Healing & Understanding Codependency

Tamara Low

- Accredited EFT
- Pranic Healer -Author

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The word Codependency has various applications, descriptions and meanings. Jason Breyer describes Codependency as “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.” See “What is Codependency?” for more info. When I tune in to the energy behind the word Codependency it feels (to me) dense, dark, needy, weak, taken advantage of, and flawed, broken, low-vibration, lonely, and filled with fear. I also feel shame and embarrassment. I wonder if you feel something similar? This is one of the reasons why Ross Rosenburg, the author of “The Human Magnet Syndrome” has renamed “Codependency” in his work, to “Self-Love Deficit Disorder?” I feel this term does not have the same dense energy and the negative stigma attached to it. What I sense is the room or space for self-compassion, warmth, kindness, and growing, learning and healing, instead of self-contempt, embarrassment and shame. Self-Love Deficit Disorder calls it what it is at its core. There are many reasons for the onset of Self-Love Deficiency/Codependency. We were not born this way; it was created, which I will explore more in this article. Regardless of what we call it, there are many layers and depths that need to be addressed along the healing, wholeness and self-awareness journey.

Early Programming/Wounded Inner Child

Christiane Northrup writes:

“As Empaths, we learned early on that we couldn’t be our true selves (and that we needed others to validate us and make us feel whole and seen) and throughout our lives- because we didn’t understand our empathic nature- we became lint rollers for the unfelt pain of others. We took on stuff that wasn’t our responsibility. And we did everything in our power to uplift others and make them feel better so that we could finally feel better too.”

We adapt to the best of our ability to our early environment(s). As we get older, we might notice these early adaptions are no longer serving us. Children with different temperaments adapt in different ways. Northrup continues by saying, we are trying desperately to “fit in”, to find any bits of conditional love, and to the best of our ability to avoid the “three archetypal wounds: shame, abandonment, and betrayal.” Our inner child is grief-stricken, confused, angry, lonely, sad, scared, feeling unlovable, etc. and as a result, our “outer experience in the world is going to re-create our wounds”, resulting in more pain. This makes us vulnerable to Narcissists, or what she calls, “Energy Vampires.” Lisa Romano echo’s something very similar, “our troubled relationships are mirrors of what is happening inside of us. Until we awaken to our denial of self, we stay on paths of destruction with others who are also on paths of destruction.” In this way, it helps us to understand how denying our true emotions has allowed others to violate our boundaries for personal gain.

Pete Walker, in his book, “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving”, gives this phenomenon a name, he calls it “repetition compulsion” or “re-enactment.” It is where “we remain symbolically enthralled to the family by getting ensnared with narcissistic people who were just as abusive and neglectful as their parents.” This explains why we have been unconsciously drawn to certain people (that recreate our early wounds). Once we become aware of this “repetition compulsion” or “re-enactment”, we realize that it is not our fault and there is nothing wrong with us. It is unconscious, an adaption that deeply needs tending to and healing.

The Results of Codependency

Denying the truth of who we are to feel loved and safe has very steep consequences and can manifest as anxiety, depression, frustration, self-hate, self-harm, hypersensitivity, addictions, etc. If this is not healed, Christiane Northrup says, “that the little wounded child will run your endocrine, immune, and central nervous systems until you take the time to meet her needs and stop neglecting her.” We need to take some of the concern, empathy, love, compassion, kindness, understanding and forgiving energy (that is innate in all Empaths), that we readily give to others, and offer it to our divine inner child. Self-Compassion is the key to healing. Stacy Hoch says, “if you have deep compassion for others and you do not have compassion for yourself, you do not have compassion! It is a two-way street!” She is absolutely right!

What will happen when you begin to heal? 

As Empaths, we are so terrified to ever trigger anger or disapproval in others as we can feel their experience within our bodies. So we often choose to “keep other people’s egos at bay”, says Matt Khan. In doing this, we are stuck in the energetic muck. As we become more self-aware and healthy, we notice that we no longer rely on others for validation, approval, permission, etc. Some people are not going to like that they can no longer control you or impact you in this way, Lisa Romano says, “a quantum entanglement must happen (with this person), which is very uncomfortable.” Until this point, we have made others’ opinions of us, their ideas, love, affection, acceptance, etc. such a huge part of our lives and identity. As scary, difficult, and painful as it may be, we must learn to release and let go of these energies and patterns that do not serve us. Matt Khan writes:

“Disrespectful behaviour (from others) is how souls request greater physical distance in order to spend more time getting to know themselves beyond the confines of ego. If someone is meant to interact in a way that is mutually beneficial for the evolution of both souls, their conduct will be open, honest, and respectful. If they are unable to communicate in a respectful manner, their soul is asking for physical space, even if their ego can’t stand the thought of being apart.”

