The idea of feeling stuck in anything is interesting. It’s easy when you’re stuck to think that you have no option. The emotional pull and feeling of obligation is so powerful, it can feel like your life, your mind, your emotions and your self-determinism has been captured by one or many people. But… no one can capture us unless somehow we let it continue.
Codependency is defined as excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, often a partner who requires (or believes they require) excessive support due to an addiction or particular life situation where they indeed aren’t helpless. In fact, when you over-support people, you allow them to remain less able to help themselves and actually change.
An extreme example is when people sort of turn over their lives to an emotionally needy partner who will do anything to keep their “supportive person” attached to them. It may feel like very big love at first… in the most romantic way. The toxicity starts becoming very clear when the needy person feels that their supportive person is pulling away. Then, desperate stuff can result. I’ve watched codependent partners threaten suicide when their supportive person tries to leave them. I’ve seen addicts go off the deep end. I’ve been a part of these scenarios, too, and it’s a chilling, terrifying place to be.
You’re left with a feeling that someone’s life (someone who is otherwise totally functional) rests on your presence, even if your presence is costing you your time, your integrity or your happiness.
I used to think that the answer to breaking from these situations was simply to walk away. And that’s one way, but just the start, of breaking these cycles. Chances are, if you’re adept at finding people who need you, more will come to fill that void.
After a string of these life-draining situations in work, in love and in family life I asked myself, in tears… what is it in me that likes feeling overly needed and obsessively loved?
Turns out, I had a lot of unloading of my own life clutter to do.
I also had to learn to create boundaries.
It’s all a choice. And you can choose to un-do that choice.
Typically, a codependent personality begins in your adolescence. Whether it be an alcoholic parent or a narcissistic romantic partner or friends or others of influence, this plants the seed of your perception on how you should live your life. When you are codependent in a relationship, their needs become paramount and you begin to neglect your own desires and goals. Your actions, feelings and thoughts soon become those of whom you’ve been codependent upon. You abandon and lose sight of yourself.
The best ways I’ve found to break free of these toxic cycles have to do with some real life detoxing. And a lot of commitment.
1. Realize that something needs to change: Do you put yourself last and neglect your needs? Do you believe no one will love you if you are not perfect? Do you change who you are to please others? Do you not voice your opinion as to “keep the peace”? If you’re not sure if your relationship is operating in this way, these are great signs that maybe indeed it is codependent.
2. Remember who YOU are: Take the time to focus on yourself and do the things you love to do. Start a loving relationship with yourself. This isn’t abstract. This is something you demonstrate in action and thoughts and words directed at yourself all day, every day.
3. Create your strong boundaries. THIS is the best feng shui I’ve found to create stronger, more clear and more grounded boundaries so that you aren’t bendy to the needs and whims of people that don’t feel right to you and start deciding more clearly:
4. Learn to say “no” without guilt. You might not be able to afford things asked of you. You might not have the time. You might need to say “No.” And if you feel that saying “No” will have big, bad consequences and lead to your guilt, this is a great place to start holistic healing or therapy. EFT (Tapping) is a super way to root out these guilty feelings that can be caused way back in life in past trauma.
5. Trust how you feel. If you aren’t sure if a dynamic is unhealthy, draining or overly-dependent because you’re used to these blurry lines, trust how you feel. Does a situation or a relationship give you energy and inspiration, or does it take it away from you? How you feel is everything. Also… how much (inordinate) amounts of time do you spend either worrying or complaining to others about someone? That’s an extremely good clue that some detox can be helpful.
6. Keep your circle positive. People with a healthy boundaries and happy lives are great role models if you’ve had nothing but this draining, life-sacrificing sort of love around you.
7. Practice, practice, practice. And get support. ALANON and Codependency groups are amazing to help you both collect the skills and the knowledge that will help you see that you are both not alone in these tendencies and also to make these life changes with positive support. It takes lots of practice to switch deeply ingrained emotional habits… but it’s awesomely, absolutely possible.
Clearing life of this kind of toxic, vampire-like, self-perpetuating energy is so so so freeing… and you can support all these changes by clearing your home of the clutter that often goes hand-in-hand with this draining confusion.
You can do this!!!
Welcome to Creating Genius!
I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.
Gather up your magic & make gorgeous dreams come true!