Why Heal Emotional Pain?
Do you have someone in your life you feel truly understood by?
Are you comfortable sharing your feelings and/or vulnerabilities with people close to you?
Are your emotional needs unmet?
Do you feel like your feelings don't matter?
Do you have Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)
CEN is often subtle, invisible, and unmemorable. It is a factor from childhood that people can't see or remember.
It is a parent's failure to respond enough to a child's emotional needs.
-Dr. Jonice Webb
When you have been raised to believe that what you feel, think, need, and want are unimportant, you develop into someone who hides your true self, people-pleases lacks boundaries, is often depressed, angry, anxious, emotionally eating, and, has not discovered, developed or understand your spiritual gifts or how to use your gifts and skills to create the life you deserve.
IF YOU’RE HERE, CHANCES ARE SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE.
We Can Help You...
Healing Childhood Traumas
Recovering from Toxic Relationships
Helping You Accept the Loss/Disconnection of the love bond due to abandonment and neglect and how it affects your life as an adult.
Releasing Distorted Perceptions & Limiting Beliefs
Breaking Free from Disempowering Family Patterns & Dynamics
Accessing & Processing Emotional Wounds
Spiritual Guidance and Career/Life Planning Counseling
"If you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always gotten."
- Henry Ford
Help take the burden off your loved ones by choosing to understand your emotional pain and taking full control of how you are feeling and behaving
in a calm and thoughtful atmosphere.
-Dr. Nikki LeToya White
“IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW SLOWLY YOU GO AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT STOP.”
“BEING SLOW MEANS THAT YOU CONTROL THE RHYTHMS OF YOUR OWN LIFE. YOU DECIDE HOW FAST YOU HAVE TO GO IN ANY GIVEN CONTEXT. IF TODAY I WANT TO GO FAST, I GO FAST; IF TOMORROW I WANT TO GO SLOW, I GO SLOW. WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING FOR IS THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE OUR OWN TEMPOS.”
— CARLO PETRINI
Are You Our Ideal Client?
Do you struggle with codependency?
Are you a recovering codependent who tends to lose yourself in relationships?
Are you a recovering people-pleaser?
Are you a chronic caregiver?
Do you struggle with emotional eating?
Are you a highly-sensitive person?
Are you an empath?
Are you an INFJ or INPJ personality trait?
Are any of these true for you?
It’s hard to say no and prioritize my self-care.
Setting boundaries is hard. I don’t like to hurt other people’s feelings or have anyone mad at me.
I struggle with confidence and self-doubt.
I’ve often felt a little different from other people. I don’t know quite where I fit in.
I’m stressed out, exhausted, and overwhelmed from trying to do everything perfectly.
I am sensitive to the moods and needs of other people, but I often don’t know what I need or want.
WHAT IF YOU COULD CREATE JOY AND PEACE IN A LIFE YOU TRULY LOVE?
Together we can create a safe space where you can discover and heal what’s getting in the way of living your best life and help you thrive in the life you want. My mission is to provide a place of refuge and deep healing for introverts, highly sensitive people, and helping professionals.
CHANGE IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU. IT’S TIME TO RECLAIM YOUR LIFE AND START DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY!
Imagine yourself saying:
I’m finally living life on my terms without guilt.
My own needs and wants are important and well-tended.
I let go of worrying about what other people think and am free to be who I am.
I am confident in my gifts and uniqueness.
I feel empowered to take action on goals that matter to me.
I set loving yet clear boundaries with my time and energy without feeling guilty.
I deeply trust my inner knowing and wisdom and let it guide my life.
Do you have questions about codependency?
Codependency is a behavioral condition in which a person with low self-esteem relies on external validation for a sense of purpose.
Tian Dayton, Ph.D., describes codependency as “a trauma-related loss of self that happens slowly throughout our personality development… Codependency is fear-based and is a predictable set of qualities and behaviors that grow out of feeling anxious — and therefore hyper-vigilant — in our intimate relationships. It is also reflective of an incomplete process of individuation.”
With its original roots in family members of alcoholic parents, codependency is a concept that describes a relationship where each party is unable to act independently from one other. While the idea might sound a bit far-fetched at first, even romantic to some, the truth is that these relationships are often fraught with emotionally destructive behavior, manipulation, and toxic power struggles.
And despite all of the turmoil, the members of the relationship are often unable to grow, change their tumultuous habits, or leave the other party on their own. This destructive pattern has also been termed “relationship addiction” and has a strong connection with substance abuse and eating disorders. The term was first defined in the late 1970s to describe the patterns of behavior observed in families where one member was an alcoholic. Other members would often ignore the obvious and vicious addiction, refuse to acknowledge it, or might adopt new behaviors in an attempt to distract themselves from it entirely. For example one may people please, participate in sex, gambling, lottery, gaming, and use food to soothe or escape stress or stress of family life all while suppressing how they feel.
