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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Co-Dependent No More

     I learned early in my social work training how people live their entire lives trying to accept the blame and responsibility  for what others think and do.  It has a label.  It is called being "Co-Dependent".  It is never letting others live with what they do and accepting the responsibility for what they don't do -- that you want them to do.

     It never stops amazing me how people who live in this dysfunctional way try to get others to be co-dependent.

     Twice in the past two weeks, I have been asked by well-meaning Christian believers about how in the world, I can live with the thought that somewhere, someone latched onto the beliefs of the Church and, due to my influence, may decide to stop believing -- AND IT WILL BE BLAMED ON MY DISBELIEF!  How can I possibly live with myself?

     The lives of all these people who change their minds and become doubters and skeptics will be due to my poor example -- and it will be VERY BAD for me on the judgment day when I stand before Jesus and his angels.

     I have actually lived a pretty good life.  I have tried hard to help whenever and whomever I could.  In this, I followed the example set by my parents, who instilled in me and my siblings the importance of helping others.  I know that I have failed some who have expected more of me, but at the same time, I have had many who have let me know that I have influenced their lives for good.  I fear no honest appraisal of my life.

     While on my LDS mission during the time I was age 19-21, I tried to teach what I was taught to teach, and a few very good people took what I taught as "Gospel" and got baptized and at least made an attempt to make their lives better.  But I do not take any "credit" or "fault" for the decisions they made.  It was their decision and theirs only.  If anything, I was only an accessory to the fact.

     One of my favorite poems is called, "Invictus", by William Ernest Henley:



  Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

     I accept the responsibility for the decisions I make.  People who choose other decisions are responsible for what they decide to believe and live.  "I" am the only person who I can mostly control.  I firmly believe that.

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