“Some walks you have to take alone.” — curiano.com

Humility helps us realize we are not as indispensable as we imagine. The more we put others on a pedestal in order to pull them in, or the more time we dedicate to those who are manifesting love avoidance, the more we feel taken for granted.

Part of the problem of being codependent is codependents seek to make themselves indispensable in order to secure a place for themselves, but this pursuit precipitates the opposite effect. As Mari Ruti, says,

“There’s no greater test of our respect for our friend’s autonomy than letting someone know she is free without protest when that’s what she needs. This is one of the greatest gifts – one of the greatest acts of love we can ever give. Love is bighearted. It wants what is best for the other even if the best doesn’t involve us.” *

Letting go is a part of loving. If you’re always with someone, you’ll never know how strong your connection is.  Though letting go can seem too much, we can derive inward consolation as Ruti explains,

“Letting a friend walk away before we are ready to let go is one of the hardest things we will ever do… It might help us to remember that friendship can die without us having done anything to kill it.  It’s better to lose a friendship than to watch its initial passion turn into a faint shadow of its former self.”

Whenever we sense disparity of feeling, even in friendship, it is time to let go. It is a needless weight upon the heart. We become desperate for someone’s affection, at the cost of our dignity.  We approach the friendship according to what we want to hear, rather than what is being said or done. Roger de Bussy-Rabutin uses a metaphor to help us read where we stand with another when he says,

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.”

~ vincenzo ©

*in these two quotes by Mari Ruti, I have substituted the word, “lover” for “friend” in order to contextualize the quote to my present situation

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I sometimes act and think as if my well being depends upon others. ~ vincenzo ©

solitary

Is finding online love better than no love at all?

I have been on my own for several years with my ups and downs. In real time I feel secure when meeting someone new. I can observe gestures and actions, listen to the texture of the voice and decide whether that someone might make a good match before deciding to step out. However, the rules vastly change when it comes to interacting online.

A close relation once recommended I get to know a lady a few years ago and so we began to correspond with each other. We chatted daily and eventually talked on Skype, but without the visual aid of a web camera. I did not own a computer at this time, so I relied upon a nearby internet cafe. This went on for a period of 3 or 4 months. We had developed a regular pattern of communication and all seemed a matter of course.

The day came when we finally met face to face as she picked me up at the airport and an unexpected dread filled my heart. Weeks of preparations and anticipation made the anticlimax more striking.  Until that moment, it never occurred to me we could possibly be mismatched. I blindly relied upon my close relative’s recommendation without question.  For someone who usually explores the terrain before advancing, this was not a great feeling.

Even though I already knew what I needed to be said, I stressed out for days pretending everything was fine. Days later, I worked up the nerve to sit down with her and confess my misgivings. The news devastated her as she felt we were the perfect match.  I felt sickened with remorse for having awakened her feelings. Alas, our dream vacation ended even before it started. It is most humiliating and disagreeable having to turn someone down after communicating at a distance for months.

The problem with online communication is you run the danger of fashioning a person after your own fancy, only to discover you lack the necessary chemistry or compatibility needed to advance further. What then?

Looking back, I believe online contact with stranger needs be treated as starting point while establishing strong limits. It is wise to keep the exchanges light, keeping the intervals of contact brief and spreading them out over a long period of time until you decide to meet face to face. Even though your intention may be to establish limits with someone in your head, what really determines the degree of attachment or involvement is the frequency and amount of time you as a couple interact together. You may call it a friendship or whatever you like, but the pacing is what determines the true emotional state.

Too much, too soon is a sure sign of codependency. It sends the message that the relationship is not only advancing too abruptly, but that the couple may have formed an additive attachment to each other. ~ vincenzo ©

When you face the tears and ongoing agony of codependence, you value every insight that comes your way. You hang on to each word of wisdom as it speaks to you. Not just any words will do. You can identify which ones, by the intense need to return to them as steady reminders.

What follows are treasured excerpts from John Bradshaw’s book, “Home Coming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child”.

~ vincenzo ©

“Some of us may have difficulty trusting ourselves to meet our needs and therefore think we need someone else to meet them.

We have difficulty trusting others so we feel we have to be in control all the time.

We fail to detect body signals such as not being aware how tired we are.

We may feel we don’t belong anywhere or to anyone.

In social situations we may be invisible so no one notices us, yet not even be aware why we do this.

We may attempt to make ourselves indispensable to others to make sure they will not leave us.

We may have a great need to be touched or hugged that could make us vulnerable to bonding too soon, too deep with someone we don’t even know and who could even be harmful to us.

We may have an obsessive need to be valued and may have difficulty establishing boundaries for fear that others may not like those boundaries.

We may isolate ourselves out of fear that people might end up rejecting us or we might end up rejecting them.

Some of us are gullible and don’t see other people’s hidden agenda or else we see the hidden agenda but go along with it all the same.”

How do you come to terms with the way it was — the way you wished it had been?

Some losses are beyond recovery, because you seek qualities in another he or she never possessed. You hold on tightly maybe for years, only to discover it brings you instability, desolation and untold stress until you can no longer hold on any more.

Grief appears and reappears when you least expect it. Wherever you go, it is a subject too foreign for the general public. Reading about it online only magnifies the pain as most websites approach it through a generic, scientific lens. It looks nothing like the dark forebodings gripping your heart.

Although writing helps to clarify thoughts, you often collide against your own perceptions, unable to trust your senses. No matter how you arrange the words, they look back at you with trifling glances. The deeper you excavate, the less justice accorded to the lived experience. ~ vincenzo ©

We rely upon mirrors to see ourselves. Without them we cannot even see our face. Neither do we see our inner selves without a nurturing mirror.

I stumbled onto some old notes from a post that is no longer available so I don’t even know the author. I also don’t know how these notes got neglected as they mirror my personal struggles so minutely. The subject is about people that battle with a “fixing” addiction, so if you can relate to it please read on.
— —

Before I share the notes below I want to say I have a history to being overly responsible in my interactions. This hyper-vigilant sense of duty is the product of years of social conditioning. I call it the nice-guy default mode. Others instinctively sense this drive to feel needed and take advantage of it.

Important notes worth considering:

1. Individuals that develop this form of codependency run the risk of becoming caretakers with no one to give them healthy emotional support. They tend to get stuck into a “fixer” role permanently, never being able to enjoy healthy give-and-receive relationships with anyone.

2. Since they are the ones that do all the work in a relationship, once they stop the work, the relationship usually dies.

3. The saddest part is that they so successfully divert their attention, they rarely affect changes upon themselves and thus become emotionally stunted in their personal growth. This decreases their self-esteem as they forever lose themselves.

If anyone can identify the title and author of these thoughts please let me know so I can give him or her credit.

~ vincenzo ©