Codependency For Dummies
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When you're healing from codependency, letting go reaps you profound benefits, not only in the relationship, but in personal growth, inner peace, and all areas of your life.

You learn to love

Being nonattached in a relationship is the most loving way to be present and practice unconditional love with someone. How is this paradox possible? When it comes to relationships, the underlying principle of nonattachment is honoring another person’s separateness from a deeply felt place.

Think of letting go as stepping back from your personal needs to see the larger picture. Imagine the reality that both you and the other person are two separate people with diverging needs, genetics, life experiences, and perspectives, both whole and capable.

It takes time for this intellectual understanding to seep into your heart until nonattachment becomes natural. It’s from this place of separateness that you can fully see yourself and others as the unique individuals that you and they are. This is honoring and loving them.

You gain peace, freedom, and power

Whatever or whomever you’re reacting to or trying to fix or control, controls you. When you stop managing, judging, or helping someone else, your mind is free from worry. You’re off the hook for their choices and the outcome of their problems. You’re freer to be yourself, and you allow others to do so as well.

When you take the further step of learning to let go of your reactions and are able to detach from other people’s moods, actions, and words, you take back your power. Instead of a reactor, you become a self‐determined actor in your life. You take charge of yourself and your thoughts and decide how you will act in that moment and every moment. You choose your behavior independently of others.

This skyrockets your self‐esteem. When off the emotional rollercoaster with someone else, your mind is at peace, regardless of how roiled up the other person is. You take back the power to control your mind, feelings, and self‐esteem.

You gain time for yourself

When you let go of responsibility for someone else, you’re no longer consumed with watching to see if he or she is meeting his or her responsibilities. You have that much more freedom and can live your life instead of living someone else’s. This allows you to develop yourself, and your career, hobbies, interests, and friends.

Each person learns independence and self‐responsibility

Nonattachment also allows both you and the other person to take responsibility for your own lives. Those whom you’ve been managing or controlling gain the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to take responsibility for their choices. As a result, you both become more independent.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in relationships and codependency. Ms. Lancer has counseled individuals and couples for 28 years and coaches internationally. She's a sought-after speaker to professionals at national conferences and in the media.

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