It often seems to me that much of the world, and our relationships within it, are set up to be co-dependent. Encouraged to be co-dependent, if not absolutely, outright and in my mind, unfortunately, deeply dependent.
In churches, we are told that we must go through ministers or priests to truly understand the word of God. “I will guide you and explain it to you”, they say. “Through me, you will know God. Abide by the rules I set out for you, and all will be well.” And so, we become co-dependent upon them, their interpretations and opinions, and the institution they are financed by, in order to have any “true” connection to Spirit.
In our relationships with medical doctors, we are told to depend upon them, in a sense, as if they are God, for they alone know how to deal with what ails us. And so, we become co-dependent upon them for our own healing and any sense of what is going on in our own bodies or minds. To show you how deep this dependency goes, people are immediately and so often totally unnecessarily advised to take heavy duty drugs for even the smallest of ailments. And they do take them, even where there are horrible side effects that are – crazily – very threatening to their health and to their life, and may even result in death. Usually, they then have to take other drugs to counter effect what the first drug is doing, and on and on it goes. Who profits? The drug companies. Who suffers? The patient. Rather than find another way, people dutifully and seemingly without question, accept this. The doctor said do it, and they are co-dependent. They become dependent upon the prescribed drugs as well as the doctor.
In our mate relationships, we are groomed to believe that without a partner to love us, we will not be able to survive on our own, or feel whole, or valued, and in some instances, often and especially as women, we are even told where our place is – in the home being a breeder or homemaker. We are told that we are nothing in our own right, or have failed in some way as a viable human being if we do not have a man to “take care of us”. Whether as a man or a woman, we are not shown how to love ourselves, to feel whole in ourselves, and then share that love and wholeness with another, if we choose to do so. We look outward for that love, rather than inward – and inward is the only lasting place where we can truly find it.
As children, especially if we have overprotective, domineering, needy, lonely, fragile, anxious, or hovering parents, we are taught that we must do what they want, be what they want, be there for them, and not have our own voice in order to be a good girl or boy…. thus the message is that then, and only then, will we be loved. And so, a deeply and unhealthy co-dependent relationship develops where the child cannot find their own wings, path, or independent uniqueness.
In all of these cases, the co-dependent person has to and must return again and again, over and over, to the dominant authority. They have been effectively short-circuited, reeled in, and addicted to “the other”. They have not been offered the wisdom or guidance that will enable them to heal themselves, to head out on their own path and explorations, or learn to take care of themselves as an autonomous, well adapted human being. If anything, the very opposite has been offered: “You must come back to me!” each of these examples says. “I will do it for you.”
There are so many fascinating, fulfilling and amazing paths to self-healing, ways of learning to live from a healthy place, a place of one’s own strength, and inner guidance. Yes, there are always times when we may need the help of another, and our discernment will tell us when these times are. However, It is so important, it seems to me, to not be absolutely dependent upon others for your health or well being….it is so important to be in your own power…. to have your own wisdom….to live happily, healthfully, whole and free. I have studied many of these ways. Early on in my career working with alternative methods of healing and wisdom teachings, I realized that I did not want to be on an ego trip – to have these people who came to me seeking healing or guidance to look upon me as their savior, or put me up on some kind of a pedestal, to become a dominant authority over them. It was not good for me either, in the long run, when I did that. I came to realize that it is crucial when I work with a client, that my intention and purpose is not to make them addicted to what I have to offer or to need me. The intention had to be to give them the tools and techniques and information available so that they could then use these modalities on their own, to heal themselves. If I have done my job right, they do NOT come back to me, after they have gained the necessary information regarding how to self-heal. The purpose is to offer them the freedom and ability to more confidently, and with exciting “ahas!” to use these tools, to explore and find the answers for themselves. I just open the door and invite them to explore the treasure house that is available to all. We share some moments together, but then our paths part, and I have not diminished their own ability or capacity to stand in their own power, to be directly connected to their own answers.
They are not, then, addicted to something outside of themselves, or involved in any form of tangled up power play – and we are both free.