I’ve talked about some of my struggles as I’ve journeyed toward freedom from codependency. It’s been a long and interesting battle, to put it mildly. I am thankful that I’ve had the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the strength and wisdom of my husband to learn on along the way.
One of the battles I have fought is that I learned early and I learned well how to see the faults in myself and others. To be a successful codependent, you must be able to see the need before the other person recognizes it, and you must be willing to rush in and fix it — no matter how vigorously he or she protests!
On paper, the foolishness of living life this way shines brightly. But, in the head of a codependent, it all makes sense.
Which brings me to the real problem: the gospel is all about reaching out to help others. This is how we are taught to show the love of Christ to others! How can I, who insists that I have the best answer and you’d better just do it, reach out to help without hurting and causing confusion and hurt?
The answer actually came as I was searching for answers about something else. Here is the answer as given by Henry B. Eyring:
We lighten the load for others best by helping the Lord strengthen them. That is why the Lord included in our charge to comfort others the command to be his witnesses at all times and in all places.
It’s really that simple!
- No more trying to make the problem go away or trying to convince someone else that they have a problem — I just try to build their faith and give them encouragement to keep trying.
- No more worry about fire and brimstone — I can just offer to others the hope, peace, and strength that I have found through the scriptures, the words of modern prophets, and the Holy Ghost.
- No more need to carry any burdens other than my own — I respect the boundaries that exist for a reason and offer anything positive I have to give as a gift.
I love the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us, and I’m thankful that God has again called prophets to lead us on the earth!