Sunday, January 11, 2015

Codependent, or just miserable?

Not to hate, not to weep, but to understand
~ Baruch Spinoza

So many people come to me for help between relationships saying they want to “fix" themselves before getting involved with someone new.  

I say, “What?”  

They say, “Yeah, I think I’m codependent or something.  I’m miserable alone, and I’m afraid I’ll get involved with the wrong person again out of desperation”.

Here’s what I answer:

First of all, in a way, everybody’s broken, everyone’s got baggage.  That’s life.  There is no ‘fixing’ it.  

Second, emotional dependency, or being miserable outside of a relationship, is not pathological.  Any human being who is not at least a little dependent on others for their happiness is not much of a human being.

Third, you may indeed find yourself attracted to someone similar to the person you left behind, but there are ways of making sure you do not make the same mistakes again, by gaining insight into your strengths and weaknesses, becoming more skilled at setting boundaries, and asserting your needs to make better choices. 

But it’s not about “fixing” you.

See these plants here?  [I have lots of plants in my office]  They don’t change.  They grow, but they don’t change.  Just like us.

So please do not try to “fix” (change or improve) yourself.  Figure out who you are, what your needs are, and try to create the optimal conditions for your thriving.

In a nutshell, it’s about getting the life (and love) you want.  Just as you are.

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