This is a close up photograph of Mother Teresa's foot. As you can see, she has deformed toes, they are gnarled and pressed in the wrong directions. Why you may ask? Was it a birth defect, the result of an accident, the side effects of a disease or illness? No, it was none of those. The mission organization that Mother Teresa worked for used to receive a shipment of used shoes to be distributed amongst those that needed them. This amazing woman used to dig through that pile of shoes and find the very worst pair. She would take them for herself regardless of how badly they may have fitted. What was her reason for this seemingly mad act ? It was so those who she was caring for, those that she was loving did not have to put up with the worst pair of shoes. She wanted to love them and wanted them to have the best of the worst rather than the worst. Doing this for many years deformed her feet. She crippled herself showing love and compassion to those that had nothing. That is uncomfortable love at its finest....
Why am I showing you this picture of Mother Teresa's foot? Actually, it's amazing that I saw this post on Facebook today! At my meeting with Mr. P. we discussed codependency again. To quote one of the books that Mr. P. always carries with him and uses in therapy with clients, "Codependency is when we sacrifice our values and opinions in fear of rejection or anger of others."
All through our session I asked: "What about giving up your own desires to further the purpose of the whole?" - or - "What if one wants to keep peace and save good atmosphere in the house and therefore, keeps her opinions to herself?"
Every time Mr. P. answered and was able to convince me that I should be loved and appreciated in spite of the difference of opinions or my mistakes. If what it took for my close ones or my friends or church to care for me that way was my always trying to please them and denying my own needs for comfort, dignity, fairness, - then they and I exist in a sick relationship of using and letting them use me.
I came away pretty much believing it. Of course, doing something to change my circumstances is another story. Every time I feel that I should stand up for myself to Taka in a principled way, that Mr. P. is trying to instill in me, I chicken out. Don't get me wrong: I have no trouble arguing with Taka or yelling at him, but that doesn't bring any positive change. I guess, I am... I am not yet confident in my own ability to elicit that change in Taka.
That's it! I do lack that ability! I did not cause him to be insecure and a tyrant, I can not change him! I can only rely on my Heavenly Father and the adherence to my principles.
What about Mother Teresa? Doesn't her example prove Mr. P. and me wrong? She spent her whole life in and achieved much success by her amazing self-sacrifice and discipline. What would our world be like without people like her or without someone making that kind of sacrifice for the sake of others?
The difference here is that, she didn't do it because of fear of rejection or anger. She was secure enough in herself to do it because she relied on God and her principles!