Codependents and empaths are often very ‘other’s’ focused. They are more in tune with, or at least think they are, the needs, wants and desires of others. Codependents who are also people pleasers often anticipate the needs of others before they have even been asked. Giving so much time, energy and attention away often means that the codependent does not spend enough time on themselves.
On my journey of healing from codependency I found that improving my Emotional Intelligence (EQ) helped dramatically. There are so many emotions that humans can experience in one day and if we are not in tune with them, or just brush them off and do not allow ourselves to identify and experience the emotions then it just sits in the body and causes energetic blocks.
When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves. -Jess C. Scott
It can be so beneficial to check in with yourself throughout the day to see how you are feeling. This may seem simple but you need to dig a bit deeper than just saying you are fine. Using an emotion colour wheel (shown below) can help you to really identify how you are feeling. It could be that something simple happened or you made a small mistake and you felt ‘shame’. To write the word shame down and really sit with why that feeling came up can help you to get back in touch with yourself and your emotions.
At first you may want to begin with writing three emotions that you felt throughout your day. As you progress you could then take the time to check in with yourself during the day. Its just about being flexible and doing what works for you best. I believe that real magic happens when you commit to doing this exercise over a period of time because you build a connection with yourself.
Rather than just endlessly giving you can see if your behaviour is working for you. For example you may have said yes when you really wanted to say no. Before working on your EQ this may just have meant that you felt irritated later on during that day, but you brushed the feeling off and said its not a big deal. However, with the EQ work you can write how you really felt, it could be ‘anger’ for not speaking your truth, ‘annoyance’ that the person made the request of you in the first place, and a core feeling of ‘shame’. Once you write these emotions out it allows you to see them and accept them. You do not need to judge yourself or the emotions but you do need to accept the fact that its how you felt. We are often shamed out of feelings of ‘jealousy’ or ‘rage’ but these are real emotions that we are allowed to experience. It does not mean that we have to act on every emotion but we do owe it to ourselves to acknowledge the emotion.
Write hard and clear about what hurts.- Ernest Hemingway
When working with your EQ I believe in good old fashioned pen and paper. Of course in our modern world we would usually type on a word document, or put some notes on our phone. But resist the urge to do this and just sit and connect with a pen and a piece of paper. Remember there are no short cuts with healing work, we just have to show up each day and appreciate the small changes as they happen.
Have any of you tried this method? I would love to hear if it worked for you.