Life is all about relationships and how we engage or disengage within the full scope and spectrum of them. From the moment we are born into this physical world, we are introduced to our first relationship; that is, our first encounter with a real, live, human being. People have call these humans, mom and dad, yet, nowadays, we have casually morphed and have adopted many other names, however, in the end, no matter what humans call themselves in relation to relationships, they are a mere displaying of temporary titles. A title is simply a title; an adoption of some word that feels comfortable depending on who's wearing the title at the time.
Now, before we move on, I'm letting you know straight up that these words were channeled and shared based on my former experiences in my own personal relationships from the past. Today, I am opening myself up to vulnerability for those who find themselves here. Let's just say, I've been through relationship dysfunction on countless levels, and in turn, once robbed myself of remembering my true identity.
My former relationship experiences woke me up to the darkness of dysfunction within me, birthing myself into new awareness's of infinite light for my soul's journey and purpose. So here I AM . . . raw, real, and vulnerable. I pray you are blessed to know, you are not alone on your journey and that no matter what, you are capable of being and receiving so much love, more than you might realize in this moment.
Let me begin by stating, "Your name is a title, yet, it is not who you are." You've been lied to. Your job is a title, yet, it is not who you are. You may even describe your various quirky stages of relationships with titles; like monogamous, married, common law, polyamorous, polygamous, straight, gay, lesbian, bi, among other names, yet, even these scattered array of relationships, are not who you are. Overall, it's such a mixed up mess were are all in, within ourselves, and also, with those we call others. No matter how you identify yourself and your relationship with yourself and others, it is not who you are.
Humanity is acting out of character. We are playing out countless levels of dramatic scenes of forgetfulness, yet, while we are on this physical plane, and within these physical bodies, apparently, our playing out these relationships is part of a complex equation of life.
We tend to fade in and out of various roles depending on what kind of relationship we are in, yet for the purpose of this article, let's focus on the term, "codependent," a term or title that humans give to unhealthy relationships that are out of alignment, harmony, or balance. In other terms we could say that codependency can also be described as when individuals assign someone else the responsibility for their happiness, which is an impossible task for anyone to accomplish for anyone. Codependent," is just another title to describe types of relationships that are in need of repair, yet in this article that you find yourself reading; to repair, is to remember what you have forgotten about your true self, or what we will refer to as your divine self.
Even if you intrinsically know that you are spiritually divine through and through, in this physical reality, a codependent relationship can leave one feeling unfulfilled, frustrated, used, abused, manipulated, and controlled, leaving one's soul spiritually deformed and deflated. In such circumstances one may feel emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted, yet, even so, many in this cycle continue on a path of denial, ignoring the signs that point away from the richness of their heart and the remembering of their true identity. It's the very definition of spiritual sabotage and bondage.
Perhaps you feel like life has taken you for a ride that promised to be filled with irresistible excitement and fun, yet once strapped in, you found yourself going in a direction that you had no intentions of going, yet, you went anyway. You got on the ride, and stayed, going around and around and around, cycle after cycle, after cycle . . . and NOW . . . you've decided you want off! The question is . . . "How does one stop a ride that someone else seems to have control over and who's in control of the ride of life anyway?"
In a humorous sort of way, life is a riddle that's riddled with complexity, yet, also opportunities to rise up and experience a portion of who we really are in a world that is constantly changing the very definition of what a healthy and balanced relationship is.
Intervention is needed to reclaim those portions of you that you've forgotten, ignored, or abandoned, and you are the only one who has the power to choose to intervene on behalf of yourself and your divine destiny.
Part of finding your way back to you is being able to recognize when the ride isn't what it initially promised to be. Sometimes we get so used to the feel of the ride, we stop noticing the bumps, the wobbles, and the uneasy feelings screaming deep down inside.
So what kind of "relationship ride" are you questioning right now? Below you will find a series of signs that could indicate that the "codependent ride" you've been on is about to expire, depending on your choice to stay on the ride or get off the ride.
Before you begin, take a moment to close your eyes, and connect with a power that you feel comfortable with to request support and direction during this revealing exercise.
