“Doing workshops, or any speaking in public – or for that matter in private counseling sessions in person or on the phone, or any opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope – is always a type of Goddess stroke for me anyway. Anytime I have a chance to speak my Truth, to share the beliefs and knowledge which I so passionately embrace, I get to touch the Divine. I get to be a channel for Love to flow through. (One of the things I want to talk about in this Newsletter is that it can be easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.)”
It was at this point that I took the deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues. The quote above is the first part of my Joy to You & Me & Joy2MeU Update Newsletter from October of 2000. The deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues was part 2 of that Update – and is what follows.
It takes a lot of courage to open up to receiving Love. What we want the most is also what terrifies us the most – because of the toxic shame we are carrying, the core wounded place where we feel unworthy and unlovable. We are afraid that we will get that which is most important to us – and then have it taken away because of our unworthiness.
In the Joy2MeU Journal, I have a series of articles called “The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul.” This started out as a recovery autobiography of sorts. A relating of my Spiritual Path, of my healing process over the years since I got into recovery on January 3, 1984. It evolved into not just a history of the past 16 + years, but into a journal of my process for the past year and a half since I started that Journal. Here is an excerpt from the first of 3 articles in that series that relate how I ended up in a 30 day treatment program for codependence in 1988 that saved my life.
“One day in particular I remember driving home from work in a very agitated emotional state that I couldn’t quite identify or get a handle on. The Universe in it’s great power and perfectly unfolding wisdom caused one of those miracles of coincidence to occur. As I was nearing my home, a song came on the radio. It was the first song that I learned in childhood by listening to the radio. When I was about 8 or 9 this song had touched me deeply enough that I made the effort to learn all of the words. It was really a pretty stupid song – but the message in it matched my programming perfectly. It pushed the buttons of my core wounding that was a combination of my parents not being capable of Loving me in a healthy way coupled with the wounding that resulted from the Spiritual abuse I had suffered at the hands of the shaming religion I was raised in.
The song was about a boy out on a date with his girlfriend when they are in a traffic accident that kills the girl. The chorus goes something like this:
“Where oh where can my baby be,
The Lord took her away from me,
She’s gone to heaven so I’ve got to be good,
So I can see my baby when I leave this world.”
As that song ended that day, and I got to my apartment, I felt ripped apart by the grief that surfaced. I was in my apartment crying and sobbing – with wounded animal-like moans of pain escaping from me. I was compelled to keep moving from corner to corner in my apartment, crouching in the corner wailing and crying and moaning and then moving to another corner to do it again.
I got in touch with that place inside of me where I know that I am so unlovable and unworthy, such a shameful monster, that anyone who ever loved me would be taken away. God could see what a sinful, shameful creature I was and would punish anyone who could possibly think I was Lovable. If I ever deluded myself enough to allow myself to open up to Love from someone who could Truly Love me, I would be punished by having that person taken away.
I discuss in the Journal article The Unfolding Process about the importance to me of the song entitled The Rose, whose chorus goes like this:
It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance,
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes a chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken who that cannot seem to give,
It’s the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.
I couldn’t for the longest time relate to the last line, no matter how much I related to the first three lines – because I wanted to die.
What I figured out eventually was that I was afraid to live not because I might die but because whoever I Loved would die. That I was such a shameful monster that God would take away anyone who I allowed to Love me.
And I resonated with that when I was 9 years old!
That poor little boy. That poor man who based his life on such feelings of shame and unworthiness. Such pain. To, on some level, choose isolation over the risk of being Loved and having that Love taken away.” – 30 Days in the Desert – Falling Apart and Breaking Through Part I
My particular flavor of toxic shame took on this tone – if I allow myself to open up to Love and be Loved, the person I open up to will be taken away from me.
“It is the Heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.”
This was on a very deep subconscious level. Something that I uncovered and discovered as my recovery evolved.
All of my issues around abundance – of money, of success, of friendship, of health, of whatever – always come back to my fear of intimacy, my terror of being available for a Loving relationship. The bottom line is always that toxic shame at the core of my being that says that I am not lovable, that I am defective somehow.
Complex and Convoluted
Part of what I was trying to communicate, in the series on The Recovery Process for Inner Child Healing, was the intricate complexity this process. Issues are piled on issues. Each issue has levels and layers of effect – patterns, attitudes, subconscious beliefs, emotional grief energy, etc. – attached to it.
The outer, and most obvious layers, have levels and layers in and of themselves, that need to be worked through to the core issues. Each time I am at a point of needing to surrender to peeling another major layer, I get to revisit all of my old issues once more – because they are all interrelated and interconnected. Each time my growth process takes me to a new level – I need to surrender in a major way – I attain a deeper level of honesty, a higher understanding of Truth. So, my perspective of all of my other issues changes.
The dance of balance, that I talk about in those articles, is an ongoing, ever changing dance. When my perspective changes in a major way, my relationship with each issue changes also.
