Everything I do is for you. You’re my reason for living. I don’t need anyone else, as long as I have you. A few more of these sappy, romantic quips and I’m half way to an epic power ballad! As lyrics in a corny love song, they’re great but as an attitude, or position, not so much. This is one of the many ways that codependency can manifest itself and unlike the spandex-driven power ballads of yesterday, this doesn’t always end well.
Why? How? Well, codependency is a bit tricky to recognize for those of us who are in its grasp, but these tendencies are rooted in the positive behaviors and coping mechanisms of childhood. Taking the feelings of others into account as a young person will earn you high praise from the relatives and teachers in your life. But that’s a good thing, right? How did we make the leap from considerate to codependent?
It’s different for all of us, but let’s assume for a moment that there was a need for the child to determine the emotional state of their parent(s) on a regular basis. The list of potential reasons is long. Perhaps there’s chemical dependency, or physical/emotional abuse, divorce, or a combination of any of these factors. Watching a parent go through something traumatic, or difficult, can cause the parent/child relationship to take a turn towards codependency as well. Single parent households, only child households…. I guess what I’m getting at here- codependency is extremely common. When children are allowed to see some of the messy details of adult life, or these circumstances impact them directly, a reaction is only natural.
When kids demonstrate the ability to be thoughtful, loving caretakers, they’re often rewarded, or praised. Hey, it’d be a bit strange to admonish a child for showing genuine concern for someone they love, right? What is taken as thoughtful, mature and understanding in a ten year old, may be a case of codependency blossoming before our very eyes. Left unchecked, this will result in low self esteem, a persistent need for validation from others and a series of unhealthy relationships.
Ok, so we get the causes and signs, but what do we do now? The great news here- there is an antidote for codependency- SELF-ESTEEM! Seems simple, right? Conceptually, it is. Making ourselves the first priority in our own lives, becoming our own best friend, will inevitably balance some of those unhealthy relationships. It’ll also prevent the need to constantly seek validation from others..
Hypnotherapy is an extremely effective tool in supporting this empowering transformation. Stepping into the present moment and giving ourselves a much deserved pat on the back for all we’ve done for others, our noble tendencies and caring nature, while acknowledging that it’s time to divert some of that energy back to ourselves is where we begin. Just as we all did what was needed to survive childhood and adolescence, we all have the capacity to do what is necessary to become our ideal selves on a more consistent basis. A combination of post hypnotic suggestion during appointments, coupled with self-hypnosis, diagnostic journaling, breath control exercises and some support can accomplish a lot in a short period of time. Remember, in hypnotherapy we talk in terms of weeks not years. Behavior will change, things will get better.
Think of all of the people in your life. Consider your role, think of what’s expected from you. What happens if you’re not there? The irony is that there relationships that we’ve been sacrificing ourselves for inevitably suffer from our lack of self love. An empty lantern shines no light and we all have important roles to play in each others lives. We all deserve our own love and support. We all deserve to feel contentment and peace in ourselves. It’s the only way to feel a true and balanced love with others!