The Totem Animals of the Medicine Cards

One of the very valuable tools in my recovery – as I say in this quote from my book – was the Medicine Cards.

The Dance

“When I was willing to hear and see the messages – and take action based upon them – I began to discover the Truth around me.  There were certain books of Truth that I was led to that were especially important in my consciousness raising, in my Recovery process.  I am now going to quote a story from one of those books which means a lot to me.  It is a story from a book called Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson.  This book deals with the Medicine Wheel, and the totem animals of the Medicine Wheel Spiritual beliefs of certain Native American tribes.” – All text in this color are quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Though I don’t actually use the cards themselves in my life very often now, the totem animals – and the messages that they symbolically represent – are still very important to me.  Those totem animals have been a factor in the calendars I have selected each year for many years.  When I lived in Taos New Mexico, I was able to get a calendar that had different animals of the Rocky Mountain Region for each month – and most of those animals were totems in the Medicine Cards, and thus would give me a message / theme to focus on for the month.  Once I moved back to California, it became difficult to find that type of calendar – and for several years I chose calendars that had one of my totems – the wolf – on them.  In this quote from my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal – in which I am talking about my relationship with a male friend during some processing I was doing about my relationships with other males – I mention the significance of calendars in my recovery experience.

“When we communicate by e-mail about golf, I call him Arnie (as in Palmer) and he calls me Tiger (as in Woods.)  In my replies, I found myself referring to myself as Tigger.   I believe I mentioned some place in my writing, how a couple of years ago, when it came time to buy a new calendar, I bought a Winnie the Pooh one.  The year before (I believe it was 1999) had been pretty rough, and I wanted to get a new calendar and mouse pad that was somewhat frivolous.  For several years I had gotten a wolf calendar to go along with a wolf mouse pad.  Wolf is one of my totems in the Medicine Cards – and symbolizes the Teacher.  The first line in the Medicine Card book about the Wolf is “Wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the clan to teach and share medicine.”  Pretty appropriate for the role I seem to be playing in this lifetime.  Also, wolves mate for life – a connection to my romantic fantasy issues. 

While shopping for a calendar for 2000, I decided that, though wolf is a powerful totem for me that I honor and affirm, it was perhaps a bit too serious a theme for the coming year.  I decided I wanted to affirm “lightening up” for the coming year – put out a request to the Universe for a year without quite so many difficult opportunities for growth.  When I found the Winnie the Pooh calendar, it seemed to be a perfect symbol of having a lighter, more frivolous and happy year.  And I got a mouse pad to match.

I don’t really remember reading Winnie the Pooh as a kid.  I do have this feeling of connection to Tigger however.  I think it is because of that song he sings, about what a wonderful thing it is to be a Tigger – and about how he is the only one.  Something that a lonely, isolated boy could identify with – feeling different and unique, though I certainly didn’t think it was a wonderful thing.” Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 17 November 3, 2002 

I referenced the calendar connection again in some writing I did in early 2004.  In the processing I had done in my journal in November 2002, I had gotten honest with myself about how my acceptance of being isolated and alone was keeping me from being available for a relationship.  In this quote from my journal in January of 2004, I make reference to the efforts I was making to get more involved with other human beings – and talk about another of the totem animals that is very important to me.

“Well, I get to start this morning looking above my computer at my new 2004 calendar.  I had actually spotted the calendar I wanted before the end of last year – but was waiting for it to go on sale.  I have this thing about paying full price for a calendar when I know they are going to go on sale soon.  Probably a reaction to my old poverty consciousness.  Choosing to wait, meant creating some irritation for myself when I would look up and see December instead of January for the first week of the month.  Oh well.

I finally got a chance to get into San Luis on Friday and get the calendar I wanted – another Winnie the Pooh one.  I talked in one of these installments (I think it was here) about opting for Winnie the Pooh calendars the last couple years as symbol of wanting the year to be more on the light and whimsical side.  They actually had a Tigger one – Tigger being an “only one,” and thus the character I identified with the most because I felt so different and “not a part of.”  But I decided that since a large part of the focus of my recovery these days is to learn to interact and play with the other kids in the Enchanted Forest, that I should stick to the Winnie and friends calendar.

I don’t actually have any memories of reading Winnie the Pooh in childhood, but my inner children relate to Tigger.  In recovery I also relate to Winnie, who is after all a Pooh bear.  Bear is one of my totems in the Medicine Cards, and is described as going within to access Truth – which pretty well fits my mystic role.  It is in fact a West totem that is my East totem.  East being the place of the rising sun and illumination.  In other words, my illumination – my Awakening to the Light – comes primarily from looking within.

“The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection.  It lies in the West on the great medicine wheel of life.  Bear seeks honey, or the sweetness of truth, within the hollow of an old tree.  In the winter, when the Ice Queen reigns and the face of death is upon the Earth, Bear enters the womb-cave to hibernate, digest the year’s experience.  It is said that our goals reside in the West also.  To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.

To become like Bear and enter the safety of the womb cave, we must attune ourselves to the energies of the Eternal Mother, and receive nourishment from the placenta of the Great Void.  The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities.  If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions reside within us.  Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know.

Many tribes have called this space of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge, where the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity.” – Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson (link at bottom of page)

I will probably be talking some more about the Medicine Cards soon.” – Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 29 January 12, 2004 Monday 5:30 AM

It has been important for me in my recovery, to make choices and take actions in alignment with what I have been guided to focus on in my growth process.  Even something as small as choosing the Winnie and Friends calendar instead of the Tigger calendar has power on a metaphysical level – in terms of bringing Spiritual intention into everything I do.  Part of what I need to get clearer on in this processing, is the areas of my life that I need to bring more focused Spiritual attention to right now. 

The processing I did in my journal and Update Newsletters – from the May 2001 Update that I mention at the beginning of this Update (which actually threw me back into the Pandora’s box of my fear of intimacy issues that I opened with my October 2000 Update) through the November 2002 journal installments – lead to me taking the actions that have put me in the relationship situation I am in now.  In that same Dance 29 installment, I make clear reference to a lesson I am still working on learning today.

“It is very easy for me to write about how important it is to communicate in an intimate relationship – how vital it is to work through tough issues by talking about them.  It is much harder in practice.  The old theory versus actual experience conundrum.  The very thing – that emotionally intimate relationships get messy – which makes it is so important for me to be willing to play with the other kids in the Enchanted Forest.  The “messy” gift in my life today that has been made possible by the fear of intimacy processing that I have been doing here in this journal ever since writing my May 2001 Update put those issues in my face.

“The reality of my life circumstances right now, is that I am at a stage in my journey where I am pretty isolated and insulated.  I am doing a lot of writing and a lot of phone counseling – so that my life in many ways is like being in a 12 step meeting almost all of the time.  It makes it real easy to maintain a conscious contact Spiritually.  Having relatively little contact with other human beings, beyond the superficial, makes it much easier to stay in serenity.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but interacting with other people gets messy. ;-)” – Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update – May 23, 2001

I am no longer living in comfortable isolation writing theoretically.  I am in the Enchanted Forest interacting with other human beings.  And it is much easier for me to focus on interacting with the 2 year old Darien kid than it is with the adult kids in my life.  Sigh. (Darien just turned 12 to give you some perspective on when I wrote this.)

Now about the importance to me of the deer totem in the Medicine Cards. 

