Years ago while attending Divorce Recovery, one of the speakers, who was a clinical psychologist, made reference to how selfish co dependent people are. In that moment, I was so extraordinarily offended that I nearly walked out. Heading home that day, and in the subsequent weeks, I mulled this perspective over and over in my mind.
Offense often precedes growth.
As a self-proclaimed, recovering co dependent, I could only think of my actions as being the result of wanting to be a nice person. Of being a good person. Upon further reflection, however, I realized that my desire to be nice to others was driven largely by a need to be liked. To be seen as valuable. In essence, I was trying to control what others thought of me by always being (to the best of my ability) agreeable. Falling in line, staying out of the way, people pleasing even when it violated who I was. My ‘yes’ was a ‘no,’ and my ‘no’ was a ‘yes.’
I was being dishonoring to myself, and subsequently those around me.
I also realized that when I focused on what I lacked, on who I perceived I wasn’t, I missed the opportunity to discover what I actually have to give. Subsequently, my relationships hinged disproportionately on the generosity of others; on their affirmation and approval. Such a bond was ultimately set up for failure, as one person cannot carry the relationship indefinitely, and I was a bottomless pit of emptiness.
Loving ourselves, honoring our God-design, our eternal purpose, gives perspective and brings light into dark, incomplete, even wounded spaces. To walk in the understanding that God fully sees me, my heart, my mind, and still loves and values me, brings a freedom that overrides the moments when I disappoint others or fall short of their expectations of me. Or MY expectations of me.
In this season of uncertainty, of waiting, what a blessed time it is to find the truth of who we inherently are. To dig into the Word, dive into meditation, sink into worship and marinate in prayer. What a time to grow.