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  • Fe Robinson

Reflections on co-dependence

After a while you learn the subtle difference

Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,


And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning

And company doesn’t mean security.


And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts

And presents aren’t promises,


And you begin to accept your defeats

With your head up and your eyes open

With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child,


And you learn to build all your roads on today

Because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans

And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.


After a while you learn…

That even sunshine burns if you get too much.


So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,

Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.


And you learn that you really can endure…

That you really are strong

And you really do have worth…

And you learn and learn…

With every good-bye you learn.


You Learn - Jorge Luis Borges


Reflecting on co-dependence in relationships, I found this beautiful poem recently.  For me it has a pain and poignancy to it, but is also profoundly uplifting.


Chaining, leaning, promises, contracts, security…there are so many metaphors in here for that inherent sense of the other completing us.  For someone else to do that is not only impossible, but would also be too much and be unsustainable.  


Great relationships are about being yourself, more and more deeply, and enabling the other to do likewise.  It’s standing naked, psychologically as well as physically, and being real about the disappointments as well as the joys.  It’s working through the big emotions and the difficult moments, and emerging from the other side, somewhat battered perhaps, but wiser, stronger, and more connected each time you rupture and repair.


If you’d like to talk about couples counselling in person in Darlington, or online for UK clients then get in touch.



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