Undoubtedly the most telling example of this for me, is in relationship to financial abundance. For me money has been the most convenient scapegoat, the most potent distraction. As long as I don’t have enough money in my life, I have a pretty good excuse not to deal with deeper issues. After all, survival is pretty important.
And the layers and levels of my issues in relationship with money are a convoluted labyrinth indeed.
First of all, I hated the injustice I saw in the society I grew up in. I am deeply offended by a society that can justify not just homelessness, but so much of the population living in poverty while a small percentage of the population has more money than they can ever possibly spend. The rebel in me used to get enraged at the callous disregard for individual human rights and dignity created out of the belief systems that underlie capitalism. (My rebel still can get pretty angry about it, but I have released a lot of rage over the years.)
It is, of course, not just capitalism that can be so cruel. I believe that it is the patriarchal nature of human civilizations that has created such heartless societies. Women, who because of the gift of being able to bring life into this world, are naturally more heart connected and innately inclined to have more respect for the gift of an individual human life than men. (Of course, the ultimate cause is the illusion of separation and the planetary conditions of polarization and reversity that I talk about in my book.)
On a personal level, I hated the power my father gave to money. My father grew up in the Depression and adapted powerful scarcity issues around money. So, it didn’t matter that he was making quite a bit of money – he still related to money from a place of fear. He would spend money on me and my family – but would always have to tell us how hard he had worked for it. The message I got from his behavior, was that he was spending this money on me but I wasn’t really worth it. My father never told me he loved me, he tried to show it by “bringing home the bacon” – but it was always grudging, he always complained. The relationship I formed with money in childhood had shame attached to it.
(To make a point, about the levels of complexity of our issues, I want to note here, how the issues of money were connected for me to being male. I hated and rebelled against the inhumanity exhibited throughout the history of civilization by the patriarchal system. I also resented and rebelled against my father who was my role model of what a man was. And I was taught that god the father (who seemingly endorsed capitalism, genocide, the debasement of women, etc.) would send me to burn in hell forever for being human. In unraveling my issues about money, I also needed to unravel my issues with my own gender – which also included my relationships with other men, with women, with my own sexuality, etc. A tangled web indeed.)
I spent much of my life, saying that money and material things didn’t mean anything to me (the rebel’s valiant stand) while giving money great power because I didn’t have enough of it (the sabotaging shame and self abuse cycle of the disease.)
I have spent many years in my recovery unraveling and untangling all of my issues in relationship to money and abundance on a financial and material plane.
I first started to do positive affirmations shortly into my codependence recovery (in late 1986) when I realized that I had a pattern of living in deprivation in terms of living space, car, all kinds of material areas. The first affirmation that I ever did was not really a true affirmation. The truest and most powerful affirmations begin with “I am” because that is another name for the God-Force / Goddess Energy. The first affirmation that I did was: “God wants me to be happy, healthy, loved, and successful.”
This was a really big thing to me, to think that God might want good things for me. It certainly was not what the God of retribution that I grew up with would want for me.
Within 6 months of starting this affirmation, I was driving a new car (new to me), had a good job, and was living in a nice apartment. I stopped saying the affirmation. I realized only belatedly that I stopped because I had been focusing on the successful part of the affirmation and I didn’t really believe that I deserved to be happy, healthy and loved yet.
Over the years, I have: done lots of positive affirmations (at two different periods making tapes of affirmations and messages of Love that I would play as I was going to sleep at night); positive visualization (visualizing a pile of money on my bed when I came back from a walk, etc. – as a way of affirming that the Universe is capable of any miracle); bought lottery tickets (as an affirmation and to give myself hope that tomorrow might be the day the Universe showered money on me); engaged in activities as affirmation (played golf or gone to the movies when the illusion was I couldn’t afford it, just as an affirmation of abundance to come); expressed gratitude in retrospect for not having money (to honor that in early sobriety it helped me stay sober, and other times when it taught me valuable lessons); paid attention to mental attitudes that supported scarcity and lack so that I could change them; worked to change my concept of money to thinking of it as energy that needed to flow; and many other actions to change my relationship with money.
And the thing that was so important for me to remember, was that money wasn’t the issue at all. Money is a symbol and a symptom. A symptom of my wounds – of the causes in my childhood that produced the effects in my adult life. And a symbol of Love.
What I really wanted was to feel like I was Loved by God. The bottom line of all of our wounding is feeling separated from The Source. The only abundance that really matters, is the abundance of Love.
Karma & Past Lives
I want to inject here, that for me – and probably for a lot of people reading this – money was a symbol of the Love we yearned for, we felt deprived of. That doesn’t mean that people with a lot of money are open to receive Love – or are doing something right that we are doing wrong. Financial abundance issues are very much tied in with Karma. Basically, people either have Karmic issues around money or they don’t. If they don’t then money flows into their life easily. Often this means that people with lots of money are not old souls. Many of them are creating negative money Karma in this lifetime that they will have to pay in another. Some of them are old souls who have settled their money Karma prior to this lifetime – or will in their next lifetime.