“I just went outside and saw a hummingbird.  In the Medicine Cards hummingbirds symbolize Joy.  I stood telling him/her how beautiful she/he was – and it flew to a flower so close to me that I could hear it’s wings humming.  Majorly cool.  Anytime I see a hummingbird I take it as a direct message from my Higher Power to remember that Joy is the point, the goal, what healing is all about.  Joy and Love.

Animal totems have a very special meaning for me.  The place where I walk by the ocean, is a place we call locally the East West Ranch.  When I first moved to Cambria back in late 1989, it had been a ranch that went bankrupt.  It is something like 600 acres, and sits between two of the main residential sections of the town – on the ocean side of Highway 1.  Back then, it was posted with no trespassing signs, but there were spaces in the fence to climb over and get through – so the effect was that the signs protected the owners from liability but people could walk on the ranch as they pleased. 

I Love this ranch space.  When I was living in a place near the back edge of it in 1990, I would go for walks on the ranch all of the time.  Near where I would enter the ranch, I could cross a small stream and come to a meadow in the woods.  The meadow was a mound – and felt like sacred space to me.  I would commune with the meadow and then walk up the hill through the woods.  Coming out of the woods I could see the ocean and then walk down the hill to the bluffs overlooking the ocean. Along the part of the ocean that the ranch runs along there is no beach.  There are bluffs with rocks and tidal pools below.

It brought me great pleasure and serenity to walk through my meadow and up the hill – or though a passageway through the trees that came out in a different part of the ranch.  There was a place just after this passageway, where a tree stood alone.  A tree that was bent over almost double, creating what looked like kind of a portal.  I would visualize that being a portal to other dimensions or to the future where I was done with all the pain.

As I would walk through the woods, I would see deer.  Deer in the medicine cards are about gentleness.  Whenever I see a deer, I take it as a direct reminder from my Higher Power to be gentle with myself. I get to see lots of deer around here – to help me remember gentleness.  (My landlady doesn’t like it that they come into her garden at night and eat the flowers – but I think it is cool.)  As I came out on top of the hill where I could see the ocean, I would sometimes see whales.  A whale – again in the medicine cards – is the record keeper, the keeper of ancient knowledge.  It was symbolic for me because I felt that I was accessing ancient knowledge while writing my Trilogy.

1990 was a year before I first gave the talk that became the Dance of Wounded Souls.  The only book that I was working on then was my Trilogy.”  – Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 9 July 12, 2000

I don’t actually miss Cambria that much (I was telling myself that at the time, but I still miss it) – although I do miss my walks on the Ranch.  And I miss getting to see deer all the time.  That is the reason that I chose a Deer calendar this year.  The move to San Diego we made in September, is a perfect part of my Spiritual Path, and is working out quite nicely.  Getting to do the Intensives regularly is a very important to me – and I am sure the grief groups are going to be a perfect part of the journey also – but I do miss the deer.

Among the gifts that Susan has brought into my life is encouraging me to do the Intensives, and moving to San Diego.  I will be exploring more of those gifts on my fear of intimacy processing page.

Magnificent Buck Deer

In alignment with how this writing processing unfolds perfectly for me, the last line in that last quote mentions my Trilogy.  That work: The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .” is A Magical, Mystical, Spiritual Fable which is a book that probably will never be finished – and certainly won’t be part of a Trilogy.  But it was the first writing that I did in 1988 after I had gone through treatment for Codependency.  That body of work is what I thought of when I looked at the calendar with the magnificent buck deer on it.  That Trilogy writing formed part of the foundation of what was later to become Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.

“I started writing my book (what I hoped was just going to be one book because I really did not like writing 😉 The Dance of Wounded Souls in a cabin at 11,000 feet elevation on Taos Mountain in the fall of 1988. . . . . 

. . . . . .  That book evolved into being the first book of a Trilogy, and over the next few years I worked on it intermittently.  Meanwhile, I was working on my emotional healing, and started working with others in helping them to access and release their grief.

I was looking at the work I was doing on internal healing, and the work I was doing on the mystical book as being two separate things.  It never occurred to me to connect them.  And then suddenly in early 1991, they came together.  In some speaking engagements to talk about codependence, I heard myself answering questions with mystical statements that I had never even considered that I would make in public.” – Attack on America – Chapter 7 (Attack on America – A Spiritual Healing Perspective is an online book that I started writing a few days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.  I published it online as I wrote it – but subsequently moved the bulk of it to my Joy2MeU Journal.  It is also now available in the Dancing in Light pay to view section of the site.)

In my Joy2MeU Journal two part installment about publishing The Dance I talked about how the events unfolded.

“In the next month or six weeks, I also spoke publicly at a couple of other places.  One was at the County Drug and Alcohol satellite office in Cambria – and the other was at a Speakers meeting for CoDA for Helping Professionals. (This was a short lived version of CoDA for counselors, therapist, and various other helping professionals who thought it would not be okay for them to share honestly in regular CoDA meetings – a manifestation of the codependent programming of keeping up appearances in my opinion, which I shared with them when I spoke.)

It was in those public speaking engagements that the inner child work I was doing merged with the mystical information that I was writing for the Trilogy.  I can remember two examples of hearing “myself answering questions with mystical statements” – that I refer to in the quote from my Attack on America book above.  One was while speaking here in Cambria – which was not a meeting but an informational event the satellite office was offering for the general public.  In it, I shared my view that everything was unfolding perfectly from a cosmic perspective.  Someone asked me if that meant that I believed that everyone who died in a plane crash was meant to die that day.  I answered that yes that was what I believed.

The other one I remember was in the CoDA Speakers meeting in February.  I have a memory of talking about the clinging creatures story I paraphrase from Richard Bach’s Illusions in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.  The one where the creature that has learned to let go and go with the flow of the stream is viewed as a messiah by clinging creatures he flies over down stream. . . . . (I am going to include that quote from my book at the end of this blog entry.)

It was in those talks that the seeds of my book sprouted.

“In the spring of 1991, Robert Burney was asked to speak in several different venues on the subject of Codependence. In the course of those speaking engagements he heard himself making statements to a general audience that he had never considered saying in public because of their controversial nature. To his surprise he found that the practical process level tools and techniques that he utilized in his private therapy practice were merging with mystical and magical knowledge he had acquired writing a book that was an adult fable about the history of the Universe – the first book of a trilogy.

Although he experienced a great deal of fear about making such controversial statements in public, he was compelled to further explore this message that he felt coming through him. He arranged dates in June of 1991 to give a talk in Cambria and Morro Bay, California. He then found he was unable to write the talk. The message that he was formulating was multileveled and nonlinear so that he found it impossible to organize his thoughts into a coherent presentation. His anxiety mounted as the date for his talk approached until in a burst of inspiration born out of desperation he wrote almost continuously for the last 48 hours prior to the talk. The presentation was scrawled on yellow legal pages that first time he presented the talk.

As he got ready to give his talk, he was overwhelmed with feelings of dread and experienced emotional memories of being stoned to death by an angry mob. He was convinced the audience would not be able to hear his message because of the outrageously controversial aspects of it but was compelled to go forward with it because of his personal Karmic need to take responsibility and stand up for his Truth. To his amazement, the audience not only heard what he was saying but cried tears of Joy in recognition of the Truth he was sharing.

