Codependency stems from fear.
Fear of being rejected, abandoned, persecuted, exploited and so on.
It is a kind of hyper vigilant state where we put all of our attention resources to the perceived expectation and sacrifice ourselves.
In our consciousness, we are aware of both ourselves and others.
Both appear on the same screen and we are aware of the whole.
Attention is evenly distributed to all of consciousness when we are at peace.
However fear, can contract all of attention around the feared object and blur out the rest of consciousness content.
When there are perceived expectations from others, we quickly sacrifice ourselves and put all of our attention to satisfy the expectations of the people or environment around.
The awareness of oneself is lost, until the “perceived expectation environment” or the “person with the supposed expectations” leaves.
I would emphasize the word “Perceived expectation” because it may or may not be the real expectation of the environment or person. Its what we think/believe that causes our reaction.
A simple example of this would be, if someone told you there is a dangerous street where people with rob you at gunpoint from just about anywhere. And say you are compelled to walk through that street to get to your apartment. You would get into a hyper vigilant state and put all the attention on threat detection right. Even if a small fly passed by your ears in this state, it would STARTLE you.
Now what if that was a prank and the street was totally safe? So your experience is determined by what you think or believe.
It is questioning the thoughts/beliefs and facing root archetypal fears that can transform codependency.
The cause of this, is probably related to early childhood conditioning, relationship with caregivers, beliefs formed during that time and so on. They control our energetic workings at a level below the conscious mind. Automated protective instincts, one could call it.
So another way to describe this would be, a contraction of attention due to fear, around others and their expectations the way we perceive it. We are afraid they might reject us, abuse us, do us harm, exploit us, neglect us and so on. So we stay hyper-vigilant to avoid those realities because they could threaten our very survival. This would be totally true when you are a small helpless child. But the issue is, the fear memory is so strong that it continues throughout adulthood.
It is the story of the baby elephant who was tied to a thin rope. How much ever he tried to escape he could not. He tried and tried and just gave up in helplessness. Now once the elephant is an adult, it can snap the rope effortlessly, but yet the fear and learned helplessness is so strong, the elephant simply stays chained to the rope and does not make one effort to escape.
This is the kind of conditioning that happens even in humans. As an adult we have great powers and knowledge, but our learned helplessness and unquestioned root beliefs and fears keep us trapped.
But the root of all of this is that, the FEAR needs to be transcended and then questioning the beliefs will help you create the new reality you desire.