"What is so insidious about codependency, is that it is entrenched in our core relationship with self and life. The intellectual paradigm that determines our perspective of our self - and therefore how we behave in relationship to life and other people - is subconscious until we get into recovery and start becoming conscious enough to stop being the victim of false beliefs, of delusional and insane expectations. Until we start becoming conscious, we are powerless over our behavior because we cannot see our self with any objectivity. Since the only choices in the polarized perspective of life (that was imposed upon me in childhood) were right or wrong - and wrong was shameful - my ego tried to protect me from the toxic shame I felt at the core of my being with denial and rationalization."
"There was no way that I could start changing the way I was relating to life until I started to own my fear. Fear is not a bad thing - just as sadness, pain, and anger are not negative or bad in and of themselves. Emotions are a vital part of our being that need to be owned, honored, and respected. Denial and repression of emotions is what leads to negative consequences."
"Focusing on the future or the past, blaming them or blaming me, underreacting or overreacting (stuffing my feelings until they exploded forth in ways that made me feel crazy and ashamed,) feeling triumphant over "winning" or wanting to die because I was such a loser, were the rhythms of my dance of codependency. As long as I was in denial and unconsciously reacting to life I was doomed to "keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results." Unconsciousness doomed me to ride on a merry go round of cause and effect - never getting anywhere different emotionally. As long as I was incapable of being emotionally honest with myself, I was doomed to keep repeating the patterns that dictated my emotional reality.
Codependency recovery is the path to finding enough freedom from the past to find happiness and Joy in being alive today."
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This is Chapter 3 of a book being published online as it is written. To find out more about the genesis of this work you can go to Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life: Author's Foreword
Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light
Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life
Chapter 3: Emotional honesty
We learned about life as children and it is necessary to change the way we intellectually view life in order to stop being the victim of the old tapes. By looking at, becoming conscious of, our attitudes, definitions, and perspectives, we can start discerning what works for us and what does not work. We can then start making choices about whether our intellectual view of life is serving us - or if it is setting us up to be victims because we are expecting life to be something which it is not.
In the course of writing this article - which seems to be turning into another online book - I realized that though I talk a lot about the importance of emotional honesty in my work, I probably do not give a lot of down to earth, easily understood examples of what the term means to me. So, I decided to start this Chapter 3 with an example.
It was focusing on the dynamic of expectations that was the key for me in starting to get emotionally honest with myself. Starting to understand the cause and effect relationship between my emotional reactions and my expectations was essential for me to start understanding why my relationship with life was so dysfunctional. I, of course, in my codependency, had swung between the extremes of feeling, and believing, that it was all my fault because of my shameful defective being - and being angry and resentful at other people, the system, something or someone external to my being.
The twelve step recovery application of the disease model in the treatment of alcoholism - the concept that I had been powerless over my past behaviors because I had a disease - helped me to take enough shame out of my perspective of myself to start seeing my life with a little bit of objectivity. The spiritual approach of the twelve step program - that there is a Power greater than myself that is on my side, The Force is with me - helped me to shift my intellectual paradigm enough to start to see life as something other than a test I could fail by doing it "wrong." The definition of insanity that I heard in my first days of recovery - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results - caused me to start focusing on cause and effect.
It was the concept of powerlessness that led me to start becoming empowered
to take responsibility for my life. Instead of viewing life through
a perspective that was black and white - either I had to be perfect or
I was shameful - I was able to start to see what my part had been in how
painful and miserable my life experience had been. How I had some
responsibility - how I was creating cause in my life that had negative
consequences - but that it did not mean that there was something inherently
wrong with me. I started seeing that my relationship with life was
dysfunctional, was not working, and that I could take some action to change
that relationship. . . . . .
This page is no longer available on the regular web site. To view this page, it is now necessary to pay a fee for access to the Dancing in Light section of Joy2MeU.com On this page are quotes from, and section headings of, the original article. The page with information on how to subscribe is Dancing in Light.
Twisted and Distorted is the Dance of the Emotional Cripple
Control and fear - thinking to avoid feeling
September 2005 - Chapters 3 through 15 of this work are now exclusively available in the Dancing in Light pay to view component of Joy2MeU.com
Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 2May 23, 2001 Joy2MeU Update
Author's Foreword to this work on Codependency RecoveryThe Story of Joy to You & Me