Last Sunday, I happened to go into a park to eat my lunch & I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of ducks with about 12 babies, wondering around, going about their business.
I was inspired. I had my camera with me & took many many shots.
The sun was beaming down beautifully, making the water glisten & sparkle with fairy lights. There were an array of the smells of spring filling the air. It wasn’t too cold or warm. There were other people around & other ducks & birds too.
I was watching this little family unit & their dealings in their environment. The little ducklings were going about their business, finding things in the grass to eat, having a swim, struggling to climb back out of the pond. All the while, Mama & Papa duck were keeping an eye out. When a child or adult, or another duck would get to close, Papa would assume attack position & charge. It was rather amusing.
This was a wonderful encounter with the unexpected.
On the flip side…..
Things come up that can throw us off balance. That shake our world. As human beings, we all have expectations. For me, the issue with having expectations, is what I go through when what I am expecting either doesn’t happen at all, or happens in a different way.
Now I don’t know about you, but this happens with me in varying degrees. There is a scale from, “OK, I can deal with this”, to “Oh no, my whole world is falling apart!!!” And anywhere in between.
So for me, most recently, I experienced the:
“Oh no, my whole world is falling apart!”
I realised the next day that it wasn’t that bad, but I had made it that bad, mainly with negative self talk, but also because my expectation for this event was incredibly high. I had placed a lot of time & energy into the expectation of this experience.
A few months ago, as part of my Kinesiology training, we covered a unit about Codependency.
Codependency can be seen as an emotional & behavioural condition which affects your ability to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships. Codependents will often have low self esteem & look for anything outside of themselves to make them feel better. This can become a cycle of feeling powerless in your own life. We are often trapped by feelings of deficiency.
Sound familiar anyone?!!!
Us humans, we are codependent. We need human interaction. This can have a functional side – being there for someone, listening, sharing both the good & bad, and it can also have a dysfunctional side, in my case, a need to be needed.
In kinesiology, we work with this to become aware of your codependent behaviour, to elevate responses & shift towards better self care & self responsibility.
First step is awareness & the second step is acceptance.
When we can shift to a state of more independence, we can move from thinking we are not enough, or deficient, & more towards self love. To feel that it is safe to be me. To thinking, ‘I love myself the way I am’.
Interdependence is where individuals interact for mutual benefit with mutual love, respect, trust, interconnections & compassion. In a society we are each interdependent – others depend on me to do my job & I depend on others to do theirs.
Interdependence allows you to feel more in choice, living from spirit & higher self. We can say what we want without expectation, we can stay connected with someone & remain independent at the same time. This is where I would like to get to on a more permanent basis!!!
In the past, my need to be needed has at times been compulsive, like an addiction. I used to want to rescue people all the time. This need of mine not only didn’t serve me, but it ultimately didn’t serve others either.
I have since worked through many of those issues, however, those needs still do pop up. I have come to a place, most of the time, where I am more aware of them now, & can step in more towards independence & interdependence.
I have noticed a link between my need to be needed, my codependent tendency, the expectations that I have & the energy I put into those expectations. Not just expectations of other people, but of things & events as well. I have also recognised my tendency to look to things outside of myself to help me through, like this event.
Do any of you recognise any of these things in your interactions with people?
“No person, place or thing can give you happiness. They may give you cause for happiness and a feeling of contentment, but the joy of Living comes from within.”
I saw this quote around the same time I went into my “Oh no, my whole world is falling apart!” experience. It helped me to understand that all that energy of expectation in this event was about the joy I was bringing to the event, not the event itself.
And I can bring that same expectation of joy to anything. Because it comes from within. Not from people or events outside of me!!!!
I found my joy of living, quite unexpectedly on that Sunday, observing & photographing this family of ducks. I observed the healthy codependent interacting of these ducks within their environment & within their family unit. The interdependence between them. The independence of the ducklings as they wandered off on their own, maybe always knowing Mama and/or Papa were nearby. Them knowing when they’ve strayed too far, that maybe they still need their parents for certain things & at the same time their parents simultaneously giving them both freedom & independence. Allowing them to grow & thrive as they will.
They were an inspiration of interdependence in action!!!
At the moment, I reckon the majority of the time, I am in independence – self love.
I do dip into codependency – in a dysfunctional way. And what I am finding is that now that I know another way, it seems worse to step back into that role of needing to be needed.
I must say as well. There are people in my life who aren’t aware of my changes towards self love, even if I have spoken to them of my journey, who still treat me as though I am more in codependency. I am not sure why, maybe that’s how they will always see me. It takes extra energy with those people to maintain my new state. But I choose to do so.
Be prepared. When you make these kinds of changes in your life, some people, whether they are conscious of it or not, still need you to stay as you were, even if they say otherwise!!!! There is no fault here. It just is.
These changes in behaviour are less than easy & as always, you have a choice.