Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What Is Codependence?

I received an amazing worksheet the other day with this "too close to home" description of Codependence.
As I read it it felt as if someone looked inside my brain and heart...

I later shared them with Josh and he felt it helped him understand me better, so I share them with you, so it may help you understand yourself or a loved one better.

-  My good feelings about who I am stem from being loved by you.
-  My good feelings about who I am stem from receiving approval from you.
-  Your struggle affects my serenity.  My mental attention focuses on solving your problems or relieving your pain.
-  My mental attention is focused on pleasing you.
-  My mental attention is focused on protecting you.
-  My self-esteem is bolstered by solving your problems.
-  My self-esteem is bolstered by relieving your pain.
-  My own hobbies and interest are put aside.  My time is spent sharing your interest and hobbies.
-  Your clothing and personal appearance are dictated by my desires as I feel you are a reflection of me.
-  Your behavior is dictated by my desires as I feel you are a reflection of me.
-  I am not aware of how I feel.  I am aware of how you feel.
-  I am not aware of what I want- I ask what you want.  I am not aware- I assume.
-  The dreams I have for my future are linked to you.
-  My fear of rejection determines what I say or do.
-  My fear of your anger determines what I say or do.
-  I use giving as a way of feeling safe in our relationship.
-  My social circle diminishes as I involve myself with you.
-  I put my values aside in order to connect with you.
-  I value your opinion and way of doing things more than my own.
-  The quality of my life is in direct relation to the quality of yours.

I fit about 80% of these.  The Lord has been working on my heart regarding these areas.  Some of them, in a healthy way, are obvious in regard to marriage- because husband and wife are one.  The others, the Lord is chipping away, in my relationship with my husband, my children and other relationships outside of the home.  The Lord wants me to find my satisfaction, strength, comfort and value in Him alone.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him."  Psalm 28:7

Reminds me of my dad growing up: he would always say out loud, "NO ONE'S GONNA STEAL MY JOY!"  

I think of him often when I let others affect my attitude.  I am the only one who can choose how others affect me.  Am I gonna give God control of myself and those around me and let Him do His work, or do I wanna do it the hard way and try to be in control?

Considering the second way is sin and does not work, believe me, I've tried for the past decade, I choose to let God have His way in me and in others... He IS God after all. He created the universe, and I know He can handle this.

For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else."  Isaiah 45:18

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