This coping mechanism is related to conflict avoidance. Criticism, confrontation, and anger are also dangerous emotional experiences that you wish to avoid at nearly any cost. People-pleasing is largely driven by emotional fears: fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of conflict or confrontations, fear of criticism, fear of being alone, and fear of anger or upsetting others. As a people-pleaser, you hold the belief that by being nice and always doing things for others you will avoid these fears and emotions in yourself and others. But all this does is cause you to abandon your own needs to fix, save, rescue, and please other people. Behaving this way will cause you to feel as if being accepted and getting approval from others is out of reach. This causes a cycle of feeling inadequate, guilty, shame, and failure can build causing you to become even more angry, fearful of rejection, and being abandoned. Such events leave us feeling invaded and cause a lack of confidence to develop. Self-doubt, worry, and stress cause negative energy to reside in our aura and chakra emotional centers. Now you feel stuck!
Where Does Codependency Come from?
Like many other types of addiction, the risk of codependence is often passed down from parents to their children. But unlike substance addiction, genetic factors aren’t heavily involved. Rather, codependency is a learned behavior that children adopt by “watching and imitating other family members who display this type of behavior,” according to Mental Health America.
It's a pattern of childhood conditioning passed down from generation to generation until a family member chooses to stop the unhealthy pattern. Do you tend to get swallowed up in your relationships, abandoning your own needs? Many children learn this behavior as a child, it is the only way to truly keep your partner satisfied and prevent yourself from being harmed or abandoned. This is the mindset of the “caretaker” or "peacemaker."
The connection, however, is not always obvious to the codependent individual. They may, for example, feel an overwhelming need to satisfy others, so much so that they put their hopes and desires aside entirely (this may cause an identity crisis, loss of sense of self, or lack of direction in career choice or purpose in life). And while they may know that these behaviors are destructive (some don’t even acknowledge that fact), they might not recognize exactly why they’re so driven to perform these self-sacrificing deeds in the first place. That’s why it’s crucial if you suspect you are in a codependent relationship that you get qualified help immediately, especially if there is substance abuse or emotional eating involved as well.
Individuals raised in dysfunctional families are more likely to become codependent adults. Dysfunctional families might include:
Parents with physical or mental illness
Parents with an addiction
Narcissistic parent(s) who rely on children for praise and comfort
Emotionally immature parents
Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
Almost all dysfunctional families share these common dynamics:
A culture of silence that precludes honest conversation among family members
Emotions are ignored or punished in the home
Age-inappropriate responsibilities are assigned to children
Children’s needs are secondary or ignored entirely
You Can Recover From Both Codependency and Emotional Eating
12 Symptoms of Codependency
According to Everyday Health, some of the most notable signs of codependency in a caretaker or peacemaker include:
Difficulty making decisions in a relationship
An inability to communicate and identify feelings or emotions
Valuing the approval of others more than your integrity or personal needs
Low self-esteem and/or severe depression
Incessant fears of abandonment
An inability to set personal boundaries
For the controlling party, a few identifying characteristics that might indicate you’re in a codependent relationship are:
A need to control where your partner goes, whom your partner sees, or even what they talk about
Using deceit and manipulation to change the way your partner behaves
An inability to admit you are wrong
An inability to respect personal boundaries
Am I Codependent?
The first step in dealing with your codependency issues is identifying the signs that you are living in a codependent relationship or experiencing codependent behavior. As this type of behavioral addiction is often deep-rooted in core personal characteristics that an individual’s entire sense of self may be attached to, overcoming this hurdle can be admittedly tough. Below are the traits of a codependent person explained by Sharon Martin, LCSW | Counselor | Psychotherapist | Writer over at https://sharonmartincounseling.com/what-is-codependency/
- You focus on other people’s problems and needs in the form of caretaking, controlling, advice-giving, and worrying about others.
- You can be controlling and perfectionistic. You want things to be done a certain way and may resort to telling others what to do and how to do it. You can be critical of others because they often don’t live up to your expectations. Your high standards also make it hard to ask for or accept help.
You struggle when things don’t go as planned. You crave predictability, structure, and certainty — things you probably didn’t have in your childhood family.
You’re self-critical. You also set unrealistic expectations for yourself and are harsh and critical of your imperfections and mistakes. Your self-criticism is a result of your low self-esteem and the harsh criticism you’ve gotten from others.
