Codependency is not a one-dimensional method of relating. I’m sure you’ve all heard a lot of different pieces of what it is or could be: dependency on another person financially, emotionally, or otherwise, losing oneself in another person, needing others to feel ok about self, etc.
So, WTF is codependency, really?
My definition is this: when one person doesn’t understand how to have a separate experience from another person.
It’s like you are scared that having your own experience will not be enough… so you jump into someone else’s and try to fix it for them.
Oh, that egocentric know-it-all syndrome. Most of us like to mix it with a shot of self-abandonment and throw some good
And that lovely little cocktail is called: CODEPENDENCY.
Trust me, if you can find the courage to be quiet enough to listen to your inner voice, brave enough to turn and face your shadows, and curious enough to observe and study YOURSELF, you will NOT have any interest in inserting yourself in other people’s feelings/situations/experiences (aka being codependent).
We all have wounds and triggers to those wounds, that will always be the case. What DOESN’T have to be the norm is reacting out of those unacknowledged triggers and obsessing about other people’s shadows/issues because we covertly want them to get better so they can stop triggering us!
Can you see how ass-backwards that is? How about you take care of the ONLY thing you ACTUALLY have power over–yourself–and pay attention to your own wounds and learn how to self-soothe when you are triggered, so you can regain ALL your power and stop passing it off to others HOPING they will be quality enough people to not let you down?
When I was in an abusive relationship (with an addict), I was CONSUMED with his pain. By the end, I was a shell of a human and had NO joy or excitement left in me.
I was never going to be able to control his choices or his pain, but I could have used my power to save myself. Instead, I enmeshed myself in him and tried to heal him so I could have a better life.
Of course that didn’t work. So here I am, years later, FINALLY discovering what it means to have relationships without BECOMING one with the other person.
In the upcoming posts I will address more examples of codependency (I’ve got plenty!), the faith-based ideas that can be a catalyst for it, and how to recreate healthy relational habits.
What’s your experience with codependency? Does ANY of this sound familiar?
PS. Check out @createthelove and @risingwoman for more brilliance on wounds/codependency/emotional intelligence!