Are you ready to embrace the new year with a clean slate and a refreshed sense of self? This episode of Stepping Into Meaningful Relationships is just the ticket. We uncover the transformative practice of self-reflection and forgiveness, guiding you to leave behind the weight of the past year and celebrate your achievements. We discuss the significance of acknowledging your accomplishments, despite the hurdles you've encountered.
As our conversation unfolds, we shed light on the concept of self-forgiveness, a vital yet often overlooked aspect of personal growth. We liken our beings to mirrors, marred by the pains inflicted by others and ourselves, and share insights on how to mend these fractures and recapture our completeness. This episode brings you another tool for your toolbox to help you recover from trauma and continue your healing journey, so you can shine bright once again. So, come along and explore the challenging yet rewarding process of self-reflection, self-forgiveness, and healing.
Join us for our next SoulFire Retreat, Evolve, in Bali from April 22 - 28! Head on over to our website to check out the amazing Agenda and Photos of the luxurious Oasis resort by WhereNext where we will be staying. There are still rooms available and we'd love for you to join us!
Corissa is a Somatic Trauma-Informed Relationship Coach™ & Narcissistic Abuse Specialist ™ who empowers women after they’ve endured narcissist trauma to rediscover who they are, reclaim their power and find the clarity and courage to move forward and live a life they love. Corissa is also a recovering people-pleaser and codependent who has endured way too many narcissistic relationships to count! She coaches not only from her knowledge and training but also from the wisdom she has gained from her own healing journey.
Book a FREE 30-minute Confidential Clarity Call HERE.
Ways to connect with Corissa:
Facebook: Corissa Stepp
We'd love to hear what you think so leave a voice message on our Podcast Website. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, review, or share it so we can reach more people!
Welcome to the Stepping Into Meaningful Relationships podcast. I'm your host, carissa Stepp. I'm a relationship and human design coach, and this podcast is designed to help you create a stronger connection to yourself so you can transform the relationships around you, whether that be with your partner, a friend, a parent, a child or your business. We'll be looking at relationships through the lens of human design, and my guests and I will bring you the tools, tips and tricks to create deeply meaningful connections with others. But first let's start with you. The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. Thank you for tuning in. Now let's get to today's episode. Hey, hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Stepping Into Meaningful Relationships. I'm your host, carissa Stepp. As we head into the end of the year, slowing down, wrapping things up both literally and figuratively, we also reflect on the year gone by. Maybe you're taking note of what you're bringing with you into 2024, or determining what to leave behind in 2023. Within these reflections, perhaps you're even reevaluating some of your relationships, deciding who to bring in closer into your inner circle and who to place some boundaries with and put some distance between. One of the exercises that I think is super helpful at this time of year is clearing the slate of all the things perhaps that didn't go well this year, and then celebrating all of the things that did. We don't spend enough time celebrating our wins, our successes and our accomplishments. It's so important to take the time to do that so that we focus on the positive and provide evidence to our mind that we can do the hard things. We can grow, create, achieve and expand, despite the challenges that we may have experienced. Spend a little time writing down the list of things that you're grateful for, what you accomplished and achieved. This may prove difficult, as our tendency is to beat ourselves up more for the things that we didn't accomplish, the things that we didn't do or did do that held us back, rather than taking note of what we have accomplished, how we have grown, etc. Rather than celebrating our achievements. Therefore, it's important to write down all the things that didn't go well, perhaps the mistakes we made, the regrets we have and what we didn't accomplish, so that we can forgive ourselves for it. Or perhaps maybe you're holding a grudge towards someone that betrayed you, hurt you or disappointed you this year. Carrying these resentments and regrets forward leaks our energy into things we cannot change. It's only when we acknowledge, accept, feel our emotions and forgive ourselves and others that we can move forward, feeling lighter, happier and healthier. Now, if self-forgiveness is foreign to you and you're not sure where to begin, don't worry, you are definitely not alone. Many of us feel that way because it's not something that we're used to giving ourselves. So let's dive a little deeper. Imagine you are a mirror. Every time someone hurts you, they leave a little crack. You also hurt yourself every time you don't trust, love, accept or value yourself, or