Letting Go of Codependency

Article by Brooke Chang, Pathway to Joy and Healing

Leaving my Reiki practice was one of the more difficult decisions I’ve had to make, as I recently decided to retire from my practice. This decision came particularly difficult because I truly love and care about my clients.  When I realized that my relationship with them had been based on codependency on my part and dependency on many of their parts, I felt that leaving my Reiki practice was the best solution in order to take ownership of this problem.

On a cool January day, I walked with some reservation and anxiety to my Reiki studio located in an older mall with a fountain in its center. As I entered the mall, the smell of disinfectant was strong, and the air was cool since the landlord never turned on the heat. I took the elevator to the second floor where I entered a shared suite and reception lounge. The couch and chairs in the reception lounge were modern with a tree of life sculpture hanging on the wall.

As I unlocked the door to my Reiki studio, the smell of a lavender candle lingered in the air which was used for a client from the previous day. In the Reiki studio, two original abstract landscape paintings by my husband hung on the wall along with my Reiki Therapy certificates. Several Himalayan salt lamps and wicker style furnishings were positioned around the small room. Muted light shone through the frosted windows and door. I felt calmer and less anxious as I prepared to tell my first client that we must conclude our time together and about my retirement from Reiki practice.

When my first client arrived, I greeted her cheerfully in the reception lounge and asked her how she was doing as we walked together to my Reiki studio. I took a deep breath and shared the difficult news about the codependency and dependency relationship that I have with my clients and our need to conclude our sessions due to my retirement. To my surprise, she seemed okay with our concluding. She asked a few questions about my retirement and wished me well. With each client thereafter, we had this discussion where I expressed what I needed to address with each of them. 

Codependency defined by Merriam-Webster is a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person manifesting low self-esteem and a strong desire for approval has an unhealthy attachment to another person. It places the needs of that person before his or her own. In codependency, a person tries to satisfy the needs of another who may have an addictive or emotionally unstable personality.

My codependency began in my childhood with parents who had addictive and emotionally unstable personalities.  I learned to be their emotional care taker, and that setting boundaries was unsafe. My family dynamics were full of abuse, violence, and violation of personal boundaries, as my refusal to comply resulted in more emotional and physical abuse. After I complied with their demands, I suppressed the subsequent rage, anger, sadness, and fear that I felt.

My failure to be able to set healthy personal boundaries plagued me for most of my adult life. I suffered from guilt, obligation, and over-responsibility. My conditioned behaviors continued as I simply gave into others’ demands and gave up my own health, safety, time and resources. This continued into my Reiki Therapy practice.

The dynamic of Reiki Therapy lends itself readily to a codependent practitioner and dependent client relationship. The client has a passive role in their healing as they lie on a Reiki table while the practitioner performs the energy work. The client participates little in this energy healing. The practitioner becomes the caretaker while the client becomes the dependent to this practitioner and her energy work. This dynamic also occurred with my Reiki practitioner, when I received Reiki Therapy earlier on my healing journey.

I further became aware of the lessons that my clients were teaching me. I learned that I can’t save everyone and only they can save themselves. I am only a guide to support their healing journey. I also recognized that I must, as the practitioner, take responsibility to change any unhealthy dynamics with them. I referred many clients to psychotherapy to help them become more independent in their own healing, and to begin to reduce their sessions with me in order to conclude our work together.

Shortly after these conversations with my clients, I experienced a massive energetic heart release. It felt like strong tremors emanating from my heart chakra while I slept; this experience felt like it lasted for hours although I believe it only occurred for several minutes. I had experienced this type of energetic release before after major shifts within my emotional landscape. I also felt a tremendous relief come over me and overall wellbeing. Sadness, loss, and even anger and resentment also came over me, as I re-experienced what I must have suppressed as a child.

The letting go of this codependency is essential for my emotional growth. Each time I let go, I begin to grow, change, and ultimately, heal the trauma that has been stored within my energy field for most of my life. Each growth and change I experience culminates in my spiritual transformation to become the person I am intended to be. Peace and love, Brooke (Copyright 2023 Brooke Chang with all rights reserved. May be reblogged in its entirety with credit to this author, but may not be copied or excerpted.)

