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EFT and Codependency

Robert Elias Najemy writes: Confusion about Responsibility in Relationships - Many negative emotions are the result of confusion concerning "who is responsible for whose reality." If we believe that others are responsible for our reality and how we feel, and they do not "create" our reality as we would like it to be or do not give us what we want, we feel hurt, bitter, disillusioned, powerless, fearful, resentful, angry, and even hateful.


When we believe that we are responsible for their reality, and we are not able to make them happy, healthy, successful or satisfied, we feel failure, self-rejection, shame, and guilt. We might even feel anger toward them when they do not cooperate with us to create the reality we believe they must have in order to feel that we are successful and thus worthy as parents, teachers, saviors, healers, etc.

Both beliefs create codependence, resulting in conflicts which prevent both parties from maturing emotionally.

We will all be much happier if we create relationships of conscious love, cocommitment and mutual support rather than burden each other and ourselves in these ways.

Beliefs that Cause Codependency

1.
I am responsible for the others? reality for their safety, happiness, health, success, satisfaction, etc.

We then believe we are failures if they are not well. We also become angry with them when they do not cooperate in creating their own well being, which we need in order to feel worthy.

2. Others are incapable, unable, and lacking inner guidance or the capacity for managing their lives properly. They need me.

We believe they cannot be okay or proceed in life without our guidance and effort. As a consequence, we undermine their self-confidence and self-worth, and wear ourselves down doing for others much of what they can do for themselves. We obstruct their growth and strength.

3. If the others are not well, happy, successful, satisfied, etc., then I am a failure.

In such cases, we get trapped in a vicious circle with the others, seeking to pressure them to live their lives in ways that we believe will make them happy and well. We do this, however, not only out of love, but also out of our need to affirm our self-worth.

4. If the others are not well or satisfied, etc., I am not worthy.

5. If the other is not well or happy, I do not have the right to be well or happy.

This often does not help the other, but instead adds to the negativity in the environment. I remember a man once who expressed the need to be not well and to express it without his wife going to pieces.

6. If I love someone who is suffering, unhappy or not well, I should not be able to be happy or well.

We can help others much more effectively by being positive rather than negative when they are not well.

7. My self-worth depends on what others think of me and on how satisfied they are with me.

We then lose our sense of who we are, what we believe and what we want to do with our lives. We waste our lives seeking to be who we believe others want us to be. In the end, we lose our happiness and are usually bitter that after all that self-suppression, we are still not getting from others the love and respect we desire.

8. My self-worth is dependent on how successful my efforts are toward health, happiness, material comfort, social acceptance, professional success, etc.

9. Without the others:
a. I cannot feel safe.
b. I cannot feel socially accepted.
c. I cannot succeed.
d. I cannot enjoy myself.
e. I cannot be sure what to do.
f. I cannot be happy.

10. Others are responsible for my:
A. Happiness
B. Safety.
C. Satisfaction.
D. Success.
E. Health.

Discovering our own Tendencies Toward Codependency

The next step is to determine where exactly who we are expecting to create our happiness, success, and satisfaction, or where we are dependent on others for our feelings of self-worth or security.

Then we need to discover for which people we feel responsible for their health, happiness, success, safety or satisfaction.

Completing the next exercise will help us prepare for putting order to our keys of responsibility.


1. I feel responsible for the following in relationship to the following persons:
Name of person, Health, Safety, Happiness, Success, Satisfaction, Self-worth
____________________________________________
Perhaps it would be useful here to give some examples of possible answers:
a. I feel responsible for my children?s health, safety, happiness, satisfaction, success in life and their behavior toward others.
b. I feel responsible for my spouse?s and parents? happiness and satisfaction.
c. I feel responsible for my boss?s satisfaction with my work.
d. I feel responsible for my friends? satisfaction with my friendship.
e. I feel responsible for my siblings? being satisfied with me, and also for their health, happiness and security.

Programmed in this way with the above feelings of responsibility, I cannot feel happy or worthy unless:
a. My children are healthy, safe, successful, happy, satisfied, and are behaving properly toward others.
b. My spouse and parents are happy and satisfied with me.
c. My boss and friends are satisfied with me.
d. My siblings are satisfied with me, and are safe and happy.

2 I expect help from the following persons in fulfilling the following needs.

Name, Self-worth, Health, Safety, Happiness, Success, Satisfaction
____________________________________________
Some possible answers might be:
a. I expect help from my children to fulfill my needs for order and cleanliness - satisfaction.
b. I expect help from my spouse for my safety, happiness, success and satisfaction.
c. I expect help from my parents for safety, happiness, success and satisfaction.
d. I expect help from my friends for my happiness, and occasionally for my satisfaction.
e. I expect help from my siblings for my happiness, and occasionally for my safety.