For example, you can call in the presence of God, angels, ascended masters, or spiritual guides to lovingly guide and support you. You can ask for the courage to see, the wisdom to know and the vision to change. Ask to be shown the relationship that your heart is currently questioning right now. After doing so, take a deep breath and invite your mind and heart to be open for insights, inspiration, and direction.
Answer the following statements (yes or no) to the best of your emotional ability and spiritual integrity.
1. Codependent Sign - Controlling/Manipulating: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, appear to be bordering along the lines of obsession about what the other person is doing. Daily questions, pressuring, prodding, nagging, and complaining feel like a criminal interrogation. It feels uncomfortable as your integrity is constantly being questioned. Individuals who take on these behaviors tend to question actions, thoughts, feelings, or intentions of the other individual even if things seem to be going well.
In relationship situations, constant suspicion tends to be the underlying current of energy. As a result, the relationship can feel smothering, needy, controlling, and obsessive.
My Personal Experience: Several years ago in one of my former marriages my husband would want to know where I was, what I was doing, right down to controlling my daily activities. It was easy to for this him to manipulate me due to my own insecurities and lack of self worth. The truth is, he never had power over me. It was I that gave my power away. After a difficult situation erupted, I finally stepped into courage. While 8 months pregnant, and with a 5 year old and 3 year old at my side, I left the relationship and went into the temporary refuge of a woman's' shelter. Little did I know that it was just the beginning of a series of painful relationships yet to follow.
Thankfully, now I am my own navigator now with a personal guidance system that leads me every step of the way. I don't always see the next step, yet, I act in faith, trusting that I am on my way to knowing the deeper parts of myself. The light within me, shines a new path that keeps expanding toward new horizons. I see a horizon filled with beautiful souls just like me, and just like you. What do you see as you take your daily steps toward you?
2. Codependent Sign - Stagnancy/ No Growth: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, feel frustrated with the lack of growth and natural flow within the relationship. Secretly, individuals experiencing this yearn for change, yet they lack the confidence to get there. The relationship feels stagnant, with the same behavior patterns appearing day after day, with little change, and very few moments of connecting on intimate levels, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
In relationship situations, feelings of unfulfillment and disconnection tend to be the underlying current of energy. As a result, the relationship can feel riddled with frustration, resentment, and anger.
My Personal Experience: In one of my earlier relationships, I felt stunted emotionally, often avoiding interactions with large groups of people, due to low self esteem and confidence. I was socially stunted, awkwardly shy, and the poster child for inadequacy. At the time I lacked the confidence to make choices that would lead me in a new direction, yet in time, this lack of change became very uncomfortable. I began to have growing pains, which would no longer allow me to remain small. At the age of 22, while raising two young children, and while in an unhealthy marriage, I made the scary decision to go to college and specialize in Early Childhood Education. Perhaps that timely decision was perfect for my own inner child who had somehow lost her way in life.
Back then, every single day felt scary to me, yet something deep inside of me said, "I was meant to be more than the limiting thoughts I had about myself." We all have room to grow, so go for it! Your opportunity knock's on the doors of your heart right now.
3. Codependent Sign - Fear of Loss/Clingy: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, tend to feel anxious or fearful at the thought of losing the other person to someone else, sudden death, or some unforeseen event. Individuals fear moving beyond the limiting experiences of what they are familiar with, yet intuition says, this relationship is anything but stable. Such situations can often derive from early childhood trauma.
In relationship situations, feelings of fear, anxiousness, and nervous anticipation tend to be the underlying current of energy. As a result, the relationship can feel fearful, uncertain, unstable, and unpredictable.
My Personal Experience: In my childhood I was very clingy. Somewhere inside of me, I had never really felt safe in the big, wide open space we call, the world. At the age of five I got lost in the store and as a result, trauma was imprinted upon my subconscious mind. Later in my teenage years, the trauma continued to follow me without even realizing it. At the age of 16, I remember going out shopping with my mom. I was terrified to let her out of my sight. I clung to her side, positioning myself about a foot away from her as we walked together through the mall. Thankfully, at that time she did me a huge favor. She said, "Leslie, I'm going to leave you for one hour and in one hour I will meet you right here." Now, here's a situation where most kids would welcome the idea of being free from their parents in a mall, yet, I was absolutely terrified.
