Rescuing and fixing are staples of codependency. We take on other people’s problems, offering unsolicited suggestions and solutions. Riding in on our white horse might seem selfless, but in reality, it is manipulative behavior meant to boost our own self-worth.
Instead of compulsively fixing, I’ve learned how to provide support and empathy without taking on someone else’s issues. I’m happy to help if asked, but I’ve learned that just sitting with someone and listening, allowing them space to express themselves safely, is one of the most compassionate things we can do. As we learn to better connect with others, we’ll connect more deeply with ourselves too.
The real work of recovering from codependency comes when we begin to actively change our patterns of behavior. It takes a lot of courage to look at the parts of ourselves we’re most ashamed of, acknowledging and accepting the behaviors that keep us from the lives we want.
I’m learning to accept imperfection in myself and in others. To navigate healthier connections without manipulation. To nurture my individual identity within interdependent relationships. As codependents, when we strengthen our self-trust and self-esteem we start to meet our own needs rather than relying on others to meet them for us.
We’ve suffered long enough. It’s time to take back our lives and stop repeating unhealthy cycles. If we can find the courage to face our codependency, the reward can be extraordinary — a chance to have the joyful, fulfilling relationships we’ve always dreamed of.
4. Life is not an emergency.