Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vampire Love

I have read the Twilight saga, I am fully ensconced in the Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire series, and am truly, madly, deeply in love with Showtime's TrueBlood series.

(P.S. I read the books WAY before the show was in production talks, I will have you know.)

And while I won't jump on my sturdy soapbox for my love or hate for any of the aforementioned entertainment, I did want to share with you the vampires I am, and will always be, enamored with.
I am positive you will love them too (if you don't already!).

*Someone found a victim...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Dice

I didn't make it to the top 10 this month, but will keep trying. :)
You should still go here and vote for one of the finalists.
Good luck choosing just one, as there are so many talented folks out there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Greeplepix Photo Contest

I have not previously been a huge fan of intentionally putting my "talent" out there for anonymous criticism. But in my efforts to allow myself to be vulnerable, and to build my self esteem, I have entered the following photo in the Greeblepix Contest (over at Greeblemonkey) for the month of October.

This month has no theme so I allowed Beast to assist me in the selection. He loves this picture of the girl. It's not the best technical example of my talent and skill but I love it as well, even with its imperfections -- maybe because of them.
So...If I get to the second phase, I'll expect you people to vote for me! :) I'll keep you posted...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today's Totally Relevant Affirmations

I am not dedicated to reading my recovery books daily. This is something I want to improve on, among so many other things. So, today, in an effort to start again RIGHT NOW, I picked them both up. The affirmations in these books don't always apply to me on the day that I read them, and sometimes they are completely out of left field. Then, there are days like today. Where they are 100% at the right time.

From "The Language of Letting Go":

Our Good Points
What's a codependent? The answer's easy. They're some of the most loving, caring people I know. Excerpt from "Beyond Codependency"

We don't need to limit an inventory of ourselves to the negatives. Focusing only on what's wrong is a core issue in our codependency.
Honestly, fearlessly, ask: "Whats right with me? What are my good points?"
"Am I a loving, caring, nurturing person?" We may have neglected to love ourselves in the process of caring for others, but nurturing is an asset.
"Is there something I do particularly well?" "Do I have a strong faith?" "Am I good at being there for others?" "A I good as part of a team, or as a leader?" "Do I have a way with words or with emotions?"
"Do I have a sense of humor?" "Do I brighten people up?" "Am I good at comforting others?" "Do I have an ability to make something good out of barely nothing at all?" "Do I see the best in people?"
These are character assets. We may have gone to an extreme with these, but that's okay. We are now on our way to finding balance.
Recovery is not about eliminating our personality. Recovery aims at changing, accepting, working around, or transforming our negatives, and building on our positives. We all have assets; we only need to focus on them, empower them, and draw them out in ourselves.
Codependents are some of the most loving, caring people around. Now, we're learning to give some of that concern and nurturing to ourselves.

Today, I will focus on what's right about me. I will give myself some of the caring I've extended to the world.

So, what surprised me what how many of these questions I was harsh with myself when answering. I will give myself permission to be completely honest with myself...

From "In This Moment, Daily Meditation"

In this moment, I relax.
In many meetings I have attended, the topic has been fear. Before I went to CoDA, fear meant "Forget Everything and Run". In recovery, it's changed to "Face Everything and Recover". I know when fear comes up, I have a choice. I can react or I can act. These days, I choose to act. I acknowledge the fear, practice positive self-talk, write about it and share with my sponsor. Then I let it go and I relax.

Relaxation...writing...sponsor...Things to ponder...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Acknowledging My Part in all of this...

Lately I am finding myself taking stock.
Taking stock in my life, the ways I have lived it and the ways I am changing.
Taking stock of my relationships.
Taking stock in the decisions I have made and will make in the future.

For the last several weeks in CoDA, my focus has been on readings and discussions regarding healthy relationships, fault, blame and shame (among other things), and I have had a million thoughts streaming through my head at a rate that is mind numbing, and leaves me wondering where to even start. So, that being said, I'll just jump in feet first.

A series of events over the last several weeks have resulted in me finding myself in a situation that I have had to take a giant leap back from and really do some soul searching. I have some issues (for lack of a better word) with a friendship that have caused me to really analyze the relationship (over the last six months or so especially). In doing so, I have begun to notice the unhealthy aspects of this friendship, as well as the patterns that I repeat. These acknowledgments have led me to a place where I am taking stock in my part of the negativity. I realize that I play a part in my unhealthy relationships, and I am becoming aware that I am allowed to change them to suit my needs without feeling selfish. I am becoming more willing to allow it to end. Accepting the fact that I am allowed to let go of friendships that served me once, but no longer hold the same place in my life as they once did, is difficult. Through my reading and step work, I am beginning to accept that there is no room for "blame" in the ending of a relationship, but at the same time, I have to let go of the fact that I think I can "make it work", change people, or have control over their actions. I don't have to like or approve of what someone does, the way they live their life, their constant need to be the victim, their narcissistic tendencies, or their general outlook on life. I no longer feel the need to point their "faults" out to them...This is not the person I like to think I am, nor is it the person I want to be.

I am discovering that this relationship brings out the worst in me. When I can learn how to let an incident go, notice my triggers, back off, and/or become uninvolved, I feel so much better! The simple fact remains, that I do not have control over others. I never did. And I don't need to. It's not my responsibility to "fix" other people. Just as it's not my responsibility to "fix" every unpleasant situation.

It's true that I grew up feeling like it was my job to "fix" the unpleasantness, or that it was somehow my fault.
Mommy and Daddy are fighting because I had an opinion.
Daddy left because I wasn't good enough.
Mommy is angry because I wasn't perfect.

These are the things I told myself. And I was never corrected. Now, I am learning that I am the only one who can correct these thoughts and behaviors. I am learning that not all unpleasant situations are my fault. I don't always have to feel like I am wrong, nor do I have to concede to the other person to keep the peace. I don't have to feel bullied or anxious over someone else's anger, rejection or acceptance of me. I am not in control of their reactions.

It all sounds great "on paper" though, doesn't it? It sounds easy. It's not. I won't lie to you. I am struggling with this every damn day. But in working this program, I am getting stronger. I am becoming more aware of the situation. I am becoming able to recognize when I have been triggered: I recognize the sarcasm and condescension right away...and I don't like that girl. So, that girl is going to go away...bit by bit. I am not perfect, by any means...and this is going to be a long road, but as they say in the program "progress, not perfection", if I can just accept that wholly...

Another day...