That talk formed the basis for the book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. The message evolved and expanded over the years as he refined the techniques he was developing to facilitate Codependence recovery, but the basic structure of the book was essentially born in those two days of desperation. Robert made a trip from Taos New Mexico, where he was living at the time, to the Central Coast of California in the winter of 1995 in an attempt to raise funds to publish a book based on the talk. Because of that trip (which was a real leap of faith) he did receive the financing to start the publishing process in the summer of 1995. He returned to Cambria to set up his publishing company, Joy to You & Me Enterprises, in the fall of 1995. The official publication date of the book was January of 1996.” – Biographical information page

That first time I did the talk, at the Pewter Plough Playhouse in Cambria on June 16th 2001 before a crowd of over 50 people, it was literally on yellow legal pages.” – Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance

The Trilogy alternates between a narrative story line and a History of the Universe told tongue in cheek (including a recently discovered transcript of God’s thought process in deciding to create the Universe.;-)  The narrative story involves my Higher Self appearing to me in the form of a unicorn running off a picture on my desk in Taos New Mexico in early 1989.   My unicorn / Higher Self then takes me on a journey through time and space to help me learn the things I needed to learn.   In one of the later chapters of that work, my Higher Self transforms from a unicorn to the form of a woman representing the Goddess Energy / Feminine Principle.  During the course of my interaction with my Higher Self, a doe and two fawns had been playing a part in the unfolding story.  After we had discussed some of the levels of healing that were affecting me and had caused my fear of intimacy, came this passage.

“Sorry about that,” I laughed.  It was wonderful to laugh about where I had been – and was going back to – and not feel any shame about it.  It was after all, only a part of my evolution.  There Truly is no need to judge where I have been, or am, because it was/is just a step in my becoming process.

Just then my attention was once again caught by the deer. The doe and both fawns had turned and were looking back into the trees at that south end of the meadow. And what came walking out of the trees at that point was the most magnificent Stag deer that I have ever seen.  He was tall and regal with the most magnificent set of antlers I had ever seen.  I counted fourteen points in his incredible rack.

I . . . . . . stood up, staring in awe at this magnificent male animal.  I was moved somewhere deep within my being, and tears sprang to my eyes from the emotions that the grandeur of his presence stirred up within me.

“Yes,” said my dream woman softly by my side, “he is magnificent.  And he is you, that is that he is a symbolic representation of the magnificence of your own masculinity.”

I turned and looked at her, feeling an emotional surge in my chest as her words sank in.

“You see,” she continued, “you have, up to this point in your recovery, put much effort into healing the feminine within and your inner children – which are symbolically represented by the doe and her two fawns.  But you have almost completely ignored the healing of your masculine.  Your relationship with your father, and your disgust over the sins of man-kind, have led you to disown to a large degree, your own masculine energy.  A very large part of your journey in the coming years will be to focus on the healing of your masculine so that you can own and honor what a magnificent male being you are.”

Tears were freely running down my face as I stood there looking at her.  Then I turned and gazed once again at the magnificent creature.  All four of the deer were standing there looking back at me with Love in their eyes.  I could feel the Truth of her words, and along with the Joy that I was experiencing from the sight of this regal animal, there was a profound sadness at the realization of the depth of my masculine wounds.  I was too overwhelmed with feeling at that point to speak.  I just stood there gazing at the buck and feeling the urgency of my need to own my masculine self.” – The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .”  Chapter 10

At this point I am breaking from what has been an excerpt from my Update Newsletter of March 2007.  I am going to include another quote from my Trilogy about the Medicine Wheel in this blog entry because I think it is apt and interesting.

(I used to write Update Newsletters in which I would share processing through my issues for my site 3 or 4 times a year until I actually got into a relationship and didn’t have much time to write any more.  The frequency dropped down to once a year – and now I haven’t done one for almost 5 years.  Once I got into a relationship and had a whole family that I was dealing with, I didn’t feel it was okay to share on the same intimate level because I felt a need to respect the confidentiality of the other people in the family.  And even though my wife (got married in 2010) Susan and I have been separated for over 3 years now, I still don’t feel comfortable sharing in the personal way I did in those early Update Newsletters.  I will insert a link here to my site index page where those Update Newsletters are listed for anyone who wants to explore them.  There are several million words in them at least.)

My unicorn / Higher Self communicates with me telepathically and in an irreverent manner from my point of view – by using words like bingo and calling me bucko, which is why I end up calling Her/Him by the nickname included in this quote.

“My unicorn chuckled, telepathically of course, as she continued. “Your memories of this journey will return to you gradually, and one day you will imagine the symbolic description – and then much later the other version.”

“I will imagine it,” I whined, “like memories of the future, right?  I suppose that you are going to tell me that you and this meadow, and this journey, are really someplace in the future – and that, as I write the book, I am just accessing memories from the future about what I am supposed to write.”

“Well, actually in the course of this journey we will be visiting both what you think of as the future and the past – but when you write this, much of the future we visit will be in your past because you will have already experienced it on this journey.”

And with a chuckle, she kicked up her heels, and was off and running across the meadow.

I tried to keep my pout going, but my heart just wasn’t in it. She looked so beautiful running and I felt such Love for her, that I had to start laughing at myself. I was being human again – and that was just fine because that is what I am here to experience. Even then I had come a long ways in not judging my own humanity.

As I watched, she jumped the stream and ran directly to the north end of the meadow. There, she turned east and galloped in a circle around the whole meadow – jumping the stream twice more as she went. When she reached the north again, she turned and trotted back towards me. She stopped on the other side of the stream and stood there looking at me with that silly grin of hers. I realized immediately that her grin, combined with the mischievous look in her eye, meant that it was time to bring something to awareness.

This is another thing that my Higher Self does to me all the time. He/She reveals some mind expanding information, or some emotional energy that I need to deal with, and then if I am starting to get all wound up in intellectual gymnastics about the information, or fear of the emotions – She/He puts something from an entirely different perspective right in front of me to remind me not to lose my awareness of the moment. It is my Higher Self’s way of reminding me that the whole point of healing is to learn how to be in the moment.

“Okay,” I laughed, “that little run was symbolic in some way, right?”

“Everything is symbolic in some way bucko,” she replied. “But yes, there was some particular symbolism in my run.”

“All right, bubba,” I said. I don’t know where the ‘bubba’ came from, but it seemed somehow appropriate, now that I was getting comfortable with being called ‘bucko’. “Let’s see what we can become aware of here.”

I stood by the stream and slowly turned around, scanning the whole meadow for some clue. In looking around, I noticed that the eagle cloud was still soaring overhead. That was all the clue I needed.

“Okay, my beautiful unicorn, I will tell you what you want to hear,” I said, rather grandly. “The meadow is circular in shape, just like the Medicine Wheel. And the Medicine Wheel religion contains as much Truth within it as any religion on Earth. Within the Medicine Wheel teachings, there is great significance in the four directions. The North, to which you galloped first, is the place of wisdom. It is the place you represent, the Higher Mind which contains all wisdom. From there you traveled to the East, which is the place of illumination. The direction of the rising sun which brings light to chase away the darkness, and is symbolic of the Light of Truth. It is the ‘sees far and wide’ place of the eagle. In other words, you lead me towards the Light by expanding my perspective so that I see things in progressively larger contexts. In this way, you teach me to see the Truth of how perfectly the pieces of the puzzle of life fit together when viewed from a large enough perspective.

