Injected or Inhaled…

Ruby’s post this morning has given me much food for thought today.  I have been meaning to write about the subject of Love for some time now, because, for me, it has had a very bittersweet connotation in it’s strictest sense for most of my life.  Perhaps my story might sound familiar to you because it holds so many of the elements of human emotion and drama that we are familiar with, or, perhaps my story might sound as alien as a moon circling Jupiter.  However, I do have two small requests of you before I begin.  Bear in mind that I am opening my heart here (yes…albeit a little sardonically…but the prickly pear does occasionally lose a few of her needles from time to time!).  If you can read without judgement with an open and loving heart, I urge you to read on and discover a bit more about me.  If you’ve decided that I am a flake and you don’t give two you-know-what’s about me, then I would encourage you to move on…

Co-dependency.  That (co-word) seems to be floating around rather commonly these days.  Co-dependency can be inhaled or injected.  For many families, through ignorance or denial, co-dependency is offered like an heirloom.  I think that this insidious drug was sprinkled on my food, my clothing and on my grades when I was a youngster.  “Good girl, you got an ‘A’ in math, now you get some love and attention,” my parents would chime, followed by “It’s a man’s world and you need to prove yourself and toughen up” [my first leather hide placed upon my prone back].  Love flowed freely from my mum, but not from too readily from my father.  I know that some men are not wonderful at expressing themselves in general, but I knew that Dad loved me (afterall, I was daddy’s little girl).  Combine the lulls of co-dependency with isolation, fear and verbal/emotional abuse and you have yourself a recipe for….a recipe for…  Well, a recipe for something that would taste like bitter-pie when I was to grow older.

When did I start injecting co-dependency into my veins?  Good question.  I probably started that when I was a hormonally entranced teenager.  Boys were a new source of attention.  Yet, I remained relatively “proper” with only slight bouts of rebellion.  By this time in my youth, my parents had already “hardened” me to the effects of love.  “You are a pretty girl and boys will only want to take advantage of you,” they would chime (and they were right – but boys – and girls will be…well…boys and girls, not men and women).  Thus, love was again, another bartering method for attention.  Pay a quarter for a kiss.  A penny for your thoughts.  How I longed to be loved and love in a romantic way.  “Free.  Free.  Can’t someone just love me for free?”  My second leather hide placed upon my prone back.

Marriage.  Well…we won’t talk about that because this story is still playing out.  Let’s just suffice to say that a few hits of co-dependency were involved in that decision.  Friendships were also not immune to the effects of this drug.  “By the way PM, you are a XXXX, can you help me out with XXXX?” and later disappear into the sunset when I needed or requested their help for something.  These are the same people that adore you one minute and chop you down to size the next because they have also built their self esteem(s) on that addicting drug too.  So…”Round and round and round we go, where the co-dependency cycle stops…no-one knows”.  Actually.  I do know when the cycle stopped.  It was a few short months ago and I thank the heavens above for this gift.

When I finally saw the Light at my coming of age debut (I have myself and at least one other significant person to thank for this), I realised that I was capable of navigating the waters of life rather independently.  I was going through a very difficult period of my life.  I was burnt out, apathetic and untouchable.  I really wanted to have nothing to do with humanity anymore and turned inwards.  Deeply.  What I found astounded me.  I found a bright Light inside of myself that connected me to a greater Light.  This Light spoke to me in numbers, metaphors, sounds and colours.  Bear with me here.  I am not crazy!  At first, I felt confused.  This confusion was later replaced with a deep feeling of contented Love and understanding when I realised that I was not alone in my spiritual awakening.  I knew that I had experienced a rebirth of sorts and I felt as though the Universe was communicating with me on a subconscious level.  I had found a higher connection with myself.  Self-esteem was important, and relevant, but delivered to me in a new Light.  When I “found myself”, I was automatically connected. 

How did this experience change me?  Good question.  I found that I could see through the allusion of human drama.  I felt myself seeking Truth.  I was concerned only with Love and Light in it’s purest form.  When people would discuss their petty dramas (and really…that is what most of our quabbles are, no matter how important they might seem at the time…), I felt like a sage observer that could objectively assess the situation and offer gentle advice.  I realised that we create our own pain, our own dramas by our perceptions, reactions and assumptions of “whom” others “are”, and “what” situations really were.  How often do we just listen and observe, without judgement or question?  This realisation forced me to seek friends and relationships that could support this deeper understanding.  I then took inventory of my friendships and relationships and realised, that sadly, many of them were based on so many assumptions and misunderstandings (these were the so-called co-dependent ones).  Then, I got thinking about these relationships and humbly admitted that I was responsible for creating them…and that, in the end, I am ultimately responsible for either continuing to feed them, change them or leave them.

