Living Your Own Life
In our previous session, we began to make the turn from seeing how our lives are centered in controlling other people and circumstances beyond our control, to getting in touch with our own inner center of meaning and value. In the Twelve Step recovery process, this is the movement from Step One to Step Three, which invites us to turn our lives and will over to the care of God. I referred you to Step Eleven as well, since it is about prayer and meditation, which are means by which we center our lives in God's care.
One thing for codependents to be careful about is that our prayer and spirituality don't become simply another context for obsessing on our loved ones and difficult situations. For example, it's quite common for codependents to be fervent in prayer of petition and intercession, imploring God to become an ally in "fixing" the other. That's still codependency! I'm not discouraging prayer of petition, but, as noted in the previous conference, I suggest you voice your concerns to God, turn the other over to God's care, then move on to feeding your own soul. It takes faith and trust to let the other go, but your loved ones belong to God more surely than they do to you, and there is no situation that God is unaware of and isn't already wanting to bring to wholeness and healing. God wants what's good for us and others even more than we do; sometimes we need to get out of the way and give God a little more room to work.
In connection with the theme of living your own life, I have found Transactional Analysis to be very helpful. Many of you probably remember T.A. from the 70's, when books like "I'm OK, You're OK" and "The Games People Play" were popular. Although T.A. has a lower public profile now, I think it still has much merit in helping us sort out what's going on in our lives, especially with regard to codependency and dysfunctional family issues. Chapter 4 in "Freedom from Codependency" provides a brief introduction to T.A. Listed below are links to web sites that explain this approach. Some of them use different terminology than I did in describing the Critical Parent or Wounded Child, but you'll see the similarities, I'm sure.
It's not necessary here to go into all the communications patterns and games, as I'm mainly interested in you knowing how to identify the Parent, Adult and Child movements within. If you have interest in going further, well then by all means go ahead.
You will recall in our last conference that I stressed the importance of developing a clear, intellectual concept about codependency. We now note the importance of this work in relation to empowering the Adult part of our consciousness. In fact, that's what all the exercises so far have been aiming at, including the emphases on developing a relationship with God. When the Adult part of our consciousness is informed and is becoming more spiritually energized, we can better evaluate what's going on within us and in our relationships. We can also become more responsible for our own lives instead of allowing other people and circumstances beyond our control to determine our responses.
The movement we are interested in developing is from living out of Shoulds (Parent influence) and Emotional Impulses (Child influence) to Choices (Adult level). This is not to say that sometimes we don't consent to do what we think we "should," but that we do so as a choice; or that we don't give expression to emotional impulses -- we choose to do so as a choice.
Perhaps on this thread you can share an example or two of how you are discriminating between these inner movements, and the difference it makes to live more out of choices.
|Powered by Social Strata|