Recover from Codependency: The Ultimate Addiction
I don’t think our ultimate fear is death, I believe it is the fear of the void. That empty place where there is no sense of connection. A place where we feel alone, God is absent and are needs will never be met.
Although we may have moments where we feel that sense of a Higher Power in our lives, it is often short lived and it doesn’t counterbalance or offer hope during the more acute periods of low grade, or intense, suffering often manifesting as depression, anxiety and addictions. Deep down we feel this world is an unsafe place, where we must be hyper vigilant 24/7, just waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. And whether it is subconscious or conscious, we find ourselves attracting into our lives situations and people that confirm this deeply held disempowering belief that indeed we are alone. This feeling is the darkest of the dark night of the soul.
No wonder so many turn to codependency! Codependency is a much used and yet confusing term. It seems to include any and all behavior involved in relationships, from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. Codependency manifests as too needy, too giving, too narcissistic, too controlling, the victim, the martyr and the caretaker. Codependency is everything we do to not feel the void. It is what we do to deny, fill, and resist the void. And the best way to do this, we believe, is through another person.
If we can be loved, accepted and be taken care by another than we are not alone in the void. The problem is no one is able to love us enough to fill this empty space. And when they fail and disappoint us, we feel that familiar sense of despair, betrayal and deep wounding…again…and again. Rather than recover from codependency, we try harder. We love more and take care of their every need. And when this doesn’t work, we try even harder, trying to manipulate the person and situation so they will just love us enough. And often to cope with the pain of the codependent relationship, we turn to other disempowering addictions such as food, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, shopping, and a myriad of other life-depleting behaviors.
So how do we stop this vicious and seemingly never-ending cycle to recover from codependency? The answer lies in the void. The one place we have been so afraid of holds the key to our freedom from all that stalks us. We must enter the void. This takes courage and a willingness to feel the acute discomfort of being in this unknown and seemingly empty place. Yet this is where we find deep connection to source energy. We must explore the void to become whole, to find our sacred purpose and our highest destiny.
While exploring the void we discover our stories. Our stories are events from our past that continue to play out in our lives and define who we are today. Our codependent fear of never being or doing enough and being “alone” is a story. Our fear of being taken for granted and unappreciated is a story. And, like the great alchemists, we can transmute our stories into our greatest sources of strength, power and wisdom.
We also turn, face and embrace our Shadow that stalks us in the void. The Shadow is that part of our self we deem unacceptable and that we disown, abandon, or shut away. Our unacknowledged Shadow lurks in the dark and feeds upon our fear. Yet our Shadow is a powerful source of energy-neither good nor bad in and of itself. Our unhealed codependency leaves us feeling resentful, drained and unappreciated. Once we recover from codependency, we have a ‘healed codependency,’ which allows us to be caring, compassionate beings with healthy boundaries and an ability to deeply love ourselves and others.
We also discover and remember our soul song in the void. Our soul song sings to us of our beauty, importance, and meaning in the universe. It reminds us that we are part of the great mystery. We must retrieve and integrate those missing parts of our soul that we have lost, given away or have been taken from us. We remember that all our life is Sacred, from brushing our teeth to praying on a mountaintop. We tap into our creative expression and begin to share our gifts with the world.
When we recover from codependency, the void is no longer a place a disconnection, emptiness and loneliness. Instead it is filled with our fully integrated, whole, ugly, beautiful, amazing and powerful selves. It hums with the music of our soul and vibrates with our heart’s desire. It becomes our refuge and the place of expansion and infinite possibility. There is just no room for our codependency in this sacred place, as there is no longer a void to fill.