The feelings of getting lost or left behind followed me well into adulthood, and into my various relationships, that is until I decided to find myself again. How will you find yourself right now? It begins with you and the desire to do so.
4. Codependent Sign - Fear of Rejection: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, tend to teeter with unstable emotions due to fear of rejection or abandonment. The individual or individuals tend to over compensate by appeasing or bowing down to the demands of the relationship; often placing their own needs on the back burner.
In relationship situations, feelings of extreme insecurity, low self worth, guilt, shame, and uncertainty tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel suppressive, controlling, and manipulative.
My Personal Experience: There was a time as a young adult that I experinced lack of knowing my own personal identity. I would step into people pleasing to gain acceptance, approval, or some sense of anything that felt like love. I would go overboard to the point of exhaustion, compromising my own time. Even going back as far as childhood, we are conditioned to people please. With one situation in particular, my dad was building a brick house. It was the job of my siblings and I, to carry the countless mountain of brinks to my dad. We carried them, back and forth, for what seemed like forever, with my siblings begging every few minutes to go play. Finally, we were all given the green light to freedom. My siblings scurried off in seconds, as I continued to carry the bricks. Part of me didn't want my dad to be alone, yet the other part begged for connection and some sense of belonging. I sacrificed play, for fear of rejection.
Thankfully, now, I prefer play over the acceptance or approval of anyone. Self love heals. The healing of self love is present for you too. Feel it and believe it . . . for in the grand scheme of things you are exactly what you are looking for.
5. Codependent Sign - Burying of Self: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, tend to bury yourself within the wants, needs, or demands of the other person. The individual or individuals constantly cater to the other, with one thing after another, while trying desperately to seek some sense of acceptance, love, or approval. If by chance the catering individual ever does something nice or nurturing for themselves, they are often left with feelings of guilt, shame, or feelings of being selfish or self absorbed. They feel undeserving and often unworthy.
In relationship situations, acts of emotional desperation based on feelings of unworthiness tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel exhausting, with a never ending list of things to do.
My Personal Experience: In my earlier years, even though my former marriages were superiorly epic in the very definition of dysfunction, I was a very dedicated, single mom of four beautiful children. I did my best to spend quality time with them, often engaged in doing what caring moms do; playing, laughing, singing, learning and growing together. Being financially strapped, and quite poor, almost every spare penny would go toward providing for my children. As I write this and think back, I remember one day when I received a little extra money as a birthday gift. With this streak of luck, an unusually strange notion came over me. I thought that perhaps I could buy myself something, after all it had been well over five years since I had purchased anything for myself. I went out and purchased a new blouse. As I tried it on in the store, somehow, I felt good in it. When I arrived home and took the blouse out of the bag, I felt a sudden, sharp shift in my feelings. Suddenly a heavy blanket of guilt weighed me down. The feelings of being unworthy and underserving wouldn't allow me to receive something good for myself. Sadly, I took the blouse back to the store, with the guilt still hovering over me.
Thankfully today, after much inner healing and remembering my divine worth, I receive all good things with gratitude in my heart. I AM infinitely worthy . . . and so are you. What beautiful gifts are you ready to receive today?
6. Codependent Sign - Controlling Behavior: You, the other person, or or both engaged in the relationship, tend to control the other through verbal threats, physical violence, through emotional/mental manipulation, or through the control of finances. The relationship is built upon a foundation of force and control, often meaning someone always loses, and harmonious compromise is seldom experinced between the parties.
In relationship situations, failure, emotional incompetence, and feelings of being the weaker partner tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel like a constant battle of wills. One always loses.
My Personal Experience: In the past I often placed myself in situations where I compromised my own power, allowing others to control personal decisions and the direction of my life. My lack of confidence had me asking others what they thought about things that had to do with me, and nothing to do with them. I based my decisions on the convenient advice given, simply adopting the opinions of another. My marriages were riddled with control, because I had no sense of control over myself or my own destiny. I was so severely buried in low self worth and the inability to make decisions, that in my first marriage, every day I would ask my husband what I should wear. Seriously! Who was that girl anyway? Obviously she didn't know. Not knowing lead to giving others more and more control over her life, while also giving her power away.