“From the East, you traveled to the South,” I continued. “The South is the place of innocence and trust. One of the colors of the South is green, and that is one of the colors of healing energy. It is also the place of the child within. It was through surrendering to your guidance and trusting that my inner self was innocent, and not some horrible shameful monster, that I was able to access the healing green energy. It was in the South that my emotional healing began, because I was able to start accepting that God really is Loving – despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Once I started remembering enough to trust that God is LOVE, and that everything is unfolding perfectly, then I could access enough courage to open the ‘Pandora’s Box’ of repressed emotional energy that was caused by the trauma of my childhood.”

“From the South, you traveled to the West – the place of introspection. It is in this ‘looks within’ place that everything starts to make sense. For it is within that Truth exists. Only by looking within can Truth be found, and that Truth leads to God. For everything that we see around us is only a reflection of that which exists within. And if we cannot find God, and Love, within – we can never find it without. The Medicine Wheel is a mirror, and only by visiting all four directions can we become whole. The goal of the healing process is balance, and by visiting all four directions we can find the balance that allows the integration of the Spiritual and the physical”

“I would say that you are awakening very nicely,” she communicated with what seemed to be a rather self-satisfied look on her face.

“Thank you,” I replied, feeling rather proud of myself. “It is your guidance in leading me to the four directions that has brought me some wisdom – which is where your little gallop ended.”

“Au contraire, mon amie,” telepathed my Higher Self, “I didn’t stay in the North, did I?”

“Well no,” I said, somewhat confused. “You came back here to the center of the meadow.”

“And in returning to the center, which way did I travel?” she asked, with that sly grin.

“You came south,” I answered, still not understanding.

“So, from wisdom, I headed back to the south?”

“Yes,” I replied. And then I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. If her heading back to the South was so significant, then it could only mean on thing – it was time to trust again. And if it was time to trust again, that meant emotions. I have learned that my growth process is a continuous series of upwardly spiraling circles through ever expanding levels of awareness. In relation to the Medicine Wheel, this means that I need to visit all four directions within each level, or in regard to each issue, in order to achieve the balance that is wisdom about that particular level, in relationship to that particular issue. And once I have gained enough wisdom and balance about a level, then it is time to head South again, to trust and feel. To peel another layer of the onion.

My understanding of this process is that each time I move upward from one level to the next, it requires a lot of trust/faith because that particular phase of the growth feels terrible. This is because each time I move to a larger level of awareness, I have to surrender some of my ego definitions of who I am and how I relate to everything around me. It is the most confusing and terrifying part of the process because I have to let go of the old definitions before I know what it going to replace them. This is the process of ‘the death of the ego’. This metamorphosis, death is a process of transformation not an event, occurs as I shed progressive layers of ignorance to bring my ego-self into alignment with Spiritual-Self. This journey to wholeness and Oneness within is how the process of healing brings me to consciousness of the ONENESS of ALL THAT IS.

However, just as my Higher Self had stated only moments before, it does not matter how much intellectual knowledge I have of the path – I still experience the primal fear of the unknown when it comes time to proceed down that path. And my ego fights the process because every time it has to give up some of it’s definitions, that is, it’s illusions of control, it feels like it is dying. My ego reacts with fear to the out-of-control feeling, not only of the process of redefining which is growth and to it’s terror of the uncontrollable unknown in general, but also to the grief energy which it is necessary to release with each successive layer of the ‘onion’.

This process translates in my experience in this way: just when I have reached a comfortable understanding of the level I am at, and start to think that I have it all together (that I have finally reached happily-ever-after) – then it is time to move up to a new level. And as I come out of the top of one level into the bottom of the next level, it feels like I am at the bottom of the whole thing once more. It feels like I am in a deep dark hole huddled in a fetal position in despair and pain, and that I have made no progress. I feel very confused, because of surrendering some of my ego-definitions, and it feels like my emotional reality has never been anything but pain-full.

So naturally, my human impulse is to resist the process of surrendering to the grief and the growth. And even though my experience of the process had taught me that when I get to the other side of the grief and the confusion it will feel wonderful, in my humanness I still resist, progressively less then I used to, but resistance nevertheless. And each time it becomes time to surrender once more, I get angry at the process.

There in the meadow, I started to feel the fear when my unicorn made her point about traveling towards the place of trust that is the South. I was not, at that point, intellectually reviewing my knowledge of the process – I was just feeling an overwhelming urge to resist.

“You didn’t think that we had forgotten our newly discovered layer of grief, did you?” She telepathed. Her smile, which only a moment ago had seemed so sweet and Loving, now felt as if it was mocking me.

“Well, I was kind of hoping…….” I started to reply, in a very weak attempt to defuse the situation with humor.

Suddenly the fear that I was feeling turned into stark raving terror as my conscious mind became aware of the words which my Higher Self had communicated while I was falling asleep – Atlantis and Mu. The terror washed over me in waves, pulsating out of my gut to every part of my body, causing my knees to go weak and my hands to start shaking.

That is when two of my human defenses against fear kicked in. I defocused – that is, I shifted my focus away from that which was scaring me – and I transformed the fear energy into anger energy.

I exploded like a volcano.” – The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .” Chapter 6

Before I end this blog entry with the quote from my book that I mentioned earlier, I decided I want to share the story in my book from the Medicine Card book that the quote at the beginning refers to.  It is a story about the Swan Totem.

When I was willing to hear and see the messages – and take action based upon them – I began to discover the Truth around me.  There were certain books of Truth that I was led to that were especially important in my consciousness raising, in my Recovery process.  I am now going to quote a story from one of those books which means a lot to me.  It is a story from a book called Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson.  This book deals with the Medicine Wheel, and the totem animals of the Medicine Wheel Spiritual beliefs of certain Native American tribes.

The subject of this particular story is the Swan totem – Swan power:

As Swan looked high above Sacred Mountain, she saw the biggest swirling black hole she had ever seen.  Dragonfly came flying by, and Swan stopped him to ask about the black hole.  Dragonfly said, “Swan, that is the doorway to the other planes of imagination.  I have been guardian of the illusion for many, many moons.  If you want to enter there, you would have to ask permission and earn the right.”

Swan was not so sure that she wanted to enter the black hole,  She asked Dragonfly what was necessary for her to earn entry.  Dragonfly replied, “You must be willing to accept whatever the future holds as it is presented, without trying to change the Great Spirit’s plan.”  Swan looked at her ugly little duckling body and then answered,  “I will be happy to abide by Great Spirit’s plan.  I won’t fight the currents of the black hole.  I will surrender to the flow of the spiral and trust what I am shown.”  Dragonfly was very happy with Swan’s answer and began to spin the magic to break the pond’s illusion.  Suddenly, Swan was engulfed by a whirlpool in the center of the pond.

Swan reappeared many days later, but now she was graceful and white and long-necked.  Dragonfly was stunned!  “Swan what happened to you!” he exclaimed.  Swan smiled and said, “Dragonfly, I learned to surrender my body to the power of Great Spirit and was taken to where the future lives.  I saw many wonders high on Sacred Mountain and because of my faith and my acceptance I have been changed.  I have learned to accept a state of Grace.”

A “state of Grace” is the condition of being Loved unconditionally by our Creator without having to earn that Love.  We are Loved unconditionally by the Great Spirit.  What we need to do is to learn to accept that state of Grace.