“The term “old-soul” refers to the stage of consciousness evolution an individual has attained by this lifetime – it does not mean better than, or farther along than, those who do not have to do the healing. There is no hierarchy in the Truth of a Loving Great Spirit – those who appear to have low, or no, consciousness in this lifetime are simply doing their healing in another space-time illusion parallel to this one. All old-souls are born at a heart-chakra level of consciousness and therefore have more sensitivity, and less capacity for denial, than other people. In other words, the gift of having access to Truth and Love carries with it the price of greatly increased emotional sensitivity.” – Jesus & Christ Consciousness
It can be much easier in our capitalistic society to make a lot of money, if one is not heart connected. It is much harder often, to achieve a Spiritual Awakening if one has a lot of money to distract them and make them feel in control. And it can be a huge challenge for any old soul involved in the healing process to maintain balance once they start achieving financial abundance.
One of the issues which I uncovered in my healing, was a fear that having money would corrupt me. This was a response to the reality that I had been corrupted by money in past lives. Money Karma is something that I am settling in this lifetime.
I talk in my book, and in different places on my web site, about the need to not judge ourselves for our resistance and fear. We have that resistance and fear for a reason. It is an effect that has a cause.
“One of the reasons on a very deep level, at a soul/higher ego level, that we have resistance to doing our healing and owning our power is because of our past life experiences.
We have all been punished for owning our power in the past! Whether that was by being burned at the stake for being a healer, or drawn and quartered for being a teacher, or hanged for being a messenger, or whatever.
So we have very good reasons for not trusting God or this life business!
We also have very good reasons for not trusting ourselves because we have all abused the power in the past. We have had lifetimes when we were teachers who led our students astray, when we were healers or leaders or messengers who took the left-hand path and served the forces of darkness instead of Light.
We have very good reasons for being terrified of owning our power again!
Those are the reasons on the deepest level why we have resistance to the healing process. . .” – All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
All of our issues in this lifetime are reflections of issues that we have been dealing with through multiple lifetimes. It is not necessary for everyone to get aware of past life issues in order to heal. By doing your inner child healing, you are not only healing the wounds of this lifetime – but also settling Karma from the past. It is not necessary to be conscious of where that Karma came from, it is only necessary to be willing to heal our wounds from this lifetime so that we can open up to receive Love now.
A vitally important step in opening to receive Love is to stop judging and shaming ourselves for our issues, for our resistance and fear. The issues are an effect that had a cause, the fear and resistance are in reaction to past experience – we do not necessarily need to know what those experiences/causes were. What is important is to start choosing to have faith that there is some Loving Force in charge of this dance, so that we can start forgiving ourselves for being wounded humans.
Blocks to Intimacy
I am not going to focus on money any longer in this Newsletter except to share three of the ways I was at least partially blocked in healing my fear of intimacy issues by my codependent defenses in relationship to money. Anyone who wants to know more about my evolution in regard to this issue can read my past Newsletters where I reveal the basics of my healing of this relationship. (Or Journal subscribers can read about it on a more intimate level.)
I devoted what space I have here to money for two reasons. One, I have realized only belatedly as I write, this is in a way a follow up to my series on the Recovery process and how important it is to stop judging and shaming ourselves for some very complicated and deeply embedded issues. The other reason, is to set the stage for sharing with you the impact of recent events in my life.
In terms of my fear of intimacy, one very powerful defense that my codependence erected against me being available for an intimate relationship, was my focus on money – or to be more accurate my focus on scarcity, on the near poverty level of existence that has been a pattern in my adult life. The amount of time and energy I spent on survival seriously subtracted from the time and energy I had available to invest in life – in being Truly alive.
I lived most of my life as if it were a dress rehearsal – and my life wouldn’t really start until I had money. (Although in my mind I would more often think in terms of getting the relationship, or the success, that would fix me – any fantasy future I entertained by necessity included money.) Destination thinking. A great distraction – that isn’t just an excuse. There is a reality to believing that there is a certain kind of freedom that one does not have in this day and age without having some money.
This is another example of the complexity of these issues because scarcity is both a cause and effect – that causes other effects.
So, I got a lot of great practice in recovery in letting go of the future and just taking life one day at a time. I have gotten very good at that. But the reality is, that even though I was able to attain an amazing level of balance and serenity in my daily life in relationship to money issues, there was still a level of stress being generated by the situation. Even though my conscious stress was reduced to a minimum level by working my program, the subconscious levels of stress affected me emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Secondly, I carried such a suspicion of money, and so much fear about the power of money, that I was afraid that if I got a lot of money before I found a Loving relationship with a woman – that I could never trust that she Loved me for me, and not for my money. That is a monster of a defense. Talk about powerful block – both to getting money and to being available for a relationship.