Now I feel as though Love has an entirely new meaning for me.  I mentioned on Ruby’s post that (for most of my life) I didn’t really feel genuine love from many people but my mum, and I guess that this story might explain why (at least partly).  When I think of my experiences (historical and current), I don’t feel much different from anyone else and my experiences (other than the Light thingie) might sound similar to yours or someone you know.  I also don’t feel superior to anyone because of my spiritual discoveries either.  I just feel very grateful for having connected to that loving person within myself.  Now, when I speak of Love (with respect to giving and obtaining Love as a form of connection with others), it is done openly and without the requirement of currency.  I am responsible for my Self-Esteem, and mine alone.  I do not need to fuel the love in my relationships with any form of currency (self-esteem included).  It is this healthy self-love that allows ourselves to feel worthy enough to be loved by others.  It is up to “you”, my friends and family to love yourself, and in turn, we can be “One”.

Namaste my friends


ps.  Contrary to what my parents taught me (bless their souls, for they meant well), I also learned that I didn’t have to take on the world in trousers and a tie…I learned that I could take on the world in high heel shoes and feminine attire…

9 responses to “Injected or Inhaled…

  1. This journey we call life is quite amazing! I think I understand your current journey through the minefield of CoD relationships and your process of severing or changing those interpersonal dynamics. Once you see the light or find the truth of your own life, everything seems to fall into place – like finding the correct key for a troublesome lock. Figuring out that you deserve happiness (and that self-fulfillment isn’t a sign of not caring about others), seems to be the first step in the right direction for many of us.

    As cliche as it sounds, Ken was the person who showed me, through his quiet method of acceptance and non-judgement, that it was OK to be my own self. His love for me just as I am, in my raw, unmasked state, gave me the strength to keep moving forward in a positve way. So for me, it was a person who showed me a whole new way to live and love.

    My non-demonstrative, hands off dad made me so hungry for male love, I took whatever was offered. And damn, I sure wasn’t choosey either! Seems like most of us spend years figuring out and undoing the unintentional (or intentional) harm our parents have done.

    Maybe this is a natural part of every human’s destiny.

    I commend you for your honesty and sharing, Muse! I feel privleged to get another glimpse of such a complex and intelligent woman, who I’ve come to think of as a friend. You know the affection I have for you – just the way you are, here and now. No strings, no expectations.

    Peace, my friend.

    Hi OB! Thank you for your hug – because that’s really what your words feel like to me – a nice big hug. You know…over the last few months, I have truly grown to adore you and your friendship means so much to me. I value your kind words and thoughts. I’m also happy that you were able to blossom in your relationship with Ken. Both of you seem to have gifted each other with the grace of acceptance and love.

    I guess, for the most part, the value in any experience (positive and negative are such relative terms) is the ability to translate that experience into awareness (be it about CoD relationships, forgiveness, understanding…etc.). With awareness, there is consciousness and a new found responsibility to ones-self. Once we find this awareness, then it is up to us to make positive changes in our lives.

    I also find it fascinating too, how we are constantly being challenged with change and flux. We do not live in a vacuum. If people, experiences, environments didn’t change, life would be so much easier because of the predictability. But, life would be rather boring too. I think that our ability to use “awareness” gives us a new adaptability for change. I do believe that this is part of our evolution (you alluded to this in your comment).

    Perhaps I am rambling or getting a little too “deep” here in my thoughts…so I will finish my coffee and get to work!

    Love you (and thanks again for being there),

  2. ((( Muse )))) What an honor to be brought into your inner world like this! Thank you!

    You know, it’s ironic…as I read this, and OB’s comments…as I think about the discussions I’ve had with my closest girlfriends over the years…and have witnessed my daughter’s journey with HER father, so many of us women walked out of our childhoods with big empty Love wells. Additionally, it seems that having a father who is abusive or emotionally unavailable (might be physically unavailable, as well!) REALLY tweaks us on so many levels. Learning to love ourselves – rather than seek love from an outside source – is absolutely the key to personal transformation. Being an Ex-COD type myself, I can see where so much of my ‘care-taking’ out THERE was really a call from my own sould to care for me, in here (points to her heart).

    Much like OB, I’ve learned the most about unconditional love and acceptance from my exhusband – who is my current boyfriend :). We have literally walked through hell and back, and while our marriage didn’t survive, our love did – once the refuse was cleared completely. What will happen to us, who knows? But I do know this. When you’ve received love and given love with someone unconditionally, it creates a bond that is strong and eternal.

