January 11, 2005

We Strive For Balance

The concept of letting go can be confusing to many of us. When are we doing too much or trying too hard to control people and outcomes? When are we doing too little? When is what we're doing an appropriate part of taking care of ourselves? What is our responsibility, and what isn't?

These issues can challenge us whether we've been in recovery ten days or ten years. Sometimes, we may let go so much that we neglect responsibility to ourselves to others. Other times, we may cross the line from taking care of ourselves to controlling others and outcomes.

There is no rule book. But we don't have to make ourselves crazy: we don't have to be so afraid. We don't have to do recovery perfectly. If it feels like we need to do a particular action, we can do it. If no action feels timely or inspired, don't act on it.

Having and setting healthy limits - healthy boundaries isn't a tidy process. We can give ourselves permission to experiment, to make mistakes, to learn, to grow. We can talk to people, ask questions, and questions ourselves. If there's something we need to do or learn, it will come apparent.

Lessons don't go away. If we're not taking care of ourselves enough, we'll see that. If we are being too controlling, we'll grow to understand that too. Things will work out. The way will become clear.

Today, I will take actions that appear appropriate. I will let go of the rest. I will strive for the balance between self-responsibility, responsibility to others, and letting go.

Melody Beattie © Hazelden Foundation

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