Thankfully, today, I own my power through personal responsibility and accountability. I feel incredibly fortunate to support others in coming to knowing their power as well. We've got the power!
7. Codependent Sign - Making Excuses: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, tend to make excuses for the others' behavior even though it is unhealthy, unstable, and unpredictable. The individual secretly tells themselves that things will get better when this happens or that happens, or things will get better if they only do this or that. They openly defend the other person when outsiders confront them about the warning signs in the relationship, even though internally, they know otherwise.
In relationship situations, defensiveness, denial, and a stubborn sense of determination tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel like endless confrontations, internally, and externally.
My Personal Experience: Often times when life strikes, we tell ourselves it's going to get better to compensate for the feelings of loss or hopelessness. We try desperately to somehow fix what appears to be broken. When I was 13, a pivotal moment in my life occurred. I had two brothers who were severely burned in a fire, to which thankfully they survived. They had built a makeshift houseboat on a raft and spent the night with a kerosene lantern for lighting. In a freak accident, the lantern exploded while trying to light it in the wee early morning hours. Our families lives were forever changed in that moment. As a young girl, I felt helpless, hopeless, and guilty because I was suppose to be there with them, yet they assured me the night before, "No Leslie, you can spend tomorrow night with us. This night is for the boys."
Something like that follows you until you are willing to go deeper into it, until you burn away the portions of you that aren't even real. Spiritually, it's called the refiners fire, the part that calls you to rise up from the ashes of forgetfulness and into the light of remembering. The denial of pain is real, until you are ready to heal. Deny yourself no more!
8. Codependent Sign - Victim/Martyr: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, take on the role of victim or martyr depending on who you are interacting with. As a victim, individuals make themselves small in hopes to gain sympathy and support from others, making themselves appear powerless over the situation. As a martyr, individuals try to make themselves look in control of the situation by appearing to serve the greater good of the relationship, yet inside they feel quite resentful of the other person.
In relationship situations, feelings of repressed resentment, anger, and bitterness, tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel shameful, belittling, and deeply regretful.
My Personal Experience: In my own life I played a superior role of victim and martyr as I struggled through the resistance of truly knowing myself. While in the women's shelter, their ultimate goal to be accomplished in a short period of time, was to get you on your feet, to empower you, and to send you on your way in hopes that you would not return to the dysfunction that brought you there to begin with. Still in emotional pieces, I went back once, hoping my marriage would get better. Feeling reassured, I stepped into the new role of playing a strong and victorious martyr. I fooled myself into thinking that I could save him and me at the same time. Shortly after I got pregnant with my third child, and while still carrying him in my womb, I left the relationship for good. In that moment, I also left portions of my battered self behind, vowing to do better next time, and the next time, and the next time. There's always going to be a next time, for dysfunction, so I learned.
All these moments of pain, gave way for the invitation to move through the birthing process of myself. It is easy to birth a child, yet to step onto a path of birthing yourself is all together another thing. We are all birthing ourselves into greater and greater consciousness. I see us whole, healed, and free to be the very best versions that divine love can create and unveil.
9. Codependent Sign - Avoidance: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, tend to avoid conflict by avoiding conversations, pretending everything is okay, making light of things, sweeping things under the rug, or suffering alone in silence. Individuals tend to walk around with nervousness and anxiety, often tiptoeing around situations for fear of upsetting the other person. The individual may compromise their own feelings, and agree to things that are not in alignment with their own inner feelings. The individual may avoid asking questions, forming opinions, and be overly agreeable to appease the other.
In relationship situations, feelings of being invisible, taking the back seat, and not being heard tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel like one person is invisible, having no voice.
My Personal Experience: As children we often learn by observing our parents behavior. If emotions revolving around situations are repressed, we learn to repress them ourselves. Even as a young child I was playing out the energy of repression, through my actions. For instance, it was my job to sweep the kitchen floor. I did a great job meticulously sweeping the unwarted crumbs that found their way to the floor, the scattered dirt brought in from outside, the playful cat hair and various other things that found their way toward the sweeping of the broom. The pile would build and then, I would carefully and meticulously sweep the pile under an oval rug placed on the center of the kitchen floor. As a child, such an action felt highly convenient. No one would ever know. Over time, the piles of dirt eventually migrated and found their way along the edges of the carpet. Of course, as luck would have it, my mom was the first to witness the epic fail to hide the dirt. What I didn't realize as a child, was I was playing out what I understood as normal. I buried things and forgot about them. Over time, as I grew older, I became an expert at sweeping the dirt under the carpet of life.