Healing Embodiment and Integration

According to Fred Gallo, a psychological problem, such as trauma, results in an imbalance or disruption in our body’s energy system. This disruption may show up in various systems in your body, including the nervous system, glandular system, meridian system, and chakra system. Further, he says, Energy Psychology techniques (such as EFT) can shift these energies and return your body’s energy system to balance influencing your health, emotions and state of mind, eliminating the problem.

Healing Codependency is a complex process. Our early attachment trauma needs to be addressed, and our inner child needs to be recognized, seen, acknowledged, heard and embraced. I encourage you to seek out the assistance of those specifically trained in assisting with this.

Our unconscious programming needs to be addressed. This includes being aware of our thoughts, beliefs and feelings about ourselves that stem from our early experiences and all that we unconsciously absorbed. Our body and behaviour also give us as clues as to what is going on deep within us. The deep shame that we feel due to this early inner wounding needs to be addressed. Our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and body sensations are the level that I feel that EFT is a masterful accompaniment to the healing process. As Codependents, we accepted someone else’s version of who they thought we should be to please them, which has come at a cost. This is an example of something that an EFT or “Tapping” session could be done on; a step towards letting go of old programming and reconnecting with and embracing who we truly are, at our core.

Stacy Hoch says that once we have healed these inner wounds and are resonating in this place, we are too “Self -FULL” to continue taking on other people’s crap, which doesn’t make you not compassionate, it makes you sane. To which, I agree!

To new-found freedom, 

Tamara

If you are interested in a list of, “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” (please click on the link).

Please see the contact page if you would like to let me know what you thought about this article, or if you are interested in receiving Empathic Heart Healing’s articles/blogs/newsletters or joining the facebook page. Thank you.

Related Articles

Disclaimer

*Energy Therapies, such as EFT and Pranic Healing, are not substitutes for professional medical, psychological or psychiatric care. 

References:

  • Breyer, Jason. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills. Kindle Edition. 
  • Forward, Susan. Mothers Who Can’t Love (pp. 19-20). Harper. Kindle Edition
  • Hoch, Stacy. The Empoweress- YouTube. 
  • Khan, Matt. Everything Is Here to Help You (p. 18-22, 64-65). Hay House. Kindle Edition. 
  • Northrup, Christiane. Dodging Energy Vampires (p. 123- 28). Hay House. Kindle Edition. 
  • Romano, Lisa. The Breakthrough Life Coach. YouTube. 
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap. Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Walker, Pete. Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A GUIDE AND MAP FOR RECOVERING FROM CHILDHOOD TRAUMA (pp. 16-17). Azure Coyote Publishing. Kindle Edition. 

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Internal Exploration Questions
General

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click one of the buttons below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Internal Exploration Questions
Codependency

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click the button below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form, download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Price List

 

*All prices are in Canadian dollars

Codependent Free

A brief summary of Codependency (more in “Education")

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma. During the first 3 years of life, we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. Arielle Swartz says, “this allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.” If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc., the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, resulting in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until it’s dealt with).

Jason Breyer describes Codependency as “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.” Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you, the idea that I do not exist without others’ validation and trying to fill inner voids vicariously by filling others. She says, for others’ sake, the Codependent harms themselves and Narcissist for the sake of themselves harm other people. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next. See “What is Codependency?”, and “Healing and Understanding Codependency.”

Codependency Programming (but not limited to):

Codependency programming ensures that our identity, love, validation, approval, peace, and sense of safety is solely reliant on others. We falsely believe that other people and situations are responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. We completely abandon ourselves and our wounded and deeply afraid inner child(ren) for the sake of others. This can feel like an emotional, psychological, and physical prison that may come to feel like this is how things will always be, that it’s somehow our fate. In summary, its:  

-An external dependency on others for acceptance, validation, approval, and to feel good about ourselves. 

-Not having your own solid identity, becoming void of ourselves for the sake of someone else.

How it may show itself- coping mechanisms

-We seek permission from others. 

