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About the Author
Melody Beattie is the author of numerous books about personal growth and relationships, drawing on the
wisdom of Twelve Step healing, Christianity, and Eastern religions. With the publication of Codependent No More in 1986,
Melody became a major voice in self-help literature and endeared herself to millions of readers striving for healthier
relationships. She lives in Malibu, California.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Language of Letting Go
The New Year
Make New Year's goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps
you do your part. It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living life in the year to come.
Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level.
Goals give our life direction.
What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you
like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or
character defects, would you like to have removed?
What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have
happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?
Remember, we aren't controlling others with our goals—we are trying to give direction to our life.
What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your
What would you like to see happen inside and around you?
Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down—as an affirmation of you, your
life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.
Certainly, things happen that are out of our control. Sometimes, these events are pleasant surprises; sometimes, they
are of another nature. But they are all part of the chapter that will be this year in our life and will lead us forward
in the story.
The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting
Today, I will remember that there is a powerful force motivated by writing down goals. I will do that now, for the year
to come, and regularly as needed. I will do it not to control but to do my part in living my life.
Boundaries are vital to recovery. Having and setting healthy limits is connected to all phases of recovery: growing in
self-esteem, dealing with feelings, and learning to really love and value ourselves.
Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs
about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes clearer, so will our boundaries.
Boundaries are also connected to a Higher Timing than our own. We'll set a limit when we're ready, and not a moment
before. So will others.
There's something magical about reaching that point of becoming ready to set a limit. We know we mean what we say;
others take us seriously too. Things change, not because we're controlling others, but because we've changed.
Today I will trust that I will learn, grow, and set the limits I need in my life at my own pace. This timing need only
be right for me.
. . . there isn't a guidebook for setting boundaries. Each of us has our own guide inside ourselves. If we continue to
work at recovery, our boundaries will develop. They will get healthy and sensitive. Our selves will tell us what we need
to know, and we'll love ourselves enough to listen.
What do we need to do to take care of ourselves?
Listen to that voice inside. What makes you angry? What have you had enough of? What don't you trust? What doesn't feel
right? What can't you stand? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want? Need? What don't you want and need? What do
you like? What would feel good?
In recovery, we learn that self-care leads us on the path to God's will and plan for our life. Self-care never leads
away from our highest good; it leads toward it.
Learn to nurture that voice inside. We can trust ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. We are wiser than we think.
Our guide is within, ever-present. Listen to, trust, and nurture that guide.
Today, I will affirm that I am a gift to myself and the Universe. I will remember that nurturing self-care delivers that
gift in its highest form.
©2008. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. No part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written
permission of the publisher. Publisher: Hazelden Publishing, PO Box 176 , Center City, MN 55012-0176.