Thankfully, I now have the courage to put myself out there, facing things that can sometimes feel uncomfortable, yet celebrating the fact that I am being true to myself, by owning my voice and every other part of me. Being real is the cool deal in this story. Owning your life and living it like you really mean it is what matters. When you own your life, no one owns you! Now own it!
10. Codependent Sign - Living Vicariously: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, tend to live your life through the eyes of the other person. The other individual is always put first, in thoughts, opinions, activities, decisions, wants, needs or anything in that makes up the relationship. Individuals will take on the role of the subservient partner, often beckoning to the will and desires of the other. The individuals life is in the others' shadow, and their inner light is often diminished or almost distinguished because of it.
In relationship situations, feelings of being inferior, lost, forgotten, or insignificant tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel lonely, disconnected, and unfulfilling on many levels.
My Personal Experience: When one struggles with their identity, they can get easily get lost in everyone else's identity. Living vicariously through others is also another way to keep yourself from being seen. As a child, I didn't want to be seen, and never seemed to fit in, yet I could often feel the emotions of others. It was such a peculiar feeling to observe others and wonder what it was like to be them, as I struggled to explore what it was like to be me. Even as a child I got caught up in the needs of others, playing the rescuer. I always rooted for those who appeared to be the underdog and made it a point to take their side, when in truth it was I who felt like the underdog . . and in standing up for them, I was learning to stand up for myself. It expanded into my relationships, playing in the shadows of others because in truth, I feared my own shadows.
Life has given me the opportunity to take center stage in ways that I never imagined. Throughout my current life's mission, sharing my journey and heart has had its challenges, yet, also countless rewards as I see the powerful ripple effect it has created for others. You are not lost, nor are you inferior to anyone. It's time to step out of the shadows and into the light of who you are.
11. Codependent Sign - No Noticeable Purpose: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, have no real sense of purpose or direction. Life tends to feel monotonous and lacks individual meaning, ambition, or drive. Unfulfilled individuals strive to fill their emotional holes through self medication, over indulgence in the superficial things of the world, have various phycological addictions, have the desire for more and more possessions, are spontaneous risk takers, and often grasp at straws with attempts to fill the dysfunctional gaps within themselves and the relationship.
In relationship situations, feelings of temporary emotional highs, often followed by extreme lows, tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel superficial with no real depth or purpose.
My Personal Experience: I am no stranger as I have watched various individuals wrestle with addictions. For me, apparently I was addicted to the idea of discovering love, being in love, or fabricating in my mind what love was supposed to feel like. I really had no idea! My former marriages or past relationships will attest to that. When we have emotional holes, we will often look for external substitutes to fill them, until we know better. I never did turn to what most turn to. I've not been interested in the use of recreational drugs or excessive alcohol or the accumulating material possessions, but perhaps to some degree, I've been a crazy risk taker with my heart.
Today, in my healing practice I often counsel individuals that the notion that anyone can complete them is a fabricated fairytale for fruit loops. You can only receive the love to the degree that you can love yourself. Learning to love yourself is the way to healing and wholeness. Today, I know a kind of love that will never abandon nor forsake. The love is fully alive and activated within me, mind, body, and spirit. Love yourself. It's a priceless journey.
12. Codependent Sign - Isolation: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, tend to isolate themselves and/or their partner from others. Any new relationships, including existing friends or family are often viewed as an immediate threat. The individual often fears disruption or interruption in the dysfunctional dynamics and familiar patterns of the relationship. Individuals tend to manipulate or dictate when their partner can speak to others, or interact with others. They discourage friendships, social interactions, or anything that could potentially take the attention off of themselves.
In relationship situations, feelings of smothering, isolation, and being alone tend to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel isolating, suffocating, with feelings of being trapped.
