Tarot To The Rescue is a recurring feature. I’ll be tackling different life issues and showing you how tarot can be a valuable tool to help you navigate through these challenges. As a long time tarot reader, I have used the cards myself to seek guidance, check my own inner compass and find direction through those sticky moments in life. If you’d like to see me handle a dilemma here, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion. (Please note: I am not accepting requests for actual readings on this column. I am only tackling issues in a general format. Also, this column – and tarot – is not a substitute for legal, medical or psychiatric help.)
If you’ve ever been involved in a codependent relationship, you know that you’ve stepped into a special kind of hell. Playing the long suffering spouse (or friend, child, parent, partnership) isn’t a glamorous nor noble role. In fact, it’s downright toxic.
Nothing will beat you down faster than being in constant savior mode.
On the outside (or even on your inside), it doesn’t necessarily look “bad”. In fact, codependent people often assume that they are being the “good guys” and perhaps a “martyr” of sorts. After all, they are putting someone else’s needs first and keeping things under control. That’s being charitable, competent and caring, right?
Wrongo. That is the illusion of codependency. You want to help. You care. Maybe you care a bit too much.
What is really underneath that self sacrifice? Co-Dependents Anonymous says that codependents share similar characteristics: denial, low self esteem, compliance, control and avoidance. Many codependents are raised in families where addiction existed – this set the tone for future relationships (although not every codependent relationship will revolve around addiction).
Codependent personalities are perfect victims for narcissists and those with addiction issues. In fact, the two can’t exist without the other. Narcissists feed on the codependent’s need to control/caretake/help. Breaking free from this vicious cycle usually requires deep introspection, therapy and establishing new habits/behaviors for both parties involved.
Tarot can provide some insights into your role as a codependent and these revelations can help you start the healing process (Disclaimer: please note – tarot is NEVER a substitute for mental help – if you are in a codependent or addictive relationship, you must seek a licensed therapist for your situation. Tarot can simply be a tool for personal reflection, nothing more.).
Here are some questions you can ask tarot for contemplation (you can also simply use these questions for journaling and skip the tarot part if you are so inclined):
What am I denying?
How am I enabling?
What are my needs in this situation?
What am I controlling?
How can I support my partner in a way that honors both their and my highest good?
What boundaries do I need to set to move this relationship towards a healthy space?
How can I practice self care?
These questions can spur insights that can help you begin to move from codependent and compulsive towards healthy and independent. It’s about learning to life YOUR life, not someone else’s.
Resources for codependency:
Co-Dependents Anonymous http://www.coda.org
Mental Health America: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/codependency
How To Avoid Codependent Relationships: http://www.wikihow.com/Avoid-Codependent-Relationships
How To Tell If You Are Codependent: http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-You-Are-Codependent
This is the BEST book on codependency: Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie.
“You have no control over what the other guy does. You only have control over what you do.” ~ A. J. Kitt
“When you give another person the power to define you, then you also give them the power to control you.” ~ Leslie Vernick
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2013