The third way that money factored into my availability for an intimate relationship, was directly related to the Spiritually abusive concept of god that I grew up with – and with an issue that has been very dominant in this lifetime – and that I learned has been a theme through numerous lifetimes.
Here is another quote from The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul.
“After that group, I was in a great deal of pain and went to talk to one of the counselors on the unit. She suggested that I do some right hand-left hand writing to ask my inner child about the pain. When I did that writing (my dominant right hand for the adult and my left for the child) the message that I got back was astonishing to me. What the child wrote back was about an incident that had happened in my childhood that I had never thought was important at all. What the child wrote was something like this: “When I got hit by the car when I was seven I wanted to die. They wouldn’t let me. They made me come back.”
September 19, 1999, almost 13 years since that day – and I sob with the pain of that wound, that child within me. I just wanted to die. The most familiar, most overwhelming feeling for most of my life – the feeling that drove me. From the time I was a little child until well into my recovery, I wanted to die to escape the emotional pain. It wasn’t until 1990 that a shift occurred in my consciousness so that my desire to live became more consequential than my desire to die. Back then, in 1986, I don’t think I cried very much – I really don’t remember now. What I remember was my astonishment that something, which seemed to me so obscure and insignificant, should have come out of the left hand writing – and that it had so much pain attached to it. Later, when I was in treatment in the desert, more would be revealed to me about that incident.” – 30 Days in the Desert – Falling Apart and Breaking Through Part I
What I got in touch with when I was in treatment was that the incident of being hit by the car was in fact a suicide attempt. What I realized was that I had gotten the message that day when I was 7, that I would not be allowed to commit suicide in this lifetime – and that I had been pissed about that for 30 some years.
My anger was acted out in the passive aggressive nature of my codependence with behavior that was “I’ll show you, I’ll get me.” The way that I was “showing” the Universe was by punishing my body. I tried to commit suicide through alcohol and drugs, through dangerous behavior.
I blamed my body for trapping me here. I felt that it was my body’s fault that I was separated from God. I have had incredible resistance to treating my body in Loving ways. After I got sober, I continued to abuse (often in the name of nurturing) my body with cigarettes and food.
I resisted getting healthier and developing a more Loving relationship with my body because of my anger at God for subjecting me to this painful experience. And in recovery, I resisted changing the relationship with my body – and through it my relationship with being alive – because the Universe wasn’t supplying me with enough financial abundance.
To some very powerful level of my being – probably predominantly the rebel (who often has a strong alliance with the addict) – for me to get healthier before God had proven to me that I was Loved by supplying enough financial abundance, sounded way too much like Catholic crap about earning God’s Love.
I wanted to feel Loved and supported by the Universe before I started to take action to get healthier – so that it wouldn’t feel like I was trying to reach a destination where I earned the Love of God by becoming perfect enough.
It was kind of like I set a boundary with God, that I would get healthy when God supplied me with some financial abundance – so that it felt like God really loved me.
When one is in a power struggle with God that involves refusing to treat self in more Loving ways until I had some proof of God’s Love that involved money – is another monster block to being available for intimacy.
The money related issues that have been blocks to Love for me – though certainly dominant and critically important – are but one of the primary vertical focal points of my recovery. (I am using vertical here to mean that issues related to money exist throughout the levels and layers of my issues – from the most superficial to the deepest and most ancient.) The other major focal point in relationship to emotional intimacy has to do with my emotional incest issues.
I am not going to go into detail about those here, except to quote from a couple of my articles. (This first one has a connection with money issues as well.)
“By the time I was eight, I was completely emotionally isolated and alone. I grew up in a pretty typical American family. My father had been trained to be John Wayne – anger was the only emotion he ever expressed – and my mother had been trained to be a self-sacrificing martyr. Since my mother could get no emotional support from my father – she had very low self-esteem and no boundaries – she used her children to validate and define her. She emotionally incested me by using me emotionally – causing me to feel responsible for her emotions, and feel ashamed that I couldn’t protect her from my father’s verbal and emotional abuse. The shame and pain of my father’s seeming inability to love me coupled with my mother loving me too much at the same time that she allowed herself and me to be abused by fathers anger and perfectionism – caused me to shut down to my mothers love and close down emotionally.” – Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy
This second one is from an article I published last week on the Suite101 page I edit.
“I discovered that there was a 4 or 5 year old age of my inner child who felt overwhelming shame that I could not protect my mother from my father. I thought that was my job. To make my mother happy.
I thought that I was not worthy of Love because I had been unable to do my job. So, in my adult life I was attracted to emotionally unavailable women who were verbally abusive. To my disease, it was better to be in relationship with someone like my father, than to fail to do my job in a relationship with someone who was available emotionally.