Living as an Empath


Living as an empath has its drawbacks.  One is not knowing if feelings I am experiencing is mine or others.  Recently, I experienced three episodes of anxiety attacks while with my Twin Flame.  One of these episodes occurred near an art gallery where I felt horrible pains in my chest and in my heart chakra of emotional pain and hurt.  I ask my Twin if he had a negative experience there, and he described that a gallery owner earlier rejected his art work .

On two recent hikes together with my twin, I felt panic attacks when we were discussing about his artistic and musical pursuits.  The first episode involved anxiety with tightness in my chest, and difficult breathing.  The second episode involved tightness in my chest and nausea.  When I described these feelings to my Twin, he expressed that he had been experiencing nausea in the morning for about a year.  During each of these episodes, I sense thoughts of not being good enough or unworthiness.

I am in the process of understanding why I am experiencing feelings of panic and anxiety.  Are my feelings of unworthiness being triggered within me?  Since he is my twin, we have similar emotional wounds, so am I merely mirroring the negative emotions of unworthiness, lack, and insecurities?  As I am energetically connected to my twin, am I experiencing his symptoms of panic and anxiety?

I sense that he blames others, particularly women for his feeling of inadequacy.  Are we both blaming others for our own feelings of inadequacy?  Maybe this is simply a mirroring of two Twin Flames trying to unravel our issues that are intertwined.  I continue to struggle to understand what is actually happening.  If you have any insights, please feel free to share and comment below. (Copyright 2017 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)



Relearning Love


During this phase of my spiritual journey, I am relearning love. In my family of origin, I associated love with abuse, violence, narcissism, and fear. The lessons I learned in the past five years taught me that love does not involve yearning, clinging, cravings, insecurity, possession, or jealousy. I have come to realize that I have never truly loved anyone and have never truly been loved by anyone.

I am relearning how to love now in my life. As I have recently learned how to love myself, I am learning how to love others unconditionally. Love is behavior we learn through our family of origin. As an adult now, I am having to relearn how to love others and myself.

Love, particular romantic love, feels very different for me than from my past. I realize now that love is peaceful and safe. It is not only the intensity of sexual attraction  which I believe is temporary. Love feels very different for me now, because the yearning, craving, insecurity, and fear no longer exist in my relationships. Even my friendships, feel different than in my past because they involve mutual respect of our needs and boundaries.

As I progressed in my spiritual journey, I am relearning and experiencing my world completely differently. Sometimes, it feels like I am living another life as someone else. As I experienced my world now, my higher self is telling me that this is real love and that my life has changed forever. ( copyright 2017 Awakening Journey with all rights reserved.)

The Transformation


As some of my readers know, I have evolved so much recently, and I have decided to take the next big step on my journey.  I had a poignant conversation with someone in my life who I love dearly.  My friend is like a little sister to me, and I am leaving her as I move forward.  As I clean out my closets during my move as it is symbolic of clearing out my emotional closet, I am giving away many of my possessions.

For two weeks, I waited for my friend to pick up these items that I set aside for her. Repeatedly, she was delayed, and postponed picking up these itmes.  Finally, I texted her and explained about my putting my house on the market as I intend to leave here, and that I can no longer wait for her to pick up these items.  I decided to just drop off these items at her home.

As I saw her that day, she said, “You are leaving me.”  I did not feel guilty by her words, but simply replied, “I have out grown this place, and must move forward. I can’t tell you how excited I am about my new life.”  I no longer react to others, but simply state my reasons very calmly.   I just tell people that this is what I must do, and it is not personal to them.

This above exchange is quite symbolic of my recent evolution.  As others are caught up in their every day details of living and egos, I see a path before me with my higher self guiding me on my journey forward.  My life is simply different now, as I feel a purpose and direction for my life.  I know what I need to serve my higher purpose in helping others.

I am clear about my direction in my personal life too.  My higher self tells me to take on challenges, and not to be afraid. Even if the relationship fails, I must try as it will serve a purpose for my soul growth.  I live more fearlessly now, and my world opens up beyond the minutia of life and ego.  It is a powerful experience, and I am humbled by it. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)


The Secret to Karma


Have you ever had negative karma with others?  It can be from a possible past life gone wrong with another, or others have done harm or wrong to you in this life.  When we have karma with others, we will feel an irresistable attraction like a magnet.  The purpose of this attraction is to help the soul resolve this past or present karma. This is when we must take notice, and use this opportunity to resolve and release this karma.

