[00:00:00] Hey, my friend, happy new year. I am so excited for the new year energy and the positive. Forward movement that is going on in the world right now. I also know that sometimes we. We get stuck, not knowing which thing we want to work on. And so I created a quiz that will help you know exactly what your next step is. Go to www.thelightcoach.com/quiz to check it out.
[00:00:25] Because the new year brings great new opportunities.
[00:00:29] However, there is a saying that's been thrown around that I want to push back on a little bit. It goes like this: "New year, new me!" Now, I have to admit I've used this and I've thought about this, even in the last few weeks. But, I got a text from my sister sharing a quote that made me think. It was a visual that went like this. It said at the top "New year, new me." And the new me was crossed out and instead it said, "same me."
[00:00:59] *"New year, same me. But I'm going to love her better than ever." *
[00:01:06] I love that focus. That instead of making goals and achieving them as a new version of you. No, no, no, no. It's just loving you better. It's just being more authentic to the you that you already are!
[00:01:21] The you inside you that sometimes gets hidden or buried underneath habits and beliefs that make it harder to tap into that you. All we're doing is rediscovering that. Bringing that to the focus and loving you better.
[00:01:38] It reminds me of a paradigm shift that I had in my life that really changed my relationship with myself.
[00:01:45] I remember the moment when this paradigm shift happened.
[00:01:49] I had been in an intense group therapy program for a few weeks and they started talking about codependency. And the more that I learned about codependency the more angry I got. I was so mad at myself for the relationships that I thought were healthy or that I was doing it in a way that was supportive and empowering. And I could see all over the place that it was not that way instead. Instead, like a classic codependant, I was enmeshed. I had lost part of who I was and my self-worth did not stem from within me. It was from things around me and the relationships that I needed for me to feel okay. And when I realized this, I was so frustrated! I had so much shame that I had let it get to that point.
[00:02:43] How did I not see it?
[00:02:45] My role in my family wasn't as helpful as I thought it was. I was actually being super enabling. Those needy boyfriends that I had when I was a teenager that made me feel so grown up totally robbed me of my teen years because I was so dependent on their attention for me to feel okay that I missed out on a lot of the fun of high school.
[00:03:06] Or the years that I had obsessed about my friends needing to be so loyal to me that I pushed them away in the end and lost a lot of cherished friendships.
[00:03:16] The more I looked through my past for codependency the more I saw it. And it just felt heavy. Like a weight, that kept pushing down and down. And that intense emotion of sorrow, of grief, of frustration, of anger–it was very apparent to my therapist.
[00:03:36] And so she said to me, "I think you need to write a letter to your codependent self as if she is a separate person from you, write her a letter of how you feel.
[00:03:46] At first, I thought, "That'd probably be a good idea. It'd be a good outlet for me." But every time I sat down to write that letter, I couldn't make myself do it. I had too
[00:03:57] much emotion. I didn't know what to say. And honestly, I was scared because I still had those threads of codependency in me and I wasn't sure how else to act.
[00:04:09] The intent of this letter was to help me let go. And I wasn't so sure I was ready for that. So it took me almost two months to finally finish this letter.
[00:04:20] And when I did, something amazing came out in that letter that I never ever thought I would say.
[00:04:29] Now I'm going to choose to share this letter with you. And honestly, it's really vulnerable for me to just read this to you. But, my hope is that me sharing this letter will help you have more. More space to love you.
[00:04:46] Here we go.
[00:04:48] _Dear codependent self. I've been meaning to write you a letter for a while now. To tell you how I feel about our relationship. It has taken me time because I've been worried that I wouldn't really mean what I'm going to say. But I mean it now. So here it goes. _
[00:05:06] _We've been best friends for a very long time. We've been through lots of good times and lots of bad times over the years. I really appreciated the independent woman, you helped me be. It was you that led me to seek opportunities to grow stronger (like adventuring in Costa Rica and seeking higher education). You that helped me look confident through the hard times. You that pushed me to accomplish my goals and get good grades. A lot of my motivation came from you helping me feel important. You gave me a purpose and a role to play in the lives of others. I felt needed and satisfied. Your influence on my life led me to identify myself as a capable woman of strength who supported others and achieved things that others couldn't. Or wouldn't... _
[00:06:03] _You also kept my secret that although I looked strong and loving and capable on the outside, I was weak, lonely, disheartened on the inside. You helped me hide my fear of those feelings and protected me from the pain of the emotions that I was carrying with me from my childhood. You gave me a sense of security despite my chaotic family. Comforting me as a little girl who needed, but didn't get... support, approval, love, safety. Your ability to help me numb and shut out that pain was incredible. _
[00:06:44] _Thank you for helping me through those hard times. I am sincerely grateful for your ability to meet me where I was and help me cope. _
[00:06:55] _However, I have come to realize that I don't just want to cope anymore. The reality is that I allowed you to take away my true identity and artificially mask it with a disconnected, numb, untrusting, scared shadow of the spiritual giant that I truly am. I am not a little girl who is frantically searching for stability anymore. And the truth, the stability that you gave me with foundation lists and fake. The earthquake of this past year has crumbled the stronghold that you had on my heart. Pick up the pieces and take them with you. I will no longer tolerate your chaos in my life. _
[00:07:45] _I am ready to let God teach me about true love, divine worth, pure intimacy, and sustainable trust._ _I am headed where you cannot follow— I'm going into the light. Gratefully and firmly. Stephanie. _
[00:08:11] *Gratefully. Firmly. That's how I signed that letter. I never ever thought that I would thank my codependent self. *
[00:08:23] But here's the thing, I had been so afraid of her, afraid of what she had created in my life, afraid of moving forward past that phase that I had spent months resisting it, feeling anxious and angry, resentful, judgmental, all the things. But once I found the courage to open up and look at it I found gratitude. And I felt empowered to move forward. And can I just tell you that moment where I knew I had finished that letter, I felt like I could fly. It was so beautiful to say, "I don't need it anymore. I don't need to cope. I can create." And that's what I hope for you this year that you have space to create.