My Personal Experience: On occasions in one of my former marriages, I definitely experinced isolation from others. In one particular situation, I was living out in the country with no phone available, and no immediate neighbors. I was a stay at home mom, who was dependent on her spouse to bring her places. Asking permission to do anything was par for the course and engagement with family occurred only when it was convenient for my partner to bring me there. I was left with no vehicle, but it didn't matter anyway because I didn't have a driver's license even at the age of 26! In this situation I very much felt like a victim. I felt trapped in a maze of circumstances that I had no control over, that is, until I was desperate enough to change the circumstances that my naivete chose into. It finally happened one day, as I found the courage to walk to the corner store, 8 months pregnant, with suitcase in hand, and two young children. In a timid voice, I asked to use the phone to call the police because I needed a ride to the woman's shelter. For the first time, I voiced my need to find me, by escaping the isolation that was drowning the vibrancy of my heart.
The truth is, I was never a victim - only temporarily asleep to the wonderful things I deserved to experience in life. During those times I had no real sense of identity. I only knew I was a mom, a wife, a daughter, mere titles that are not even close to who I know I am today. Today, I am forever thankful for the wisdom learned through those days, that now surprisingly feel like another lifetime.
13. Codependent Sign - Out of Balance: You, the other person, or both engaged in the relationship, take on roles that feel out of balance. One individual may carry most of the responsibility, while the other tends to make excuses for their lack of involvement in the partnership. This can include supporting the family financially, caring for children, upkeep of the home, or anything that involves taking accountability and responsibility. To one individual it may feel as if the weight of the world is on their shoulder, as the other experiences what appears to be a free ride.
In relationship situations, feelings of stress, anxiety, resentment, and the constant pressure to preform tends to be the underlying energy present. As a result, the relationship can feel out of balance, unsupportive, detached, and unfair.
My Personal Experience: As far back as I can remember, I have always felt a sense of responsibility toward others. In times past I had been very loving and nurturing to the point of forgetting myself. It felt as if I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. As I began to heal these burdens I heaped upon my back, I went to a chiropractor to gain some flexibility in my body and reduce the pain in my neck. My emotions had been so repressed that I couldn't move my head from side to side, and I could only slightly bend over. When the doctor examined me, he remarked, "I've been a chiropractor for 25 years and I have never seen a back like yours! Your back feels like a board. Who did this to you?"
Back then as I was preparing to leave my third marriage, I said nothing, as I kept my secrets tightly wrapped up in my broken heart, not daring to share them with anyone. I was filled with shame, regret, and embarrassment, and I feared judgment from anyone who would ever find out that I thought I had failed on so many levels.
It's now amazing to me that I allowed my life to become a series of dysfunctional events that pressed my bones to the breaking point and my heart to shatter in ways that very few could survive. Through my former experiences, I never once said, "I will never love again." I never once said, "I give up." I never once said, "I'm broken."
Yet in retrospect, it was the breaking of the old me that created the new me. The physical mold over my heart was shattered and a new heart gave birth through the path of God's love and grace. And with that inner knowing, LOVE kept its promise and I received that beautiful promise with victory and celebration.
Ezekiel 36:26 - "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."
Through deep inner healing over the years, and through the infinite power of God's love, and some soul searching, I have truly been given a new heart; a heart free to love deeply in ways that I had never known before. It's true I have suffered many loses in my life, yet, I would rather suffer 1000 loses than to lose myself again within the tangled maze of codependency. That love I feel inside, isn't dependent on anyone, or any external force promising me the superficial things of this world. I have everything right here, right now, inside of me; totally free to be me and I pray that you'll discover the same within you.
The purpose of this article is to create a catalyst for positive change for you and the relationships that you choose to be a part of. It's a way to observe what may be working or not working in your current relationship or relationships. The behavioral traits of codependency can often transfer themselves into all relationships. If not addressed and healed, often those that leave these types of relationships, will fall back into the same old patterns of behavior, switching to a different face with the same character traits.
It's important to note that codependency is a two way street. This is not a finger pointing expedition of who's right and who's wrong. It's an invitation to take accountability for the relationships in which we have all played a role. In a sense, we are all dependent on one another, as we are connected through our interdependence, with God and our mind, body, and spirit. Our conscious choice to heal opens the doorway for others to do the same.
