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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful Meditations for Codependents, 10 July 2009
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This review is from: The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations for Codependents (Hazelden Meditation Series) (Paperback)
In "The Language of Letting Go," Melody Beattie gently guides us along the path of self -awareness and recovery from a compulsive process practiced by millions without their awareness, knowledge or consent. The book uses the basic ideas incorporated in two other publications by the same author, "Co-dependent No More" and "Beyond Co-dependency." Using uncomplicated language, she gives us the tools to practice letting go of people, places and things, including a variety of attitudes and coping mechanisms that produce unwanted, negative consequences. Guidelines are set down to help people discover the truth and heal their lives, explaining in the form of daily readings/meditations how to deal with relationships, feelings and a multitude of life experiences, in ways that are beneficial rather than detrimental.

The lives of co-dependent people are characterised by taking responsibility for the feelings, actions and reactions of others, whilst at the same time ignoring their own needs. In some instances abusive and unacceptable behaviours are tolerated for extended periods of time. These self-defeating patterns are usually accompanied by a desperate need to control outcomes, and this book demonstrates how to explore the root causes, and gain healing at a deep level. Working on the concept that no one can give from an empty cup heralds the beginning of the road to a more balanced and rewarding way of life. Gaining the ability to say NO, and mean it, is vital for those who try to earn love and approval by pleasing others. Equally important is learning to say YES and truly believe that it is not only okay, but also the right of every human being to take loving care of themselves, live life joyfully and follow their chosen path with heart.

The book has a spiritual orientation, which is equally suitable for people of all religious faiths or those with none. The fundamental idea of a power greater than ones-self who will provide Good Orderly Direction, without strings, was birthed in the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and has since been adopted by many as a tool for letting go of the things we cannot control in life. There is a theory being expressed quite commonly at the moment which suggests that co-dependency is at the root of all addictions, be they to a chemical or a behaviour, and if this is the case then all recovering addicts need to read and digest Ms Beattie's words. It is not necessary, however, to be an addict in order to suffer from co-dependency. It can stand alone quite firmly on its own two dysfunctional feet.

The one person an individual does have power over, however, is himself or herself. Positive, dramatic changes can and do take place. With warmth, understanding and spiritual insight Melody Beattie shares many of her own feelings and experiences as a recovering addict and co-dependent. Her words come straight from the heart to touch others who are in need of her wisdom. Through the pages of this little gem of a book, it is possible to come to the realisation that anyone can learn how to treat themselves with respect and love, putting self- care at the top of the list. It isn't likely to be easy, especially in the beginning, but by practising the author's suggestions on a daily basis, there comes the promise of freedom. It must be remembered though that this freedom is not given away to anyone. It always has to be claimed.
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Location: Greater Manchester

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