I had a relationship phobia that for the most part kept me from getting into relationships because I felt I was defective in my ability to be responsible for another person happiness.” – Inner Child Healing – Emotional Incest
I felt responsible for other’s feelings, felt that I was shamefully flawed and defective – and I reacted by sabotaging and abusing myself. That is the essence of the disease of codependency.
Complicated and convoluted is our wounding and our recovery. There is a way out however. The way out is through Love – starting by being Loving to ourselves by not shaming and judging ourselves.
“As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves we are giving power to the disease. We are feeding the monster that is devouring us.
We need to take responsibility without taking the blame. We need to own and honor the feelings without being a victim of them.
We need to rescue and nurture and Love our inner children – and STOP them from controlling our lives. STOP them from driving the bus! Children are not supposed to drive, they are not supposed to be in control.
And they are not supposed to be abused and abandoned. We have been doing it backwards. We abandoned and abused our inner children. Locked them in a dark place within us. And at the same time let the children drive the bus – let the children’s wounds dictate our lives.
We were powerless out of ego-self to do anything any different than we did it. We are powerless out of ego-self to heal this disease. Through Spiritual Self, through our Spiritual Connection, we have access to all the power in the Universe.
We need to have the willingness: willingness to get to a new level of self-honesty; willingness to start listening to the Loving inner voice instead of the shaming ones; willingness to face the terror of healing the emotional wounds.
Codependence causes us to have a distorted and repressed emotional process, and the only way out is through the feelings. Codependence gives us a scrambled mind, a reversed dysfunctional way of looking at ourselves and the world, and we have to be able to use the wonderful tool that is our mind while changing our attitudes and reprogramming our thinking.
It seems awfully complicated, doesn’t it?
That is because it is!
On another level it is also very simple. It is a Spiritual Dis-ease. It can only be healed through a Spiritual Cure. It cannot be healed by only looking at the symptoms. That is backwards.
The cure is available through surrendering control to a Higher Power. We cannot do this healing by ourselves. We need a Loving Higher Power in our lives. We need other Recovering people in our lives.”
I got clear on my mission, and dedicated myself to my path after direct encounter I had with some past life Karma, and the revelations that resulted, in August of 1988. Since then I have been committed passionately to learning about Truth, Love, and Joy – and serving as a channel to remind others of the abundance of Love and Joy that is available to us all.
I have learned a great deal about opening to receive through the years. I would never have gotten my book published without the great progress I have made in this area. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for the miracles of manifestation that have flowed into my path. The financial abundance that was needed came from a variety of sources. The major ones have been in the form of people who invested in my book and work, and people who have gifted me with money over the years as a way of thanking me for the impact my work has had on their lives.
If you remember, in the news addendum to my last update, I was in a place of fear around survival – of having a place to live and work. That adventure was seemingly not going well at all (in my view – perfectly in the Universe’s of course.) I got to the point – as usually happens – where I surrendered completely to the Universes plan, letting go of living in the area I wanted – and accepting that everything would be OK even if I had to live in someplace that I definitely did not want to live.
The day after I took action to support my acceptance of that surrender, everything shifted. The magic returned. The Goddess strokes started coming in abundance. A phone call with an offer of a financial gift was a message to me to focus on opening up to receive once more. In alignment with having faith in that manifestation, I started looking at more expensive places in the area I wanted to return to – even though I had no discernible way of paying for such a place on an ongoing basis, though I now had enough to pay the move in cost.
I found a place, and another gift of a larger financial denomination manifested to secure it for me. Now I have a comfortable place to live in the town I want to live in – and I know the rent is paid for the next couple of months. An incredible luxury for me.
I still don’t have the money I need to pay off debts, to promote my book and web site in the ways I would like to, to get a car that doesn’t have 210,000 miles on it (one that had a major breakdown a week after I moved into my new place and claimed a big chunk of the most recent financial gift – such an exciting adventure this is ;-), I will go into details about all of this in my Journal where I am going to be focusing my writing energy for the coming future), or for other areas of luxury – like dental work. But for me this is a place of great and luxurious abundance relative to my experience for the last few years.
The Universe has called my bluff. This was enough financial abundance to take money off the table as an issue for now – and confront me with the need to surrender to being more Loving to my physical body vehicle.
I have been procrastinating and resisting. The insight that I had the other day was that I was once again buying into destination thinking. And that once again, the issues that I was focusing on, were symptoms and symbols. Underneath, once more is my fear of intimacy.
When I get healthy and lose weight – then I will be available for a relationship. I will be ready to be fully alive and available for Love when – sometime in the future, when I get there. I had the same insight that I had in the chain of events leading up to my last encounter with a relationship (An Adventure in Romance) – that is, that I have thrown the romantic within me into a dark dungeon within and sentenced that part of me to remaining there until I feel completely safe and secure to take on the risk of opening up to Love again.
