"I can not leave her. It will hurt too much! I am fully aware of her addiction, but I am here to protect her!"
This codependent thinking needs a paradigm shift! A road map is available to point us off our codependent path and onto a way of interdependence. What does this mean? We no longer need to cling to the behaviors, desires, and demands of others to fulfill our needs. We are free to be whole people interacting and living side-by-side with others. We transition from pining for love, acceptance, and safety to experiencing peace. It is not an easy road, but "it works if you work it."(one of Alcoholics Anonymous' many thought-provoking, life-changing slogans). It is our path back to life.
How do we proceed on this new life-giving path? Our first stop on this wholeness path is entering the grieving process. Because our nature is to deny our pain and run from ever having to face it, we need to be intentional in grieving our losses. We recognize and allow ourselves to feel the pain so we can heal. It is not something that is accomplished alone. Walking beside a trusted person or community gives courage to those who step onto this path.
In the season of grief, as you come to terms with the losses experienced in childhood and drop the pretenses of denial, you accept your authentic self, opening a path to genuine relationships who love you for you. This new freedom brings life!
Our next stop on this road is grace. Once we have laid all our ineffective means of relating to others (including ourselves and God) down and come to terms with our brokenness, we realize we can not do this alone and seek help beyond ourselves. We need a Perfect source. Step 1 in Alcoholics Anonymous is "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (or whatever your vice has been)- that our lives have become unmanageable" and step 2: "Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity." Only a perfect source of strength, wisdom, and love can guide us now on this path. Nothing else will do. We need His grace to forgive ourselves and others; we need the grace to comfort us, empower us, to embrace us as we lean on Him. It's a surrender we won't regret. Step 3 says, "made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him" so our new strategy in navigating this path requires giving up and giving in our old ways and making room for His. He is the perfect parent. It is time to relate with Him in prayer, reading scripture, and surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals.
We begin living in a healthy community. No longer codependent, losing self in an inefficient process, gain love. Instead, we find our true selves, accepted and loved resting in the peace of knowing the quest to experience love and safety is over.
We are now free to love and be loved.
Writer:Anita J Arrunategui Ph.D/ Concepts from writer Nancy Groom, "From Bondage to Bonding"/ Image: Canva Pro/ https://www.aa.org/the-twelve-steps
The content published is for informational purposes. The content included in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.