Regardless if we have codependency or not, it is safe to assume that we can relate to shaming ourselves when we do something that benefits us...it was one of the hardest aspects of my recovery. It took forever to recognize that my care taking was actually a manipulation, because it was given with strings attached. I liked to think I was doing it for selfless reasons, but when our worth is determined on the response from the receiver we are actually setting ourselves up and attempting to manipulate the outcome, to get the love and thanks “fix” that we so desperately need to feel worthy and validated.
Here is the info I read from tonight, it was a great meeting and I thank all of the beautiful ladies that made it to the meeting and we missed those who were not able to attend.
One of the messages that most of us got in childhood growing up in a codependent society was that it was bad to be selfish. We all have within us an archetypal inner child that is completely self centered and wants immediate gratification. What I call the king/queen baby. “I want what I want and I want it now.” It comes in the stage of early childhood development where we are developing a sense of individual identity. A couple of the big words at that age are “no” and “mine.”
Because the societies we grew up in were stuck in a polarized view of life, we got the message that selfishness was wrong, bad – and that unselfishness was good. Since one of a child’s jobs is to manipulate his/her environment to survive, we learn to manipulate to get what we wanted. Since we got the message that it was not OK to be emotionally honest – both from direct and indirect messages, and from the role modeling of the emotionally dishonest adults in our life –
“we learned to be emotionally dishonest with ourselves in order to cover up our “shameful” selfishness.”
“Awakening to my responsibility as a co-creator of my life so that I could align with the process of reprogramming my ego defense, was made possible by the dawning realization that I wasn’t the only one suffering in an emotional hell – that maybe my reality was not being caused by some inherent defect in my being. That maybe, just maybe, being human wasn’t shameful – and that being imperfect and selfish was a natural, normal part of being human.
I need to keep reminding myself of the fundamental motives – of my need to focus on me and my process, remember I am not doing something for you – so that I can keep aligned with the selfishness of Spiritual Self that is at the heart of the recovery process.
In my understanding, the Truth that resonates in the phrase “To thine own Self be True” is about being True to Spiritual Self – the part of me that Knows I am connected to everyone and everything in LOVE – in order to escape the tyranny of unconsciously reacting out of wounded, dysfunctional programmed ego self. Ego self is reacting to programming that is trying to keep us separate from others so they do not find out how shameful we are.
Being honest with our self about selfishness out of damaged ego self – owning it, learning to accept it without shame and judgment – is what allows us to start taking power away from it so that we are not letting it dictate and define our life today. Denying that we have base ego centered motives is part of the dishonesty of codependency – is a reaction to toxic shame about being human. One form of codependency is deluding ourselves into thinking that we are doing things for other people just out of the kindness of our hearts and are not expecting any payoff for what we are doing – it is emotionally and intellectually dishonest.
“In order to get clear on how to connect to others in a healthy way we must first realize and define how we are separate from others.”
On the level of our physical being, our ego-self, we are separate and need to own that before we can open up to consciously experiencing how we are connected to everyone and everything. We need to see our relationship with ourselves clearly in order to see our relationships to others clearly.
One of the things that I had to get clear on in order to start learning who I am was selfishness. I had been taught that it was bad to be selfish and that I should do things for others. I learned to steal energy from others through what I was telling myself were unselfish acts. I was just being a “nice guy” and did not expect anything in return – Bull. I always had expectations –
I just was not being honest with myself about them – because I had been trained and conditioned in childhood to be dishonest with myself emotionally and intellectually.
I had to come to a realization that there is no such thing as an unselfish act. If I rescue a stranger from a burning car wreck, it does not have anything to do with the stranger – it has to do with my relationship with myself. I believe that every thing a human being does has a pay off – and it was a very important part of my growth process to start looking for those pay offs.
I had to learn to get honest with myself and stop buying into the illusion that anything I did was for some one else.
I had to stop looking outside for the energy boost I got from doing something nice so that I could own that the energy boost came internally.
If I do something nice for another person, the payoff is that I feel good about myself because I am acting out of my higher nature, my True Self – it helps me tune into higher vibrational frequencies and thus get an internal energy boost. When we are in the moment tuned into higher vibrational transcendent emotional energy is when we feel like our spirit is soaring – is when we are accessing Love and Joy energy from the Source. Treating another being with respect and dignity is an affirmation of my inherent worth, and my connection to them – and helps me to plug into higher vibrational frequencies, recharge my spiritual batteries as it were. It is also, often, a way to settle Karma – which is another payoff that serves selfish motives on a higher level.
Treating another kindly out of codependence, in order to prove to myself I have worth, is a reaction to the judgments and shame I feel about myself – and often I am judging the other person as being less than me because I am acting better than them. If I delude myself into thinking I am being nice to them just for their sake, then I will feel like a victim if they are not nice in return.
“We were taught to be caretakers instead of care-givers. That is, to take our self-definition – our ego-strength – from what we do for others, rather than giving to others out of our Self as an expression of Love.
This is a matter of focus: Codependence is a disease of reversed focus. If you are taking your self-worth from what you are doing for others, you are going to end up being the victim, because they are not going to do what you want them to do in return. (“After all that I’ve done for you!”)
If you are giving as an expression of self-worth then you do not need anything in return – and that is when you really get the gifts.
Giving should be an expression of the Love we have accessed within – not a way of gaining ego-strength by helping people whom we are judging to be less than us.”