What a powerful word 'No' is. I'm still learning how to lovingly detach, but I'm liking 'No'. Others may not be liking it so much.
Like any spouse of an alcoholic, I have become an enabler. I lay myself down on the floor for others to walk upon, thinking I'm the most helpful doormat that there ever was, and not just with my alcoholic, but with everyone. It's how, I think, a lot of people with problem drinking in their lives become so judgmental, controlling, and self sacrificing. As my alcoholic got better and better, I was seeing less and less of my people pleasing go to him, and more and more of it to other people.
My actions didn't change with my alcoholic's change. No. It's a very powerful tool to me now. Normally, it would circle like this:
I am asked for an absurd favor.
I am angry that I have been asked such an absurd favor. I don't wan't to do this favor.
I tell asker that I don't want to do this favor, and while getting angry, I agree to do it anyway
I spend several hours angry that I am stuck doing this absurd favor.
I spend several days angry that I have done this absurd favor.
Putting it out like that makes me realize that maybe I wasn't going about my life the right way. I have been practising the following:
I am asked an absurd favor..
I say 'No'
I spend a few minutes angry about being asked such an absurd favor
Anger is quickly turned into relief, followed by pride.
I don't remember the absurd favor the next day.
This makes so much more sense. Why haven't I been doing it before. I don't need to do everything for others. I will always be there for them. I offer my love and support, but if one doesn't need my love or support, then I certainly have saved myself so much time I would have otherwise spent trying to earn it.
I can live my life all by myself, and others can live theirs just fine without me. We can be in each other's lives without having to play a integral part.
“Detachment is a means whereby we allow others the opportunity to care for themselves better.”