Tag Archives: codependence

These 2 Steps in Forgiveness Will Help You Heal and Let Go For Good

Months back I was spending time with an old friend of mine.  We were hanging out with each other, catching up and just having an overall good time.

In the midst of spending time together, however, my friend had eventually said something that had really hurt me.  The words she said, the way she said it and the way she acted for the remainder of our time spent together left me offended, angry and sad.

In addition, as the night went on I had found that my old friend was following lifestyle choices that made me deeply concerned for her own well-being.

I had no idea what to say, how to say it, or even if I should say something.  And so, I kept my thoughts and feelings to myself for the duration of the time we spent together.

Days later when I was spending time with my boyfriend I told him everything.  What she said, what she was doing, and my own thoughts and feelings about the whole thing.

In response, he said, “Oh I’m sorry babe — that sucks”.

But some validation for my pain wasn’t enough for me to heal and let it go.  The pain still lingered.

I knew I needed to forgive, so I looked into my spiritual toolbox and pulled out prayer and meditation.  I started meditating and praying about it in asking for spirit to help me forgive.

I would do it for a few days and the second I felt some kind of “release” I thought I was “healed” so then I’d stop… only to find that a few days later those hurt feelings would arise again.

This cycle continued for weeks.  And since my hurt feelings were still there I’d talk to my boyfriend about it.  Words of “I can’t believe she said that” were on repeat.

And then one day in the midst of my boyfriend patiently listening to all of this, he eventually said, “Well, you can’t control her”.

I stopped and finally realized the cycle that I was really caught in:  I was caught up in a codependent cycle.

A very basic definition of codependency is when one tries to control another person in some way.  It can be seen through boundary violation either externally or internally.

This can come up externally in the wife of an alcoholic who wants her husband to stop drinking so badly that she tries to throw out all the alcohol in the house.  On the flip side, this can come up internally in a husband who doesn’t like his wife’s spending habits so he complains about her behavior all the time.  The first is a clear codependent behavior because there was an external action.  The second is not as obvious because it is internal, but the energy and feelings of wanting to control is still very present — and can still be felt by others.

Fortunately for me in this case, I wasn’t violating any boundaries externally, but the internal desire to control was certainly there — which was, truly, the reason for my deep struggle to let go and forgive.  I wasn’t fully recognizing the faults in my own behavior, so the prayer and meditation just wasn’t quite cutting it.

So how can we follow to forgive, heal, and let go for good?  Here are the two main steps:

#1 – You gotta recognize your own control patterns

Often when we’re struggling to forgive someone it’s because we wish that the other person would change in some way.  Maybe we want them to apologize to us, maybe we want them to reach out, or maybe we want them to change their lifestyle in some way so the relationship can “heal” and things can be back the way they used to be.

It doesn’t work like that.  People are not going to change on your terms.  They are going to change on their own terms.  And though it may be painful to watch sometimes, the most loving thing to do is to let go and allow the person to live, grow, and learn on their own.


Click to Tweet: People are not going to change on your terms.  They are going to change on their own terms. via @jenilyn8705

#2 – Release it to spirit

Once we’ve been able to recognize our own control patterns, its effective to do some kind of prayer or meditation with the intention to forgive.  Maybe it’s a visualization meditation like my forgiveness meditation in my album Ignite Love from Within.  Or maybe it’s a simple prayer in saying something like:

Spirit of the highest truth and compassion, I’m struggling to forgive [Name] because of [situation].  I have recognized my wrongs in this.  I can see my desire to control and I know that it is no longer serving me or the relationship.  I surrender my control and my desire to forgive to you.  Heal [Name].  Heal me.  Thank you very much.  Amen.

You can tweek the words so that it most resonates with you, but doing some kind of act to surrender and release to spirit/the Universe in some way on a daily basis is what is going to help you truly heal and release your pain and resentments.

Take action now!

If you’re struggling to forgive someone right now, ask yourself: What is my control pattern in this situation?  How am I wanting to control the other person?  How am I controlling?  Share it in the comments below!

The Difference Between Healthy Giving and Unhealthy Giving

Giving can be a wonderful and beautiful thing. When we give money to help a child with leukemia or help an elderly woman get a cart at the grocery store, it is a reflection of the giving that we, as a society, deeply desire to see because in our current society healthy giving is severely lacking.

When we give in these types of situations in a balanced way that doesn’t make us feel like we are rejecting or overextending ourselves it comes from a place of genuine true love. It is absolutely beautiful and can reflect a deeper understanding of our own interconnectedness to one another.

However, the trouble is that many of us are imbalanced in our lives. We find ourselves stressed because we give with a motive of “I hope this person will accept me if I do this for them”. We give with a hope to avoid rejection or criticism. We may give because we fear losing emotional support in some way.

This is the unhealthy kind of giving and it can drain us and cause us stress if we give out of this place of fear too much. For this reason, we need to strive toward healthy giving instead of unhealthy giving. So what does each one look like?

Unhealthy giving comes from a place of fear or lack.

It comes from this place of “I need to give X, Y, and Z to this other person so they will not reject me.” When we give in an unhealthy manner we may be afraid of doing something that we truly want to do because we feel that we will lose emotional support from others.

Unhealthy giving can also come from a place of wanting to control people and situations. We may see a friend or family member in suffering and because we do not want to see them suffering, we may try to push them with advice that they did not ask for in hopes to “take away the pain”. When in this place it is hard for us to accept and watch other people cry and suffer. We reject what the other person is processing and going through in the moment and try to control it in according to what we think should be happening.

Because we are so used to giving in an unhealthy manner, we can also have trouble asking others for support. We may feel guilty for asking for help and fall into a tendency of “I can do all of this on my own”. We may feel like we don’t receive the support we desire from others, but, ironically, we don’t allow others to support us. We may simply act like we don’t have any problems or struggles and feel like we are a burden if we ask someone for help and support.

When we fall into the pattern of unhealthy giving, we have difficulty expressing our true selves. We have trouble expressing our true emotional pain and may not know how to give others the opportunity to support us.

Healthy giving comes from a place of fullness and love.

When we give healthy love it is because we are coming from a solid loving place within ourselves. We feel comfortable expressing who we truly are unapologetically and, in doing so, allow others to give to us.

Healthy giving is patient, kind, and always accepting of the moment. We allow others to fully be who they are and do not rely on other people to make us happy. We accept what is and are willing to express whatever we are experiencing without any hesitation.

In healthy giving, we are aware of our own emotions and our own personal experience. We give in a healthy way when are independent and responsible for not only ourselves but our emotions. We are in-tune with ourselves enough to know when to stop giving so that we don’t feel drained or stressed. We come from a place of knowing how to properly take care of and love ourselves. We are free of guilt for doing things for ourselves.


Begin to give more healthy giving!

Take out a sheet of paper or a journal and answer the following questions for reflection purposes:

Based on the information provided, what are some of your unhealthy giving traits?

Now considering each of the unhealthy giving traits that you listed, reflect on how you can begin to turn those unhealthy giving traits into healthy giving?  *Hint: What can you start doing for yourself?  What can you try to be more aware of in your interactions with others?

Share some of your realizations and thoughts below!