Teri and Tamara have described what having the symptoms of Negative Control and Resentment can create in our lives as Codependents. Today I will discuss how having a Distorted or even Nonexistent Spiritual life can create issues as well. Distorted or Nonexistent Sprirituality
People who struggle with Codependency sometimes struggle with experiencing a connection to a power greater than self. This can be for many different reasons. But we often see it transpire when a child feels imperfect and doesn't meet their parents expectations. Children are naturally imperfect and are going to make mistakes. However, if a parent doesn't allow room for imperfection, the child will do one of two extremes- either they will become rebellious (or "bad" in their mind) or become a perfectionist (or "good" in their mind). They will use this to survive the unreasonable expectation of being perfect.
In adulthood, this usually translates to a person having trouble owning and expressing what their beliefs of imperfection are and ultimately, not allowing themselves to feel the need to be perfect. The Codependent really does not believe they are allowed to make mistakes. And when they do, they feel horrible shame about it. Oftentimes, and more times than not, this is also projected onto their children. The children then learn they are not allowed to be imperfect which starts the cycle all over with another generation.
All of this than gets transcribed into: "I can't get close to God or my Higher Power because I will never be good enough or perfect enough." This couldn't be further from the truth. God is all about accepting us right where we are. Higher Powers are all about acceptance as well. We do not come WHEN we are perfect. We come with our imperfections and work towards a better life.
Another great book recommendation to help with Codependency and Spirituality is "Love is a Choice" by Hemfelt, Minirth, and Meier. It is a great book to help integrate the two.
Tomorrow Joleen will help us with 2 more Symptoms. Thank you for reading! I hope you have a great week!
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.