Posted on : 07-02-2014 | By : Lynn | In : Featured
Ugh! I love Vanity Fair Magazine because the articles are so well-written–even in this day and age of Laissez-Faire writing and publishing. And I especially like the page that features a celebrity who has been asked questions such as: “What trait do you deplore in others?” and “What characteristic do you deplore most in yourself?”
If I were to be asked those questions my answer would be “codependency” . It’s such an un-sexy trait whether you are the recipient or the giver. Often such adjectives as “obsequious” and/or “passive” decorate its pathos as well. A decade or so ago I was introduced the the Enneagram concept and guided that as I reviewed the various types that I would know when I had landed on the type that was probably mine because I would NOT want to be that type. Of course, my “type” is Type 2 which is the Helper. And while I’m at it, I might as well admit that I’m the “dog” on the Chinese Calendar (which means I’m patient, diligent and kind) and that my blood type is O+, which is the most common blood type.
On the surface, all of these characteristics would seem like traits that I’ve been working towards for a long-time in my spiritual quest, and they are except for my blood type which is out of my control (in my awareness) it’s just that they are so normal, so homogeneous, so blase. Or maybe they’re just the curd to the milk of my personality when left unattended. Would HR the Dali Lama be codependent if he weren’t self-realized? Was Mother Teresa a Type 2 on the Enneagram? For someone who believes in the Unity of Mankind, isn’t it a wonderful attribute to have such a common blood type?
To me codependency is like bland cheese neutralizing the opinions and ideas of mankind. Ire is never allowed into any conversation with active codependency nor is confrontation. Instead a burbling cauldron of slow and steadily burning irritation is created when unspoken words and feelings are swallowed, ideas are squelched and opinions are exhaled to the breezes. The more cunning codependents find passive-aggressive outlets to cut away the ties that bind them.
The only way out is for us to recognize when we are being codependent with someone or that they are being codependent with us but of course it takes two to tango. What movie do you really want to see? What do you really want to eat tonight? What would you rather do with your time this afternoon? Such seemingly benign answers that can become frozen from the plaque-like growth of our codependent ways. Oh I suppose there are more acute traits that one can posses such as socio-patho or psycho-patho personalities that can cause severe harm to others. But similar to how one falls to sleep and ultimately dies from over-exposure to the cold, so can the best parts of us go to sleep and die from over-exposure to codependency.
I was so dreading blogging this post about codependency until I thought about the Comedian Rachel Feinstein doing a bit about the codependent and it made me happy. Very happy.
It’s okay to be “one of many” if the YOU are the ONE who speaks up for themselves….just in a non-aggressive way of course!
Do you have a side to you that feels very up front and personal by how it constantly seems to be stepping in the way of your greatness? Fantastic…no really, it’s a good thing that you are aware of that side of you because the flip side will be the side that can lead you to your greatness. For years I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark and that I kept bumping my toes up against the walls of my discontent. If there was a side to me that could lead me to greatness, I sure couldn’t see it. I felt that if you could see all the sides of me, I would look like one of those big plastic balls that babies play with that have all kinds of things circling inside……If I had sides, then surely they were all meshed together.
Upon exploring my behaviors, feelings and beliefs, I began to slowly realize that I had choices where before I believed I had none. Gradually over time I began exploring further where my choices had led me and began to tip toe up to looking at the darker side of my being. One of the many tools that I used in my explorations was the Enneagram. A modern day teacher who brought the Enneagram to North America was “The Jesuit priest Robert Ochs who transmitted some of Naranjo’s interpretation to other Jesuit priests and seminarians around North America. They in turn made use of it for spiritual counseling and added their insights to the steadily growing and constantly changing core of material. The “Jesuit tradition” is thus an offshoot of Naranjo’s teaching, and both are offshoots of the original “Arica tradition” although they are both somewhat different from it.”
The Enneagram is not for everybody, but I found it useful for learning how to accept the part of me that is my “big secret” of how I showed up in my life sometimes when I let my ego take the lead. When I was introduced to the Enneagram I was told that there were 9 personality types and to read through them. More than likely, the personality type that I really felt uncomfortable with or I did not like very much–was probably my type. Yuck. But, it’s a great way to learn to accept ourselves and then to appreciate that part of who we are so that we can see the gifts on the other side. Those gifts when shown under the light, of Divine Guidance/The Universe/The Force whatever you feel comfortable calling that thing that is bigger than us that works the Universe, are what can lead us to greatness.
For myself, I’m grateful for every single person and event that has come into my life because I can use all the knowing that I have received and transformed through learning and awareness to help other people. If you had told me so long ago that someday I’d be writing all about how grateful I was to be able to give back, I would have thought that surely you were lying. Because back then, I felt like I was at such a deficit that I had nothing to give much less give back. Today it is different for me in that I am experiencing what all those people have been talking about through the centuries in regards to being of service. For me, that is where my greatness lays. My natural personality is one of a helper and mediator but taken to the dark edges of the soul I become just as hairless and obsessive about “my lovely” as Gollum. Better to work through my obsequious fear so that I can give untethered service.
Where will your flip side lead you?