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(Copyright 2023 Brooke Chang with All Rights Reserved.)

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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.)

Steps to Healing Past Emotional Pain

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During these past few months, I have been confronted with some deep seeded distrust as a result of my childhood abuse by and a philandering father.  As an adult, I attracted men like my father into my life causing more emotional injury and trauma to my life.   This has translated into distrust of men that is deeply ingrained within me.  These past emotional injuries resulted in deep blockages within my sacral and heart chakras.  In my attempts to unblock these chakras, I have tried the following methods:

  • Letting go what you can’t control and letting go of past emotions and behaviors through intention, belief, and actions
  • Awareness of triggering thoughts, events, and statements by simply observing them without reaction
  • Acknowledge your fears through stating them out loud or writing them down
  • Forgive yourself and others for past mistakes and failures by accepting your past
  • Learning to love yourself through self care, setting healthy boundaries with others, and nurturing yourself

At the root of distrust is the lack of self love and fear.  When we fear betrayal and being hurt again, we have not forgiven ourselves and others for injuring us.  We have not learned to love ourselves through setting clear and healthy boundaries with others, and taking responsibility for and control of our actions that are forms of self love.

When we learn to let go of the past through clear intentions that we no longer want certain emotions and behaviors in our lives, we follow up with the belief that we can and will change them, then follow through with consistent change in our actions.  Good luck with healing your past emotional pain. (Copyright 2017 with All Rights Reserved)

 

Moving Through Fear

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Fear is like waves on the ocean that come in ebbs and flows.  This is what I have been experiencing after a recent argument with my Twin Flame.  His behaviors triggered my past injury that felt so painful that I reacted in a way I have not reacted in over 15 years.  I thought that injury was healed, but I am realizing that I still am emotionally wounded.

This emotional wound causes me to behave with distrust, jealousy, and fear of betrayal.  I also realized and acknowledge that this wound is within me.  I believe that my twin and I share similar emotional wounds causing us to trigger each other, and share the same fear of being injured again.  I have been observing my thoughts and feelings as these waves of fear hit me.

Last night, I admitted to my Twin Flame my deepest fear of no longer being young and pretty as I age.  My fear is that someday in the near future, he will trade me in for a newer and younger woman.  Just saying these words out loud made my fears dissipate.  It connected me deeply with my Twin to share such vulnerability and deep seeded fear of unworthiness and lack.

Fear is the voice that prevents us from being injured again, but it also is the voice that prevents us from moving forward in our lives. It keeps us stuck in the same emotionally wounded place as when we first were wounded by someone we love.  Facing our fears is the first step to dissipating this fear, and taking away its power to rule our lives.  May you overcome your deepest fears.  (Copyright 2017 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

Relearning Love

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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.)

Love: Living Beyond Dependency

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The truth is that most of our relationships are dependencies.  Love is unconditional while dependency requires the condition that we are with the other person or that we serve certain conditions in each other’s lives.  Dependency is a form of addiction.  All my relationships until recently have been dependencies, either serving as a victim or an enabler.

As I move forward on my spiritual journey, I have very honest conversations with myself about who I still have dependency relationships in my current life.  These are the signs I have come to realize that strongly indicate dependency relationships:

  1. If either person fears doing or saying things as the other will become upset or angry.
  2.  If either person become upset or angry when they can’t control outcomes.
  3. If either person is not happy for the other when one is successful and moving forward in their life.
  4. If either person will not allow relationships with third-parties without jealousy, drama, or arguments.
  5. If either person feel that their happiness is dependent on the other in this relationship, and can’t live without the other.
  6. If either person needs to seek love outside of themselves.
  7. If either person is waiting to be saved (victim), or is a care giver (enabler).
  8. If either person blames the other for how they feel or their failures.

If these signs exhibit in your relationships, you have dependency relationships with others. Before I began my spiritual journey five years ago, I exhibited all these signs in all my relationships, and I was a difficult person to be with. I loathed myself, had little self esteem, and gave from a place of lack.  When I raised my consciousness about who I was, it was difficult to see this darkness about myself.

I began to change my life for the better, once I was able to see the truth about myself. I began to learn self acceptance, self love, independence, self sufficiency, and ridding the negative patterns in my life one of which is leaving dependency relationships behind.  Even if these relationships are virtual like on social media, I can still feel their anger and rage through their words and energy.

With each day, I leave more and more dependency relationships behind as I prefer being alone to dependency relationships in my life now.   Sometimes, it takes great determination to leave these people, things, and situations that no longer serve our highest potential.  (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

 

 

Closure of Our Past

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At the end of each phase of our emotional and spiritual growth, we need closure and house cleaning of sorts.  They are closure on relationships that no longer conform to how we live or want to live our my lives.  Similar to alcoholic who want to change and quit drinking, they must let go of their drinking buddies and friends.  Similar to any addiction, negative behaviors and thinking are addictions.  We become habituated to these negative actions and beliefs.

