Codependency happens when too much of your sense of validation or security comes from others.
It’s when people become your primary conduit to a sense of self, your sole point of identification, and there’s an excessive reliance on them for approval and identity.
What’s interesting is how this dysfunction manifests in the creative process. Because making art is similar to a relationship, in that you can’t need too much from it. You can’t hold onto too tightly. You have to allow it to be what it is. And you have to accept that when it’s gone, it’s gone.
I heard a famous movie director say that when he finishes his most recent movie, he thinking, okay, I’ve done everything I can do to give this as much love as I could give, and now it’s going to go off and be what it’s going to be.
That’s the approach we have to take with our work. Not being codependent creators. Not insisting that the accomplishment of our project is going to make us whole. And removing the responsibility for meeting all of our true needs from our art’s shoulders.
Because the less dependent we feel on something to satisfy all of our requirements for happiness, the more mature and truly satisfying our connection with that thing likely to be.
It’s a boundary. A healthy distance we have to maintain.
Our job as creators, then, is to cultivate internal sources of security so that our feelings of worthiness aren’t solely dependent on the work we do and whether or not people like it.
To never deceive ourselves into thinking that this is all there is to us.
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