One thing I struggled with a couple of years ago was the discovery, and ultimately management, of codependency. I want to be fair and I always get a heads up when I approach a more difficult subject, that’s one of them.

What’s codependency? A short definition is: an excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.

The important word here is “reliance” and I’d like to stretch the definition to include experiences as well. If we systematically rely on something or another to experience joy and happiness, we are in an area of codependency in my opinion. It’s not to be confused with experiences and individuals that are a source of joy, purpose or gratification. It’s about relying specifically on those that is an area of concern.

For example, I love to dance! That being said, I don’t rely solely on dancing to experience joy. I can still be happy even if I don’t dance for a few days in a row.

Most codependent individuals are unaware of their codependency which makes it all the more delicate of a subject to address. We, as I used to be a codependent, tend to justify the relationship due to purpose, duty or morality. I needed at the time a sense of purpose and the only way I had found it was through reliance on others that needed my help, and for which I could provide support. Some of it was unwanted which led to some very tense situations. Some of it was appreciated but taken for granted, which led to resentment on my part. It was a source of gratification and self worth that unfortunately relied on others. Self worth comes from within, not from the outside in.

The cure for codependency is simple, although it can be hard to incorporate: it’s self love.

It was personally a difficult journey as I had to review my insecurities, old wiring, cultural influences and social expectations. That was hard. That was so worth it though!
That’s a process that I continue today on a journey of self discovery. We are different individuals at different times of our lives. Our tastes and desires change through our life so we keep on tweaking… Never a dull moment!

The most beautiful part of it is the confidence that I no longer rely on anything or anyone to be happy or to stand in my own power. I create my happiness and I create my power. Can I do it perfectly all the time? Of course not! That’s why I have a coach and a support team The point is not perfection, the point is awareness and authenticity.

Reach for the greatest version of yourself!

Paola

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