God meant us to be interwoven with others. No man is an island unto himself. Indeed, no one can be an island, unless he can manage to live a completely isolated, reclusive lifestyle, void of interaction of any kind. Which means that he may not have, or at least may not acknowledge, needs which can not be met solely by himself. Few aspire to that lifestyle, for it is one of constant diligence for sheer survival, with few joys, and no one to even note the accomplishments. Our actions will always affect others, and others' actions will always affect us. We can not get away from that fact. We are inseparably connected.
But then, we were created in such a way as to need others, we each ideally need someone to share our joys, and comfort our griefs. We deeply long to have someone to reflect God's love off of, to give to and to receive from. God Himself noted, "It is not good for man to be alone". Those who manage complete isolation are missing something that is intrinsic to human well-being, and can never develop into a healthy, robustly whole entity, but will always be insufficient in some of the most meaningful of ways, those ways of, social and emotional, living interaction.
Likewise, at the opposite end of that same relational pole, codependency, is also an unhealthy state of being, including those whose lives are too intertwined with others. Tangled up in others existences to the point wherein they lose sight of themselves. So deeply entrenched in others affairs, and visa-versus, to the point where they stop knowing the boundaries of where one stops and the others start. Enmeshed to the point where they are not able to grasp the concept of "personal space".
The majority of these folk are found primarily, unfortunately, in religious circles of all kinds. Where the concept of "losing oneself for others", particularly "for Christ's sake" is popular, though misunderstood and ill-taught. The point that is missed in all this teaching is that, before one can voluntarily surrender oneself, one must be in supreme possession of that self! And, just as unfortunately, this wholeness of being is a rare occurrence, thanks to the mental illness - which includes, but is not limited to, the discouraging of thorough, logical thought - which surrounds most religious sects, whether covertly or overtly.
Critical thinking, which basically means to logically assess facts and criteria in order to come to a sound conclusion (which will then act to enforce or debunk a proposed belief structure, before adopting it), is discouraged if not outright condemned as radical heresy! When, by rights, it should be insisted upon! For how can one "count the cost" as the Scriptures demand, when the cost is constantly being hidden or misinterpreted! How can one be expected to understand sacrificial giving, when one is constantly being emotionally and spiritually manipulated out of the things one has possession of (i.e., stolen from, robbed, raped and pillaged), until there is nothing left on one's self-identity?
This is truly a sad state of affairs, because, as I have stated on many occasions, the Truth can bear light. God is not bothered or offended at our questions! In fact I rather imagine that He is delighted when we use the faculties with which He has so richly created us!
Besides, I seriously doubt that those ideas which must be cloaked in shadows of mystery or carefully guarded from those seeking truth is truth at all. Like some of the "all natural" foods I've encountered lately, most well-known and strictly adhered to doctrines, "may contain elements which resemble truth", or which "came from a truth originally". But the final product has been altered in some very unnatural and unhealthy ways, not meant to be assimilated by humans! The concept of a "Love, which puts others before self", is preached, but obviously not practiced, and the thing becomes a sham and a game. The "world" of the non-religious is justifiably put off, and repulsed by the hypocrisy.
Now let me point out here, lest my more liberal friends "get up on their high-horse" over this matter, that humanism, atheism, and other Anti-Judeo/Christian philosophies - based on the idea that "man is okay without a higher power (if indeed there is a higher power) and can therefore handle things independently", are also found in the category of "religion" - in that those who adhere to them also function from a set belief structure, which forms the core of their decision making criteria - which also tends toward severely limiting, and the distinct hindering of the free thought processes, and that even in "liberal" circles, where thinking is openly encouraged, still, there is also a subtle "brain-washing" that occurs, realistically limiting the direction which those thoughts may take, and which discourages investigation into the areas in which its criteria has decided may be "dangerous". So that in the end it is not much better, if any at all, than other religions. In that instance, "Tolerance for all other ideas" is preached, but not obnoxiously not practiced, and this too becomes a sham and a game. Different playing pieces,perhaps, but much the same rules, renaming aside.
Which brings me to my point, that codependency, whether conservatively or liberally spawned, and the resulting hypocrisy, is an abnormal human condition which is frequently addressed by those in psychological realms. A condition that stems from an aberrant relational belief structure. It is, in other words, a product of twisted truth, the same as other symptoms of "mental illness", such as the tendencies toward being reclusive, or fraught with perfection orientation, or Obsessive/Compulsive disorder, etc. - resulting from various fears or "phobias" (Indicating, in my opinion, a broken relationship to the creator). These abnormalities cause the disruption of the workings of healthy society - resulting in abuse, divorce, crime, etc.