You feel responsible for everything and everyone, even other people’s happiness.
You’re afraid to upset or disappoint others (people-pleasing). So, you’re always dependable and responsible. People count on you, but this can lead to over-extending yourself and exhaustion.
You have trouble with boundaries, speaking up for yourself, and saying “no”. At times, you let people mistreat or take advantage of your kindness because you don’t want to hurt their feelings, let them down, or create a conflict.
You ignore your feelings and needs, often “stuffing” them or numbing them.
Since your focus is on others and you don’t feel worthy, you generally ignore or put your needs last.
In addition to denying your feelings and needs, you may have a hard time seeing how unmanageable or unhappy your life has become. These are forms of denial.
You base your happiness on what other people are feeling or doing. For example, if your spouse is in a good mood, you can relax and enjoy the day. But if s/he’s angry or depressed, your day is ruined. You have a hard time separating yourself from other people’s feelings, needs, and experiences.
You define yourself as others (I’m Johnny’s dad) and lack a strong sense of self (knowing who you are, what you believe, want, and like).
You’re very hurt. For some, the pain is close to the surface and for others, it’s buried underneath anger and denial. The pain of being abused lied to, cheated on, ignored, cursed at, rejected, or invalidated has never fully healed.
You feel guilty and ashamed. Guilt and shame are the roots of low self-worth and low self-esteem. For a long time, you’ve felt there was something wrong with you. Perhaps someone told you this directly or you may have come to this conclusion based on how you’ve been treated. For example, Jasmine’s mother repeatedly invalidated her feelings and called her a “greedy little slut”; she grew up feeling unlovable and like there was something wrong with her.
You act like a martyr, taking care of everyone else, giving without receiving, and then feeling angry, resentful, and taken advantage of. Sometimes helping and taking care of others makes you feel good (needed and worthwhile) and other times it makes you feel angry and resentful. You may complain, yell, or passive-aggressively let people know you’re upset about “having to do everything”, but chances are you continue your pattern of martyrdom.
You’re reactive. Anger and resentments build up over time causing you to seemingly overreact at times.
You tend to overwork and overschedule yourself as ways to prove your worth or distract yourself.
Intimacy, open communication, and trust are difficult because you didn’t have role models for healthy relationships and you’ve probably been hurt and betrayed in your relationships.
You’re afraid of anger, criticism, rejection, and failure. So, you “play it safe” and keep a low profile.
You may experience anxiety and/or depression. And even if you don’t have a clinical level of anxiety, you may feel tense, anxious, or on edge frequently.
Did you recognize yourself in this list of codependency symptoms?
1. Codependency is not your fault. You didn’t cause it. You became codependent as a way to cope with an out-of-control situation (most likely in childhood). No one taught you a healthy way to cope, so your codependent traits developed. Now, however, codependency causes you problems and gets in the way of having a happy, healthy relationship with yourself and others. So, although you didn’t cause it, you are the only one who can change your codependent thinking and behaviors. You can beg and plead and pray that your loved one goes to treatment or changes in some way, but that isn’t the solution to your codependency. The solution is to learn to accept yourself and others just as they are, to stop trying to control what happens, and take care of yourself. It’s hard, hard work. Loving someone who has a serious problem like addiction is heart-wrenching and so is accepting that you can’t save them, you can only save yourself and work on your trauma and addictions.
2. There is a path out of codependency. Codependency can feel like being trapped in a maze – you’re lost and alone, walking in circles with no direction, and you can’t see any way out. You don’t have to see the entire path out right now; you just need to believe there is one. You need to take one step today towards knowing, caring for, and being your authentic self. And tomorrow you’ll take another step. That’s how you find your way back to yourself – literally one step at a time doing the work each day that is needed to heal and recover.
In addition, Codependent individuals have difficulty naming what they think and feel. They find it hard to be themselves, struggle with people-pleasing, and have difficulty setting boundaries. As a result, they prioritize others’ needs while neglecting their own, and spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about others, often orienting their lives around another person. To avoid the pain and anxiety of being in their own company, many codependent individuals develop addictive behaviors around alcohol, sex, work, or other compulsions.
Many reasons could be the cause however, trauma in early childhood usually has a greater effect. Dysfunctional families instill upon children some or all of the following messages, which children carry into adulthood:
“Your needs are not a priority.”
“Your needs are not as important as my needs.”
“You are selfish for trying to meet your own needs.”
“You are responsible for keeping everything under control.”
“Care-giving for others is the only way you can experience stability.”
“Feeling and naming your feelings is unsafe.”
