CO-DEPENDENCE TO CO-CREATION
LISA RAPHA EL
Co-dependence has gotten a bad rap!
The core of co-dependence is caring more about another person than yourself - and that has been considered heroic in legend and religion for eons! We are told that Christ gave his life for us; we honor those who sacrifice their lives for their country; suicide bombers are honored (within their society) for sacrificing their lives to a cause. Selfless actions are applauded throughout most of human society.
Yet over-involvement, entanglement in another’s life and affairs can
be unhealthy and unproductive.
Maybe we are confusing caring with self sacrifice.
The key to the dilemma lies in the word “selfless”. Turn around the two parts of the word selfless and we get less self. How effectively can we give to another when each caring gesture entails having less of ourselves to give? It may be appropriate for the parent of a young child to place the needs of the child before her own, as long as there is no other way for the child to meet its needs. But it is no longer appropriate once the child becomes an adult. An adult who is not given the opportunity to learn how to care for him or herself is not capable of taking care of another. In generational cycles of co-dependence, each generation has less to give others. According to Elisabeth Kubler Ross, a parent has two major responsibilities: Knowing when to put the training wheels on - and when to take them off!
On the soul journey, there is a distinction between those whose orientation is Service To Self and those whose orientation is Service To Others. Service to Others is considered the worthier calling. In STO we are invited to be co-creators, not co-dependents. Due to our intimate connection with and influence on all of life, when we take responsibility for creating our own reality, our own happiness, we are also accepting responsibility for others’ happiness. We are all One.
Co-creation is a wonderful way to resolve the dilemma of co-dependence. In co-creation, the more responsibility I take for my own happiness, the more effectively I enhance the happiness of others. It is no longer a choice between what is best for me and what is best for the other. They are the same. The more successful I am in fulfilling my own needs and desires, in making myself happy, the more I contribute to others’ fulfillment.
Service to others is a win-win situation. In selfless sacrifice, there are ultimately only losers.