• Fede

A loving & humorous gaze at codependence

Updated: Nov 8

The topics mentioned today are perhaps very sensitive to us. There is no sense or intent whatsoever in this that there is anything wrong, or that anyone is to blame for anything.

Life is a happening and not a doing, we are all merely reading from the script that was given us.

Below are edited transcripts of one of our meetings. You will also find video clips that pertain to the particular content in each section.

If you find the topics in this blog interesting, you may want to register for one of the therapeutic group inquiry times using the button below.

I’ll use the word codependence even if it is not really ultimately what I mean.

Real biological co-dependence is required for organisms to be successful in life as a species. That's not what we're speaking about here.

Here we speak about the false belief most of us have or have had that our safety, wellbeing and worth are dependent on external factors.

It is based on the implicit belief that we are merely physical objects, separate from life and therefore essentially lacking. We must then "complete one another" in some mysterious way which includes "having" or "doing" behaviors as a result of which (supposedly) this lack will be removed. This is why most relationships are primarily codependent: “Oh, you’re uncomfortable with yourself (feeling separate) so let me become uncomfortable myself (let's feel separate together) so that you can feel better”. Or: "Why are you doing/saying/feeling this, it makes me very uncomfortable (I feel incomplete, empty) so I need you to stop it or explain/justify your behavior..."


These implicit beliefs are based on an acquired sense of guilt, a sense of being unworthy and perhaps, even worthless in the light of others, who are better than me. Of course, this goes both ways as we will observe later.

Another way to live is to simply play our role in life, to do whatever I happen to have been given to do; but with a very different perspective.

This perspective arises from reasoning, which will right away, if we wish, render our lives very clear and sharp. Right here and right now the only reality is that I AM, the pure intelligence that is behind all experiences such as those of my body writing, and your body reading these words.

With anyone, it is reasonable to help them feel comfortable and happy to the extent that it is sane, to the extent that no harm (fractioning or separation) is brought to anyone and everyone is equal in the situation. In other words, you know who you are and therefore you know that the other is also you.

I am not internally affected by what others are doing or saying in a way that strengthens the sense of separation and conditionality in my life. I don’t need to develop a psychological disease, which is what guilt is. And in this view, guilt is just an exotic (psychologized) version of shame. Shame is a healthy biological response that keeps the tribe safe. Guilt is a psychological disease which results in a false sense of self-importance. It is our nervous system being fooled by social conditioning, which also is a result of natural laws.

This sense of self is imaginary (psychological), it does not exist in the impartial sense. It is a survival strategy developed during childhood. This happens if we grew up within an unsafe relational container, usually when our parents were unavailable emotionally, or their behavior towards us was anything less than loving. Our nervous system was trained to cause us to believe that feeling shame and then guilt about our being alive was of survival value.


If I’m with someone who is psychologically uncomfortable with themselves that’s fine, it’s not a problem with which I have to get involved. It is biologically natural for us to want to feel safe and help others as well. But our culture has taken it too far into the realm of the absurd. As long as we continue to play with psychological objects, we will find relationships to be an intractable problem. In psychological terms and only as a temporary measure, we can learn to cultivate a form of mindfulness which is to recognize, develop and strengthen inter-personal boundaries. At a rudimentary level we can ground ourselves in this necessary developmental stage -a stage that any 3-year old understands- but this is only a temporary coat, which we must discard as soon as possible - as soon as I know who I really am.


By the way, we are not judging or claiming that this is negative and "others" are bad – it is only so for ourselves if we wish to be unconditionally happy.

Am I going to get involved and suffer, myself, because I’ve come to be dependent upon someone’s psychological well-being?

Psychological well-being really means that it is the well-being of a fragment, of a mind-based sense of self that is not impartial, in other words is not whole, and depends on external conditions for its fulfilment.


The suggestion here is to simply remain as yourself regardless of circumstances, so that I am free of psychological fragments -free of psycho-energetic objects in the nervous system that are held in place by fear.

Then I am impartial, whole and I remain so in the face of any circumstances which are going to challenge my resolve to BE. I simply, out of freedom, choose to see life as an experiment- which can also be an enjoyable game- where outwardly I play the role assigned to me by the circumstances of life - consciousness.

This in the face of perhaps the majority of others who do not see life as an experiment, but rather take it dead seriously. To see life in this way requires courage, strength, love and humor.

Showing up for life in an unlimited way


As M said, we maintain these dynamics out of fear. The actual situations are not frightening. Some part of us, however, is afraid that they might be. Yet this possibility, perceived by a part, a fragment, can and does keep us from our totality, our impartiality. Yet we can, and do come to wish for our being more than we are humbled by the experience of fear. There is this energy bound up in the psychological fragment-object of fear.


The analogy of the park meter


I met his beautiful lady from Mexico. Since she is from a different culture, she sees the world differently. Her insights regarding codependence are so valuable for us.

She's been having this husband for 50 years and just recently realized how a major relational dynamic works between them.

This is where her cultural difference comes in: she sees the humorous aspects of situations that might be seen rather negatively (personally) under a different light.

She has come to understand this particular dynamic which she illustrated for me with the following analogy:

With her husband, she plays the role of a parking meter that prints parking passes for him. He puts coins in the machine, waits for the pass to be printed, then places the fresh parking pass under the windscreen, on top of the dash. He is safe while the pass is valid -he does not have to deal with his personal discomfort since the pass takes care of that for him. The uncomfortable energies are processed for him by the parking machine –in this case our friend- and the resulting freshly printed parking pass protects him from the pressing realities of life right here, right now. This pressing reality is simply that his sense of self is based on nothing, it is an illusion. This illusion is subject to be disturbed every time our friend is present, simply by being herself.

The full process is delineated in general below: