This is a page of the Joy2MeU web site of codependency therapist / inner child healing pioneer / Spiritual teacher Robert Burney - who is the author of the inspirational life changing book of mystical Spirituality: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. On this page are some versions of the Serenity Prayer and some handouts that Robert has found helpful in his codependency recovery.

The Serenity Prayer
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, 

And the wisdom to know the difference. 

The Serenity Prayer is generally thought to have been written by Reinhold Niebuhr

Serenity Prayer for Codependents

Grant me the serenity to accept the people I can not change,

The courage to change the person I can,

And the wisdom to know that is ME!

 Adapted version of Serenity Prayer
God / Goddess / Great Spirit, 

       Please help me to access: 

the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (life, other people), 

The courage and willingness to change the things I can (me, my own attitudes and behaviors), 

And the wisdom and clarity to know the difference. 

My adapted version of Serenity Prayer

The Personal Bill of Rights

1.   Life should have choices beyond mere survival.

2.   You have the right to say no to anything when you feel you are not ready or it is not safe.

3.   Life should not be motivated by fear.

4.   You have a right to all of your feelings.

5.   You are probably not guilty.

6.   You have a right to make mistakes.

7.   There is no need to smile when you cry.

8.   You have a right to terminate conversations with people who make you feel put down or humiliated.

9.   You can be healthier than those around you.

10.  It is OK to be relaxed, playful, and frivolous.

11.  You have a right to change and grow.

12.  It is important to set limits and be selfish.

13.  You can be angry at someone you love.

14.  You can take care of yourself, no matter what circumstances you are in.

Original Source Unknown

Characteristics of Adults Shamed in Childhood

Adults Shamed in Childhood . . . .
1.   . . . are afraid of vulnerability and fear exposure of self.

2.   . . . may suffer extreme shyness, embarrassment, and feelings of inferiority to others.

3.   . . . fear intimacy and tend to avoid real commitment in relationships.

4.   . . . may appear either grandiose and self-centered, or seem selfless.

5.   . . . feel that "No matter what I do, it won't make a difference: I am and always will be worthless and unlovable."

6.   . . . frequently feel defensive when even minor negative feedback is given.  They may suffer severe humiliation if forced to look at mistakes or imperfections.

7.   . . . frequently blame others before they can be blamed.

8.   . . . may apologize constantly and assume responsibility for the behavior of those around them.

9.   . . . often feel like outsiders and have a pervasive feeling of loneliness, even when surrounded by those who love and care for them.

10.  . . . project their beliefs about themselves onto others, frequently engaging in "mind-reading" and constantly feeling judged by others.

11.  . . . . often feel angry and judgmental towards the qualities in others that they feel ashamed of in themselves.

12.  . . . often feel ugly, flawed and imperfect, and may be overly focused on make-up or clothing as a way of hiding perceived flaws in self.

13.  . . . often feel controlled from the outside as well as within; normal spontaneous expression is blocked.

14.  . . . often suffer from performance anxiety and procrastination and depression.

15.  . . . often lie to themselves and others.

16.  . . . frequently block feelings of shame through compulsive behaviors like workaholism, eating disorders, shopping, substance abuse, list making or gambling.

17.  . . . often have caseloads rather than friendships.

18.  . . . often have little sense of emotional boundaries and feel constantly violated by others.  They frequently build false boundaries through walls, rage, pleasing, or isolation.

This list is from Shame & Guilt: Masters of Disguise by Jane Middelton-Moz, Ph.D. (Thanks to Dan at

Some possible signs of Hidden Anger

1.   Procrastination in the completion of imposed tasks.

2.   Perpetual or habitual lateness.

3.   A like for sadistic or ironic humor.

4.   Sarcasm, cynicism, or flippancy in conversation.

5.   Over politeness, constant cheerfulness, attitude of "grin and bear it."

6.   Frequent sighing.

7.   Smiling while hurting.

8.   Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams.

9.   Over controlled monotone speaking voice.

10.  Boredom, apathy, lose of interest in things you are usually enthusiastic about.

11.  Difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping through the night.

12.  Slowing down of movements.

13.  Getting tired more easily than usual.

14.  Excessive irritability over trifles.

15.  Getting drowsy at inappropriate times.

16.  Sleeping more than usual - 12 to 14 hours a day.

17.  Waking up tired rather than rested and refreshed.

18.  Clenched jaws - especially while sleeping.

19.  Facial tics, spasmodic foot movements, habitual fist clenching, and similar repeated acts done unintentionally or unaware.

20.  Grinding of the teeth - especially while sleeping.

21.  Chronically stiff or sore neck or should muscles.

22.  Chronic Depression - extended periods of feeling down for no reason.

23.  Stomach ulcers.

Original Source Unknown
If anyone knows the original source of any of these handouts, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.
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Abundant Spirituality + codependence recovery + inner child healing + Love = Joy2MeU
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