Feel completely safe and secure to opening up to getting my heartbroken again – Ha! What fantasy world does that happen in? Who is being dishonest with whom here? The only way to feel completely safe and secure about taking that kind of risk is to be in denial. (There is nothing wrong with enjoying the feeling of being in love – what gets us in trouble is buying into the romantic’s fantasy that happily-ever-after has arrived. We want the fantasy so bad that we do not see reality clearly – and often cast the wrong person in the role of our princess/prince. It is important to find balance in our relationship with the romantic within – so that we can allow this wonderful part of us out of jail, but not let it make choices based on belief in fantasy.)
I will be ready for an intimate relationship, and to let the romantic out, when I lose weight and get healthier.
What a great codependent set up to resist losing weight and getting healthier! A perfect set up for the disease dynamic – the codependent three step:
“My father was trained that he was supposed to be perfect and that anger was the only permissible male emotion. As a result, that little boy that made mistakes and got yelled at felt like he was flawed and unlovable.
My mother told me how much she loved me, how important and valuable I was, and how I could be anything that I wanted to be. But my mother had no self-esteem and no boundaries so she emotionally incested me. I felt responsible for her emotional well-being and felt great shame that I couldn’t protect her from father’s raging or the pain of life. This was proof that I was so flawed that, though a woman might think I was lovable, eventually the truth of my unworthiness would be exposed by my inability to protect her and insure her happiness.
. . . Is it any wonder that at my core I felt unworthy and unlovable? Is it any wonder that as an adult I got trapped in a continual cycle of shame, blame, and self-abuse?
The pain of being unworthy and shameful was so great that I had to learn ways to go unconscious and disconnect from my feelings. The ways in which I learned to protect myself from that pain and nurture myself when I was hurting so badly were with things like drugs and alcohol, food and cigarettes, relationships and work, obsession and rumination.
The way it works in practice is like this: I am feeling fat; I judge myself for being fat; I shame myself for being fat; I beat myself for being fat; then I am hurting so badly that I have to relieve some of the pain; so to nurture myself I eat a pizza; then I judge myself for eating the pizza, etc. etc.
To the disease, this is a functional cycle. The shame begets the self-abuse which begets the shame which serves the purpose of the disease which is to keep us separate so the we don’t set ourselves up to fail by believing that we are worthy and lovable.” – A Dance of Suffering, Shame, and Self-abuse
Now, I certainly don’t shame and judge myself like I used to, nor do I beat myself up for my resistance so much. I have been uncomfortable recently however because I have been out of balance in certain areas. And it was only a couple of days ago that I realized that I was again facing what I describe in the Adventure in Romance as “that ferociously monstrous beast known as The Terror of Intimacy.”
In writing this Newsletter, I have gotten a brand new insight. I have just become conscious of a truly monstrous terror that lurks under the ones that I had identified previously. What I mean, is that though one of the earliest awareness that I had in my inner child healing was about the song I spoke of above – I have never looked at that insight’s relationship to my fear of intimacy issues in quite the way I am right now. I am looking at it with a new perspective from a much higher level of consciousness. I have just uncovered the monster that was hiding under the monsters that I had previously become aware of in my recovery.
I had a terror of abandonment and rejection which I had realized was the lesser of two evils for me. I had discovered and been working on healing this.
“Through revisiting the eight year old who I was I get to understand on a new level why I have always been attracted to unavailable people – because the pain of feeling abandoned and betrayed is the lesser of two evils. The worst possible thing, to my shame-based inner children, is to have revealed how unworthy and unlovable I am . . . . It is no wonder that at my core I am terrified of loving someone who is capable of loving me back.” – Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy
My fear of intimacy is only about abandonment and betrayal, about being revealed as unworthy and unlovable, on the surface. Those are symptoms, which I had been seeing as the core. The core is that I am terrified of fully embracing life and Love – of finding someone who I Love and who Loves me back – and then having her taken away by God.
Uncover, Discover, Recover
This is great! In trying to explain the process, I just pealed another layer. In uncovering and discovering another deeper level to my fear of intimacy issues, I have gained the power to start healing them at a deeper level.
The wounded parts of me, to use a simile I have used before, are like an abused puppy cringing in fear of being abused again. The wounded part of me that so craves intimacy, romantic intimacy with a woman, has been deprived of touch, affection, and Love – wants desperately to be petted – but is terrified of trusting someone enough to open up to Love. The only alternatives I had experienced were someone who didn’t know how to pet and was abusive (Dad) or someone whose petting carried with it the impossible task of being responsible for that persons emotional well being.
The defenses that my disease created to protect me from disclosing my unworthiness and shameful inability to insure a woman’s happiness (Mom) caused me to pick women who were abuse and emotionally unavailable (like Dad). Such a sad, twisted dance.