Healing begins as we acknowledge the deficiencies that are often created through the conditioning of the human experience. It begins when we take the journey inward, reaching into the parts of ourselves that are afraid to speak up, that are afraid to be seen, that are afraid to be vibrantly brilliant. Healing begins when we are willing to reach beyond our limited view and into the depths of Universal Love, which we will refer to as the I AM presence of God. Healing begins when we let go of what we think we are, and fall into the unknown corridors of vulnerability, to explore both our passion and our pain as equal teachers. Healing begins when we can forgive ourselves for forgetting who we are, and extend the same forgiveness to others. Healing begins when we can connect authentically, being raw and real in our nakedness; casting off the shackles of shame, regret, bitterness, anger, resentment, and blame. Healing begins with you, with me, with us. It's an inside job that we are destined to do together and blessed to do together.
If you've read this far, congratulations. Don't lose heart. This is the beginning of your new life that you totally deserve to create, which will support you in remembering who you are without your limiting titles and beliefs.
Some things you can do shift old patterns of codependency are the following suggestions. We encourage you to put your whole heart, might, mind, and strength into them, and before you know it, you'll forget who you used to be and awaken to the infinite possibilities of the love within you.
1. Connect With Healing, Loving Light: When you've gone through something that has kept you in the dark, it only makes sense that you would reach out to a Universal power that represents healing love and light. Communing and communicating with the Universal light and love of God can begin healing the wounds of codependency or anything, for that matter. Begin by simply asking for support. You can do this through a prayer, through meditation, or asking others to pray for you and with you.
2. Be Acutely Aware: Become aware of any codependent behaviors by noticing what they are and when they tend to show up. What triggers them and why? What do you most fear? Observe the behaviors without judging them. Notice them without casting blame on anyone, including yourself. Make a list of what you have done in the past that you are now willing to look at and change.
3. Focus On Feeling: We've got to feel to heal and true healing always begins from the inside out. Often those engaged in codependent relationships have learned to stuff emotion. They have learned to become the great pretenders. Whatever arises, let the emotions come up. Acknowledge them and let them out. You can do this by verbalizing them to yourself, to God, to someone you feel safe with, or by writing them down on a piece of paper.
4. Trace Back To The Root: As mentioned earlier in this article, codependency is often pattern that occurs due to growing up in a codependent family. Reflect on what your family dynamics were. Can you recognize any of these behaviors within your parent's relationship as you were a child growing up or even now? How have you mimicked these patterns yourself? Understanding where the roots are, can support you in healing not only yourself, but also past and future generations.
5. Rediscover Yourself: One of the best things about taking your power back and stepping into your authentic self is you have the opportunity to create a whole new you. The old you is can be compared to an old worn out pair of shoes. You've outgrown them, and it's time to try a new pair on. Get a piece of paper and write down some things that will help you rediscover yourself. Doing so will help affirm what you already are and know deep within. You can begin by asking yourself some of the following questions: If you could create a vibrant version of you what would that look like? If there was nothing holding you back who would you show up as? What are you passionate about or what would you be willing to engage in to find that passion? What brings you joy? What once brought you joy that you've stopped doing?
6. Set Clear Boundaries For Yourself: Codependent relationships often lack boundaries. Learning how to say no to things that no longer feel good or are out of balance is a huge step in letting go of the old you. Saying "no," and sticking to it, will support you in going a long way. You can also ask yourself a question when faced with a situation that you aren't sure of. "What feeling is coming up within me right now?" If it feels uncomfortable, or you're feeling pressured to do something, take a moment to reflect and replace an old behavior with a new behavior. For example: If you had a tendency to run to the rescue to fix another's problem, pause, and observe instead. Take the opportunity to see what happens if you avoid that pattern of running to the rescue. The person will more than likely find a way to figure it out without your help. You can be an encouraging supporter and give someone the opportunity to to problem solve for themselves. To fix everything robs others of the opportunity to grow. It's impossible to walk in someone else's soul.
