Are you embroiled and enmeshed in your unhealthy codependent relationship? Are you silencing yourself for the sake of getting along with your friend or partner?
For those who answered yes to the above, I have only one sentence of advice for you: Spend time alone. Build alone time into your week and turn it into a regular intentional practice.
Is it really as bad as you think to be alone? We fool ourselves into thinking that being alone is the fear when in actuality, we are allowing others to take control of our lives, determine our worth, and undermine our agency- what could be more fearful that that?
You probably know that being alone is important, but emotions tell you otherwise. Feelings of confusion and helplessness send us running towards other people. Either they will know what to do, or you can focus on their problems instead of your own. While it feels good in the moment, eventually you are on your own again with your distress!
Instead, spend time alone and give yourself the opportunity to be your own best friend and confidant. You will build personal power when you can tolerate the initial anxiety that comes with facing your inner conflicts.
I'm not saying that you should never depend on other people. I'm saying that if you spend enough time alone, you will be much better at knowing when is the right time to depend on others. This shift in perspective frees you to be responsible for making your own choices in life.
How to Practice Being Alone:
1) Meditate: Meditation is just a tool for cultivating presence in your body and mind. You can start by focusing on your breathing: take 3 long deep breaths with 6 seconds on the inhale and exhale.
2) Start a creative project: There’s nothing more fulfilling than expressing yourself creatively, and you need a lot of alone time to be able to focus on your craft! Pay attention to your ideas, dreams, and sparks of interest, and work on turning them into a reality.
3) Take yourself out on a date: Do anything by yourself that you imagine doing with someone else. Go to the movies, go for a long and interesting walk, or how about a three week trip to a country you've never been before?
4) Go to therapy: Even though you can be alone with yourself, you may still need another person to listen. The role of a therapist is to assist in helping you to explore your inner world and work out your conflicts in a nonjudgmental, supportive environment.