Case in point: I met a man five years ago who I recall having a past life experience.  I recalled that he was a suitor of mine in the 1800’s in the American south. My family was well to do, and he was interested in my family’s money.  Although I was in love with him, I was unwilling to ask my family for money on his behalf.  When I became pregnant, he left me and my daughter for another woman.  I was forced to give up my daughter for adoption as women could not have children out of wedlock back then.

When I met him again in this life, I had a magnetic attraction to him.  Regrettably, nearly the same thing happened again in this lifetime.  This time, he gave me a sexually transmitted disease, and was involved with a married woman and many others while dating me. It is great irony that the same events will repeat from lifetime to lifetime if we do not resolve this karma with others.

This time, I understood what I needed to do which is to leave him because I realized in this life that I deserve better than to be treated with such disrespect and disregard.  However, it took me a long time to forgive him which is the secret to resolving and releasing past karma. If you continue to harbor anger and resentment toward the other, the karma remains between the two.

When I finally forgave him, the attraction and attachment simply vanished.  I realized that I was contributing to this negative karma betweem us.  Like a house of cards, all the cards tumbled down when I forgave him and his married mistress.  The greater irony is that this married woman’s husband left her for another woman. Furthermore, this man’s family does not welcome this married woman, because they had the affair while he still was married which broke up his family.  Talk about karma!

When we create karma with others, we shall reap what we sow.  In order for me to rid these two people from my soul life permanently, I needed to forgive them, and give up the anger and resentment toward them.  May you resolve and release your negative karma. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)


Clearing Old Energy


I have been going through a phase where everything in my life appears on its face to be going wrong.  My visits with friends are making me feel ill.   I feel disconnected from my job that at one point served as my purpose in life.  My current life feels all out of kilter.  What I have come to realize that is happening is that old energy is clearing out.

What felt comfortable and normal to me earlier in my life no longer fits or feels comfortable now.  I am now aware daily that as I change, I need to make changes in my life. I realize that I may not be resonating at the same frequency as I had earlier in my life.  Many things are falling away as what attracted me earlier, no longer attracts me now.

It is disconcerting to me as my mind has not caught up with these changes. This dramatic change has occurred even within the last year.  My mind feels confused by what is happening.   Why don’t I respond the same way to people, situations, and events as I did earlier?  I am elated by this change, but I am changing faster than my mind is able to keep up.

This period of my emotional growth spurt is encouraging me to move to another part of the country to meet new people, start a new job, and begin the next phase of my life. This morning during my preparation for my eventual relocation, I began crying and mourning my past as I release it and let it go.  My past has served its purpose, but I will miss certain things about it.

Ironically, I also realize that if I want to move forward, I must let go of people, things, and events of my past.  It is bittersweet.  Good-bye, I have no regrets and I will miss you all.  Sending love from afar. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

Surviving as an Empaths


In this post, I want to share how best to cope as an empath.  When I am around others or am connected to others, I take on their emotions and moods, and sometimes, this can occur at a distance. This weekend, I spent time away with three other women. One of these woman is a good friend who recently was involved in a car accident.

We decided to drive two separate cars to the Lakeside condo that we rented for the weekend.  I was driving alone in my car, but began experiencing unexplained fears and apprehension while driving in my car to the Lakeside condo.  As other cars merged toward me during my drive, I became frightened and startled.  At first, I was completely bewildered by these emotions.  I could not figure out where this was coming from.

After arriving at the Lakeside condo, my friends asked me to drive when we went out together.  My friend who was involved in the car accident, sat in the front passenger’s seat.  As cars approach my car or came near my car, she screamed and nearly jumped out of her seat.  After observing this in her, I realized that I was connect to her and empathically felt her emotions of fear and apprehension, even at a distance.

When I experience certain feelings or emotions, I first determine if they are mine or others.  Sometimes, others will trigger certain feelings and emotions within me.  I consider which feelings are mine because I have felt those feelings recently, or there is a current situation/trauma that is causing these feelings to arise within me. On the other hands, if these feelings just come up that is strangely unexplainable or feels foreign to me, I am most likely feeling the emotions and moods of others.