Codependency effectively takes the variegated strands of human behavior, with which God intended to make a tapestry of woven beauty, and tangles them into a mass of destruction, rendering all the individuality useless and the intricate design tragically marred. Completely voiding any possibilities of the intended order, or design.
It is as if some intruder entered a well ordered craft room, taking all the yarn from the bins, where they had been so carefully stored as to produce a rainbow of colors, and unrolled them into a great heap, tangling the colors together in unsightly ways, and destroying any possibilities of usefulness. Useless, at least, until the arduous work of untangling the mess, and getting each roll of yarn independent of the others, had been done. This is descriptive of the work of good counseling. To get each of us "untangled" from the mess of broken relationships. It matters not whether the mess be caused by inappropriate or failed parenting, or the myriad of relationship issues which develop as we stumble through the world making our own way with our own choices.
Now, one could come to the conclusion, in reading much of my writing, or in listening to my discourses of late, that I am "off church" right now. I would like to clarify that a bit. Since I am a firm believer in Jesus the Messiah, I consider myself to actually be a part of that entity called "The Church", Scripturally speaking. What I am opposing, then, on a regular basis, with all my might and main, is not the true Church, upheld by Scripture, but rather that organization which goes by that same name, which is not a living organism with Christ as the head as it should be, but is, instead, a man-made imitation of that idea. A fraud. A hard to detect phony. A "wolf in sheep's clothing", if you will. Frankly, I have not totally come to a conclusion as to where it fits in theologically. It is, at best, an "old wineskin" whose time has come, or, at worst, it may be the "Great Whore" spoken of in Revelation which must be cast down. It is, to be sure, made of "tares" that hinder the growth of the "true wheat", and has given the true Church a bad reputation. But in none of those allegories is it to be envied, for all meet with a fiery end!
This "organizational church", to continue my definition of it, is the modern day Pharisee, with which Christ Himself was constantly at war in His short time on the earth. It consists of those factions which honor religion above relationship, which demand that one should give all, but it gives back little, if anything. Those modern Pharisaical entities which try to enforce rules which they themselves clearly do not follow, who love to judge others by actions, but weigh themselves by intentions. The two-sided, wishy-washy, back-stabbing, negatively opinionated ones who can not seem to think two positive thoughts in a row without their brains getting in a cramp! Yeah, those guys! Who, if we are not extremely careful we may become without noticing!
We humans are extremely complex, intricate, unique individuals, meant to interact, and be interdependent on each other and God! We were meant to harmonize with nature, God and each other. We are a long way from that level of existence. But the reason we are is that we have thrown out the one absolute on which this peace depends, a right relationship to the creator. The cross was a necessity to restore that relationship. There was no other recourse. The cross, by its very nature, does away with the overly independent, unhealthy, reclusive life style, and the overly dependent, social-parasitism of codependency.
It does away with religious, hypocritical, Pharisaism and with liberal, God-denying arrogance, it answers in one fell swoop, every aberrant form of reasoning and mental illness known to man, because it pulls us out of ourselves and connects us to God, whose design we have so arrogantly and ignorantly marred. It connects us to the only One who is capable of finding the end of the yarn disaster to untangle it. And who is making a tapestry of which we all have a part. He is the One who can bring beauty out of chaos, light out of darkness and meaning out of confusion. He is the supreme being.
About a year ago I personally "discovered" and began to experiment with French Cooking. Were I to use the same criteria that most folk today seem to use, concerning popular issues, I could conclude that it had just come into being, when in reality it has been around as long as the French themselves! So it is with the things of God. Those who have not personally "discovered" the truths of the Scripture will continue to act as though it does not exist. And like my experience with French cooking, until they do, they will not benefit from the "methods, combinations of flavors, textures, colors", or the benefits, such as perspectives, beliefs, etc. contained therein.
Until mankind squares with the fact that there is a Supreme Being, and that we are created to function best in proper relation to that Being, we will never know the peace that comes from being whole, body, soul and spirit. We will never be properly aligned to one another, we will never know the harmonic resonance of well-being intended for us.
It is my prayer that in my writing someone may discover this relationship and come to benefit from it. If that is true of even one soul, then my life has achieved its purpose.