From the very beginning, the co-dependent adult child believes that the world is a very serious place. Life is seen as difficult and almost always painful. Like all the co-dependent rules… this rule – “It’s not okay to play”- lends itself well to the development of negative thinking and a view of ourselves as unlovable, boring, stupid, ugly, and wrong. Because of this, the co-dependent is always working twice as hard as everyone else just to be okay. Having some project to work on or some crisis to deal with gives us a sense of purpose. In time, we become preoccupied with a smorgasbord of more or less urgent issues – our kids, our job, out friends, our health. And in time, we simply get lost in the shuffle. Take, for example, one of the more classic co-dependent beliefs that what you do is somehow a measure of who you are. One’s identity and sense of self-worth become inextricably linked to one’s job. From this perspective, since play according to the co-dependent workaholic would be a stupid waste of time, the it follows that play would also be viewed as a threat to one’s identity. Another phrasing of the rule might be “Real (serious) people don’t play. From “Lost In The Shuffle” by Robert Subby
We are never more fully alive,
more completely ourselves,
or more deeply engrossed in anything,
than when we are at play.
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