We all know one. We all know someone who for whatever reason seems to feel like the weight of the world is on his/her shoulders. They are those amongst us who are forever scouring around town, running everyone else's errands and usually doing those things for others, that those others could certainly do for themselves.
Most often enabling is a term reserved for those who are involved with another who is chemically addicted. The term 'codependent' was coined a few decades ago to describe the 'emotional disease' that occurs between one who is addicted, and another who is not addicted. The emotional disease is one that requires two participants. One person pursues the other while the other partner tends to withdraw.
In the case of an alcoholic fueled codependent relationship, the pursuer is the one trying to control the alcoholic. The goal is to get the alcoholic to stop drinking. The pursuer is so aware that the alcoholic is ruining his/her life, that they become obsessed with taking care of the alcoholic to the extreme. The pursuer spends more time thinking about how to take care of the alcoholic than they do worrying about what it is they need themselves. The problem is, the more the enabler pursues the alcoholic, the more the alcoholic withdraws and begins to shut down.
On the surface enablers look like they are only doing what is right for the person they care about. But that would only be a smidgeon of the real story.
When we pay more attention to what others think than to what we think, the mirror reality of that, which is our inner truth is, we simply do not know what we think. In fact, we are so foreign to our own Selves, that we would prefer to busy ourselves taking care of someone else than to take care of our own needs.
Enablers have been programmed to believe that their worth is found in doing for others. Enablers were raised to worry more about what others think, want or need, than what they think, want or need. Enablers are those who live in fear of disappointing others, and who can easily anticipate the needs of others, all while having no real clue as to what it might be that may make them happy.
On a psychological level, enablers are looking for a reflection of Self in the validation of others. Their personal belief system is one that has been twisted through the generations. Never having been taught that they are enough, enablers chase that fleeting sense of Self in the reflections of validations drenched in the bitterness of martyrdom. Enablers do and do and do, until their hearts bleed, all in the name of love. But this is not authentic love. This is codependency. A game of cat and mouse.
Although enablers are very kind, empathetic and compassionate human beings, the truth is they are just as manipulating as the addict. Holding true to the Laws of Attraction which states; That which is liken to itself is drawn', enablers and addicts fit like a tailor made glove on a delicate hand.
Whenever we are trying to manipulate someone into doing for us what we believe they should do under the false premise, that others are responsible for our happiness, we cheapen our existence, and fail to rise to the level of Self Actualization that serves us as glorious human beings.
Addicts need help, but not from those who enable their dependency on others as well as chemicals. Addicts need to fall when they trip, and learn to get back up again of their own accord. Enablers need not hide their alcohol, follow them home from work, pay their credit card or cell phone bills, go through their emails, or stalk them on facebook. Instead, enablers need to stop seeking a pseudo sense of Self in the doing for others or in the excessive worrying for others.
The key to any successful and healthy relationship is to first master ones relationship with ones Self.