Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How to Have More Peace and Less Drama - Part 2: the Problem with Codependency

Are you stressed out from doing too much? Constantly on the go? Are you the one everyone calls when they have a problem? Would you like to take back your life and have more peace and harmony? If so, read on.

We only have so much energy in any given day so we must be very wise on how we spend that energy. If we spend it all on other people and their dramas and issues, we will have nothing left to pursue our own dreams and goals. Eventually we will start to feel resentful, overly-tired and cranky and then it's time to take a step back.

When I was a single mom, raising two sons, and maintaining a house, a car and a demanding career, I felt like this many times. Then one day, a friend suggested I try Al-Anon. She had been going and it seemed to help her so I thought "Why not?" As I listened to other people struggling with the same issues, I began to realize why I was feeling so burnt out. I was spending all my energy on other people and not enough on myself.

One day the leader gave us each a laminated yellow card with the word NO written in red in big, bold letters. I carried that card around with me in my purse to get me in the habit of saying no. It made me pause before I answered someone's request. Sometimes I wouldn't say a word. I would just whip out the card and flash it in front of the other person, with a smile, of course. For codependents, saying NO doesn't come naturally at first, but it becomes so empowering once you get in the habit. So today I am going to share with you some steps I've learned to overcome codependency and people-pleasing, and maintain my joy and energy reserves.

Codependency has been a difficult term to define. Here's one that resonates with me:
"When we spend more time and energy taking responsibility for other people's problems, thoughts, and actions than we do on our own."

Codependents come from emotionally dysfunctional homes, such as when one or both parents are alcoholics. Or from homes where there is an imbalance in responsibility. One sibling tends to take on more responsibility because the other siblings are too busy having fun and being irresponsible.

The problem with codependency is we don't allow others to take responsibility for themselves. We prevent them from growing up if we are always there to take on their load. When we do for others what they can and should be doing for themselves, we become enablers.

If you find yourself saying "Yes" to others far more than you say "Yes" to yourself, it may be time to reevaluate priorities.

Here are 8 steps you can take to enjoy more peace and less drama in your life:

1. Learn to say "NO" more often.

2. Make "No" your default response instead of "Yes".

3. Conserve your emotional energy.

4. Take more time for yourself.

5. Set boundaries with your family members and friends.

6. Have done with false guilt.

7. Allow others to do their part.

8. Ask God to give you wisdom on what you should and should not take on.

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Hope this 2-part post has helped you find more peace. If you have any tips please share with us all.
Until next time, keep looking up!

Ariel