-Our self-esteem is validated by what we do and by others’ opinions of us. 

-We can struggle to meet our own needs. 

-Asserting oneself is almost impossible.

-We create behaviours that assist in denying, ignoring or preventing difficult emotions. 

-Can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging as being self-abusive is what we were taught. 

-Codependents often isolate themselves- deep core shame and loneliness is at the heart of this.

Healing

There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, online videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc. available to assist us in learning and understanding Codependency and to help heal its deep and many layers! The energetic hold of Codependency programming is strong. To heal, attachment trauma needs to be addressed and inner child work (I encourage you to seek out those that specialize in these areas for support) and identify deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts. I believe that this is the level that Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) really shines! I am extremely passionate about assisting others in addressing the deep energetic layers of Codependency.

If you are interested, please click on the link for “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” (Emotional Freedom Techniques can also be referred to as “Tapping”). 

If  you are interested in more about Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse, see “What is Narcissism?, “How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse,” and “Healing from Narcissistic Abuse.

**My writing is geared towards Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, but it is ultimately for anyone desiring to learn, grow, heal and explore.

References:

  • BREYER, JASON. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019. 

Areas of Interest, Services and Goals

Areas of Interest and Services:

As an Empath, Highly Sensitive Person, you have a unique soul’s purpose and a unique perspective. You are ‘wired’ differently and are not meant to ‘fit in” to the status quo. It can be very challenging to see/view and feel things differently than most people- but we are not meant to; we are meant to see and feel them from OUR perspective.

It is so important to accept our highly sensitive, empathic nature, heal our hearts and wounding, learn to love, accept who we are at our core, and find and live our unique soul’s purpose, joy, and spark, passion!

You have a huge loving heart and a large capacity to love and care for others, animals, and the planet. LOVE is who we are; it’s our natural state of being! The world needs (more than ever) our gifts, passion, and heart!

I desire to work with self-aware Empaths and HSP’s who are passionate about learning and growing and deeply desire to explore, excavate, and heal their inner worlds, heart places that need healing, care, support, and attention. I hold a safe, non-judgemental space for you, deep presence, and deep intuitive listening. I bring love, warmth, and care to everything that I do. I use:

Emotional Freedom Techniques is a gentle cognitive, somatic (body) and energetic approach to healing. It assists us in looking at the deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts that impact our behaviour or create imbalance. EFT works with the meridian system to shift energetic blocks or disruptions, returning the body’s energy system to balance- helping us to regulate our nervous system.

Pranic Psychotherapy is Pranic Healing applied in energetically addressing, balancing, and preventing psychological ailments, where stress is the root. This is where I like to focus. Pranic Healing works with the chakra system and auric layers.

EFT and Pranic Healing work exceptionally well together!

I am passionate about supporting Empaths and Highly Sensitive People in healing and nurturing their hearts, discovering and living their true heart’s desires, and embodying their unique gifts! More specifically, my focus is on assisting you in uncovering and:

  • healing and processing the emotional pain from heartbreak, heartache (grief, loss, sorrow, sadness).
  • processing eco/environmental sorrow – our feelings around ALL that is happening with/to our planet and all of her inhabitants.
  • clear the blocks to healthy self-love, care and regard (e.g., feelings of unworthiness, e.g., don’t feel worthy of healthy love). 
  • dismantling old limiting patterns and belief systems that keep us stuck, hidden, and in pain.
  • healing the grip and pull of toxic relationship patterns, feelings, and beliefs such as codependency. Codependency profoundly impacts, impedes, affects us, and holds us back in many ways, e.g., keeping us small, hidden, and invisible. For more information, see Codependent-Beliefs-To-Tap-On for an example of such belief systems and what we can do about it.
  • recovering and healing from narcissistic abuse, being manipulated and taken advantage of.
  • celebrating and accepting being an Empath, a Highly Sensitive Person in this world.  Also:
  • to uncover, recover, rediscover, and reconnect with your joy spark, play, unique gifts, purpose, passion, and calling.
  • nurturing our playful heart, our innate play and joy, to find play in purpose.
  • regulating our nervous system.

BIG Whole Hearts unite!

Tamara

Under “About,” see “Internal Exploration Questions- General” and “Internal Exploration Questions -Codependency.”

Goals

Heart healing, heart balancing, heart wholeness.

Developing and cultivating kindness, gentleness, love, and compassion towards ourselves.

