Has something within ever told you that “good captains” go down with the ship… suffering the fate of their ship, regardless of the consequences to their soul?
That sinking sensation of being all alone, that dreaded feeling of inadequacy, those worried fearful thoughts… none of them, not a single one of them is your ship! Yes, the feel is real, but the why is a lie. The only way anyone would ever agree to be defined by such dark thoughts is if he was suffering from a kind amnesia. Living in this state of spiritual sleep is the same as unconsciously identifying with whatever “uniform” one finds oneself wearing in any given moment — for instance the uniform of:
1. The one who is a perpetual victim
2. The one unable to get a break
3. The one too weak to walk away from what is wrecking you
4. The one who remains in a place clearly wrong for you, but who stays there for fear of finding yourself somewhere worse
Perhaps you can add other false identities to this list, but here’s the main point: each codependent relation-“ship” in which we find ourselves also finds us decked out in the appropriate “uniform” for that role. And with each of these false identities comes the false sense of duty that one must be true to it, even though it may lead to one’s destruction.
These familiar, but totally unconscious roles we play — born from false images formed in us over time — outweigh even common good sense. Our original intelligence is buried beneath an alluring sense of self-importance, induced in us by having unconsciously identified with a fictitious sense of self. And once deceived as such, our story, including its inevitable outcome, is all but written for us. We’re left with no other conclusion: “I am the captain, I must adhere to a captain’s duty,” and down we go with the ship!
We must wake up and remember our True Identity, our True Self. For us this means — at the outset, anyway — working to become conscious of what amounts to a consensual relationship with what obviously compromises our best interests.
More than just being complicit in a destructive relationship with someone, or caught in a vicious cycle of substance abuse, we must also agree to see how our fear of what others may think of us makes us fawn before them; or how we think ourselves into some form of daily despair by constantly measuring ourselves against others who seem more successful or happy than we are.
The new and higher understanding we need — to leap from our present state of dependency to one of greater independence — is inseparable from an awareness of our True Self. Only in its presence, by its will, are we empowered to see, remember, and to act upon what we now know is true: any part of us that accepts, as inevitable, some punishing state is also its perpetrator… which means it is not the “friend-in need” and protector it pretends to be! The light of this insight is the same as the power we need to see through, and then let go of what is our “enemy in deed.”
It may seem difficult at first, but to see that nothing real stands between you and your wish to be free is the first step towards winning the independence for which you long. The parts of you that “believe” in your inadequacy, in your inability to make meaningful changes in your life, are also the same ones that send you out looking for solutions to the very suffering they engender. It’s time to stop believing in any nature that, on one hand, tells you there’s no recourse other than to live in the cage of codependency it creates, while its other hand points to a “time when” conditions will be right and then you’ll be free.
(Excerpted from Breaking Dependency by Guy Finley)