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Reclaiming Your True Voice – and Your True Self

Reclaiming Your True Voice – and Your True Self

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For much of my younger years, I felt I never really connected with others or even with myself. It was as though I was always in fight-or-flight mode, constantly walking on eggshells, pivoting in and out of anxiety and depression or suffering from chronic busyness. I desperately longed for connection but somehow lacked the ability to cultivate relationships through which I felt some sense of peace.

These patterns persisted until one day I acknowledged that I was displaying many of the classical codependent traits. Through honestly looking at myself I finally realized I could heal my life and create and nurture the loving relationships I so desired.

The Dangers of Conditional Affection
The truth is that I never really got to know myself and had spent much of my earlier years trying to find safety through external relationships. This pattern began in childhood when people were often mad or disappointed with me and love was given or withheld based on my complying with codes of behavior. As an adult, I continued to believe that if I did the right thing or said the right words, I could avoid the anger and disappointment of others and ultimately avoid emotional abandonment.

I derived most of my self-worth and identity from the accolades of others. As a result, I spent my energy anticipating the needs of friends and family before my own in order to get what I wanted from them most—their love and affection. Not only that, I was convinced that I was a victim and that others continued to fall short of giving me what I needed in some way. In my quest to be liked and accepted, I ended up abandoning myself until I didn’t even know who I truly was and what I really wanted.

Knowing Your True Yourself
Thus began my journey back home to me and reclaiming my unique voice. The first step in this process was noticing the recurring behaviors that were actually harming me. Below is a list of common traits of codependency:

  • People pleasing
  • Saying yes when you want to say no
  • Chronic dependability
  • Lying to keep the peace
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Chronic busyness
  • Giving unsolicited advice often
  • Perfectionism and controlling behavior
  • Harboring resentment
  • Passive-aggressive behavior
  • Minimizing one’s own needs
  • Minimizing the negative behavior of others
  • Feeling like a martyr
  • Glorifying giving without receiving
  • Inability to set boundaries
  • Constantly apologizing
  • Feeling overly responsible for others
  • Fixing other people’s problems
  • Wanting to always look perfect
  • Unable to handle constructive criticism

Once I started to look at my behavior honestly and objectively, I began to slowly change my habitual patterns. At first, this felt wildly uncomfortable. I felt like a horrible person saying no when someone asked for my help. I felt selfish and weak when I shared my wants and needs. To be fair, society sends us messages that glorify codependency, especially as women—for example, that being a good wife or mother requires sacrificing our own needs and putting others first.

Give from a Place of Love
I have found that the only way we can create harmony in our lives and in our homes is quite the opposite. When we reclaim our true voice and are honest about our needs, we become better friends, lovers, daughters and sons, wives and husbands, mothers and fathers. When we move with our cup running over, we give from a place of love rather than manipulation.

So when I was courageously honest, with myself and with others, about my behavior and motivation in relationships, my life began to change for the better. I know who I am and what I want now. I am unwilling to abandon myself in order to be loved. I take responsibility for setting boundaries. I am able to let go of control in more and more areas of my life. I allow myself to be vulnerable enough to express my needs, and this has allowed others to show up for me in ways I never imagined.

Over time, I wanted to share these gifts with others so that they too may reclaim the voice they left behind so many years ago.

My goal is to help women work through codependency issues including people pleasing, chronic busyness, and difficulty setting boundaries, as well as to explore the root of these behaviors and help create strategies to transform relationships and lives. It has been such a gift to hold space and witness a true transformation. I am blessed beyond measure.

Kristina B. Gretouce is a Certified Life and Health and Wellness Coach with over 15 years experience. She works with individuals who want to work around codependency issues including people pleasing, chronic business, and difficulty setting boundaries, as well as those who are ready to explore the root of these behaviors and together create strategies to transform their relationships and their life. Kristina offers a complimentary 10-minute discover call.

Please call 239.350.4544 and visit: www.codependencyfreedom.com. 704 Goodlette-Frank Rd N, Naples.