My last relationship encounter (recounted in An Adventure in Romance) combined both of these themes in a way that allowed me to do a great amount of healing around these issues. I got to feel Loved by a woman in a way I had never known before and open up completely to that Love – whereupon that person swung from being Loving and giving to being unavailable and abusive. A situation which in the past would have caused me a great deal of shame over my unworthiness. A great opportunity for growth. I summarize some of the lessons at the end of that article:
“I have learned:
That when I know who I am and have my self-esteem rooted in my Spiritual connection then I have nothing to fear from intimacy. I can be hurt for certain because I will be choosing to give some power away over my feelings – but hurt is part of life and well worth the adventure of Loving and Losing.
That it is Truly possible to do enough healing to be able to open my heart to someone and then not take it personally when the other person “rejects” me – because I Truly know in my gut that she is just reacting to her wounds not to some inherent flaw in my being.
That I can have my worst fear of abandonment and rejection appear to come true and not give it any power because I do not have to buy into the disease telling me that it is my fault – that I did something/said something/am something that is wrong/a loser/a mistake/unlovable/unworthy. This is such a gift – to know that I can keep the critical parent shut up and out of the game is Truly an Amazing Miraculous reward for being willing to do my healing.” – An Adventure in Romance
I made a great leap in healing my fear of intimacy in that encounter. So, it has been puzzling to me, in the time since then, why I still felt such a great deal of resistance to being open to relationship. I had not – in the almost two years since that adventure began – really focused too much on my fear of intimacy issues because the money issues were providing such a distraction. The recent events that took money out of the spotlight, put me back in a place where I needed to get honest with myself on a new level about those issues.
When I realized recently that my resistance to doing the physical healing and balancing was really about my fear of intimacy, I still wasn’t sure what that meant. Now, in writing this page, I have uncovered and discovered why I still have so much resistance.
The fear that if I get into a Loving relationship with someone who can Love me back – that person will be taken away, probably through death. If I open up to embracing life fully and with gusto, then – when I finally relax into enjoying being fully alive – I will be crushed in an unbearably painful way.
Since I did not have a parent die while I was a child (something that can cause a person to have this kind of issue), the cause must lie in past lives. I know intuitively that I have lost my Loved one through death in past lives. That was why that little boy resonated so much with that song – it spoke to him out of some past life experience, and mirrored his emotional reality in this one.
That stupid song that held so much power for me as a little boy, that was one of the first stimuli to trigger some deep grief work for me when I had been in recovery long enough to recognize what was going on, is the key to healing my resistance to opening up to receive. Though I had been aware of it for many years, I have never seen it as I see it now. Until I reached the level of healing I am at now, until I had raised my consciousness to the place it is at now – I could not understand the full implications of what that song had disclosed to me.
Here I am trying to explain how the process works – with it’s levels and layers of healing – and in doing so, I have pealed another level for myself. Perfect!
What a wonderful discovery! This is where the biblical quote “The Truth shall make you free.” resonates with such Truth. (As well as the one about how “the little child shall lead them.”)
By uncovering another layer, I uncover a deeper wound – which then gives me the information I need to start disempowering the emotional wounds and programming that wound caused, and start removing the blocks it triggers.
I had no idea when I started to write this article that this is where I would end up. Incredible! First I will give you an insight into the kinds of things that I will start to do, to change and overcome this programming. Then I will share just a bit about how powerful this is for me.
Changing the programming
I explain the inner child healing process throughout my site, so I am not going into a lot of detail here. What I will share are the types of messages I will be using to help myself reprogram the intellectual paradigm that is dictating my relationship with being open to a romantic relationship.
“Some of the things that I keep telling others (because I teach best what I need most to learn) is that:
1. We need to know and tell ourselves that it is truly better to love and lose than never love at all.
2. That there are no mistakes only lessons.
3. That everything is unfolding perfectly and there is a Loving Higher Power who is guiding the process.
4. That the right people come into my life at the right time (this does not necessarily mean a wonderful relationship – sometimes it means the right person to teach us how to set boundaries or defend ourselves or know when to walk away.)
5. That it is important to change our definition of a successful relationship – a successful relationship is not necessarily one that lasts for the rest of our lives, it is one that we learn and grow from.
It is a great risk to open up to and care about another person – and we will feel hurt at times because hurt is part of life – but it is a risk that is worth taking because if we never take the risk we can never be Truly alive.” – The Heart Break of Romantic Relationships – part 3
In addition to the messages that I list in that article, I will be adding one that I have spoken hundreds of times in working with other people – without ever realizing the personal importance that message carried for me.
“The reality of life is that we are born alone and that we die alone – and for most of the time in between we are alone. Everyone in our life leaves us or we leave them sooner or later. It is better to accept that reality and make the best of life, than to be a victim of life not being what we want it to be.”
