I can’t fix everything. I can’t make it right all the time. I can’t change the past but I can learn. I can sit with the pain and see that it doesn’t destroy me. I can sit with knowing that I can’t change you and emerge, loving myself.
Choosing to leave things alone – not trying to force solutions or to make people understand you and to agree with you is very hard for codependents. Why? Because codependents are habitual caretakers and need to make everyone else happy in order to feel good about themselves. Codependents find their self-worth through the eyes and opinions of others and will work tirelessly to solve your problems, to enable you, to lie for you or to cover-up for you so they will feel loved, appreciated and valued.
Codependency is an unhealthy and self-destructive mind-set and is considered a disease because it is progressive and habitual. As Melody Beattie says in her book, Codependent No More, “These behaviors can prevent us from finding peace and happiness with the most important person in our lives – ourselves. These behaviors belong to the only person each of us can change – ourselves. These are our problems.”
I read Melody’s book when I was in treatment and as you can see from all the post-it notes, I saw myself in nearly every page. Initially, I felt doomed. Doomed because I couldn’t imagine changing this mindset. It seemed overwhelming and impossible at the time.
What I’ve learned since then is that the mind-set of codependency, from a disease model, can be stopped and moved into remission. I use the word remission because codependency is quite akin to many types of cancer – treatable but always there lurking in the background waiting for new opportunities to become active again.
The good news is that I’ve rewired my brain by practicing the new behaviors of choosing to be still and doing nothing when faced with people and issues that are out of my control. I know the feelings of discomfort that arise when codependency tries to muscle its way in, urging me to feel inappropriate guilt, shame or responsibility, and I can pause, breathe and let it go. The letting go allows for the healthy feelings of self-love and self-assurance to flow in and it feels good.
Are you codependent? Does this resonate with you? If your answer is, “Maybe” or “Yes”, I encourage you to read this book and then, if you’d like to take it further, contact me. We can talk and I can tell you more about my transformational journey and how I might be able to help you start yours.
Stop. Breathe. Allow yourself the luxury of doing nothing for a moment, for an hour, or even a day. It is in emptiness that inspiration will appear.
~ Carole Katchen