Quotations in maroon are from
The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney (Copyright 1995). Quotations
from columns & articles (Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998) written by Mr.
Burney are noted and in blue text. Blue text material that is not in quotes
is from Robert's upcoming book Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light
(Copyright 1998) unless otherwise noted. There
are several authors quoted in excerpts from The Dance of Wounded Souls,
those are noted with copyright acknowledgment at the end of the page.
Codependence - Defined
Codependence is about having a dysfunctional relationship
With our own bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits.
With our own gender and sexuality.
With being human.
Because we have dysfunctional relationships internally
we have dysfunctional relationships externally.
"Actually the term "Codependence" is an inaccurate
and somewhat misleading term for the phenomenon it has come to describe.
A more accurate term would be something like outer-dependence, or external
"The point that I am making is that our understanding
of Codependence has evolved to realizing that this is not just about some
dysfunctional families, our very role models, our prototypes, are dysfunctional.
Our traditional cultural concepts of what a man is, of what a woman is,
are twisted, distorted, almost comically bloated stereotypes of what masculine
and feminine really are."
"Codependence deals with the core issues of the human
dilemma. Codependence has grown out of the cause from which all symptoms
arise. That cause is Spiritual dis-ease not being at ease, at one with
Spiritual Self. Not being able to be in balance, in harmony with the universe.
All other diseases - physical, emotional, mental - spring out of, are caused
by, Spiritual dis-ease. . . . The human condition is a symptom! Human nature
as we understand it is a symptom! The human condition is not a result of
flaws in human nature. Both are effects. The condition of Codependence
as I said could more accurately be described as outer or external dependence
the human condition as we have inherited it!"
A Definition of Codependence
Codependence is a primary, progressive, chronic, fatal, and treatable
disease which is caused by being raised in an emotionally dishonest, Spiritually
hostile environment. The primary environment is the family system which
is part of the larger emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional society which
is part of a civilization that is based on false beliefs about the nature
and purpose of being human.
Codependence is characterized by dependence on outer or external sources
for self-worth and self-definition. This outer or external dependence,
combined with unhealed childhood emotional wounds which get reactivated/gouged
whenever an emotional “button” is pushed, cause the Codependent to live
life in reaction to, give power over self-esteem to, outside sources.
"Traditionally in this society women were taught to be codependent
on - that is take their self-definition and self-worth from - their relationships
with men, while men have been taught to be codependent on their success/career/work.
That has changed somewhat in the past twenty or thirty years
(From the Column "Relationships & Valentines
Day" by Robert Burney)
is still part of the reason that women have more of a tendency to sell
their souls for relationships than men do. Codependence is all about giving
outside or external influences power over our self-esteem. Everything outside
of our 'self'- rather that is people, places and things or our own external
appearance has to do with ego-strength not self-worth.
We all have equal Divine worth because we are transcendent Spiritual beings
who are part of the ONENESS that is the Great Spirit/God-Force - not because
of anything outside of us."
"Codependence and interdependence are two very different dynamics.
Codependence is about giving away power over our self-esteem. Taking
self-definition and self-worth from outside or external sources is dysfunctional
because it causes us to give power over how we feel about ourselves to
people and forces which we cannot control. Any time that we give power
over our self-esteem to something outside of ourselves we are making that
person or thing our higher power. We are worshiping false gods. If my self-esteem
is based on people, places, and things; money, property, and prestige;
looks, talent, intelligence; then I am set up to be a victim. People will
not always do what I want them too; property can be destroyed by an earthquake
or flood or fire; money can disappear in a stock market crash or bad investment;
looks change as I get older. Everything changes. All outside or external
conditions are temporary."
(From the Column "Codependence vs Interdependence"
by Robert Burney)
"This dance of Codependence is a dance of dysfunctional
relationships - of relationships that do not work to meet our needs. That
does not mean just romantic relationships, or family relationships, or
even human relationships in general. The fact that dysfunction exists in
our romantic, family, and human relationships is a symptom of the dysfunction
that exists in our relationship with life, with being human. It is a symptom
of the dysfunction which exists in our relationships with ourselves as
"The dance that we learn as children - the repression
and distortion of our emotional process in reaction to the attitudes and
behavior patterns we adopt to survive in an emotionally repressive, Spiritually
hostile environment - is the dance we keep dancing as adults. We are driven
by repressed emotional energy. We live life in reaction to childhood emotional
wounds. We keep trying to get the healthy attention and affection, the
healthy love and nurturing, the being-enhancing validation and respect
and affirmation, that we did not get as children. This dysfunctional dance
is Codependence. It is Adult Child Syndrome. It is the tune that humans
have been dancing to for thousands of years. Vicious, self-perpetuating
cycles of self-destructive behavior."
"The way the emotional defense system that is Codependence
works is that we continue to repeat our patterns in order to reinforce
the belief that it is not safe to trust. Not safe to trust ourselves or
this process we call life. Codependence does this to protect us. Because
it was not safe for us to trust our own feelings, senses, and perceptions
as children our egos decided that it is never safe to trust. Codependence
is an emotional and behavioral defense system which was adopted by our
egos in order to meet our need to survive as a child. Because we had no
tools for reprogramming our egos and healing our emotional wounds (culturally
approved grieving, training and initiation rites, healthy role models,
etc.), the effect is that as an adult we keep reacting to the programming
of our childhood and do not get our needs met - our emotional, mental,
Spiritual, or physical needs. Codependence allows us to survive physically
but causes us to feel empty and dead inside. Codependence is a defense
system that causes us to wound ourselves. . . . The battle cry of Codependence
is 'I'll show you - I'll get me.'"
"Due to the planetary conditions, the human ego developed a
belief in separation - which is what made violence possible and caused
the human condition as we inherited it. The reflection of that human condition
on the individual level is the disease of Codependence. Codependence is
caused by the ego being traumatized and programed in early childhood so
that our relationship with ourselves and the God-Force is dysfunctional
- that is, it does not work to help us access the Truth of ONENESS and
Love. It is through healing our relationship with ourselves that we open
our inner channel and start tuning into the Truth."
(From the column "Christ Consciousness" by Robert
Return to Joy to You & Me Home Page
The column " Christ Consciousness"
is on the web page entitled "Jesus & Christ Consciousness," "Codependence
vs Interdependence" is on the page by that title, while "Relationships
& Valentines Day" can be found on the "Romantic Reationships" page.
Copyright Material belonging to Robert Burney
PO Box 977 Cambria, CA 93428