Letter to A Friend

I woke up at 4am with so many thoughts, feelings, intuitions, visions…. some about/for you, some about/for me. As you read this, please spend your energy focusing on the things that seem valuable to you for “rising strong” and “transformation” and less on the things you may disagree with or do not quite understand. Please ask questions about the things you disagree with or are uncertain of. I’m asking you to accept what you can and have peace to ask why I said the other things. I’m suggesting you be a peaceful warrior. I love you. I have the utmost respect for you. I’ve been up since 4am until this email is sent because I care so deeply for you.
Here’s what I felt like I received…
Words:
“sickness”
“codependency”
“torn in half”
As I pondered on the sickness of codependency this began to flow:
…Thinking something you do or don’t do is the cause of someones pain (unhappiness, stress or sickness) to the degree that you attempt to equate, control and/or manipulate (make better) their feelings or actions by/with your own actions.
This way of thinking carries the sense of, “[Maybe] They’ll be happy if I….” “[Maybe] They’ll stop doing that if I do this…” and also,”I’m going to do this since they are doing that…”
– the danger in this way of thinking is that there are no guarantees of success but, more likely, the guarantee of further enabling their unhealthy behavior. Furthermore, the amount of stress it places on you is unhealthy. It is risky at your own expense and leads to a sort of madness (“sickness”) until you realize how futile it is, which is usually after you’ve spent so much of your time, energy and money, stressed out and always trying to do something to make/keep everything “ok” to the point that you squander your mental and physical well being, ruin your reputation and damage or lose valuable relationships. At best, you keep coming up empty-handed and frustrated in that the relationship still ends up being very one-sided and demanding of you- frustrating, stressful. The relationship requires you to show up as something or someone you are not.
The sickness of codependency is the loss of control of your own independence and decision-making (peace of mind) because of the violence, instability or threat(s) of another. The sickness of codependency results in a forgetting or loss of personal identity (assuming one knew their true identity in the first place).  (note: there is a healthy way to live co-dependently but that can only be a reality for healthily functioning relationships in which each participant knows their role, boundaries and respects one another as equal and valuable parts of the whole (a healthy sense of “us/we” as a unit)).
 
Another word came to me:
“oppression” – burdensome, unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power
                      – the act of subjecting someone or others to cruel or unjust impositions or restraints
                      –  a sense of being weighed down in body or mind
From Wikipedia:
The word oppress comes from the Latin oppressus, past participle of opprimere, to press against,[1] to squeeze, to suffocate.[2] Thus, when authoritarian governments employ oppression to subjugate the people, they want their citizenry to feel that pressing down, and to live in fear that if they displease the authorities they will, in a metaphorical sense, be squeezed and suffocated, e.g., thrown in a dank, dark state prison or simply executed. Such governments oppress the people via restriction, control, terror, hopelessness, and despair.[a]
To this definition I would add “demanding”, “threatening”, “bullying”; the notion of ultimatums. Oppression is about control!! Oppression is still oppression regardless of how well intended it may be or from whom it comes.
…you have a way of resisting all oppression or anything that resembles it especially in culture. I see this as a very interesting strength of yours. Even in relation to me you’ve resisted and fought- nearly kicking and screaming (at times) about very specific things… the need for freedom, being without restraint, not being/feeling held down. You are educated enough on the nature of oppression (injustice) to know what it looks like on many levels but, perhaps, you have missed the reality of the oppression you have suffered in/through your own family. This is the largest part of the warfare I’ve mentioned in the past- the fight for your self; which has to do with identity and transformation. This is why I heard the phrase “torn in half”. This is less about a choice for a relationship and more about a choice to honor and free your self. To choose based on your family’s oppressive demanding is to loose yourself- be “torn in half”.
Since you were a child, the oppression (overbearing, demanding, manipulation of your father on a daughter who just wants to be loved and accepted), naturally, has affected you and, thus, some (or a lot) of your decision making, perhaps, throughout your entire life. What I’m saying is: if you were raised in an oppressive way (yes, some version love existed there also) that, likely, has resulted in the co-dependent emotions you have been acting out of with them for a long while now. In some ways, you’ve admitted that you in a sense ran from that oppression at a young age and acted out in many ways. That confession in and of itself proves the unhealthy environment you were raised in and how it effected your decision making. In your effort to reconnect and heal those past things and make things better with your parents you are actually at a place of enabling their oppressive decision making and simultaneously losing your self (and what you called the most loving/deepest relationship you’ve ever had)…. “torn in half”.
Are you willing to consider this? There could be much to uncover here that can lead to a HUGE amount of new found freedom for you. What about the patterns that are still with you to this day because of the way you had to (the emotional state in which you had to) leave home and experience the world? You started this journey long ago as a teen-kid out of co-dependent retaliation/acting out as a response to being so heavily imposed upon (oppressed). The relationship between your family oppression (being so bullied and treated as less than) and the ensuing co-dependent turmoil has inevitably brought you and I to this current place of choice. It is NO ONES FAULT. It just is. NOW we can do something about it if you want to. It’s time for transformation.
If you can understand this notion, then you much ask yourself some very important questions. Questions like:
1- Do I want to be under this oppression (control) which keeps me in a codependent state?
internalized oppression, in which subordinate groups essentially give up the fight to access (a perceived) equality and accept their fate as a non-dominant group.[13]
2- How can I show up better for my family while simultaneously showing up better for myself (NOT codependent; NOT under oppression or coercion) And also realizing they may never change but I can and am changing?
3- Am I willing to risk the best version of my self and my life for this sickness I and my family exhibit?
The route of the peaceful warrior is necessary- peaceful resistance. The fact is: oppressors don’t like resistance even if it is peaceful. As we have already discussed, there is no easy way but there is certainly a healthier way.
Someone’s “happiness” cannot be contained by such simple ideas and sophomoric attempts as proposed by the sickness of codependency. Happiness is a fleeting thing. It only happens in moments. Isn’t it interesting that happiness happens in moments??? (interesting that the two words are based on happenstance) …. What we are really looking for in life are concepts like joy or inner peace. Things that don’t just happen but, rather, exist. They are part of wisdom that comes out of a person’s ability to exist and see the value in this life’s experiences EVEN WHEN those experiences are not easy or ideal. Like, love, it is a choice. The idea of “love” is also very interconnected with this. Love based on happiness is not a lasting thing. It is not true love at all. But love that comes out of this part of wisdom (the concepts of joy and inner peace as explained above) will last longer than a lifetime because others can see it and will learn from your example. This is one true way to leave a legacy. This is the best way to start a family, raise children, lead communities and businesses. I feel like this is ultimately, who the best of us want to be.
Remember, there is always faith, hope and love. And these always take time. There is more I want to say about how this affects me and my role in it all…. I want to talk with you about that soon. But, for now, I can say that I’m further challenged to show up better with and for you.
With love,
Lance
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