I found a way recently to disconnect from those emotions and moods.  The first step is to identify this emotion or mood and to whom they belong.  The second step is to actively disconnect from that person.  I do this through breathing them out of me with nostril or belly breathing techniques, and simultaneously repeating the mantra, “You may not enter my energy field, please leave now.”   I also use imagery to imagine a bubble of light surrounding me so others cannot penetrate this light bubble.  I then repeat the mantra, “I am sovereign and am my own being.”

Repeat these exercises as many times as necessary until others leave your energy field. After doing these exercises, I stopped experiencing the fear and apprehension while driving home from my weekend away.  Let me know if these exercises works for you!  (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)


Resolving Karma through Forgiveness


In an earlier post, I wrote about how certain people and events who cause disappointments and heartache are brought into our lives for a reason.  I suggested closely observing your interactions with them.  They are intended to teach us something about ourselves and are our major lessons of life. If you take this opportunity to learn these life lessons, it will lead to major breakthroughs and transformations for your soul.

Recently, I forgave a person who caused disappointment and terrible heartache for me not only in this lifetimes, but for many past lifetimes.   This connection with others is called karma as we had unresolved issues with each other causing this karmic connection between us.  It was a five year process for me to acknowledge what this connection actually was.  Then I went through the difficult progress of understanding what I was intended to learn from this karmic connection.  Finally, I recently forgave him and let him go which resolved the karma between us at least for me.

What happened next was miraculous!  All the fears, heartache, and pain vanished with this forgiveness.  I had terrible jealousy, distrust of men, fear of being unlovable, fear of abandonment, resentment, anger, heartache and pain from his rejection of me for other women.  Although I had been working very hard these past five years to heal my emotional wounds from childhood, adulthood, and past lives, the final step of forgiveness was necessary to overcome what I had been unable, and along with him, I let go of my past through this forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not done for others; it is for ourselves to heal and move forward.  When I forgave him, I finally was ready to release him from this karmic connection.  When I did this, I overcame my own hurdles, emotional pain, and healed my emotional wounds.  If you have someone in your life who hurt or wounded you, find some way to truly forgive them.  The act itself will release you from them, so you can move forward onto a better, different, healthier, and happier life. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

Understanding Vibrational Frequency

Pathway to Joy and Healing


If you engage in spiritual practice then you understand that all matter have vibrational frequency as everything exists as energy, including animate and inanimate objects.  I became aware of energy and their vibrational frequency when my Kundalini energy rose.  With this knowledge, I began to observe my attraction to others, and began reading about how we attract others through vibrational frequency.  In my earlier post, “the Law of Attraction through Quantum Physics,” I posted about vibrational frequency through Quantum Physics, the study of particles on a subatomic level.  Through Quantum Physics, it has been demonstrated that like vibrational energies attract each other.

So what makes up vibrational frequency that cause us to feel attracted to and attract others?   From my observation, vibrational frequency of an individual is a combination of our emotional landscape, karma or our past and present behaviors toward others, and our current feelings and…

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Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places


During awakening, we see the world through wide angle lenses, like a camera.  What I mean by this is that we can see ourselves and others more objectively, similar to taking a photo.  As I watch my world around me, I see everyone trying to find the right person to love them and fill that void within.  We move from person to person seeking this love, but we never seem to find it.

This search is futile as I have discovered because what we lack is love within ourselves for ourselves.  My intuition tells me much about myself and others, as I can sense other’s thoughts, intentions, and even future events. Many times, I sense something happening before it happens.  This has happened during most of my life.

During one relationship, I sensed that the man in my life was about to leave me, and I had a dream about it.  The next morning, I asked him if this was true.  He looked stunned, and denied it.  However, within a week, he told me he was leaving and moved out of our apartment.  I had many relationships like this, and now I realized that I was seeking to fill this void within me through others.

Now, I am taking a very different approach as I failed so many times before in my search. I have decided to be alone to learn self love by taking care of myself financially, physically, and emotionally.  For the first time in my life, I truly feel free, soaring like a bird without fear, without a care, and without a safety net.  Self love means freedom from dependency whether financial, physical, or emotional.  I feel I am getting closer and closer to a destination, wherever it is.  (Copyright 2015 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)