even when you allow someone else to mistreat you. Now, I'm not saying this to shame you in any way. We all betray ourselves. When we act inauthentically, when we accept breadcrumbs or when we doubt ourselves. We end up with little cracks in the mirror of our being, and in toxic relationships you may actually feel shattered at some point. So what can you do? You may look around at all the broken shards of glass lying on the floor, inspecting each one, trying to understand what happened, how it happened, who was at fault, what was the chronological timeline of all the things that happened to get you to where you are today, and focusing on all of those details isn't helpful in your recovery and healing journey. Now I will say that, of course, it is important to understand your trauma, but harping on all the details and the specifics of every incident that happened is not helpful. It keeps you stuck in a narrative that you are trying to recover from. Reliving and obsessing over it is not going to help you heal. All you can do is pick up the pieces and, one by one, try to put yourself back together Now. All the pieces may now go back in the same place or fit together in the same way, and that's okay. You are still whole. The mirror might look a little bit different, it might take on a different shape, but you're still intact, right? You're still completely whole, and this reminds me of the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where they use gold to put back together pieces of broken pottery. It serves as this metaphor for embracing your flaws and imperfections, all the past experiences, growth and healing that have made you who you are today. All of these things make you even more beautiful as you now reflect back all the wisdom that you have learned, the growth you have experienced and the light that can now shine through. With this in mind, you can forgive yourself for actions that kept you in unhealthy situations where you self-abandoned out of fear, when you view things you're not proud of through a trauma-informed lens. Understanding the core wounds you are acting from can help you cultivate self-forgiveness, self-empathy, self-love and self-acceptance. Now I'm going to share a story of one of my clients. This story is being shared with permission. However, all the personal details have been changed to protect their identity because it is deeply personal. We're going to call my client Maria. Maria had been married for nearly 15 years when she realized that she was in a toxic relationship. Her relationship had its ups and downs, but about 10 years into the marriage, maria fell into something that was analogous to depression. She was never formally diagnosed, but suffice it to say that she was deeply unhappy, completely unmotivated and really struggled to find joy, even in the moments that typically would be associated with joy, like vacations, christmases, birthdays and other big events. She started questioning her relationship and began to realize that she and her partner were falling into what felt like very unhealthy patterns, where they would have these mind-spinning and mind-numbing arguments that left her feeling like she was never being heard or understood and that would continually go unresolved. She felt like a scapegoat. Everything was always her fault and when she tried to defend herself. She would get shamed and blamed, making her feel so terrible that she would walk away wondering how in the world she and her husband had gotten to this point. She started questioning everything. Was it her fault? Was she being selfish? Was she making things harder? Was there something she could do to make things better? She really hated that every argument ended without any kind of resolution, so every time she tried to broach the topic with her partner, she was met with resistance. It was never a good time. According to him. He was either too tired, too stressed, or she was being too emotional, too sensitive or ruining some nice day or weekend that they had had. Eventually, she stopped trying. She stopped communicating and decided to try his tactic of just sweeping things under the rug, hoping somehow that they would get better, but of course it only got worse. Her partner became increasingly critical of everything Maria did. He would belittle her in front of her children and make her feel insignificant and unappreciated. She used to joke that he treated his employees better than he treated his wife. It wasn't until her children started repeating the terrible things that their father had said to her that she realized how bad and how unhealthy things really were. There had been other signs and red flags along the way, but if Maria was good at anything, she was good at making excuses and minimizing the pain she was experiencing. It's what kept her in her unhappy marriage for so long. Maria decided she had to do something to fix what was broken in her relationship. She began googling and searching articles online. She began reading books and consuming relationship podcasts to try and make sense of what was actually happening in her marriage and to see if there was anything that she could do to make it better. During her search for answers, she realized that what she was experiencing