Is it Compassion, or Codependent?




“Since I’ve been a child, I’ve been in an antagonistic relationship with an important emotional part of myself… my feelings.


I have denied I was angry, when in fact I was furious. I have told myself there must be something wrong with me for feeling angry, when anger was a reasonable and logical response to the situation.

I have told myself things didn’t hurt, when they hurt very much. I have told myself stories such as , ‘That person didn’t mean to hurt me’…’He or she doesn’t know any better’.

-Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go


Feel familiar? Instead of beating up on yourself, take a minute to thank that behavior for helping you get through many years and situations where you really didn’t have any better options and begin to learn how to love others, not forgetting to include yourself.


Understanding, compassion and empathy are amazing and wonderful qualities. Without them the world would truly be an unkind landscape in which to live. But how do we know when we have left ourselves behind, not honored our own feelings in our relationships with our partners, family or coworkers? Sometimes we don’t, until we allow ourselves to truly feel our OWN feelings, realizing that we no longer have to disown them in order to be safe.


We are meant to feel and to express our feelings in healthy, honest ways. When we own our feelings and our behaviors, we no longer feel powerless. We step up and take care of ourselves WHILE we understand and empathize with another.  It takes time and practice to express what we really feel. Sometimes we’ll  feel afraid  that expressing our feelings will mean losing someone’s friendship or love. In the end,  it will be your own pent up resentment and  feelings of powerlessness that pose the greatest danger to those relationships.


Honoring and expressing your feelings may take time, and some guidance. A first step in taking care of yourself might be going to a therapist or coach, reading some books on codependency or talking with someone you trust and asking for help. It’s time for you to feel the joy that loving yourself always brings to your life.


Feeling Caught in the Helper Trap?

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