Dare to Be Happy
By Daniel Tipton*

A Codependent ACIM Student

I have learned many helpful things from ACIM, but there has been a nagging block that has kept me in a frustrating state of fear. The principles it has taught me are irrefutable. Yet, I still have been afraid of relationships and generally judgmental, insecure, and narcissistic, just to name a few traits. My method for dealing with these flaws has been to “study harder”, but I was still perplexed as to why I have relationship issues and why I am so hard on myself and others. Is this how everyone is? Is this what everyone is dealing with? Why do I have a great revelation one moment, but such a strong inclination toward judgment the next?

I recently put myself in counseling (Which I believe everyone should do at least once a month no matter how well-adjusted you think you are. You might be surprised.) for wellness and also to work out any demons before I enter the counseling field myself. One issue that slowly began to rear its ugly head is codependency. I worked with my counselor on issues around work, romantic relationships, and family relationships, but they all seemed to have a common theme: guilt. A codependent lives in a hell of self-inflicted guilt. I am a codependent.

Like many people, I grew up in a not-so-desirable family situation. I am a sensitive, reserved person so naturally I internalized all of the unhealthy things that I had been exposed to. I became a codependent. I will not go into a lengthy discussion on what a codependent is but I will list some traits here. I strongly urge anyone to take look inside and ask if you might have some codependency traits. I feel that everyone might benefit from an introspective look into how past unhealthiness may still be with us today.

Co dependents often: (adapted from Melody Beattie's “Codependent No More”)

  • Are caretakers
  • Have low self worth
  • Repress feelings
  • Are controlling
  • Are in denial
  • Are dependent
  • Have poor communication skills
  • Have weak boundaries
  • Lack trust
  • Get angry often
  • Have problems in the bedroom

Does any of this sound familiar? It certainly struck a chord with me. I was not discouraged though. My “diagnosis” has been liberating. My “block” to learning ACIM has not been a lack of willingness or effort. It has been an unrecognized defense system that has been in place since I was a child. It had become a part of me.

I've done much over the last few years to “slay my dragons” but there has been a beast hiding, out of awareness, that is much bigger and more fierce than all of them. It is the guilt monster and it is this that codependents are tortured by.

If one looks at the list above, what is the underlying feeling in all of those traits? It is...


fear. What does ACIM say is our biggest block to love? Fear. I now have a whole new context in which to study ACIM. I am not “failing” but I have a major issue that is burdening me. I've even been codependent with God and ACIM! “If I do this practice right, God will like me and reward me”; “I am obviously failing and not worthy of peace yet, because I am doing ACIM wrong”. These are the things I have been telling myself and they are wrong.

Make no mistake. This is not a cop-out. My willingness and effort with ACIM could always be better. But whose couldn't? The break-through here is the discovery of one of those illusions that I've been believing in for a long time. Now that the light is being shined on one of my darkest corners, I am free to choose again. Now that I see what I've been doing and why, I can use the great ACIM tools that I've learned to let go of codependency and take one big step closer to happiness.


*Daniel Tipton, a member of Course in Miracles Society, resides in Omaha, NE and is currently working on a masters degree in Counseling at UNO. Daniel is also one of the founding members of the new Miracle Cell Men's Team. He is in his second year of the 2 year ACIM Ministerial Program offered by the Community MiraclDaniel Tiptones Center and will be assisting at the 2013 ACIM Conference which will be held in Chicago. More Conference Information here

Course In Miracles Society
7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200
Omaha, NE 68114