5 Tips on Overcoming Codependent Behavior
After you’ve taken the first step towards emotional eating recovery, the next step is to start eliminating your codependent behaviors. It may be difficult at first but it’s important to remember that your behaviors are contributing to a toxic and unhealthy association that simply needs to stop.
Here are a few tips to get you started toward interdependence:
First things first, get support for your emotional eating problem or whatever addiction you struggle with.
Nothing is going to change if your relationship is still fueled by unclear thinking, emotional volatility, and physical addiction. And even if it does temporarily, that respite from the abuse that it causes will most likely be short-lived.
Self-care is how you take your power back.
Start emphasizing communicating your feelings.
The #1 reason couples split up or family experience drama is a lack of communication. Funny enough, one of the biggest contributors to the development of a codependent relationship is also a lack of communication.
You may be used to ignore your feelings or even not fully understanding what they are and where they’re coming from. But the more you start to express your feelings, the better you’ll get at identifying what’s wrong and communicating what you want to change.
Having a voice is having power.
Learn to process your childhood wounds/painful experiences.
Codependency has a profound link to past trauma during childhood. As a child, you may have been abandoned by a parent, forgotten by a friend, or ignored and made to feel useless by someone you loved and respected. To overcome your codependent habits, it’s essential that you actively begin to acknowledge these feelings so you can overcome them. No blame is needed. We all fall short in life. We make decisions based on what information and knowledge we have at any given moment or season in life. Learn to forgive and see the soul lesson you are learning due to that person and experience therefore next time you can make a better choice to protect not only your heart but your vibe. High vibration in life is essential for manifesting your heart's desire.
Next time you feel an overwhelming sense of fear or anxiety, try to think back to times when you were younger when you felt the same emotion. Pick out specific details about the situation and take a look at why you were experiencing that feeling in the first place (these are soul lessons and challenges to make us stronger and draw us closer to God). And most importantly, recognize that in most cases, what happened to you was not your fault, just a bad decision due to a lack of information on your part or by others.
This simple acknowledgment can have a cascading effect that helps you understand that the emotions and compulsions causing your emotional eating and codependent behavior today don’t need to rule your life.
Turn your wounds into wisdom.
Start rebuilding your sense of self.
Participating in a full life detox and starting life planning sessions to create the life you were meant to live on your terms is your next step. What is your life purpose? Do you understand your soul path? Do you understand your spiritual gifts? Are you generating your own money through your spiritual gifts or are you financially dependent on someone else to take care of your need? Are your finances in order? What is your money mindset?
Know Your Worth.
Setting Boundaries to End Codependency and Emotional Eating.
One of the most important steps in breaking outside of your codependency and unhealthy eating habits is to set boundaries within your relationship. As a caretaker, peacemaker, and individual learning all these soul lessons it might be especially difficult in any situation to say no to your loved one but it is necessary.
It's time to start living the life you imagined, your only limit is you.
So if you struggle with...
DIFFICULTY COMMUNICATING FEELINGS, THOUGHTS, AND NEEDS
As children, we were taught that our needs were unimportant. As adults, we struggle to identify and name our feelings, thoughts, and needs. We may not know how we feel about certain issues. We may not know what we need physically, emotionally, or mentally. When we can identify our needs, we are afraid to share them. We’ve internalized the idea that doing so would be “selfish” or “mean,” so we often distort the truth to avoid offending others.
AN EXAGGERATED SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR OTHERS
Codependent individuals feel it is their responsibility to help, fix, or heal others, even if doing so puts their well-being in jeopardy. Many of us willingly take on disproportionate amounts of physical, financial, and emotional responsibility when others are in distress, though doing so often leaves us feeling resentful and used.
Balanced relationships in which each partner shares equal responsibilities may make us feel uncomfortable or selfish. It can be hard for us to imagine loving someone we do not need to “save.” We wonder how we will prove our value to this person if we don’t need to rescue them.
Given our exaggerated sense of responsibility for others, we often take others’ moods personally. We may feel at fault if our loved ones are angry, anxious, or quiet. We feel it is our responsibility to “fix” these negative moods.
During childhood, we derived a sense of self-worth from fixing, pleasing, or accommodating others. As adults, we naturally assume the role of caretaker and feel it is our responsibility to please others. Sacrificing our own needs and feelings is second nature; we’ve become so accustomed to doing so that putting our feelings first, or making our own decisions, causes us great anxiety.
We tiptoe around other people’s feelings. We may feel unbearably guilty for saying no, asserting ourselves, or bringing up a conflicting viewpoint. Many of us avoid disappointing others at all costs and, instead of doing things we “want” to do for their own sake, we do things we feel we “should.” We work to secure approval at any cost.
