Avoiding codependent chaos
Dysfunction is a part of life. Anyone who owns a computer or has lived very long with their eyes open knows this full well. Things break down – often. Relationships as well as nations and organizations don’t always work or function as well as they could. Sometimes it seems like they hardly ever do.
Have a look around and you will find conflict and tension, problems here and problems there, situations and issues – conditions that are chronic and costly.
The buck doesn’t always have to stop with you
So be encouraged. You are in good company. If things seem to be falling apart all around you it only means that you are a full member of a created order that has taken a wrong turn. You are simply a part of what theologians sometimes refer to as the “fallen” human race.
If you want to always have work and be in demand figure out how to fix something. Become a nurse, a doctor, or an engineer. Consider a career as a mechanic or a carpenter. Get into politics. Become a pastor or a priest. Develop a herbicide or a vaccine. Train to be a police man or women, etc.
The global repair business is and always will be wide open.
In an ideal world, relationships would always be healthy and mutually beneficial. But it doesn’t always work that way. Nobody I know is completely healthy or whole and my friends and acquaintances would surely say the same thing about me. If you happen to bump into someone who has it all together, please write and tell me all about your truly remarkable friend.
Codependency was first observed in proximity to alcoholics. This term originally described relationships that were distorted because of an addiction. How did it work? One person got addicted to a substance while another became addicted to an unhealthy way of dealing with an addict. One person needed alcohol too much and it was destroying their life. Meanwhile, the other person needed to rescue or take excessive responsibility for their alcoholic spouse, etc. And this habit was almost destroying theirs.
People who are codependent need to learn to let go and let others make their own mistakes and take responsibility for their own actions. People who are codependent need to learn how to start living their own lives.
In order to avoid this problem it is a good idea to occasionally ask yourself what you are not responsible for. May I suggest that you are not responsible for everything that takes place in the universe. Some situations in your country or your community or your church or your family or your circle of friends may also be beyond your control. The buck stops somewhere but it doesn’t always have to stop with you. Even if you are leading an organization, you cannot be held responsible for absolutely everything that happens in your organization. Draw a line.
Learn to think and tactfully say, “That is your problem and not mine. You need to deal with it – I don’t.” This may sound cold and selfish to some who are determined to be all things to all people, to rescue everyone and fix everything everywhere, and who delight in pushing themselves towards the edge of another nervous breakdown. But to others this will make perfect sense and come as a great relief.
It is possible to be a caring individual without necessarily becoming codependent. Keep in mind that caring in a codependent sense doesn’t help anybody in the end.
And it certainly won’t help you move ahead and make a difference with your life.
© Career & Life Direction 2012. All rights reserved.