After yesterday’s list of dependent personality traits, are you wondering what “normal” means for relationships? Well, most of us do wonder this from time to time. In fact, I think most healthy people have a creative and wide-ranging perspective on “normal” even as we struggle with our personal insecurities about our behaviors.
Today, here are two thoughts for you to consider:
- Do you have the capacity to be flexible with self and others? If so, celebrate!
- Are you reasonably happy, even when lots of things are going wrong with people you love? If so, celebrate!
I had situations co-occurring recently that folks around me knew were very upsetting to me on many levels. This is what happens when you have family and friends you care about. Stuff happens that is upsetting, sometimes in big batches of sad. Several people asked me about how I managed to attend this event or that and appear to enjoy myself. Some suggested I was putting on a happy face and they meant it as a compliment.
The truth was, I maybe added extra make-up in a vain attempt to cover up the sleepless night that one emergency had caused, but I did not have to put on a happy face. I was reasonably happy without need for a mask.
Years ago, this would not have been possible for me. If someone I loved was in crisis, I was in crisis too. This is a hallmark of untreated codependency.
Today, I find that I am reasonably happy most of the time, even if there is a proverbial storm brewing on all fronts. When I notice that I am losing my capacity for joy, I don’t make excuses about the troubles I’m seeing, I use it as a much needed prod to evaluate my tendency to fall back into codependent ways.
Gandhi said this, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
I don’t do this awesomely, but I do this more often than I once did. It is impossible to accomplish this if you are spending your life focused on what others think, feel and do.
I hope this little devotional helps you think about whether you can celebrate your interdependent relationships or need to investigate further your own codependent tendencies.