The way we do that is to change the attitudes and beliefs within us that tell us that we are not Lovable.  And we cannot do that without going through the black hole.  The black hole that we need to surrender to traveling through is the black hole of our grief.  The journey within – through our feelings – is the journey to knowing that we are Loved, that we are Lovable.

It is through willingness and acceptance, through surrender, trust, and faith, that we can begin to own the state of Grace which is our True condition.

We are all beautiful swans who exist in a state of Grace, in a condition of being unconditionally Loved.  The dance of Recovery is a process of learning to accept and integrate the Truth of Grace into our lives.

Here is the Flying creature story from my book that I promised earlier.

The Dance

The prologue to Richard Bach’s Illusions contains a story about a colony of creatures clinging to the bottom of a stream.  Here is a paraphrasing of that story.

One day one of those creatures became bored with the life of clinging and decided to see what would happen if he let go and got swept up into the stream.  He wanted to see where the stream would carry him.”

All of the other creatures laughed at him and made fun of him. “You can’t let go of the rocks, you’ll just get battered and bruised!”   “It’s insane to let go of the rocks!”

This creature, though, wanted more out of life than just clinging to the rocks. He wanted to find out where the stream went.  So he let go of the rocks – and sure enough he got battered and bruised and had to grab ahold again.

All of the other creatures ridiculed and laughed at him.

But he said, “I am going to try again. I believe that the stream knows where it is going.  I want to see where the stream will take me.”  So he let go again – and he got battered and bruised again.   And then he let go again, and again, and again.

Each time he got a little less battered and bruised.  Each time he got a little closer to being swept up in the stream.

Then finally one day he had let go enough times that he did get swept up into the stream.  He was caught in the flow of the stream and swept forward.

He was flying!

As he flew along with his heart full of Joy and excitement he passed over another colony of clinging creatures that was downstream.

They looked up at him and cried, “Behold!  There is a creature like us and he is flying!  It must be the Messiah!”

He looked back at them and shouted as he was heading down stream, “No!  You don’t understand. You can fly, too, all you have to do is let go.   You are as much messiahs as I am.”

That is what this is all about!  The second coming has begun!  Not of “The Messiah,’ but of a whole bunch of messiahs.  The messiah – the liberator – is within us!  A liberating, Healing Transformational Movement has begun.  “The Savior’ does not exist outside of us – “The Savior” exists within.

We are the sons and daughters of God.   We, the old souls, who are involved in this Healing Movement, are the second coming of the message of Love.

We have entered what certain Native American prophecies call the Dawning of the Fifth World of Peace.  Through focusing on our own healing the planet will be healed.

We all have available to us – within – a direct channel to the Highest Vibrational Frequency Range within The Illusion.  That highest range involves consciousness of the Glory of ONENESS.  It is called Cosmic Consciousness.  It is called Christ Consciousness.

This is the energy that Jesus was tuned into, and he stated very plainly, ‘These things that I do, you can do also.” – by atoning, by tuning in.

We have access to the Christ Energy within.  We have begun the Second Coming of the message of Love.

The dawning of the Age of Healing and Joy is the dawning of the Fifth World of Peace when humans will learn to walk in balance and harmony.

Now that is some pretty wonderful news, wouldn’t you say?

Sacred Spiral

Joy2MeU Journal Logo

Joy2MeU Journal

There are probably at least 5 or 6 million words in the two subscription areas of my site that I quote from in this entry.  I just posted a page last week with special offers on lifetimes subscriptions to those password protected areas: Dancing in Light and the Joy2MeU Journal are for sale for $9.95 each or both for $17.95  Millions of words of content not available on Joy2MeU.

 

It is possible to get personally autographed copies of my books from my website Joy2MeU  or You can get my Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks through Amazon

I have special offers right now for anyone who would like to learn the formula I discovered for inner healing and Spiritual integration through telephone / Skype counseling.

My Update Newsletters are listed on my siteindex page.

The Medicine Cards (This link will take you to the page it is offered on Amazon.com) have been a very valuable tool in my recovery process.  Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls from: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, copyright 1988, Bear & Co.  Reprinted by permission Bear & Co., P.O. Box 2860, Santa Fe, NM 87504. (Since the book was published they have moved to P.O. Box 3876, Gettysburg, PA 17325)

Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote from: Illusions  “The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach.  Copyright 1977 by Creature Enterprises, Inc.   Reprinted in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney by permission of Bantam Doubleday Dell, New York, NY.

Healing my relationship with my own masculine energy and with being male

This is an excerpt from my March 2007 Update Newsletter in which I am sharing my processing about healing my relationship with my own masculine energy and with being male – a subject that came up after I published my previous blog about traditional gender roles.

“Hello Radiantly Beautiful Spiritual Being,
As I am sitting here trying to get clear on where to start in writing this Update, I leaned back in my chair and gazed upward – and my focus went to the calendar on my wall. The picture on that calendar for the month of March is of a magnificent buck deer. Therein lies the tale. . . . .

. . . . What I realized this morning though, was that what I really need to focus on is something much more fundamental – that is, in fact, a cause of my fear of intimacy. That is, my relationship with myself as a man. That is the tale I need to tell – the message that came from looking up yesterday morning and seeing that magnificent buck deer on my calendar. . . . .

. . . . . As I mentioned here in what I wrote on the 5th, I am needing to focus some attention on my relationship with myself as a man, with my relationship with my own masculine energy. . . .

. . . . Now I am going to do some processing about my issues with my own masculine energy – but first an explanation of the importance, and meaning to me, of the deer.

Medicine Cards

One of the very valuable tools in my recovery – as I say in this quote from my book – was the Medicine Cards.

The Dance

Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls

“When I was willing to hear and see the messages – and take action based upon them – I began to discover the Truth around me. There were certain books of Truth that I was led to that were especially important in my consciousness raising, in my Recovery process. I am now going to quote a story from one of those books which means a lot to me. It is a story from a book called Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson. This book deals with the Medicine Wheel, and the totem animals of the Medicine Wheel Spiritual beliefs of certain Native American tribes.” – quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Though I don’t actually use the cards themselves in my life very often now, the totem animals – and the messages that they symbolically represent – are still very important to me. Those totem animals have been a factor in the calendars I have selected each year for many years. When I lived in Taos New Mexico, I was able to get a calendar that had different animals of the Rocky Mountain Region for each month – and most of those animals were totems in the Medicine Cards, and thus would give me a message / theme to focus on for the month. Once I moved back to California, it became difficult to find that type of calendar – and for several years I chose calendars that had one of my totems – the wolf – on them. In this quote from my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal – in which I am talking about my relationship with a male friend during some processing I was doing about my relationships with other males – I mention the significance of calendars in my recovery experience.

“When we communicate by e-mail about golf, I call him Arnie (as in Palmer) and he calls me Tiger (as in Woods.) In my replies, I found myself referring to myself as Tigger. I believe I mentioned some place in my writing, how a couple of years ago, when it came time to buy a new calendar, I bought a Winnie the Pooh one. The year before (I believe it was 1999) had been pretty rough, and I wanted to get a new calendar and mouse pad that was somewhat frivolous. For several years I had gotten a wolf calendar to go along with a wolf mouse pad. Wolf is one of my totems in the Medicine Cards – and symbolizes the Teacher. The first line in the Medicine Card book about the Wolf is “Wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the clan to teach and share medicine.” Pretty appropriate for the role I seem to be playing in this lifetime. Also, wolves mate for life – a connection to my romantic fantasy issues.

