The definition of “codependency” is excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.
Here’s the thing…
When we are codependent on someone or something outside of ourselves, we make ourselves out to be incomplete. Just think of the word “dependent” = I can’t survive without you.
Usually when this is the case we become manipulative, enabling, sometimes this equals abuse and it goes both ways.
We attract people who are dependent in our lives, because we want to feel needed.
It’s easier to fix someone else’s life than our own.
But when we feel like we are helping them by doing everything for them, we are actually stealing from them. Let me explain.
Think about the struggles you’ve had in your life.
I can think a lot about two things, my karate career and my eating disorder. For sure, I was suffering in those cases.
Through my suffering though, I became strong, resilient, resourceful, and confident. Just think if someone took that suffering away from me, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
I’m not saying we never help someone. Of course we do. We need to be very clear about our reason though and brutally honest. Are we helping them because it makes us uncomfortable to see them struggle? Are we helping because we think if we make it easier we will win their affections? If that’s true, then we may need to evaluate.
For example, say I want to get physically strong in the gym and my trainer keeps making the workouts easier because I complain or because I get mad at him or her when I get pushed. Do you think I’m going to get strong? Probably not.
We need to be able to stay in our power and recognize that not helping is actually helpful. I understand it’s not easy, but if we trust that struggling person is going to get strong from it, we will feel more at peace.
Have you ever seen a baby chick hatching? I have…well a baby duckling. In the movies it happens in like 60 seconds and then there’s this cute puffy little chickadee. The truth is, it takes a lot of fucking work for that chick to get out of that egg. It can take up 24 hours.
Another important thing to remember is that our feelings are in our control and another’s feelings is completely in their control. We cannot control other people’s feelings and they cannot control ours. Why would you want that pressure?
When you start breaking away from a codependent person, they are going to throw a tantrum, check out my podcast on boundaries to hear the scoop on that.
If you are the codependent one, you need to take full responsibility for your feelings and stop depending on other people to make you happy. You give your power away when you do that, and that’s not a good feeling. Also the blame game starts to happen.