3. I can see that I am dependent on, or am affected by, the following persons to some degree concerning the following feelings:
Name, Self-worth, Health, Safety, Happiness, Success, Satisfaction _________

Some possible answer might be:
a. I am dependent on or am affected by my children concerning my self-worth as a parent and person.
b. I am dependent on or am affected by my spouse concerning my self-worth as a spouse and person, and also for my feelings of safety.
c. I am dependent on or am affected by my parents concerning my self-worth as a child and person, and also for my feelings of safety, success and happiness.
d. I am dependent on or am affected by my friends concerning my self-worth as a friend and person.
e. I am dependent on or am affected by my siblings concerning my self-worth as a sibling and as a person, and sometimes for my feelings of safety.
__________________________________


Now take time to answer the above 3 questions for yourself without being limited by the sample answers above.

As we can see, in such a situation, peace and happiness will be almost nonexistent, as there are just too many factors that must be "okay" in order for us to be happy. We are in a state of total codependency and cannot create happiness unless all people around us are exactly as we need them to be. All of us are intertwined in a mesh of confusion that obstructs our happiness.

The Difference Between the Motive, Effort and Result

We need to make an important distinction here between our good will and making an effort to help someone, or accepting their effort to help us, and accepting responsibility for each other?s reality.

We all obviously are together to help and support each other on all levels. This is what relationships are all about.

We cannot, however, create the others? health, happiness, success or satisfaction. Only they can create or allow for their well being, and only we can create or allow for ours.

Thus, when returning to others the responsibility for their lives, we do not cease helping them, but instead serve them in any way we can while simultaneously allowing them to discover the power and wisdom within themselves.

This step, of course, will need to be made with discrimination. If someone is seriously ill or incapable, we obviously cannot leave him or her helpless. We will serve others in every possible way, doing for them whatever they cannot do for themselves, but we will not be responsible for the result.

Neither will we be responsible for their satisfaction.

Also, our self-worth cannot be increased or decreased by others? behavior. We are who we are independently of how others behave or what they think.

We have the inner power and wisdom to create exactly the reality we need in order to proceed in our spiritual development. If that means we occasionally will not have support from others, then it is not by chance. It is an opportunity for even greater growth.

Employing EFT for getting free from Codependency

Choose a change that you want to make. Two possibilities would be:

1. Ceasing to depend on someone for your feelings of self-worth, security or happiness.

or perhaps

2. Ceasing to feel responsible for the other?s reality. (The more specific the better i.e. the other?s health, happiness, satisfaction, success etc.)

Now having chosen your issue, discover the emotions, which you have about making this change. Some examples below might help.

1. When seeking to be less dependent we might feel fear:
a. That the others may not love us or pay attention to us if we are not dependent on them.
b. That this change would be misinterpreted as indifference or lack of love.
c. That the others would feel hurt.
d. That they would criticize us for not caring or not loving.
e. That the others will be angry.
f. That we will not know what to do if we were not occupied with this problem.
g. That we could not make it without the other?s support in this matter.
h. Other? ____________________________

In such a case the set up might be something like this:

A. Even though I feel (emotion) ______ with the idea of being more independent concerning ________, I deeply and profoundly love myself.

B. I choose (want, deserve, allow myself, accept, realize that it is in my benefit) to be free from this (emotion) ______.

C. Reminder Phrase = (The emotion) about being more independent concerning ________.

2. When working on getting free from feeling responsible for the others? reality. (Health, happiness, satisfaction, success etc.) we might feel fear:
a. That it would be misinterpreted as indifference or lack of love.
b. That the others would feel hurt.
c. That they would criticize us for not caring or not loving.
d. That the others would not be able to manage without us.
e. That the others will be angry.
f. That we would not know what to do if we were not occupied with their needs and problems.
g. We would not be good persons (mothers, fathers, children, siblings, friends).
h. That something bad might happen to the others.
g. Other? ____________________________


In such a case the set up might be something like this:

A. Even though I feel (emotion) ______ with the idea of allowing (name of person) ________ be responsible for _________, I deeply and profoundly love myself.

B. I choose (want, deserve, allow myself, accept) to be free from this (emotion) ______.

C. Reminder Phrase = (The emotion) with the idea of allowing (name of person) ________ be responsible for _________.

Other aspects and Resistance

While employing EFT for these feelings which are obstructing us from creating healthier relationships of cocommitment rather than codependency, we may encounter other aspects which need to be worked on.

We have already in previous chapters discussed these and how they can be dealt with. For convenience we are briefly listing them here.

1. Parallel Aspects: Other emotions such fear, anger, injustice and hurt.

2. Underlying Aspects: Other underlying emotions such as fear, hurt or guilt. Or other underlying issues.

3. Secondary Emotions: Which we might have when become aware that we have and of the above mentioned emotions.

4. Physical Embodiment: At times the emotional energy field will be felt more physically than emotionally and thus we will need to work the pain or other physical phenomena and then return to the emotion which is the issue.

5. Childhood Experiences: Somehow related to our present issue.

6. Resistance to Change: Beliefs and emotions, which are conflicting with our need to get free.


Communicating with our Loved Ones Concerning these Realizations and Changes.

