Your freedom is why you’re here. It’s what makes the healing journey so worth it. I’ve witnessed and experienced these 4 Stages and they are tried and true, to the point of predictability. Check them out and you can decide for yourself. Although they generally go in order from 1 to 4, it’s normal to backslide. But once you’re really planted in Stage 4 Freedom, you’ll find that it’s hard to go back. What’s important is to keep moving forward. Keep recommitting to your freedom for as long as it takes. If you’re reading this message, you’re closer than you think!
Stage 1: YOU’RE STUCK – you may not even realize how stuck you are due to the impressively protective mechanism of denial. You’re overpowered by a person, by negative feelings or memories, or by a specific situation. You simply can’t imagine a better possibility or option for yourself, so you don’t even recognize the opportunities that surround you. And you refuse to see just how bad it is.
Stage 2: SHOCK – you realize that you’re experiencing an uneven power dynamic (also known as an abusive relationship) and that it really IS that bad.
Stage 3: HELL NO! – you feel relief. You start setting boundaries and finding your power. Like a kid learning to walk, your power grows as you learn to assert your feelings, your needs, your preferences. “Freedom from” is your lifestyle here.
Many codependents live for years in Stage 3 and they keep feeling empowered every time they say NO. That’s okay for a short while, but it doesn’t make for a great lifestyle. Don’t let that be you. Love yourself enough to enter Stage 4.
Stage 4: HELL YES! (or O’YEAH! or TAKE JOY!) – you’re energized and enlivened by what brings you joy. You are aligned with your truth and with your feelings. In this stage you have a practice. First, you level-up your energy by firmly deciding what you want to feel. THEN (and only then) you focus forward by imagining the specifics and acting on them. “Freedom toward” is your lifestyle here. You feel trust in life. More options and opportunities reveal themselves to you (trust me, they do!). Life is juicy in Stage 4. It’s a flow zone for daily inspired action and deep satisfaction. It’s where joy has room to flourish. And you are SO worth it!!
If this resonates you and you want to keep strengthening your mojo, magic and freedom, check out my new book SANCTUARY: 4 Mantras for Thriving After Emotional Trauma.