was something that looked and sounded like narcissistic abuse. It was around this time when Maria reached out to me. She had come across a masterclass that I had taught about how to identify and recover from narcissistic abuse. After watching the replay, she immediately couldn't believe how it explained and validated so much of what she had experienced. In one of our more recent sessions, I walked Maria through the shattered mirror metaphor and then encouraged her to take 10 minutes to write down all of the things that she was angry at herself for, all the things that left her feeling some sort of shame or resentment, or that left her with some sort of emotional charge. She wrote down a series of self-transgressions, including not having seen the red flag sooner, for accepting treatment that robbed her of her self-esteem, for allowing her husband to belittle her for as long as he did, for feeling like she had to take on sole responsibility for making her marriage work and then beating herself up for it when it didn't. And for allowing her toxic relationship to impact her kids by modeling unhealthy love. The list went on and on. She felt a little overwhelmed once she was done writing, so we did some somatic practices to help her stay connected to her body and to feel grounded, so she didn't shut down from the overwhelm. I then asked her to write down another list of all the things she has achieved and accomplished this year, including all the ways she's grown and what she's discovered about herself that she loves. As a result, when she was done, I asked her how she felt about what she had written and the exercise of making the two lists. She then had this amazing aha moment that I was really hoping she would have. She realized that she had to begin using the quote-unquote gold to put herself back together and feel whole again. She realized that the way to do this is by forgiving, but the only person she had to forgive was herself. And then she asked me how, which I totally expected because, as I mentioned, after all, most of us are not really familiar with practicing self-forgiveness. So we did a little hopo-onopono ritual, which is a traditional shamanic Hawaiian practice of forgiveness, where Maria read each item on her list out loud and then repeated the Hawaiian mantra of I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you, and then crossed it off her list. In the end, she was able to see that she didn't know what she didn't know. She wasn't aware of what her vulnerabilities and insecurities were. So she could see now why she had attracted toxic people into her life that took advantage of her. She was also able to see how far she has come in the last eight months. She realized she had to have the experiences she had in order to, in her words, wake up and become a more healed version of who she really is. She realized that she didn't know any better and that she had been accepting breadcrumbs because it was what was familiar to her from childhood, having grown up with a parent who never met her emotional needs. Now notice that we didn't address forgiving her husband. In time, maria may choose to forgive him and she can use the same ritual that we did together, but for her overall sense of peace and contentment, forgiving herself was so much more important. When you forgive yourself, you release yourself from the shame, guilt and blame that you have been self-inflicting. You may never forgive someone for abusing you, and that is okay. While forgiving someone is not excusing them from the behavior, it is accepting them for who they are and recognizing that they may never change and perhaps that they too have been acting from their deep wounds and insecurities. Just that it happened to be in a way that was abusive and hurtful towards you. Please know that it can be really hard to forgive someone who has hurt you so deeply, so please don't feel that it's necessary or required for you to heal, recover and move on. In time. You may forgive them, but that doesn't mean you have to forget what they did either. I hope you'll try this forgiveness ritual for yourself so that you can self-forgive and find more peace, grace, compassion and joy. Remember you are whole and while your past experiences may have caused some cracks and fractures, you are filling them with gold, like the art of Kintsugi, when you learn to self-forgive, accept and love yourself despite your past experiences, mistakes, transgressions and flaws, and don't forget to celebrate all that you've accomplished as well, because that's also important. As always, everyone, I hope this helps To your healing and recovering with love and healing light until next week. Be well. If you're hearing this message, that means you've listened all the way to the end, and for that I am truly grateful. If you enjoyed this episode and found it valuable, would you mind leaving us a review wherever you listen to podcasts and sharing it with others? If you'd like to connect with me for one-on-one coaching or human design reading, you can find me on my website or on social media. Also, if you have a topic you'd like me to discuss on a future episode, please DM me. Be sure to tune in next week for another episode of Stepping into Meaningful Relationships.