Attempting to communicate our new stance is an excellent way to check if there are any remaining obstructing emotions. The forms below are guides for explaining to others how we feel, what we believe and what we would like to do. After filling them out, they can be practiced on someone in a psychodrama as we imagine we are speaking to the person concerned. If we do not have anyone to read this to, then we can place a picture of the person and read it to that.

If in the process of writing or speaking, we notice any negative emotions we can employ EFT on them or note them down in order to work on them later.

Such messages can also be written to possessions, to society as a whole or to anything to whom, or on which, we are dependent for our feelings of self-worth or security.

These forms are to guide and help us, not to limit us, so feel free to change the wording to suit your needs.

Communicating About Giving Back to Others the responsibility for their ______


My dearest ____________________________

I am writing to you now because I have discovered something very important that affects both of us and our relationship. I have discovered that I have been feeling responsible for your (happiness, well being, safety, success, satisfaction, etc.) _________________
I now realize that my feeling responsible for your _____and_____and____and ____ has the following negative results for me:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

I also believe that it has the following negative results effect on you and our relationship:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

I thus believe that, for the following reasons, it will be much better for me to give you back the responsibility for your ______________ and ___________ and ______________________.
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

I want to tell you that I do love you and that you must not misinterpret this communication to mean anything other than what I am saying.
Also, I need to tell you that I have some (many) _________(fears, conflicts, reservations, resistances, doubts) about this change. They are the following:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

For this reason, I will need your help with this change. You could help me in the following ways:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

Now it is very important for me to hear how you feel about what I have said and the changes I would like us to make.
________________________________________

________________________________________

Now we go back and employ EFT for any emotions, which have come up.

Communicating about becoming less dependent on the other for _____


My dearest _____________________________

I am writing to you now because I have discovered something very important that affects both of us and our relationship. I have discovered that I have been feeling dependent on you for my feelings of ______ (self-worth, happiness, well being, safety, success, satisfaction) _________________
I now realize that my being dependent on you for my ___and_____and______ has the following negative results for me:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

I also believe that it has the following negative effect on you and our relationship:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

I thus believe that for the following reasons, it will be much better for me to take total responsibility for my ______________ and ___________ and _______.
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

I want to tell you that I do love you and that you must not misinterpret this communication to mean anything other than what I am saying. Also, I would like to share with you that I have some (many) _________(fears, conflicts, reservations, resistances, doubts) about this change. They are the following:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

For this reason, I will need your help with this change. You could help me in the following ways:
_________________________________________
_________________________________________
_________________________________________

Now it is very important for me to hear how you feel about what I have said and the changes I would like us to make.
________________________________________


Now we go back and employ EFT for any emotions, which have come up.

Supplementary Techniques

1. Affirmations
written, verbal or mentally repeated in deep relaxation can help us in transforming these false beliefs. Some affirmations that might be useful:
a. Each of us is totally responsible for our own reality, for our own safety, happiness, health, success, satisfaction, etc.
b. Each of us is capable, and has all the inner guidance required to manage our lives properly.
c. I want the others to be well, happy, successful, satisfied without feeling responsible for them.
d. My self-worth is independent of the reality others create for themselves.
e. I want the others to be well, happy, successful, satisfied without feeling that I cannot (or should not) feel happy if they are not.
f. I do not help others by being unhappy or by limiting my happiness when they are not well.
g. I am divine creation and my self-worth is totally independent of whether others are satisfied with me or not.
h. My self-worth is independent of the results of my efforts.
i. I am totally capable of creating my own security, success, health, enjoyment, social acceptance, professional success, and spiritual evolution.

2. We can communicate with others and express our real feelings and needs in such situations. We would benefit from learning to make I-messages, which express what we need, feel and believe without blaming the others or making them defensive.

3. We can study the various spiritual truths that liberate us from these false thought-forms and help us develop love with discrimination. We can develop love for the soul, seeing the personality as the soul?s vehicle. Thus, we are interested in facilitating the soul?s growth rather than the personality?s comfort.

An Extremely Important Note:

Because these false concepts of responsibility are very deeply ingrained in our social subconscious, some may at first misunderstand our intentions and feelings. We have so identified love with attachment and dependency that it is often difficult at first for some of us to see love in independence. Thus, it is especially important for you to frequently reiterate that you love and care for this person and also to show this with your actions.

You will also need to be patient with possible negative reactions. Do not lose your peace and love in the face of possible reactions. (Employ EFT when your own negative emotions arise.) Be patient and explain over and over again in a calm voice, without giving in and retreating into the past programmings and behaviors. Be clear and calm about this gradual process which is much like a painful surgical operation for both of you in which deep false beliefs are being removed.

Also we want to avoid using these concepts as an excuse to ignore actual responsibilities that we may have in our family or professional life.

For more articles on EFT.

From the forthcoming book by Robert Elias Najemy EFT for Self-knowledge and Total Freedom.

******************************************
Robert Elias Najemy is the author of over 600 articles, 400 lecture cassettes on Human Harmony and 20 books, which have sold over 100,000 copies.
He is the Founder and director of the Center for Harmonious Living in Greece with 3700 members.
His book The Psychology of Happiness is available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0971011605/holisticharmo-20 and

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