Friday, June 13, 2008

Moving Forward

"Much as we would like, we cannot bring everyone with us on this journey called recovery. We are not being disloyal by allowing ourselves to move forward. We don't have to wait for those we love to decide to change as well.

Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to grow, even though the people we love are not ready to change. We may even need to leave people behind in their dysfunction or suffering because we cannot recover for them. We don't need to suffer with them.

It doesn't help.

It doesn't help for us to stay stuck just because someone we love is stuck. The potential for helping others is far greater when we detach, work on ourselves, and stop trying to force others to change with us.

Changing ourselves, allowing ourselves to grow while others seek their own path, is how we have the most beneficial impact on people we love. We're accountable for ourselves. They're accountable for themselves. We let them go, and let ourselves grow." --From the Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

This passage really sums up so many good things. Change is something that I used to fear but now I see that it's the only way to move out of the past and into the present. Waiting for someone else to change is useless, wanting for someone else to change is an expectation, and trying to change someone else is control. As I move along this journey of recovery, I can see the changes in me. And I'm grateful for what that means in my life.


  1. I knew before I even saw the name at the bottom of the quote that Melody Beattie wrote those words because I have read them so many times before. My reaction always seems to be a tremendous sadness and a feeling of relief that I have permission to recover,because the man I love who is the alcoholic in my life is on a path that is different than mine. Co dependent craziness that I need permission somehow to do what is best for me, to get better, heal, be grateful, while knowing that my friend might not ever recover. I am moving forward everyday, and as I do so, the gap widens, the distance increases. It is like being on one of those moving walkways at an airport, you move forward by virtue of just being on that mechanism, and those who are just "walking" fall further and further behind. I always have to revist my belief that we all have a destiny and his is not linked to mine in the way I think it should be. I think I will find that section in my Language of Letting Go and re read it more often. It is just what I needed to "hear" this muggy Michigan morning.

  2. I think of your blog now as my daily reflection, it always strikes a chord when I read it, thank you Syd.
    Yes I still have many of my old habits, i am still judgemental on people, I should just concentrate on me and my recovery thanks
    Have a good weekend, on your boat again?

  3. Perfect for me to read I reach my hand out I must accept that it may not be taken.

  4. gooood morning Syd, Change is good... LOL I dont always welcome change... but I have learned in recovery to allow changes to happen and not fight them
    thanks for your share this morning and happy friday

  5. You are so right on the money with this post. We can't change anyone. We can only change ourselves. Have a great weekend.

  6. Geez, Syd, it feels like you wrote this post just for me.

    This is one of the best things I've ever read by Melanie Beattie.

    Thanks. ;o)

  7. Well I'm grateful for that too..honestly...change is a good thing for most of us out here!
    I enjoy your posts so much and think lots of people can gain a little something from reading here.

  8. that is perfectly said. melody beattie is amazing. and as much as it hurts to move on, you have to. for yourself. staying 'sick' because of someone else's inability/unwillingness/whatever is not an option.


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