Codependent individuals have weak or non-existent boundaries. As children, the lines between our responsibilities and others’ responsibilities were blurred. As adults, we have trouble differentiating our feelings, thoughts, and needs from others, and struggle to place limitations on the extent to which we offer our possessions (including money, belongings, and our bodies) to others. We feel responsible for others’ problems and/or expect others to be responsible for ours. We find it extremely challenging to say “No,” even when we are being harmed or violated.
LACK OF TRUST IN OURSELVES AND OTHERS
Codependent individuals lack an intrinsic sense of identity. We base our self-perception on others’ attitudes towards us and crave recognition and approval. Due to poor interpersonal boundaries, we assume that others’ treatment of us—positive or negative—is how we “deserve” to be treated. This can lead to extreme shame and self-loathing if we are in a toxic or abusive relationship.
Given our absence of a sense of self, we find security in societal roles such as “mother,” “boss,” or “partner,” that offer a pre-built identity. We identify strongly with external labels and feel existentially anxious without them. For many codependent individuals, the desire to feel seen is paramount. We want desperately for others to witness our authentic selves, but preclude them from doing by presenting a falsified persona to the world.
As adult codependent individuals, our lack of self-concept and corresponding lack of self-love creates a fierce sense of anxiety. We soothe this anxiety by throwing ourselves into activities that give us an external sense of meaning, especially relationships. Codependent individuals obsess about our relationships because they distract us from being alone with ourselves and give us a place where we can replicate the meaning-making activities of our childhood, including caretaking, self-sacrifice, and martyrdom.
DEPENDENCY AND FEAR OF ABANDONMENT
Relationships are our salve for our inner anxieties. Over time, we develop an unhealthy dependence on our relationships. They become our identities. Without them, we feel existentially empty and meaningless. We will hold onto these relationships—even if they are broken or toxic—at any cost. If our partner leaves us, the abandonment we feel is excruciating because we feel we’ve lost not only our partner but our sense of identity as well. Some of us will choose painful, unhealthy relationships over being alone because the anxiety of being alone is too much for us to bear. We may feel simultaneously trapped in an unhappy relationship but unable or unwilling to leave.
As children, many of us were taught that we alone were responsible for ensuring safety, peace, and harmony. As adults, we crave a sense of control to feel calm and safe. We have no tolerance for uncertainty or chaos. Many of us are perfectionists with little tolerance for error.
Our control manifests interpersonally as care-taking and people-pleasing. Though we prefer to view our efforts as “helping” others, they are manipulative; we act a certain way to ensure a desired reaction. We become chameleons, modifying our behavior and personalities to elicit approval from others. We have difficulty accepting the boundaries that others set with us because we view them as an affront to our attempts at helping—and, as a result, an affront to ourselves.
Constant control becomes tiresome. Alcohol, sex, and other escapes from reality may become addictive because they feel like the only place we can truly relax. Alternatively, we may become preoccupied with arenas where we can exert complete control, developing workaholism, eating disorders, or compulsive exercise habits.
Codependency is a mask for our deeply-rooted painful emotions. Many of us go years without realizing we are buried under layers of anxiety and pain, choosing instead to lose ourselves in externalities. For the codependent person, anxiety is ever-present. Spending time alone may exacerbate this anxiety to an unbearable point. Meanwhile, shame and guilt motivate the majority of our actions. We are terrified of doing something “wrong,” being disliked, or being rejected. We are hyper-vigilant, which often leads to fatigue, resentment, and depression.
Beneath these painful emotions often lies chronic anger. Our resentments at feeling unseen, unheard, and taken for granted compound over time. Though we may have difficulty accessing this anger consciously, it may appear in short bursts or unexpected fits. Alternatively, we may feel numb or depressed as our bodies protect themselves from being overwhelmed by emotion.
Codependent individuals feel that they can only relax when those closest to them are happy. For this reason, we will go to great lengths to keep others happy or keep the peace in our relationships, including lying or being dishonest. Dishonesty comes naturally to us in the form of people-pleasing (lying about who we are, what we want, and how we feel) or direct untruths, such as omitting information that might make our partners uncomfortable or displeased. The thought of speaking our truth may fill us with fear. Because we’ve developed our sense of self around pleasing others, we worry that being honest would cause others to reject or abandon us. Codependent individuals catastrophize the consequences of truth-telling and will go to great lengths to avoid doing so.
"Do not give your past the power to define your future."
If these soul lessons are something you need emotional support with please start your journey of emotional healing today! Know that once the aura and chakra are blocked or damaged a cleanse is needed. Once the aura is cleansed, it must be protected.
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