There is no denying, our relationships are the most important thing that matter to us. Relationships affect us like nothing else and nothing impacts us more than our relationships. In her book Eat Pray Love writer Elizabeth Gilbert speaks about her psychologist friend who was involved with counseling of Cambodian refugees. This task was a serious one and also a daunting one. She discovered that those people who had been through traumatic experiences through the course of their journey wanted to speak only about their relationships.
There are so many things that can make us happy or sad but not as much as our relationships. They at times pose biggest challenges and also become the cause of greatest happiness. When viewed from spiritual perspective they are like assignments that life puts forth to us. They create circumstances that are like opportunities that help us see those areas clearly which need healing. These situations arise in context of our relationship with others which offer the opportunity to understand our behavioral patterns, our triggers and blocks.
Codependency means the feeling of being dependent on someone. The feeling that our existence is impossible without their existence. We look up to them to validate our actions or whatever we might do. We can’t feel happiness or contentment without them. We can’t even feel complete in their absence. This in fact, prevents us from understanding our own potential and bring out our best selves. When we cannot grow personally, we cannot be better individuals, and thus, we limit our ability to bring positivity to the relationship.
Despite being in a codependent relationship, we are hardly able to understand that we are enacting patterns that relate to such a relationship. This is because we have been raised believing in certain myths as to how relationships work, especially, the ones in which we are romantically involved. Most of these wrong beliefs nurture codependency
When do we realize that we are living in a codependent relationship? People may live that way for years and still not know, until they are faced by reality that is brought usually by circumstances that sets them apart from the other person. It could be a break up or death or anything. That is when fear of being alone the insecurity of being left out and hopelessness rises to the surface and we are able to see them clearly.
A kind of emptiness creeps in, for we no longer have that outside source of love and attention that we depended upon so badly. Long ago in the relationship we had made someone the center of our universe, the ultimate source of love and happiness. When that center of our universe vanishes, we are left struggling to find something to cling to. We are left so helpless. And that is when we realize we had been in a codependent relationship.
But, you cannot undo your past. You can certainly give yourself another chance to deal your life differently. There are always better ways that can lead us to self-awakening, that let us make drastic changes to our being. Walking on the spiritual path, one can do this. It begins with changing the relationship one shares with their own selves. The first step in this journey of self-awakening is identifying what involved me in a codependent relationship. Why I was driven by fear and that my relationship was not love.
What may seem intense love may not be love. It may be just the fear of loneliness or having to face the world all alone. It could be the need for acceptance. Here are 10 indicators that tell if you are in a codependent relationship:
- You can’t imagine your existence without the person
This is what a person truly and completely in love should feel, right? But the fact, it is far from truth. You cannot expect someone to complete you. You have to be complete in your own way. What can an incomplete person bring to a relationship? You can feel content and satisfied and truly enjoy the person in your life when you are complete.
- You expect them to behave in some particular way
For you to feel love or show love your partner must behave the way you want them. This means your love is based on the fulfillment of certain conditions. You don’t want the other person to be what they are. This is conditional love and not love.
- You play victim
If you look up to someone to make you happy, and when that doesn’t happen you blame others. You need to be happy first from within, only then others can bring happiness to us.
- You are the caregiver.
When two grown up individuals are in a relationship they should be strong enough to take care of themselves. If you act as the caregiver for the one who is not capable of taking care of themselves, the relationship cannot grow. Growing up spiritually drives us in the right direction. We attain the strength to take care of ourselves and we are independent that way. Thus, we can be our best, and don’t need to live as a victim or helpless.
- You try to control everything in the relationship.
There is so much fear inside you that you want to control the other person and the situations. You are afraid that if you don’t, the relationship will end or fail. Surrender everything, and let things unfold as they have to. Everything will be okay, but you have to let surrender first.
- You keep from without filling yourself
You have made the other person the center of your attention, even the reason your survival. You put them first and put yourself last. This happens from lack of self-love. When you don’t nurture yourself, fill yourself, but keep giving, anger and frustration are bound to build up.
- Your happiness lies in the other person.
Stop searching your happiness in your partner and try to find your source of happiness within. Connect with yourself and find that true source of happiness that is not dependent on anybody else. When you do that, others will be happy in your presence.
- There is no sense of freedom
If its love, you will be free to do what you want and not forced to follow the desires of others. Any attempt to bind the persons with rules only generates from fear.
- You want to be rescued.
It is a common psyche. If your life is in shambles, rescue yourself. Don’t expect someone to do it for you. Be your own savior. Let your man be what he wants to be. Free him from the expectation that he should be your rescuer.
- You think you deserve to get the love you desire.
Realize that it’s more important to give love than getting it. Discover that unlimited source of love that exists within you. You will get much more love than what you give others.