While shopping for a calendar for 2000, I decided that, though wolf is a powerful totem for me that I honor and affirm, it was perhaps a bit too serious a theme for the coming year. I decided I wanted to affirm “lightening up” for the coming year – put out a request to the Universe for a year without quite so many difficult opportunities for growth. When I found the Winnie the Pooh calendar, it seemed to be a perfect symbol of having a lighter, more frivolous and happy year. And I got a mouse pad to match.

I don’t really remember reading Winnie the Pooh as a kid. I do have this feeling of connection to Tigger however. I think it is because of that song he sings, about what a wonderful thing it is to be a Tigger – and about how he is the only one. Something that a lonely, isolated boy could identify with – feeling different and unique, though I certainly didn’t think it was a wonderful thing.” Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 17 November 3, 2002

. . . . I referenced the calendar connection again in some writing I did in early 2004. In the processing I had done in my journal in November 2002, I had gotten honest with myself about how my acceptance of being isolated and alone was keeping me from being available for a relationship. In this quote from my journal in January of 2004, I make reference to the efforts I was making to get more involved with other human beings – and talk about another of the totem animals that is very important to me.

“Well, I get to start this morning looking above my computer at my new 2004 calendar. I had actually spotted the calendar I wanted before the end of last year – but was waiting for it to go on sale. I have this thing about paying full price for a calendar when I know they are going to go on sale soon. Probably a reaction to my old poverty consciousness. Choosing to wait, meant creating some irritation for myself when I would look up and see December instead of January for the first week of the month. Oh well.

I finally got a chance to get into San Luis on Friday and get the calendar I wanted – another Winnie the Pooh one. I talked in one of these installments (I think it was here) about opting for Winnie the Pooh calendars the last couple years as symbol of wanting the year to be more on the light and whimsical side. They actually had a Tigger one – Tigger being an “only one,” and thus the character I identified with the most because I felt so different and “not a part of.” But I decided that since a large part of the focus of my recovery these days is to learn to interact and play with the other kids in the Enchanted Forest, that I should stick to the Winnie and friends calendar.

I don’t actually have any memories of reading Winnie the Pooh in childhood, but my inner children relate to Tigger. In recovery I also relate to Winnie, who is after all a Pooh bear. Bear is one of my totems in the Medicine Cards, and is described as going within to access Truth – which pretty well fits my mystic role. It is in fact a West totem that is my East totem. East being the place of the rising sun and illumination. In other words, my illumination – my Awakening to the Light – comes primarily from looking within.

“The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection. It lies in the West on the great medicine wheel of life. Bear seeks honey, or the sweetness of truth, within the hollow of an old tree. In the winter, when the Ice Queen reigns and the face of death is upon the Earth, Bear enters the womb-cave to hibernate, digest the year’s experience. It is said that our goals reside in the West also. To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.

To become like Bear and enter the safety of the womb cave, we must attune ourselves to the energies of the Eternal Mother, and receive nourishment from the placenta of the Great Void. The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities. If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions reside within us. Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know.

Many tribes have called this space of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge, where the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity.” – Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson

I will probably be talking some more about the Medicine Cards soon.” – Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 29 January 12, 2004 Monday 5:30 AM

It has been important for me in my recovery, to make choices and take actions in alignment with what I have been guided to focus on in my growth process. Even something as small as choosing the Winnie and Friends calendar instead of the Tigger calendar has power on a metaphysical level – in terms of bringing Spiritual intention into everything I do. Part of what I need to get clearer on in this processing, is the areas of my life that I need to bring more focused Spiritual attention to right now.

The processing I did in my journal and Update Newsletters – from the May 2001 Update that I mention at the beginning of this Update (which actually threw me back into the Pandora’s box of my fear of intimacy issues that I opened with my October 2000 Update) through the November 2002 journal installments – lead to me taking the actions that have put me in the relationship situation I am in now. In that same Dance 29 installment, I make clear reference to a lesson I am still working on learning today.

“It is very easy for me to write about how important it is to communicate in an intimate relationship – how vital it is to work through tough issues by talking about them. It is much harder in practice. The old theory versus actual experience conundrum. The very thing – that emotionally intimate relationships get messy – which makes it is so important for me to be willing to play with the other kids in the Enchanted Forest. The “messy” gift in my life today that has been made possible by the fear of intimacy processing that I have been doing here in this journal ever since writing my May 2001 Update put those issues in my face.

“The reality of my life circumstances right now, is that I am at a stage in my journey where I am pretty isolated and insulated. I am doing a lot of writing and a lot of phone counseling – so that my life in many ways is like being in a 12 step meeting almost all of the time. It makes it real easy to maintain a conscious contact Spiritually. Having relatively little contact with other human beings, beyond the superficial, makes it much easier to stay in serenity. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but interacting with other people gets messy. ;-)” – Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update – May 23, 2001 quoted in the Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 29 January 12, 2004 Monday 5:30 AM

I am no longer living in comfortable isolation writing theoretically. I am in the Enchanted Forest interacting with other human beings. And it is much easier for me to focus on interacting with the 2 year old Darien kid than it is with the adult kids in my life. Sigh.

Now about the importance to me of the deer totem in the Medicine Cards.

“I just went outside and saw a hummingbird. In the Medicine Cards hummingbirds symbolize Joy. I stood telling him/her how beautiful she/he was – and it flew to a flower so close to me that I could hear it’s wings humming. Majorly cool. Anytime I see a hummingbird I take it as a direct message from my Higher Power to remember that Joy is the point, the goal, what healing is all about. Joy and Love.

Animal totems have a very special meaning for me. The place where I walk by the ocean, is a place we call locally the East West Ranch. When I first moved to Cambria back in late 1989, it had been a ranch that went bankrupt. It is something like 600 acres, and sits between two of the main residential sections of the town – on the ocean side of Highway 1. Back then, it was posted with no trespassing signs, but there were spaces in the fence to climb over and get through – so the effect was that the signs protected the owners from liability but people could walk on the ranch as they pleased.

I Love this ranch space. When I was living in a place near the back edge of it in 1990, I would go for walks on the ranch all of the time. Near where I would enter the ranch, I could cross a small stream and come to a meadow in the woods. The meadow was a mound – and felt like sacred space to me. I would commune with the meadow and then walk up the hill through the woods. Coming out of the woods I could see the ocean and then walk down the hill to the bluffs overlooking the ocean. Along the part of the ocean that the ranch runs along there is no beach. There are bluffs with rocks and tidal pools below.

It brought me great pleasure and serenity to walk through my meadow and up the hill – or though a passageway through the trees that came out in a different part of the ranch. There was a place just after this passageway, where a tree stood alone. A tree that was bent over almost double, creating what looked like kind of a portal. I would visualize that being a portal to other dimensions or to the future where I was done with all the pain.

As I would walk through the woods, I would see deer. Deer in the medicine cards are about gentleness. Whenever I see a deer, I take it as a direct reminder from my Higher Power to be gentle with myself. I get to see lots of deer around here – to help me remember gentleness. (My landlady doesn’t like it that they come into her garden at night and eat the flowers – but I think it is cool.) As I came out on top of the hill where I could see the ocean, I would sometimes see whales. A whale – again in the medicine cards – is the record keeper, the keeper of ancient knowledge. It was symbolic for me because I felt that I was accessing ancient knowledge while writing my Trilogy.

