Codependence vs. Caring
Far too often, I meet people who have been trained to take care of others before honoring their own basic needs. Many of us have been raised to believe that our self-worth is determined by how well we please others – typically the people we care most about.
Caring for others is a beautiful quality of the soul, but not caring for yourself is a decision based on fear instead of love – often the fear that you will meet with disapproval or be considered selfish when you put yourself first. Here is how the angels have taught me to distinguish between codependency and genuinely caring for another.
Codependency occurs when one chooses to please and take care of another at the expense of their own authentic needs and desire. The codependent person takes care of another because deep down they harbor a belief that if they don’t they are not a good person. The codependent takes care of another because they will feel guilty if they do not. The codependent has been raised or trained to believe that their needs do not matter as much as the needs of others.
Look deep within yourself. Ask if your actions and service to others are driven by a joyous need to share the good you have created in your own life. If so, this is soul-level caring and love. You have created what you require and your ‘cup runneth over.’ You have so much joy and love in your life you must share because you cannot contain it all. You are satisfied and you find true satisfaction in sharing your time and resources to help those in need. This is soulful giving.
However, if you find yourself giving from an “empty cup” you will be exhausted, resentful, and feeling guilty for desiring time to yourself. You may adopt a mentality of martyrdom and feel proud of your suffering for others, but this is not soulful. This is the result of determining that you will be disowned, unloved, or sinful if you put your own needs on an equal priority with the needs of others. Sometimes codependent behavior results when a person with good intent judges others…. you see someone that “needs help” and you determine you must save them without considering that perhaps you are enabling their “victim mentality” and seeing that their soul would be better served by leaving them to figure out their own growth. Serve the soul rather than the personality at all cost.
How will you know the difference between codependency and true soul-level caring? The answer is quite simple. True caring will fulfill you. It will raise you up into a state of unconditional love and peace of mind, knowing you are being of service in this world while loving self and the other. Codependent behavior will drain you. Some honest part of yourself will feel unfulfilled, unappreciated, or exhausted.
If you find yourself exhibiting codependent behavior, make a list of what is missing in your life — rest, proper nutrition, playtime, time for yourself. Write down your unmet needs and do not judge whether or not they are important “enough” because if you think of them they are important to your soul. Make time for your needs first, and then you will be able to give from an abundance of energy, love, and compassion.
“Dear ones, we love you and do not judge you. We honor your good intentions. We will assist you when you call on us to help you heal the wounds that would cause you to love others but not self. You are equal to others, deserving of love, rest, compassion, fulfillment, and joy just as much as they. Know you are deserving of all good, and that God will make sure all souls are taken care of in the highest manner they allow.” — The Angels.
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