As I leave my current job and home, I am saying good-bye to others.  It is letting them go as I move forward in my life.  I have become a stranger to them as I have transformed to someone who does not conform to their way of behaving or thinking.  I think it is puzzling and difficult for them as I simply do not agree with them on many things.  I am in the processing of letting them go, and soon I will no longer feel sad about losing my past.

It has been eye opening to see who I have become as I interact with those in my past.  I have a different voice and an inner strength that I have only recently come to recognize as me.  There is a reason all this is happening to me, and this reason is causing the change in my life.  It is painful and hard, but it is for my highest good.

Everyday, I say to myself, let go , let go, and someday it will no longer feel so painful and hard to let go of my past.  Until we release our past, we will be forever imprisoned by it. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

 

 

New Lenses, New Perspectives

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The final days of this phase of my spiritual journey allows me see the last five years in a different perspective.  What I tolerated earlier on my journey, simply is unacceptable now. My level of toleratnce for bad behaviors become less, and the quality of my life has improved significantly.  The two things are directly proportional, and it is we who sets the appropriate boundaries for those engaging in bad behaviors.

As we heal, we begin to see our world through different lenses.  It is this different perspective that is the manifestation of true changes and growth. Through these new lenses, we simply see our reality in a different way.  As a result, we make different and better choices for ouselves, and react and feel differently about our reality.

As I have sold my home here, completed my current job here, accepted a new job and rented a new home in California, I am free to move forward onto the next phase of my spiritual and emotional growth.  For the first time, I realize there is no end to this evolution of our souls.  It continues to evolve higher and higher, and where it ends no one knows.

I am grateful I have found this path forward as I have been lost and floundering for many soul lives.  In this life, it is meant for me to heal my soul wounds, and become the soul I am meant to become.  It is my soul that I am healing and spirtually growing, as I know this body will only be on this earth for short time.  My spirit shall rise, and my soul life will be forever transformed. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

Healing the Trifecta

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There are three other members of my immediate family, including my parents and my younger brother.  Because of the abuse and dysfunctions within my family, which I believe is our family karma, I needed to overcome the abuse and dysfunctions of my family, including the roles I played with each member of my family.

About five years ago, I encountered a Kundalini active man who represented my father.  He sexually assaulted me, gave me a sexually transmitted disease, and emotionally manipulated me for my money, although I was not the only woman in this situation.  When I met him, I knew he represented my father, and I think he knew it too as I told him frequently.

Because I wanted to be near him, I applied for a job at the college where he works.  When I arrived at this college, I worked for a supervisor who is very mentally ill, irrational, and emotionally unstable.  When I began working for her, I realized that she represented my mother.

During these five years, I worked to overcome my fears of these two individuals as I was terrified, sad, and felt powerless around them.  I learned to stand up for myself, learned that I am worthy and deserve good things, and stopped giving my power to them.  Almost two years ago, I walked away from this man in March 2015, and during this same month, my supervisor was fired from her job although she was given the opportunity to retire.

Strangely, in March 2015, I hired a new staff member for my office who represents my brother.  He is a codepedent who also suffered childhood abuse in his life, and we share a similar relationship like the one I have with my brother.  During these nearly two years, I trained him for the job in my office.  However, I also knew that as long as I was his supervisor, he would continue to stay as a codependent.  My leaving this college will empower him to become independent.

Recently, I accepted another university job in California, and will be leaving my current college.  I realized that I needed to leave this college, because my job is done here as I have overcome my role with my father, mother, and brother.   My family lives in California, and I am finally ready to be with them as I already have practiced how to be with them.

I have gained self esteem, learned self love, and now am able to stand up for myself without needing their approval or acceptance of me.  It is through these difficult interactions and healing my emotional wounds that will allow me to finally be with my family without becoming a victim again.   Since I am different, my relationships with my family will be different too.  (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)

 

Finding the Light

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I awoke this morning with such gratitude in my heart.  Yesterday, I sold my house, and also got a second interview for a university job I want in California!  There has been so much synchronicity in my life now with each moment of each day.

The couple who bought my home wants to close on a specific date in January.  It just so happens to be the same date the new semester begins at the university where I want to work.  What are the chances of that?

I am listening to my intuition to guide me to the next step of my journey.  The location of this job is perfect as it is about 2 hours from my family with just enough distance for a healthy buffer, but close enough to visit for a weekend or for the holidays.

This next position continues my calling to work with sexually assaulted students as well as protect minority students that is so important now with the changes in the political climate in the United States. I feel so very blessed on my spiritual journey forward, and it seems that I finally found my way out of the darkness into the light. Blessings of light and love to you. (Copyright 2016 Awakening Journey with All Rights Reserved)