Everyone dies. Anytime we take the risk of Loving, we open ourselves up for the pain of losing. It is better to Love and lose than to be the victim of our fear. It hurts more to not open up to Love than it hurts to Love and lose. This is the essence of the dysfunction that is codependence. It does not work. In trying to avoid getting hurt, we never Truly experience being alive.
Through doing our healing, we can stop reacting to the old tapes and old wounds. We can learn to have internal boundaries that allow us to let the adult on a Spiritual Path make the choices – instead of the disease, instead of the desperately needy child, instead of the fear.
What I am going to start telling myself, start telling my inner children, is that even if I find a person that I can Truly have a Loving relationship with and that person dies – it will be better than not opening up to Love. The reality that we all die, is all the more reason to live life to the fullest while we are here.
I have never really been afraid of death – because that will mean I get to go Home. What I have been afraid of was getting too attached to this place and to a romantic relationship with another human, and having her go home before me. That has been at the core of my terror of intimacy – of my fear of embracing life to the fullest.
Big Breakthrough for me
This is a huge breakthrough for me. The intricate perfection of the process just blows me away. This is a Truly amazing process.
I did not know when I started this article off with the quote about the stupid song, where that was going to lead. I did not know when I was guided to mention the encounter in August 1988 with a past life, that I was going to be focusing on that lifetime once more. For it was that lifetime, that holds the key for me.
I have mentioned in my Trilogy, the terror that I feel when I think of that lifetime – and I felt that terror again today. I have been stalled in my writing of the next two chapters of the narrative portion of my Trilogy, because I have been afraid of revisiting that lifetime. I have been stalled in writing the last article in the series about 30 days in the desert because once I write that article I will then need to write the next article about the events of the summer of 1988 – which will include the Karmic recreation of that lifetime that I experienced.
I have known there was a reason for the resistance and procrastination, and also known that I would get to it when the time was right. This is so directly connected to the message I am trying to share about not judging and shaming ourselves for our resistance and fear, as to be mind boggling. Here is a quote from my book:
“What I have found is that in many instances even though the levels that I can see, that I am conscious of, are mostly dysfunctional – arising out of the false beliefs and fears of the disease of Codependence – on deeper levels there are “right on” reasons for behaviors for which I was judging myself.
As one simple example, I used to really judge myself and beat myself up because I had a very hard time meditating. I could not get quiet enough inside to do meditation in the “right” way and I thought that that meant there was something wrong with me. I thought that my resistance meant that I was somehow defective. But what was revealed to me was that I had died in meditation in a past life, which made my resistance make sense in a whole new way.”
The lifetime in which I died in meditation was a Celtic lifetime. I was Druid priest involved in an initiation rite which involved summoning up and facing my worst past life memory. The pain and shock of it killed me.
The reasons that I am so drawn to Cambria – the place I feel at home, that the recent financial gifts allowed me to moved back to – is because of the powerful Celtic resonance I feel here. I did not know that when I first moved here. It is something that I have written about in my Journal – something that I have figured out over the years. A powerful energetic connection that is about someplace else.
Now I am back here. Now, I am going to get to face that lifetime again – because the lifetime where I lost my Love, is also the lifetime whose horror killed me as a Druid.
Things are starting to get really interesting here.
Thank you for being there to share in my process. Thanks for helping to this new level of healing. – from Joy to You & Me & Joy2MeU Update Newsletter October 2000 Part 2
I have over 50 Update Newsletters with millions of words of processing in them. Anyone who wants to check them out can see the list on the lower part of my siteindex page. (Anyone who is curious about the spiral that I use in my writing and website, here is a page that explains the Sacred Spiral.)
The Joy2MeU Journal includes a personal journal of my recovery process as well as my personal story “The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul.” In it I share the story of my recovery. I have a page that includes special offers on lifetimes subscriptions to the password protected areas of my website Joy2MeU.com: Dancing in Light and the Joy2MeU Journal. Millions of words of content not available on Joy2MeU.
The formula that I pioneered for inner healing – which includes learning to set the internal boundaries – is something that I teach people through telephone counseling (It is now possible to get phone cards for very cheap rates from many places in the world – and also to use Skype for free from anywhere.) I talk about how the phone counseling can work to really change a persons life for the better in a short period of time on this page which includes some special combination offers.
Reading my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls (links to all of my books in hard copy, ebook, and audiobook format are on that page – or you can get Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks through Amazon, or eBooks & books from Barnes & Noble or eBooks thru Kobo ) would really help you take your understanding to a whole new level. Understanding codependency is vital in helping us to forgive our self for the dysfunctional ways we have lived our lives – it is not our fault we are codependent.
In the last few years I have also published two more books that can be very helpful. Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing and Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth. I have special offers for either or both of these books (or for all three of my books) on this page: and also on this page on my mobile friendly site.
Codependency causes us to feel like the victim of our own thoughts and feelings, and like our own worst enemy – recovery helps us to start learning how to be our own best friend. Getting into codependency recovery is an act of love for self.