At my CoDA meeting tonight, someone said something that really stood out to me.
That’s not a surprise. I figure I’ve been to almost 200 meetings at this point, and I don’t believe there has been one that didn’t give me something to think about.
Tonight, a woman said that the opposite of love is fear, not hate. She said that one could love and hate the same person, but that it was very hard to both love and fear someone. Once fear enters the picture, it becomes everything. All your motives become about that fear – whether it is fear of abuse or the fear of losing the person or the fear of losing a financial situation you need, or even the fear of letting someone else find out who you really are – fear becomes the driving force and love goes out the window.
The reading that led to her saying this was in the CoDA blue book. It was a story about denial. The woman who wrote the story (I believe her name was Annie) talked about owning your motives.
I had actually read this story once before, when I had only been in CoDA for a couple of months. I know I read it because I had things underlined, but I don’t remember reading it, probably because what I got out of it now was completely different from what I saw a year-and-a-half ago.
Owning my motives feels like a new and important piece of the codependent puzzle. It means that even when we are doing what we think we are supposed to do, we need to see what is really motivating us.
Am I doing something because I hope to gain something in return?
Because I am afraid of someone else’s anger?
Because I think someone else is not capable of doing it?
Am I saying yes to sex because I feel it is an obligation?
Am I sitting here writing this article because I want to write it or because I am avoiding something else?
So, first I need to identify my motives.
I do not do this so I can judge myself for my motives. I am supposed to OWN it, not beat myself up with it.
It's a matter of being honest with myself.I am supposed to admit to myself why I'm really doing what I'm doing , let that knowledge settle inside me and- the hope is - eventually I will begin to see the motives BEFORE I act.
If I am aware of my motives I wiill be able to make a conscious decision about what I want to do - living actively instead of reactively.
It really all comes down to one word –
We always have a choice.
Sometimes it feels like we have to do something, but in reality we choose to do it.
My therapist is always telling me I have a choice. She has said almost this exact thing to me numerous times... but it never seemed to mean this, before.
Everything I do is a choice I make... and every choice has a driving force of some kind and wouldn't it be great if the driving force was my sincere understanding of the situation instead of a motive I'm not even aware of?