Thursday, June 4, 2009

Control, Offering Opinions and Dependency

I am often amazed how members of Al-Anon will come up to me or some one else after a meeting and provide either advice or in the discussion - comment on what some one said or is saying. What I hear is - "That is not true it is this or that." Or what else I hear is "You should do this." And then there is a more indirect route, "Have you thought about . . . "

No matter how we slice it - it is about control. Control is a path to dependency, by you who is controlling or by you, accepting the opinion.

  1. No one elses opinion matters. Period. End of statement. Finis.
  2. No one is right or wrong. Period. End of statement. Finis.
  3. Very little matters. Which means; "Very little matters in the world. Period. End of statement. Finis.

Hmmmmm . . .

That last statement "Very little matters." Did it get you? Do you disagree? Are you thinking "what does matter then?" And, the thought of "Very little matters in the world." - are you labeling this? Are you labeling this as;

1. Wrong?
2. Yes things do matter!! Everything matters!
3. You are giving up! You cannot give up! We must fight to the death. Is that what this translates to for you?


Very little matters.

Even what I am typing - it doesn't matter.

But our "attachments" - what we have "decided" as "right" is what is getting me (us/you) hooked. "Right" and righteousness" - is an opposite opinion and is therefore "wrong" is a form of judgment. Being wrong makes us - "Less than" or "Unworthy." Is it the judgment that starts getting me hooked? What if it just is?

What if being wrong was accepted in our society as "Good?" What if we rejoiced in another's opinion - especially - if it was DEEPLY counter to ours?

What if we celebrated wrong and difference of opinion?

I am not talking about diversity - however - this discussion MAY BE the root of the diversity topic . . . not that my opinion matters -

And this is not to say I am not a worthy and worthwhile person.

Because here it is:

I am a worthy and worthwhile person. AND of course - so are YOU!

Your opinion of me or my blog or my hair or my underwear does not really affect me.

Well isn't that SPECIAL . . . Apologies to Church Lady (aka Dana Garvey).

I wish the sentence "Your opinion of me does not matter." what really true for me. I am hooked. I am attached to your opinion. I don't even know you and I am attached to your opinion.

How about you? Are you attached to another person's opinion? Of you? Of the world?

This is the control and dependency issue.

Go back to the statements about - all three. Can you read them and REALLY FEEL them and accept these in the deepest part of your ego/soul/brain/conscious/subconscious?

GOD - there is so much to learn.

The closest I get to GOD is serenity. I achieve serenity - by being present. Feeling my feelings. And working on not being attached to what happens, what I am thinking, the future, what I "want" or "need" and what others think (what I THINK others think).

I am aiming for peace and serenity.

Again - as my sponsor says - When you have a choice (for thoughts and actions) aim for serenity.

Today I am focusing on detachment.


Cat said...

Great topic - control is something that I am OK with letting go of - until that codie whispering in my heads leads me to react to fear - in those cases - I grab control of anything - until I realize I have done it...

Gratefully these days that scenario happens a lot less - it is not a daily way of life any longer.

Gin said...

Awesome post. When I finally let go and accepted I have no control over my husband's drinking I felt so free.

Syd said...

If I remember and believe that there is nothing wrong with me, then the opinions of others don't matter. I can be comfortable with who I am. I'm getting there. Always a work in progress.

Anonymous said...

This is a very deep topic that applies to all areas of life and is at the root of Alanon, "keep the focus on me".

When it comes right down to it, no one else's opinion does matter because each person's life is unique to that individual, and nobody can live your life better than you.

People find god in different ways, wear their hair in different ways, raise children in different ways, the list is infinite. They are all correct even though their answers are different.

This is why we strive not to judge others. Note, I say strive. It does seem to be human nature to judge.

Writing this, I just realized it is as difficult to refrain from judging others as it is to ignore others' judgements of me. Hmm.


Pat C. said...

I personally can support the first two of the three statements. However "Very Little Matters" implies that the world and our lives are dead and we have all become zombies. I was a zombie once trying to control and cure my alcoholic.

Al-Anon has directed my focus from the alcoholic to myself. I know that I am uncomfortable putting this attention on myself and I have much more to learn, but I know that I matter, my kids matter and working my program matter.

If it is to be it is up to me and my higher power.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between control and caring. When you care deeply and only hold out your hand (as He holds His out to you) and accept that your loved will take it only when he/she is ready that you start caring without control. Or at least that is what I am working on today. Be grateful to know how you can care and not control.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog and for everyone sharing. I get a lot out of the wisdom of Al anon, though by no means do I think it is the only way to happiness/freedom. One thing that boggles my mind is why people stay in relationship with alcoholics. Yeah I know I need to focus on myself, but i AM part of the world, and I would love to be surrounded by empowering healthy relationships, mirroring that for me. Sometimes I hear people at meetings and I think they are more addicts then their "alcoholics" (I don't like to use that word as I do not believe it a disease for everyone, but I digress)... I dunno... it's all curious.. and yes I can focus on myself, this is just a comment... seems so many people are trying to find ways of living peaceably with a user/abuser and I dont know why they just dont get out... unless its a financial thing... but seems people are just unable to live without the drama... I am working on that in my own life but I dont hang around users at all...peace out - b

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Anonymous said...

Love the post. Hey, you mention the Church Lady (Dana Carvey). Did you know Al Franken's SNL character, Stuart Smalley (which, by the way, my siblings used to call me when I would offer them support in my 20s) is based on Al's experience as a member of Al-Anon? Anyway, I like to say, "I'm not going to take your comment personally." People look at you, perplexed...I love it! The challenge is to actually believe it- Live and Let Live and focus on honoring self by relinquishing obsessive need for affirmation OUTSIDE of self.