1990 was a year before I first gave the talk that became the Dance of Wounded Souls. The only book that I was working on then was my Trilogy.” – Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 9 July 12, 2000

I don’t actually miss Cambria that much – although I do miss my walks on the Ranch. And I miss getting to see deer all the time. That is the reason that I chose a Deer calendar this year. The move to San Diego we made in September, is a perfect part of my Spiritual Path, and is working out quite nicely. Getting to do the Intensives regularly is a very important to me – and I am sure the grief groups are going to be a perfect part of the journey also – but I do miss the deer.

Among the gifts that Susan has brought into my life is encouraging me to do the Intensives, and moving to San Diego. I will be exploring more of those gifts on my fear of intimacy processing page.

Magnificent Buck Deer

In alignment with how this writing processing unfolds perfectly for me, the last line in that last quote mentions my Trilogy. That work: The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .” is A Magical, Mystical, Spiritual Fable which is a book that probably will never be finished – and certainly won’t be part of a Trilogy. But it was the first writing that I did in 1988 after I had gone through treatment for Codependency. That body of work is what I thought of when I looked at the calendar with the magnificent buck deer on it. That Trilogy writing formed part of the foundation of what was later to become Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.

“I started writing my book (what I hoped was just going to be one book because I really did not like writing 😉 The Dance of Wounded Souls in a cabin at 11,000 feet elevation on Taos Mountain in the fall of 1988. . . . .

. . . . . . That book evolved into being the first book of a Trilogy, and over the next few years I worked on it intermittently. Meanwhile, I was working on my emotional healing, and started working with others in helping them to access and release their grief.

I was looking at the work I was doing on internal healing, and the work I was doing on the mystical book as being two separate things. It never occurred to me to connect them. And then suddenly in early 1991, they came together. In some speaking engagements to talk about codependence, I heard myself answering questions with mystical statements that I had never even considered that I would make in public.” – Attack on America – Chapter 7 (Attack on America – A Spiritual Healing Perspective is an online book that I started writing a few days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.  I published it online as I wrote it – but subsequently moved the bulk of it to my Joy2MeU Journal.  It is also now available in the Dancing in Light pay to view section of the site.)

In my Joy2MeU Journal two part installment about publishing The Dance I talked about how the events unfolded.

“In the next month or six weeks, I also spoke publicly at a couple of other places. One was at the County Drug and Alcohol satellite office in Cambria – and the other was at a Speakers meeting for CoDA for Helping Professionals. (This was a short lived version of CoDA for counselors, therapist, and various other helping professionals who thought it would not be okay for them to share honestly in regular CoDA meetings – a manifestation of the codependent programming of keeping up appearances in my opinion, which I shared with them when I spoke.)

It was in those public speaking engagements that the inner child work I was doing merged with the mystical information that I was writing for the Trilogy. I can remember two examples of hearing “myself answering questions with mystical statements” – that I refer to in the quote from my Attack on America book above. One was while speaking here in Cambria – which was not a meeting but an informational event the satellite office was offering for the general public. In it, I shared my view that everything was unfolding perfectly from a cosmic perspective. Someone asked me if that meant that I believed that everyone who died in a plane crash was meant to die that day. I answered that yes that was what I believed.

The other one I remember was in the CoDA Speakers meeting in February. I have a memory of talking about the clinging creatures story I paraphrase from Richard Bach’s Illusions in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. The one where the creature that has learned to let go and go with the flow of the stream is viewed as a messiah by clinging creatures he flies over down stream. . . . .

It was in those talks that the seeds of my book sprouted.

“In the spring of 1991, Robert Burney was asked to speak in several different venues on the subject of Codependence. In the course of those speaking engagements he heard himself making statements to a general audience that he had never considered saying in public because of their controversial nature. To his surprise he found that the practical process level tools and techniques that he utilized in his private therapy practice were merging with mystical and magical knowledge he had acquired writing a book that was an adult fable about the history of the Universe – the first book of a trilogy.

Although he experienced a great deal of fear about making such controversial statements in public, he was compelled to further explore this message that he felt coming through him. He arranged dates in June of 1991 to give a talk in Cambria and Morro Bay, California. He then found he was unable to write the talk. The message that he was formulating was multileveled and nonlinear so that he found it impossible to organize his thoughts into a coherent presentation. His anxiety mounted as the date for his talk approached until in a burst of inspiration born out of desperation he wrote almost continuously for the last 48 hours prior to the talk. The presentation was scrawled on yellow legal pages that first time he presented the talk.

As he got ready to give his talk, he was overwhelmed with feelings of dread and experienced emotional memories of being stoned to death by an angry mob. He was convinced the audience would not be able to hear his message because of the outrageously controversial aspects of it but was compelled to go forward with it because of his personal Karmic need to take responsibility and stand up for his Truth. To his amazement, the audience not only heard what he was saying but cried tears of Joy in recognition of the Truth he was sharing.

That talk formed the basis for the book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. The message evolved and expanded over the years as he refined the techniques he was developing to facilitate Codependence recovery, but the basic structure of the book was essentially born in those two days of desperation. Robert made a trip from Taos New Mexico, where he was living at the time, to the Central Coast of California in the winter of 1995 in an attempt to raise funds to publish a book based on the talk. Because of that trip (which was a real leap of faith) he did receive the financing to start the publishing process in the summer of 1995. He returned to Cambria to set up his publishing company, Joy to You & Me Enterprises, in the fall of 1995. The official publication date of the book was January of 1996.” – Biographical information page

That first time I did the talk, at the Pewter Plough Playhouse in Cambria on June 16th 2001 before a crowd of over 50 people, it was literally on yellow legal pages.” – Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance

The Trilogy alternates between a narrative story line and a History of the Universe told tongue in cheek (including a recently discovered transcript of God’s thought process in deciding to create the Universe.;-) The narrative story involves my Higher Self appearing to me in the form of a unicorn running off a picture on my desk in Taos New Mexico in early 1989. My unicorn / Higher Self then takes me on a journey through time and space to help me learn the things I needed to learn. In one of the later chapters of that work, my Higher Self transforms from a unicorn to the form of a woman representing the Goddess Energy / Feminine Principle. During the course of my interaction with my Higher Self, a doe and two fawns had been playing a part in the unfolding story. After we had discussed some of the levels of healing that were affecting me and had caused my fear of intimacy, came this passage.

“Sorry about that,” I laughed. It was wonderful to laugh about where I had been – and was going back to – and not feel any shame about it. It was after all, only a part of my evolution. There Truly is no need to judge where I have been, or am, because it was/is just a step in my becoming process.

Just then my attention was once again caught by the deer. The doe and both fawns had turned and were looking back into the trees at that south end of the meadow. And what came walking out of the trees at that point was the most magnificent Stag deer that I have ever seen. He was tall and regal with the most magnificent set of antlers I had ever seen. I counted fourteen points in his incredible rack.

I . . . . . . stood up, staring in awe at this magnificent male animal. I was moved somewhere deep within my being, and tears sprang to my eyes from the emotions that the grandeur of his presence stirred up within me.

“Yes,” said my dream woman softly by my side, “he is magnificent. And he is you, that is that he is a symbolic representation of the magnificence of your own masculinity.”

I turned and looked at her, feeling an emotional surge in my chest as her words sank in.