    I applaud you so much for being willing to open up about this. It takes an act of courage AND faith to be so transparent. 🙂 I think you’re Da BOMB, Baby!


    Hi Grace. Thank you for your heartfelt comments. My spiritual blossoming has been a difficult process, as much as it has been a joyful one. There is a bittersweet realisation that comes with awakening. When you do find the Truth within yourself (and I believe that you must find *your* heart and soul before you can even begin to find the love in someone else), there is no turning back. You are automatically guided to Love and Light because your soul is magnetised to this. I guess I had to do alot of soul searching once this happened. I had a real “wake-up” call in terms of what is important to me. I have been “weeding” my garden, so-to-speak of all of the painful, co-d relationships in my life…

    Where will I end up? I don’t know…but I can only say this – I must remain true to myself. It’s really the only way…

    Lots of love…xoxo

  3. I came yesterday and read this. I just re-read it and wanted to thank you for taking the time, the heart and the courage that it might have taken to write this. –

    I can empathize with much of what you’ve said here and what Karen and Grace have said and I agree with all of you.

    When we feel real love, it starts from inside us and if we cannot love ourselves first, I don’t believe it’s possible at all to love others. It’s taken much of my life to really *get* that sense of love for myself – for me to know fully that I deserved the very best and that I was a loveable, smart, beautiful person and soul. Once I finally got that I’ve been able to open my heart fully and there really is a purpose in my life.

    My purpose in life is to love – to share my love, my heart and whatever it is that I can do to help people along the way to see that they too are loveable and worthy.

    Thank you for sharing such an in-depth piece of writing with us here.

    Much love to you today and everyday. Peace.
    ~ RS ~

    Hi Ruby. Thanks for your comments. Personally, I don’t like to write posts like this because I am a private person, but I do believe that it is sometimes necessary to strip off a few layers and jump out of your comfort zone from time to time (for the sake of personal growth). Either that, or the post reads like a car-accident or a train-wreck – when it’s unfolding, you can’t bare to stop observing and when it’s finished, you just can’t look away or speak either. I guess that’s how I felt about this post (in some ways). I had to take a few days (about a week now) away from blogging to set to task on a few pressing projects (and, this post really didn’t help matters much in some ways – since I really found it difficult to re-read the post…and as much as I appreciated everyone’s heart-felt comments, I just didn’t know what to say in response…).

    Thanks for being there Ruby. You really are Love and Light. I have felt this from you from the beginning in a genuine, honest way.

    Peace and love returned…xoxo

  4. I almost feel silly posting as all I can say is ….re-read those comments from those who have already posted. As you learn to live in Love with yourself, the rest of us can’t help but fall into Love in your presence. Thank you for writing, not just what you do, but how you do.

    Hi Signmom. Thank you so much. I’m honoured to have your presence in my life…

  5. I feel honored to have been able to read this and to learn a little more about the strong woman you are. I can do nothing more than congratulate you on the way you have navigated your way through life. Over coming so much to become the person you are today.
    I can relate to so much of what you say as I am sure many will be, you are an inspiration and a help to many.
    I have so much I could say on this codependency thing. I need to give it thought and will return.

    Bill, I am truly honoured by your words. Given your circumstances, I see you (and admire you) as a very strong and gentle man, and feel quite humbled by your comment regarding *my* strength. Being so humbled, I am really at a loss for words…

    Know that you are cherished and appreciated. You are an inspiration…

  6. If music be the food of love, write on. There is so much power in this post.

    Perhaps I will title this, “Co-dependent Symphony in B-flat”!? Seriously though David, I appreciate your comments…thank you for your kind words. I must visit your site very soon…

  7. I’ve been back to read your post a few times, and I agree it’s very powerful. I haven’t been able to comment, as the words that come to me just seem trivial. But I did want to let you know that it’s a very brave, very beautiful post.

    Hi Venus. Thanks for that Love. I’m glad to see you around (missed you).

  8. Your observation about self-esteem is so valid, too. It’s is critical throughtout life.

    Hi David…I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for that…

  9. It is an honour to read something as personal as this. And my how it echoed in my soul! These are the things that we come here to learn and eventually have the most gratitude for. It takes so long to get there though doesn’t it? Or it felt like a long time for me. Much love to you x

    Hi Simonne! Thank you for your words and insight. Making friends with those “dark” things…the creatures that attempt to haunt and hinder is such a horrendous task…but when you start shedding light on these things…we can make friends with them…learn from them… Yes. I am learning this. I would agree that this process takes time too. As women, it is helpful to find those keen eyes of perception and intuition…but once they are found…they can serve us with a lifetime of empowerment….xoxo

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