Enmeshment, Individuality & THE REAL YOU

By Cheryl Fidelman, The Conscious Codependence™ Coach.

Oftentimes in a Codependent relationship, we lose our individuality because we are so focused on believing and serving our partner’s truth (or what we think is their truth) more than we serve our own. Some of us cannot even hear our own truth because it can seem like our truth has less weight than theirs.  Or maybe you can hear your own truth but to follow it may bring about disapproval from your partner so you follow their truth in avoiding their disagreement or disappointment.  This is what I call enmeshment or the codependent illusion of relationship. 

When we are focused on what they want, we can’t notice what we want. When we are trying to read their thoughts, we can’t have our own thoughts. When we give ourselves the job of appeasing their mood, we can’t have our own mood. This is enmeshment. Being inside someone else’s world so much that you don’t have your own. 

For me, it started when I was a kid. My mom’s reality was so much more important than mine. I can remember the 2 times that I told her that her yelling was scary and that it hurt my feelings. This made her yell even more and blame me for insinuating that she was a bad mother – which was not what I meant. I grew up constantly calming her down, reading her mind and proving my innocence. I didn’t have my own truth because it would get me in trouble. As much as  I can recall, I didn’t have thoughts about myself, I only had thoughts about my mom’s thoughts – I was enmeshed with my mother.  

For those of us that were raised inside of enmeshment, individuality can seem like a crime. Loyalty gets conflated with obedience. Partnership gets confused with subordinance. Enmeshment becomes one with the delusion that we owe another person our servitude. And feeling diminished becomes somewhat normal. 

When we make moves away from enmeshment and towards  individuality it can seem like an act of rebellion. An act of going against the system in order to steal the freedom that we’ve not been given. The highest level of freedom is the realization that we co-created the very system that we are rebelling against.  Certainly as children, our parents created the level of enmeshment that existed in our childhood home. But as adults, we brought our enmeshed predisposition into a relationship, co-created codependence and trapped ourselves in someone else’s world. 

 In the Conscious Codependence™, you can maintain any relationship that you would like to retain while being as much of an individual as you would like to be.  Individuality is not an act of rebellion, it’s an act of love. It’s a connection with your own unique spirit, your innocence, your joy, your playfulness, your curiosities, your thoughts & opinions, your purpose and your inner peace.  And when you can partner with another person while all of those parts of you are online then you have the makings of a healthy partnership. This is true relating. This is true connection. The REAL YOU, all of you. And the REAL THEM, all of them.  Both of equal weight and value. True Individualism equals true intimacy and can be the biggest catalyst for evolution both individually and collectively. 

YOUR RELATIONSHIP w/ YOURSELF is WHERE it ALL BEGINS. You can get your FREE PDF of The 3 Tenets of Conscious Codependence™ at www.cherylfidelman.com. The PDF lists the common developmental roots & behavioral patterns of each Tenet and also some questions to customize them to your experience.

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