[00:09:15] *It took two things for me to get to that place. It took awareness of what was going on, but it also took grace. Grace for myself that even though I didn't do it the best way or the healthy way, I did the best with what I knew how. And I did still show up in a lot of ways, it's not all or nothing. *
[00:09:39] And how I showed up then led me to where I am now with all of the amazing tools and learnings and life experiences that I get to share with you to hopefully help you move forward to.
[00:09:51] I wrote that letter in 2012. And now, a decade later, plus coaching and other things that I've learned, I have an even better relationship with myself.
[00:10:03] Finishing that letter opened me to a new world where I could change. But not change who I was. Change to be more authentic to me. I started building that strength from within. But I have to tell you, for years I still struggled to love myself when I didn't do those healthy things. If I saw myself slip into codependency. I was so frustrated with myself still like, "No, I said goodbye to that codependent self, and I can't ever be codependent again."
[00:10:40] But, my friend, you're going to be codependent sometimes. That's part of being human. And that's okay.
[00:10:49] *Do not be dependent on you acting healthy for you to love yourself. *
[00:10:55] That's conditional love. Conditional on you showing up a certain way. It doesn't have to be that way. You can be human, have codependent moments, and be moving forward and creating, and doing amazing things to learn and grow and become more like you.
[00:11:14] Because your worth is constant. Your actions don't change your worth. It just changes your ability to see it.
[00:11:24] So my invitation to you today is to think about whatever version of you has helped you grow. You've gone through hard things, you've done things that maybe weren't the best way to experience them. But you did them because you've got some sort of payout.
[00:11:42] My payout for being codependent: I felt needed. I felt important. And that led me to feel like I was pretty strong and go after some things in life. There was some good from the way I showed up.
[00:11:55] *If you have the eyes to see it you can always find gain or good from anything that happens in your life. *
[00:12:04] What if 2023 was the year you decided to love your whole journey? To stop worrying. About being the past you and becoming this new person that has nothing to do with her. What if the whole journey you are there and now, you're just choosing to love you and see yourself and your worth with clearer kinder eyes.
[00:12:33] That moment when I thanked my codependent self and then told her that I was done, I didn't fully understand that I was talking to me. A version of me that was hidden underneath behavior patterns that were not helping.
[00:12:52] But that me was still lovable. I was just trying to cope when I didn't know what else to do. But I've learned since then. And now It's also okay that I'm learning and moving forward and that some of those things come up every once in a while.
[00:13:10] *Understanding these truths connect awareness and grace, and that reconnects me to my worth. *
[00:13:20] The only thing that needs to change for me to see that it's my willingness to let go of my judgment. I was judging my codependent behaviors so harshly. But guess what they turn to? A little bit of gratitude. That shift plus the unconditional self-love that coaching has helped me create has changed everything for me. And I've seen it in client after client as I invite them to change their narrative about their past selves.
[00:13:54] And just like them, You are 100% lovable and valuable right now. Before you meet your goals. Before you move forward. Even if you've been struggling to overcome those habits that are keeping you stuck, or actually used the tools that you've learned in therapy and all the self-help books that you've read to help you get to that place that you really want to be. Think of how your journey might change if you love yourself along the way, instead of forcing yourself to change. I bet you'd show up and change things that you've struggled to change for years. Because love is way more powerful than shame, or frustration, or anger.
[00:14:40] *As you work on the relationship with yourself this year, please remember you are not becoming a better you. You're just practicing remembering that you are already lovable, valuable, and full of light. *
[00:14:57] Honor that light and let that be what moves you forward in 2023. Like that quote my sister sent me, let's make this year one where you love the inner you better than ever. Keep shining, my friend. You have an amazing light!
[00:15:19] Are you getting my TLC Tuesday emails? They are filled with tips, insights, and invitations to help you add light to your life. Go to www.thelightcoach.com/subscribe and make sure you're included. Because big things are coming and I don't want you to miss them. Together, we can create self-confidence and clarity. In life after therapy.