Monday, August 29, 2016

Standing In Your Own Column of Light

Someone once told me to "stand in my own column of light" in reference to a relationship issue I was having at the time. This phrase stuck with me and I've expanded the concept to assist me in healing from codependent thought patterns and relationship habits. I'm using the concept of STANDING IN MY OWN COLUMN OF LIGHT to define the separation process required to self differentiate and become my own person. I'll be using this term a lot in future videos and articles.

Standing in your own column of light, is an analogy that I'm using to describe the process of recovering from codependency and relational enmeshment. Caring too much. Loving too much. Living for others. Seeking external validation. The process of tearing yourself away from codependent attachments, enmeshments and toxic caretaking and rescuing of others.

When you are raised in a less-than-nurturing environment, you are not able to develop a full, mature and self supplying identity. Your identity becomes toxic-bound to your caretakers and the child ends up becoming either narcissistic or codependent depending on the level of abuse, dysfunction, neglect and/or abandonment by the primary caretaker. Neither type of person can maintain their own "column of light," or stand on their own, be their own person without the support of external validation. 5 Ways to Detach.

In simple terms, the narcissist depends on narcissistic supply from others to maintain self esteem, whereas the codependent depends on giving narcissistic supply to others to maintain self esteem. Both narcissists and codependents have a problem with being themselves, nurturing themselves, protecting themselves and functioning without external validation.

Healing from the enmeshment of is necessary if you want to become your own person. Which means, healing from being dependent on the approval of others, and healing from the need to control others and make them like you, and healing from the need to feel responsible for other people at the expense of self.

This to me is the healing that is required if you wish to stand in your own column of light. You have to let go of attachments to things outside of self, and learn to get your emotional supplies from within. This means, you have to help yourself to attach to your higher self, or higher power within, and you have to learn to operate completely from self--with or without the need of the approval or validation of others. 


Your Own Column of Light
is held in place
by healthy detachment. 
The only way to stand in your own column of light and be your own person is through the process of healthy detachment. As a codependent, we take too much responsibility for the feelings of others, and we try to control the opinions that other people have of us. We try to earn love by pleasing others since we, as codependents don't feel worthy of love in and of ourselves. We do all sorts of unhealthy things as codependents, like trying to control other people with our own caring and then resenting them for not caring back. We try to get our personal supplies externally through the approval of others. We try to get other people to make our decisions for us. We try to get other people to do the heavy-lifting in our lives, then turn around and resent them for it. We must learn healthy detachment.

Part of the healing process is what I'm going to call detaching from the "Caring Attachment." You must detach from unhealthy attachments if you want to be your own person and stand in your own column of light. By attachment, I mean CARING. Part of the healing process involves NOT CARING as much as you did before about things that are outside of your own Column of Light. You must learn to recognize where these unhealthy caring attachments are in your relationships with yourself and others.

Example of Unhealthy Caring Attachments
  • Caring about what other people think about your life's decisions. 
  • Caring about someone so much that you ignore the fact they're abusive towards you.
  • Caring about someone who is totally and completely disregarding you.
  • Caring about how you look to the extent that you avoid being social with others. 
  • Caring about someone who is ignoring your basic human relationship needs. 
  • Caring about someone who does not respect your boundaries. 
  • Caring about someone and sacrificing for someone who is rude and disrespectful to you. 
  • Caring what someone else thinks about your personal relationship choices. 
  • Caring what someone says about your body, mind, possessions and making adjustments accordingly.
 There is nothing wrong with having compassion. There is nothing wrong with empathy. However, there is something very wrong about caring--caring to the extent that you make decisions relative to your caring for others that are detrimental to yourself.

As a recovering codependent, it is so easy for me to relate to this caring attachment. My family of origin was highly codependent and they all cared about each other way too much. I was taught to put others before myself. I was taught that it was selfish to think of myself first, and that it was noble to put others before me. I was taught this by my parents, by society, by the church. No where in my upbringing was I taught to care about myself first. However, unless you learn to loosen your care and concern for others, you are doomed to cave in on yourself.  Just like you need to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before you try to save anyone else, you need to put yourself first, and care about yourself first before you can care about others.

This means that you detach from caring about people and people's opinions and attach to your own thoughts and feelings that are relevant for your life. This is a difficult task, especially if you've been taught that your needs should always come last. If you've been taught that you should care about what everyone thinks over what you think, then it's time for you to LET GO and CATCH YOURSELF. It's time to detach from giving so much care at the expense of yourself.

This is one way to stand in your own column of light. Just DETACH.
  • Detach from ruminating about the opinions of others.
  • Detach from trying to please someone who keeps changing their mind about your life.
  • Detach from making everyone else happy but yourself.
  • Detach from giving a rip about what other people think about your lifestyle.
  • Detach from trying to make other people love you.
  • Detach from trying to impress others.
  • Detach from trying to prove yourself to anyone.
  • Detach from pleasing other people.  
  • Detach from caring, from giving and from using your over-love to make up for your own perceived flaws. 
This is a really difficult concept to convey. I hope I've done it justice. In my heart, I feel a tearing. A tearing, like a tearing of flesh, but more in the emotional realm. I feel an emotional tearing away of my attachments to people, places and things. I feel myself separating, becoming a single person--yet a part of the whole, someone who is gradually re-learning how to think for myself and care more about my own opinions, values, judgments than I do about any others. It's not fun, but I'm making progress. I hope this helps you too.


Елена Никешичева Hard to write but excellent! For me it's very useful to remember that fear and attachment are related in the amygdala. That's why it is so difficult not to help, not to please, not to resque. I did it to survive. And now I mustn't do it to live as a normal human.

Danielle Excellent article. Although I am not Buddhist I have been reading a lot about Buddhism and the art of non attachment. No doubt I have a negative/anxious attachment style so even the thought of non attachment makes me a little nervous but I feel such peace within myself when I just let go of outcomes and mindfully practice non attachment. Thx for sharing

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