7. Make A Play Date With You: There are many individuals that feel uncomfortable being by themselves, because they don't know who they are by themselves. This is where you come in. Take time to be with you and get comfortable by yourself by doing something positive that will add to your awareness. You can spend time reading uplifting material, writing down your thoughts, meditating, going for a walk in nature, taking a class to build confidence, or whatever else you can think of. Be careful not to engage in activities that continue to numb you or keep you from your healing process like watching mindless movies, playing video games, or anything that would take you away from focusing on you.
8. Flip The Negative Switch: Often individuals who have experinced codependent relationships tend to think negatively about themselves or others, and struggle with feeling good about themselves. Such negative patterns are often followed by lingering feelings of shame or guilt. If you find that this is a pattern of yours, flip the switch, and reframe how you look at things or redirect the energy of the situation. For instance, if you are feeling used and depleted, chances are you've over extended yourself and you've caught yourself in an old pattern. When you have these awareness come in, place your attention on recharging yourself and forgiving yourself. Make it a game, and catch yourself in old patterns so you can easily shift them. Do something to replace the old behavior with. Relax in a hot Epson salt bath, ground in nature, or spend time alone doing something that feels good to you.
9. Forgive & Give Yourself Room To Grow: Part of growing past your old self is releasing old patterns that no longer resonate with you. We only know what we know, or live what we live, until we learn something different. Forgiving gives you permission to forget the old behaviors of you to make way for the new you. Forgiving is "For-Giving" yourself new opportunities to spread your wings into the abundant possibilities for your life. When you are truly able to forgive yourself, you will find that forgiving others becomes so much easier to do. Often lack of forgiveness of others hinges on lack of forgiveness of self. To forgive is to acknowledge that you were in a state of forgetfulness, yet, are now in the process of waking up to a newer version of you.
10. Be Unapologetically You & Shine: When you are truly honest with yourself you know that deep within the core of you, there is a part of you that willingly gave your power away. You allowed others to feed off of your light as you played the role of victim and martyr. You gave others permission to rob you of your true identity, deliberately keeping yourself in the dark, because truthfully, you were afraid of your own light. You were afraid of what that light might show you as it moved through the corridors of your soul. You were so buried in forgetfulness that you thought love was dead. Now you see thing differently. Now you are beginning to feel differently as you explore your true identity, fearlessly, and courageously. The truth is, you are uniquely and wonderfully made; an expression of love remembering itself. As you rediscover this about yourself, do yourself a favor, and let others do the same.
OTHER HELPFUL RESOURCES:
For further support, we would recommend a book that every child and adult can benefit from. It was an unexpected book that changed my life, and now I am sharing it with you. It's by Neale Donald Walsh. "The Little Soul an The Sun: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Soul-Neale-Donald-Walsch/dp/1571740872/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2QZ9HX7HOBK3W&keywords=The+Little+Soul+%26+the+sun&qid=1660914634&sprefix=the+little+soul+%26+the+sun%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-1
Leslie Paramore's New Book, "The Art & Signs of Spiritual Awakening - The 21 Signs it's Your Time," can also support you as you awaken to your new life. https://www.amazon.com/Art-Signs-Spiritual-Awakening-Your/dp/1088019552/ref=sr_1_1?crid=23KV3OKIY5J6Z&keywords=The+art+and+signs+of+spiritual+awakening&qid=1660914805&sprefix=the+art+and+signs+of+spiritual+awakening+%2Caps%2C115&sr=8-1
Our Online Healing Courses For Body, Mind & Spirit: https://courses.heartcenteredreiki.org
Book a Healing Session With Me: https://www.heartcenteredreiki.org
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Leslie Paramore operates a private practice, where she offers sessions remotely and in person. She supports individuals on their path towards holistic health and wellness, mind, body and spirit. Leslie is a Heart Centered Reiki Master Teacher, Licensed Massage Therapist, Life Purpose Coach, Neuro Linguistic Practitioner and meditation recording artist. Leslie is also known for channeling intuitive messages from the spiritual realms for her clients. She loves supporting individuals in discovering their healing gifts. She is passionate about empowering the planet one heart at a time.
For children, Leslie is also an international children's author with over 70 ESL books published and also an empowerment presenter known as, Princess Starseed. Leslie holds a background in Early Childhood Education, with courses in human relations and child Psychology.
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