Dear Light Workers,
To those who celebrated the Year of the Rooster, I’m sure you all had a great Lunar New Year break. As promised, today I am continuing to explain why codependence is vicious, because it causes us to hate and abuse ourselves. Often, we were taught at a young age to judge and shame ourselves for being human. At the core of our relationship with ourselves is the feeling that we are somehow not worthy and not lovable.
If a father was trained that he was supposed to be tough and macho, and that anger was the only permissible male emotion. As a result, that little boy that showed other emotions or made mistakes and got yelled at felt like he was flawed and unlovable.
When a mother told her little girl how much she loved her, how important and valuable she was, and how she could be anything that she wanted to be. But the mother had low self-esteem and no boundaries so she emotionally incested her child. The child felt responsible for her emotional well-being and felt great shame that she couldn’t protect her from father’s raging or the pain of life. This was proof that the child was so flawed that, though a man might think she was lovable, eventually the truth of her unworthiness would be exposed by her inability to protect him and insure him happiness.
The church a child was raised in taught her that she was born sinful and unworthy, and that she should be grateful and adoring because God loved her in spite of her unworthiness. And, even though God loved her, if she allowed her unworthiness to surface by acting on (or even thinking about) the shameful human weaknesses that she was born with — then God would be forced, with great sadness and reluctance, to cast her into hell to burn forever.
Is it any wonder that at the child’s core s/he felt unworthy and unlovable?
Is it any wonder that as an adult s/he got trapped in a continual cycle of shame, blame, and self-abuse?
The pain of being unworthy and shameful was so great that the child had to learn ways to go unconscious and disconnect from her/his feelings. The ways in which s/he learned to protect herself/himself from that pain and nurture herself/himself when s/he was hurting so badly were with things like drugs and alcohol, food and cigarettes, relationships and work, obsession and rumination.
The way it works in practice is like this: I am feeling fat: I judge myself for being fat; I shame myself for being fat; I beat myself for being fat; then I am hurting so badly that I have to relieve some of the pain; so to nurture myself I eat a whole pizza; then I judge myself for eating the pizza, etc. etc.
To the disease, this is a functional cycle. The shame begets the self-abuse which begets the shame which serves the purpose of the disease which is to keep us separate so then we don’t set ourselves up to fail by believing that we are worthy and lovable.
Obviously, this is a dysfunctional cycle if our purpose is to be happy and enjoy being alive and live our authentic life.
In my next blog, I’ll explain how to stop this vicious dysfunctional cycle.