With the ‘silly season’ behind us, January is a time of rest and reflection. To set new intentions for the year ahead and to honour the year that was. For me, my intention for 2014 is to start to ‘Cultivate Connection’ and build quality relationships both professionally and personally. The experiences of 2013, I have to say, were rough and tough. It showed up all my “stuff” that demanded some much needed attention, pronto. The year highlighted the absolute necessity for me to start relating to people differently; to respond more and react less; to go within rather than seek external validation; and to transform my co-dependent behaviour into healthy relationships.
I ask myself, what is co-dependency?
If you feel that you are not good enough, you compare yourself or search for acceptance from others, you constantly feel like you are the “victim” yet feel guilty when you stand up for yourself; you are reactive, you notice unhealthy habits or have repressed anger, these could be just a few red flags you are co-dependent on someone.
“Co-dependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships and often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.”
It’s important not to confuse co-dependence with caring. There is nothing wrong with nurturing; we are all interdependent, however, in short, the needs of the co-dependent are constant.
Low self-esteem and poor boundaries are two of the main symptoms of co-dependency. Co-dependents look to others for the answers and have difficulty seeing others as separate individuals, with their own feelings, needs, and motivations. They feel powerless or incompetent and at the same time responsible and guilty for others’ feelings and actions, which accounts for the high reactivity, conflict and caretaking in co-dependent relationships.
How can I overcome it?
It’s a common saying that you will largely be over your co-dependency when you recognize just how good you are!
It’s always nice to be recognized from a respected peer, friend or family, yet, in order for you to be independent and to build quality relationships you must first give at least 80% of your total recognition to yourself. A simple concept, yet at times, this can be easier said than done, because if you are anything like me, I can be my own worst critic.
In Co-dependency for Dummies, Darlene Lancer states that just a little self-examination, and redirection, may have you on a more fulfilling path. Awareness is a major first step to a new concept, and awareness alone often alleviates many symptoms. If you would like to know a little more, I recommend you watch a short 5 minute video about the 4 A’s of recovery: Abstinence, Awareness, Acceptance, and Action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlU1bTlrGMY. I personally relate to the notion that recovery is a life long journey and love the part about taking risks and learning from them to create a positive upward spiral along the way.
For me, 2014 is the year to be disciplined when it comes to my thoughts, feelings and behaviours; to force myself to go within for the answers, recognition and acceptance. I’m going to take the risk and set healthy boundaries for myself and for those in my life. It is imperative for me to look after my own needs first and foremost, because only then can I be of true service to others and build quality, healthy relationships.
What is Your Intention for 2014?
Courtney ‘Co-Creator’ Wilson
m: +61 (0)417 107 888| e: firstname.lastname@example.org