Coming to an accepting, peaceful place around our difficult feelings and emotions, e.g., sorrow, sadness, suffering, isolation, heaviness, loneliness, fear.

Clear harmful energies and residue from past relationships.

Healing the patterns that keep us attracting painful relationships.

Feeling worthy of the types of relationships that we desire and authentic connection with someone who also lives from the heart, is kind, can express their feelings, and you can express yours safely. Both people take responsibility for their actions, no games, you deeply care about each other’s happiness and wellbeing.

Healing our faulty internalized beliefs about how we view love and discovering what it truly is/looks like, for us, learning what healthy love is and being open to and attracting (kind, gentle) healthy love in our lives.

Making self-loving decisions about who we let into our hearts and lives.

Learning to trust ourselves and make kind, loving, safe choices about who we allow into our lives and hearts.

Relationship(s) in your life that nurture you, that are safe, gentle, loving, nurturing and kind.

 The freedom to live and love wholeheartedly.

Thriving after heartbreak, heartache, rejection, loss, abuse, betrayal, narcissistic abuse.

Reclaiming and rediscovering ourselves/who we TRULY are and our true passion and purpose in the process.

To have fun, be joyful, playful, free and to live our hearts desires.

A regulated nervous system, inner peace.

Transforming pain and suffering.

Welcome to Empathic Heart Healing

Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) have unique ways of experiencing, feeling, sensing, observing, perceiving, processing, and absorbing the world. They feel things deeply; including love, beauty and joy, pain, hurt, and sorrow.

Emotional pain or struggle is a block or disruption in our body’s energy system and can stem from countless places, unique to you and your situation. My passion is to assist Empaths and HSP’s in understanding, accessing and releasing the root cause (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions) of the energy block(s) or disturbances. Codependency is just one manifestation of emotional pain, an example of how our TRUE selves can get buried, hidden (at the beginning of our lives), and stay this way until it is safe to re-emerge.

Other avenues might be narcissistic abuse, heartache/heartbreak, infertility, low self-esteem, rejection (initially from others- and then towards ourselves), neglect, and you can insert your experience(s) here. When we are in emotional pain, there are corresponding feelings such as shame, sadness, grief, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, isolation, and despair, to name a few. Our body gives us clues through feelings and sensations about what is happening within us and how we feel around others and in certain environments.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called EFT, or “Tapping” can assist us in identifying, releasing, clearing, and healing the energetic and emotional blocks, beliefs, fears, and barriers that limit us and keep us stuck, small, and hidden, so that we can access and get re-in touch with our deepest, fullest, truest and most authentic expression- as well as deep inner peace, vibrant health, light-heartedness, joy, play, passion, bliss and vitality.

Every one of us has a unique energy/energy vibration, traits, purpose(s), gifts, talents, abilities, etc. to offer, to offer others, and contribute to the world. We all have unique goals, dreams and desires.  Blocks in our energy system can derail or make difficult, any one of these. My deepest and truest desires for EVERYONE is to live and express themselves in the deepest, truest, freest, and most authentic way possible!!

When we are young, we learn by watching, observing, and adapting to our surroundings. We are often told by our parent(s), caregivers, society, etc. who they think we are, who they think we should be, and who they want us to be, do, say, or act like. As we get older, these adaptations and beliefs can become a hindrance. We can be controlled by a belief that was learned and taught, which does not even have its origins in who we are, and how we desire to live.

As an example, I recently explored an old, worn-out belief of mine with an EFT colleague. That is, “I am only worthy, only if I am productive, and that “play” is a waste of time.” Yikes! This is a belief that I learned and took on as “truth” very early on- a learned family pattern. It was impacting me in numerous ways (which were not in line with TRUE me). This is certainly not a belief that I want to pass on to my son! I LOVE the magic and power of EFT! and Pranic Healing!! My goal is to provide a safe, compassionate, secure, and non-judgemental space for you to peel back the layers of what no longer serves you and holds you back from TRUE you….

This quote from Judith Orloff, the author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide” sums this up perfectly and resonates with me deeply:

“I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfil it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honouring their sensitivities, they are saying “NO” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.”

Warmly,

Tamara

If you are familiar with EFT or would like to explore more about EFT, and how it can be used for Codependency, please email me, and I will send you a copy of “Codependent Beliefs, Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions to Tap on.”

References:

  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (pp. 207-208). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.