Loving Without Leaning
from a spiritual point of view
9. Feeling Empathy
This is lesson 9 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Empathy broadens our range of feelings by letting us feel what another is going through.
We then have the choice to do a caring deed without expectation of personal reward. We have a chance to feel good about ourselves for just being kind.
Feeling and giving empathy lets us experience we are part of a big world family. In empathy we are more likely to act for another as we would like to be treated ourselves.
Prayer to Develop Empathy
Lord, may I feel what another is going through
While remaining peaceful
Then reflecting and acting on a useful resolve
With no expectation for reward.
Sit straight in a chair or on a cushion or carpet on the floor. Fold your hands in your lap or place on your thighs, either facing down or facing up. Close your eyes. Take a deep cleansing breath and do even regular breathing for 2 minutes such as this: counts 1, 2, breathe in; counts 3, 4, breathe out and continue ...
Now, let go of counting your breaths but continue the steady breathing. Turn your thoughts to empathy. Ask yourself what the word means to you. How could you increase your response to others using empathy.
Finish your meditation by resolving to use empathy in one particular relationship rather than imposing your view on how they should be feeling.
Take another deep breath, stand and stretch.
10. Finding Serenity
This is lesson 10 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
What is serenity? Daily activities, by their very nature of action, are not serene. We can try, but it is physically impossible to make our actions serene.
What we can make serene is our mental attitude while we are being busy and active.
Serenity is an inner state of being and does not come from another person - we cannot get serenity from our partner or from a relationship.
Serenity in the present comes from remembering that in the past every problem had a resolve. And, that therefore, every dilemma of the present moment and all future moments will have a resolve, also.
If we truly keep this idea in mind we need not stray too far before recapturing our serenity.
Finding Serenity Prayer
Lord, may I know
That serenity is an
Inner state of contentment
That a calm interior, even with a busy exterior
Can be regained, maintained
By remembering that today’s problems
And all future problems
Will eventually be resolved.
11. Teen Issues
This is lesson 11 in the series
"Conquering Codependency - Loving Without
Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of
The teen years are fraught with many issues, going from the dependency of childhood to the self-sufficiency of adulthood.
In the early teens the young person still rightfully needs material support and parental guidance.
By age 18, the legal age for being responsible as an adult in most places, a person is supposed to be grown up. That only leaves about 6 years for walking the swinging bridge from dependence to independence.
I do not think the same adult codependent issues apply to a young teens. They truly rely on others for material support and guidance.
In my opinion codependence starts at the age when a person has the choice of being dependent or independent, which is around 18.
Teen issues often stem from peer pressure. The teen wants to be looked up to and accepted by their friends, and the young teen not yet mature enough to make independent adult decisions consistently, may give in to peer pressure by experimenting with drugs, alcohol, early intimacy; even vandalism or other crimes if the environment is there.
Adults can have a positive and nurturing influence on a teen by praising efforts toward independence, such as when the teen is being responsible for school work, chores, a part time job to save for wanted purchases, and community service.
Teens, take time for stress relief. Some ways are aerobic activities like walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and spending time in prayer and meditation at the end of the day.
Just saying “I think you are doing a great job in … area,” encourages a teen or anyone to continue along those same lines, and at the same time bolsters their self-esteem and efforts toward greater independence in decision making and becoming self-supporting.
There is an expression that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, meaning that parental example has a big effect on a teens actions - maybe not during some inevitable experimenting, but in the final large step to adulthood.
By being there with a listening ear and living a right and just life the parent remains a light house through teen’s turbulent and stormy years.
Teen Guidance Prayer
May I grow well and steadily
And learn to live in harmony
With community, friends, and family.
12. Prioritizing Needs and Desires
This is lesson 12 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Needs are necessary for survival; desires are added attractions. By prioritizing needs and desires we can put our time and energy into what is most important to us.
Only we ourselves can determine how much time and energy we are going to put into fulfilling the variable desires.
Try this journaling meditation
Open a notebook so you have a left and right page showing. On the left hand page list your survival needs. On the right hand page list your desires. Spend some time thinking about the 2 lists.
Now number items in each list in order of importance to you; with number 1 being the most important. Perhaps consider the top 5 your most important and put most of your energy toward them.
Every so often review the list of desires and re-prioritize if you wish. Keep in mind that we each ultimately control our own destiny. And, fulfilling desires that maintain harmony give us the most happiness during the ride!
13. Ultimate Happiness
This is lesson 13 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
The less able we are to find true happiness through acquiring possessions and in relationships, the more we look for the real source of lasting happiness and joy.
The world, with its temporary highs, shows us that the direction is really the journey within to our roots - roots sunk in harmony and finding a home in us by our loving and kind actions in the world.
The more we strive outwardly and get disappointed, the quicker we decide to tune inwardly, and begin living peaceably, peacefully, radiantly and happily.
And isn't unbroken happiness what we all want? By our own actions for the highest good moment to moment we preserve our natural state of happiness.
Lord, may I see
That searching high and low
And everywhere else
For ultimate harmony and happiness
Really can be mine
When I’m caring, when I'm kind.
14. Gaining Insight
This is lesson 14 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Insight. Having the whole picture in sight.
Developing insight requires that we follow a logical line of reasoning to the source of the issue. Then:
When our actions that follow are for the common good our body remains relaxed and at ease and our mind stays peaceful.
The benefit of taking time to use insight, and then act for the best all around resolution is that every aspect of our living becomes more harmonious.
We are able to see and work out each new situation in relationships on its own merit, rather than be reactionary based on past events.
This little verse can serve as a reminder of the value of using insight -
May I see the reality of this situation
Explore what's hidden
Pull out from within harmonious decisions
That I may have
Insightful living from logical thinking.
This is lesson 15 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency from a spiritual point of view.
Self-knowledge. Knowing and being able to draw from our inner resource; our inner Source.
Self-knowledge forms the foundation for building a happy and fulfilling life. When our actions are inline with the best resolve we contribute to our sense of wholeness and well being.
For example - a house built upon a foundation with straight and true lumber creates a framework that perfectly supports its visible outer coverings.
Some techniques to develop our inner connection and bring it into practical daily living where it will contribute to the right and true support of the house of your life:
- Ethical living
- Caring actions
When we act from inner self-knowledge we are in line with what suits the moment’s best interest, and not depending on approval from another.
Lord, may we remember
By our actions we are known
With the insight of Self-knowledge
May we create beautiful actions.
16. Getting Centered
is lesson 16 in the series "Conquering Codependency - Loving Without Leaning" looking at aspects of codependency
from a spiritual point of view.
We know we are being true to ourselves and centered if our body feels relaxed and our mind is peaceful.
If we feel agitation in our body or mind we can use mental and bodily relaxation techniques such as meditation, regulated breathing and rhythmic walking to regain our center of balance.
Reflect on causes of any unrest, consider and plan how to make changes to regain peace.
When we’re centered our body feels energized, healthy and our mind is calm, clear, and full of inspiration with the outlook that will serve the common good.
As positive thoughts return positive results; positive actions return positive reactions.
When we stay centered or regain our center through the techniques above we have less need to depend on others in our decision making.
Staying Centered Prayer
Dear Lord, may I remember
By holding positive thoughts
I receive positive results
Today and everyday to come.
And the answers I seek
Are within my deep center
Always in reach.
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page created June 23, 2009; March 10, 2015