian and editor, channels Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird:

“…I wanted you to see what real courage is…. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win but sometimes you do.”

Marie, who used to be “Livingsuicidal.com,” is now, “Livingvictorious.com” – whoo-ah!  She tells us in her usual courageous style,

Although rationally I know I can’t be perfect, emotionally (I) can’t stop pursuing (perfectionism)…

Carl, strong Carl who shares his weaknesses knowing they don’t have anything to do with weakening him, tells us to,

define the difference between co-dependency and partnership and that the two terms are not interchangeable.

And so I ask you to tell me more because you always say it so well.  Perfectly?  No.

It would be wonderful to hear from the rest of you too!  Speak out!  Connect and lead us into our summary.  Perfectly?  No.

Implications:

  1. Lady Gaga via biology.  How do you understand your biology to be influencing your view of perfectionism?
  2. Our efforts on volition/control.  What is it in regards to your self-grace, (i.e. forgiveness and allowance for ourselves?)
  3. Ambivalence on progress v. limitations and flaws.  How is this conflict affecting you?
  4. Perfectionism on pathologically depending on the opinion of others to qualify us.  Some people call this, “codependence.”  How do you qualify yourself?

Self-Care Tip #276 – Let good come from your propensity to crave perfection.  It can.

Codependent,… Or Something?!

Inquisition condemned (Francisco de Goya).

Image via Wikipedia

Codependent.

It’s a term a lot of people use but I don’t think we are all using it to mean the same thing.  It is poorly defined and confusing.  If codependency were a medication, we would call it a “dirty medicine,” because it hits so many “receptors.”  It is nonspecific.

Who hasn’t ever been shamed by the fear that they are codependent?

You are codependent! 

Am I codependent!!!??

The word implies blame.  Blame for what?  And that is one of the places we walk away without benefit.  Was the word useful to any of us in any way?

In general, vaguely, codependence implies awareness and participation with mal-behavior that we are powerless to.  Treatment preferably includes a twelve-step program that includes the surrender of what we don’t have power over to our Higher Power.  Codependence may incidentally be combined with brain disease and of course that would need medication therapy.

There are however a few things that must be cleared up.

  1. There is nothing shameful about being married, the child of or of any relation to an addict.  That position doesn’t diagnose us with codependency unless that’s what that word is being used to define.  You never know.
  2. There is no shame in wanting to be with people, depend on people, seek people out to problem-solve and get energy from being with people.  That position does not diagnose codependency unless that’s what the word is being used to define.  You never know.

However,

  1. There may be a relationship to family of addicts
  2. There may be a relationship to anger problems
  3. There may be a relationship to kids of parents who expected perfect kids, spouses of spouses who expect perfect spouses, pet-owners who… (Oh wait.  That’s not right.)

BUT, per Dr. Q, if we find ourselves…

  1. in recurring negativity – perhaps an argument that happens over and over
  2. with an increasingly limited ability to participate in life
  3. powerless
  4. doing things we wouldn’t normally do/out of character
  5. tied into someone else’s mal-behavior
  6. consciously aware of that someone’s mal-behavior

IT’S WORTH THINKING ABOUT IT.  We might not be codependent, whatever that means, but we do need help.

Questions:  How do you identify this in your life or someone you know?  How have you been able to stop being dependent on someone you knew was repeatedly doing mal-behavior?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip #275 – Forget the shame and just get about your work to figure this out.

Loving Me without ambivalence – Perfectionism v. Passive Surrender

Light cycles designed by Mead, as featured in ...

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The conflict of perfectionism v.v. passive surrender of ourselves to ourselves.

Yesterday we talked about enjoying our failures.  That might have pushed a little much.  But who doesn’t nurse their failure more than their success?  Who doesn’t remember their hurt in life more often than their pleasure?  It can be confusing.

