03/25/2013 05:01 pm ET Updated May 25, 2013

Are You Tired of Taking Care of Everyone But Yourself?

As we age, we may get tired of taking care of everyone else, and never getting our own needs met. Can we learn how to be different? Can we change?

Only if we are fully ready for something different than the same old codependent routine. Are you finally ready to see life in a very different way?

The most common reason for "helping syndrome" is early childhood training that leads to gigantic feelings of inadequacy when we're not helping others. We feel we don't deserve any of the good things in life just for being ourselves. That would be selfish. Instead, we feel we should be constantly helping others to earn the right to be admired and loved. We feel fundamentally unworthy of love without first paying for it with care for those we "love."

I know. I spent years feeling inadequate unless I was "helping" everyone around me. I now appreciate the saying: "Codependents don't make friends, they take hostages!" Oh boy, someone new to manipulate into needing me and loving me. How can I convince this new victim that their life will never be the same until they admit that they need me?

Time to try a different approach? Try to image yourself as completely lovable and adequate just being the wonderful person you are right now. Must love always be earned by giving and giving constantly? Could others love you just the way you are? Why should you have to always prove to them you are worthy of love?

Very scary stuff, huh? No fooling anyone or manipulation involved. And if they end up not liking you, so what? There are millions of others out there who are mentally healthy enough to not want to be manipulated into codependency, masquerading as caring or love.

Now that you've taken care of others your whole life, isn't it time to take care of your own needs for a change? Isn't it about time someone showed you how to save your own life?

It takes a lot of courage to admit that past patterns aren't working and have never really worked. Do you have the courage to ask for what you need now?

You can change your life and finally start receiving love from those who have the ability to give it to you freely, no strings attached. Please let me know if I can help.

For more by Laura Lee Carter, click here.

For more on conscious relationships, click here.