How codependent are you? AND How can you become less codependent in order to experience your true nature of love?
Codependency means you only feel okay when you are relying on someone else to behave a particular way. It is a way of trying to control an outside person or situation in order to make yourself feel okay. That’s an outside-in job rather than an inside-out job. When we act from inside-out, and instead become okay ourselves, what happens around us bothers us much less.
Codependency is one of the most common things that plagues relationships. Often what we think of as attraction is really two people coming together who are reflecting their own wounds to each other. We attract people of like energy and whatever unhealed wounds we have we see someone who will play out that role and they come into our lives. We then each play out that role together. In this situation often times we blame them for our own suffering, but we had a part in that.
When we expect another to behave a certain way to make us okay that mean that there is something in us that is not healed, because if a person acts in a way that you really don’t like then it’s your decision not to be with them. This is the part of taking personal responsibility. If you expect to change them or you expect them to act in a certain way, in order to put you at ease, you are putting yourself down to their feet. That is not a good place for them to be either. It makes them feel inadequate because they are not able to change who they are. They may not want to change.
Here’s a story – I had a client who got in a relationship with a man. The man was huge into organic food and healthy living on the physical realm. She wasn’t. She didn’t have experience with that, but she was open to it. They would talk about organic eating and different things that he was incorporating into his life and he encouraged her to start doing those things, which she did. She saw the benefit of organic eating. Then he saw her weight and said, “I know what could help you lose weight.” He started talking about exercise, and slowly but surely she did end up losing 30 lbs. The next thing was he saw something else in her appearance that he thought might be beneficial to change. “Why don’t you get braces?” he said. “It would make you feel better. It would enhance your self-esteem.” After a while this woman felt like his project, and it didn’t feel good to her, as it wouldn’t to any of us if someone were trying to change us. It shed light on the fact that this man did not love her, because love is very giving, love doesn’t have conditions. This man was trying to work something out in himself, and he was trying to make himself feel okay by having someone else do something, in this case many things. Eventually the relationship exploded and neither of them wanted to be with the other anymore.
This happens time and time again in different ways where we blame the other person and say well this person did that and I don’t like it and they need to change. The question is really, what do you need to change, and what ways do you need to grow? As you grow you will keep attracting people of like energy. This will continue as you continue to grow, but the goal is to always look inside yourself, become strong in yourself, heal the wounds in yourself, and the rest will take care of itself. If you constantly feel like a slave to other people because they are not behaving a certain way you will be very sad and sorry throughout your life, because no one is going to behave exactly the way you want them to.
How codependent are you and are you willing to take a deep look in yourself to work from the inside out?
Heather Hans, LCSW, MSW, MBA, CPIC, is a Visionary, Healer & Teacher, and the author of The Heart of Self-Love: How to Radiate with Confidence. It is Heather's firm belief that loving oneself is necessary to have fulfilling relationships and a successful life.