"Inner resources also need guarding at times. We gladly share our resources with those who need them but not in ways that lead to our being taken advantage of. We set and maintain boundaries around our resources lest they be lost. The danger in being codependent is giving so much that nothing is left in us or for us. A codependent person is triggered by others' needs into excessive generosity or self-sacrifice. If he believes he has not given enough or given priority to his own needs, even once, he is triggered into guilt, shame, and fear of rejection by one he 'loves so/too much.' When we let others keep crossing the line we have drawn, the line fades away altogether. Then we have nothing left of ourselves or of our adult relationship. We need to protect our valuables, our inner resources, so they can continue to serve us and those close to us.
"Self-discipline is a way of protecting our goals in life. There is a part of me that does not obey me. I make choices that can harm my health or self-esteem. Yet at another level, I don't want to keep doing what hurts me. I can turn to an inner resource we all have but one that atrophies when we don't use it: discipline. This does not mean repression; it only means letting go of our resistance to our evolutionary drive to grow and thrive. In mindfulness, I can, in addition, notice the health-negating urges without having to act on them.
"William James wrote in "Talks to Teachers on Psychology and to Students on Some of Life's Ideas": 'Every good that is worth possessing must be paid in strokes of daily effort. By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves the little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.' We don't have to reject this statement as an old-fashioned work ethic. We can see it as encouragement to open to our richest potentials. We can frame our idea of discipline as meaning willingness to open too that we are. Discipline is then the reasonable cost of being all we can be. Discipline is the resource in us that keeps us on track in our magnificent human task to keep on evolving."