This friend we call, Me, pushes us and holds us back.  But that is not said well enough.  This description implies ambivalence – two strongly opposing forces in opposite directions.  Amidst all the push and pull, we can get confused.  We work so hard on our behalf that we forget we were born flawed and will, at every step of life’s journey, have a constant relationship with imperfect behaviors and emotions all the while having hope for what is better.

I remember in Tron: Legacy that Flynn explained that Clue was created to build the perfect world.  When things became bad and Clue was blamed, Flynn the Creator essentially said,

He’s just doing what he was designed to do.  

Clue, in the name of going toward what was considered perfect, began annihilating everything and everyone that wasn’t programmed right.  Clue was baffled by his Creator’s disagreement and in the end destroyed them both.

Clu: I did everything… everything you ever asked! 
Kevin Flynn: I know you did. 
Clu: I executed the plan! 
Kevin Flynn: As you saw it… 
Clu: You- You promised that we would change the world, together. You broke your promise… 
Kevin Flynn: I know. I understand that now. 
Clu: I took this system to its maximum potential. I created the perfect system! 
Kevin Flynn: The thing about perfection is that it’s unknowable. It’s impossible, but it’s also right in front of us all the time. You wouldn’t know that because I didn’t when I created you. I’m sorry, Clu. I’m sorry… 

We, like Flynn, forget that our beauty is the constant relationship between going toward that which is better for us and allowing for our limitations, regression and failures.  These forces don’t have to be opposing.  Our life is more than an allowance for betterment and foibles; it is a position of value and respect to both.  There is this wonderment that we can in all this chaos be what we should be, now, but still in process of change.  We are all these things and Me, our friend, loves that.

Questions:  How are you doing with your Me who struggles for the whole of you?  Are you able to join Me?  What limits you?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip #274 – Love what keeps you from your goals and what gets you there without ambivalence.

We Try Knowing We Will Fail. The Wonderful Journey Of Flawed People.

The t-shirt

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It’s 9:23 PM and our little kids are still awake!  They’ve cried.  They’ve laughed.  We’ve cuddled.  We’ve spanked.  They’ve taken two showers and brushed their teeth twice.  We ate several times.

I was riding my bike, watching a movie, (I love that!), and my daughters were taking turns coming in to complain, wet me with their tears, snuggle, hold me; you get it.  My exercise and my movie were peppered with refreshing breaks.  Sitting on the couch chair nearby with my five-year old during one of these intermissions, holding her, I was able to say,

It’s okay.  

I was able to do this because I was the one in the casita getting pumped up and my husband was the one in the house herding children to bed.  He had the tough job that turns me into a turnip and I had this.

You can do it.  You can try again.  You can try again, even if you are trying for the one-hundredth time.  You try and you try and you try again because that’s what makes our lives beautiful.  The trying part mostly.  Not the arrival.  

And that’s when I grabbed her and held on.  I suddenly felt so blessed.  From this off-night, I was given the reminder that the trying part of life is where it is at.

It’s 9:33 PM and I think they’re asleep.  Sigh.  Tonight was awesome.

We are flawed people.  We try, knowing we will fail.  Who does that?!  Why would anyone do that to themselves!?  Smile.  Ah.  Sounds wonderful.

Questions:  How is your journey?  Have you been enjoying your failures lately?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip #273  – Enjoy your failures.

In Mass and Individually, We Are Beautiful – Lady Gaga

Someone, who has experience fighting for her emotional and behavioral health, advised me to listen to Lady Gaga – Born This Way.  She said, “Don’t be scared by it!  Just listen!”

So I did.  And then I did again.  Her message is not, “Don’t stress out.  Don’t work hard.  Just be who you are.”  It is rather, “Figure out who you are and embrace that fully.”  By her own example, she tells us to work harder than anything else on embracing that.  Gaga says, love this unique self and respect it openly and privately.  She tells us that we are all beautiful in mass and individually.

So let us know what you think!  Is her message our message here at FriendtoYourself.com?  Are you uncomfortable with loving yourself so well?  Please tell me your story.