In the last few weeks, I’m beginning to see some buried tendencies toward co-dependency and it’s starting to shed some light on my constant habit of reflection. From my earliest days, I can remember a constant state of looking back… at all the things I should have done differently. Sometimes, it was coming up with the perfect thing to say long after the opportunity to say it had passed. Other times, it was changing an action to produce an entirely different result. Whatever the case, things always turned out much differently, much better, in my reflection than they had in my reality.
Our greatest strengths are often our greatest weakness. This habit of constant reflection has proven this over and over. I consider this habit of reflection to be a great strength… because I actually DO learn from my mistakes. I am intentional about going back and making up for wrongs, asking for forgiveness, making things right… restitution. And, by God’s unfathomable grace, I actually change my ways and act differently at the next opportunity… repentance.
But I am also enslaved by this ‘morbid introspection.’ I beat myself up for my mistakes… I replay the errors, dissecting all that went wrong and inserting all the correct responses. I question my decisions, wondering if I will regret them. And this is the world I live in… never good enough. Co-dependency psychiatrists call it ‘magical thinking’ and say it’s a desperate attempt to fix what went wrong in my childhood.
As I face my childhood, there are some things that still hurt… things that I have a hard time calling by name… and these wounds run deep. I’m beginning to recognize that these wounds have been robbing my joy for almost 40 years…
It’s time for the tide to turn. The only 'magical' thinking stands in setting my mind on 'Thy kingdom come'… let me live in the lightness of now and shed the heaviness of ‘what were you thinking?’.