There is a song I love called “Save Myself” by Ed Sheeran in which he sings:
“So before I save someone else, I’ve got to save myself
And before I blame someone else, I’ve got to save myself
And before I love someone else, I’ve got to love myself”
It is all too easy to put all of our energy into making our loved ones happy until we are completely worn thin.
I did this for years until a thought began to form in my head.
What if you were to give yourself even a fraction of this time and energy that you are choosing to give to everyone else?
Develop the Skill of Non-Judgemental Self Observation
I once had a wise, gay friend say to me while I was moaning about my sad and lonely life when I was in between relationships:
“Girl, just to get over yourself!”
It was a revelation to me and he was absolutely right! As true as I realised this to be, it still took me many years to actually implement that strategy. I came to a point in my life where I was just so unhappy within myself that I needed not only to get over myself, but also to somehow get to the source of it all. I was just so tired of feeling so empty and unhappy inside.
In my search for alternatives to help myself, I began to practice meditation and yoga. This was the beginning of a long process of deep, self observation which led me to the awakening I had about my codependency. Now, this is the path that worked for me. What may work for others may be talking to a trained counselor or psychologist.
Use whatever method gets you to reflect upon yourself through non-judgemental self observation. This will create the safe space needed for healing to begin.
As I became more disciplined with my practice, it became easier to objectively observe my own mind and emotions. It was this objectivity that became key here. When you are objective, you do not judge, you simply observe. So, I would observe my thoughts and emotions without any bias or negativity, as if this were a dear, long time friend talking to me.
“Our recovery lies in ourselves. We have to identify how we’ve let their behavior impact us.” — Beattie.
Discovering codependency feels like realizing you’re more awesome than you imagined. Out of all the issues you could have, codependency is one of the more enjoyable ones to heal. When we stop trying to control everything and everyone and start valuing ourselves, we experience incredible energy and flow. Our lives unfold and flourish naturally. We heal from codependency by prioritizing ourselves, taking responsibility for our lives.
But clearing out the wounds and adjusting unhelpful patterns gives us the freedom to be ourselves again. As we heal, we reclaim the beautiful, bright spirit they took from us. Here are a few things I do differently now that I understand codependency:
- I don’t take rejection personally. If I’m showing up authentically, and that doesn’t work for someone, clearly we’re not meant to be in each others’ lives, at least not now. Though it’s easier said than done, the more I practice being myself and asking for what I want, the more I trust I’ll attract the right people. I don’t waste time obsessing about what I might have done wrong or how I can make that person like me.
- I trust that I can take care of myself. Though codependent people tend to be highly capable, we consistently under-estimate our abilities. When I read that, I realized the truth in it. I stopped doubting myself and worrying so much. I’ve been letting myself be more present, relaxing, and trusting that I can handle anything that comes my way.