Are You Codependent?

I sure am! Ouch! Here I thought I had mastered my codependency years ago. What a rude surprise, it’s a lifelong process not an event.

So, in listening to this spiritual message, in my continuing quest for balance in my life, I am using the tool of Mindfulness to observe my behaviors. Without judgement, without expectation, without needing to change it in a knee jerk response. Yes, it’s a tall order, but I know what’s on the other side of that: healthy behaviors, no built up resentments for not being noticed or appreciated, no unrealistic expectations of myself and others, and gradual changes that are more likely to last. Did I mention boundaries, not walls? Did I mention a reminder that life is a process, not an event; that not all “nice” behaviors are codependent.

What makes a “nice” behavior into a codependent behavior? Holding on to an expectation that you will get something back for being nice. Love, appreciation, changes in someone else’s behavior, martyrdom…get the picture?

So does that mean I cut everyone off and become angry and closed and never do anything for anyone ever again. No, just that I observe my behaviors, not every moment, but trigger behaviors. When I start to do something for someone without first asking would they like me to do it. That’s one of my weaknesses, fixing, doing magic if I see someone in pain or imagine they are in pain.  That I take on some else’s issue, like not asking for money that is owed to me, or overpaying my 1/3 of the office bills, since I don’t have the same expenses as the other 2.

And number one, to remember that I don’t have to do this alone. Yes, I need to take the action, but I can talk about the process, I can ask for feedback, I can let some support me, cheer me on and celebrate my progress and successes with me.

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