“You see,” she continued, “you have, up to this point in your recovery, put much effort into healing the feminine within and your inner children – which are symbolically represented by the doe and her two fawns. But you have almost completely ignored the healing of your masculine. Your relationship with your father, and your disgust over the sins of man-kind, have led you to disown to a large degree, your own masculine energy. A very large part of your journey in the coming years will be to focus on the healing of your masculine so that you can own and honor what a magnificent male being you are.”

Tears were freely running down my face as I stood there looking at her. Then I turned and gazed once again at the magnificent creature. All four of the deer were standing there looking back at me with Love in their eyes. I could feel the Truth of her words, and along with the Joy that I was experiencing from the sight of this regal animal, there was a profound sadness at the realization of the depth of my masculine wounds. I was too overwhelmed with feeling at that point to speak. I just stood there gazing at the buck and feeling the urgency of my need to own my masculine self.” – The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .” Chapter 10

It is now 3:07 AM on the morning of the 13th of March 2007. It was on the morning of the 4th that I looked up at my calendar and got the message from the Universe that I needed to look at a new level of healing my masculine – healing my relationship with my self as a man – in the context of the processing I already knew that I needed to do about my fear of intimacy issues and how they were affecting my life and relationship now. I will be doing that on the page (could even be more than one page) that will follow this one. I want to wrap this one up and get it posted – and my e-mail announcements sent out now. When I will have the next page ready to post, I really have no idea right now. Hopefully by the 25th, which will be the day after my next Intensive – the day I will be posting an Updated Intensive Testimonial page, as well as changing the Intensive page to raise the price for the next workshop.

There are 4 spaces still available for that next Intensive, by the way – so perhaps it will fill to capacity. More will be revealed. More will also be revealed about where my fear of intimacy processing will lead me. I know that I need to get clearer on where I am at, and what areas I may need some action, in order to get cleaner and clearer in my relationship with Susan. And I know that I need to take some steps to own my own masculine power more fully.

One of the key insights for me years ago, when I first started to focus on my issues with myself as a man, was one I mention in the following quote from my journal – that I had never had a clear image of what positive, strong and powerful masculine energy looks like.

“What I remember that morning was that I needed to own my powerful positive masculine energy. Years ago I had come to a realization (and I can’t believe I haven’t written about it somewhere – but can’t find it right now) that I had spent years working on healing my inner children and my feminine without even considering that I might need to heal my masculine. Like Duh! That was a time when I started reading authors like Robert Bly and starting to focus on healing my masculine. One of the things I realized then, is that I had no image of strong positive masculine energy – that I associated strong masculine energy with violence and anger and rage. That was when I came up with or discovered (maybe in Bly’s book Iron John the term “fierce determination” as a trait of powerful positive masculine energy. Focused power and fierce determination in doing, manifesting, standing strong – that was the masculine energy I discovered back then. That was the masculine energy I needed to rediscover and own on the morning of March 30th.

I started to see that I needed to start using my will power to stop playing small in my relationship with myself. To stop giving the pain so much power and to own that I have the power to have more positive control of my own internal process. I realized that I had gone out of balance in my relationship with myself, towards the feminine, feeling side of me – and that I wasn’t standing in my Truth with powerful Masculine positive energy. I needed to start being the Alpha male in my own internal process. In recent months I have noticed myself explaining the process of setting boundaries with the critical parent voice to phone counseling clients in an interesting new way. I would tell them that we don’t want to argue with the critical parent voice, we want to SLAM it with spiritual Truth. I have been thinking about the process of setting boundaries in a way that is like establishing who is in charge internally – who is the Alpha force. And that it was necessary to slam the critical parent voice – to own positive powerful force in my own internal process. This was a wonderful insight that is the key to taking control of my own inner process in a new more empowering way. In a way that will be more outward directed and focused on external manifestation and action than inner focused.” – Joy2MeU Journal: The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance35April 8, 2004

So, there are some areas in my life where I need to stop playing small and start focusing some fierce determination in making changes that need to be made in how I am relating to myself and life – so that I can start being clearer in my relationship. I have some idea right now what that might look like to some degree – and more will be revealed as I continue to process.

There is one additional thing that I am going to be including on this page – and that is an excerpt from Chapter 15 of Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life (the last chapter I have written so far of that work.) That is a chapter that is focused on masculine and feminine, and explains the difference in my understanding between different levels of masculine and feminine – and how those terms are related to the genders male and female. I want to include it in order to bring more clarity to the processing I am doing – for those of you who actually read this far and beyond.;-)”

As I said this is an excerpt from my March 2007 Update Newsletter – the actual Newsletter is much longer and I am going to include a link here to the excerpt about Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Chapter 15 Masculine and Feminine

Joy2MeU Journal Logo

Joy2MeU Journal

 The Joy2MeU Journal and Dancing in Light are subscription areas of the Joy2MeU website.  There are special offers available for them on this page.

Cover of the Medicina Cards book

Medicine Card Book

The Medicine Cards (This link and the one on the graphic will take you to the page it is offered on Amazon.com) have been a very valuable tool in my recovery process.  Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls from: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, copyright 1988, Bear & Co.  Reprinted by permission Bear & Co., P.O. Box 2860, Santa Fe, NM 87504. (Since the book was published they have moved to P.O. Box 3876, Gettysburg, PA 17325)

Chapter 25 of Romantic Relationships: Sexuality Abuse – the legacy of shame based culture

 

Book cover

Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls

 ““We live in a society where sex is somehow shameful and should not be talked about – but we use sex to sell cars.  That is backwards.  Human sexuality is a blessed gift to be honored and celebrated not twisted and distorted into something demeaning and shameful.”

“Our creator did not give us sensual and sexual sensations that feel so wonderful just to set us up to fail some perverted, sadistic life test.  Any concept of god that includes the belief that the flesh and the Spirit cannot be integrated, that we will be punished for honoring our powerful human desires and needs, is – in my belief – a sadly twisted, distorted, and false concept that is reversed to the Truth of a Loving God-Force.” – quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

 

Sexuality abuse is a term that I came up with in my own codependency recovery.  I have never heard or read of anyone else using this term.  It is very accurately descriptive however of something that I have been working on healing in my recovery – and a form of wounding that I believe many others have suffered.

Sexuality abuse for me refers to any messages I got, or emotional trauma I suffered, in childhood which damaged my relationship with my own sexuality.  Those message were both direct – from sources which outright taught me that sexuality was shameful and sinful – and indirect, from the role modeling of sexually repressed adults in my life.  Those messages were compounded by the twisted, distorted relationship that American culture has with sexuality because of it’s Puritan heritage.

The sinful, shameful direct messages came from the Catholic Church in it’s general teachings, and specifically from nuns and priests that I encountered in 7 years of education in Catholic schools.  I still have a distinct memory – one of those snapshots from the past that endure through the years because of the emotional content attached to them – of Sister Alberta when I was in the eighth grade.  She told our class, that if we kissed for longer than 60 seconds, or if our bodies touched at all while kissing, it was mortally sinful.  Mortal sins were the big ones, the death penalty felony of sins – the ones that, if one mortal sin stained your soul at death, you were consigned straight to hell to burn in everlasting damnation.

Any religion that teaches children that God loves them but may send them to burn in hell forever is Spiritually and emotionally abusive in my belief.  And as the quote above from my book states, I believe that any concept of god that teaches that the Spirit and the flesh cannot be integrated is abusive and shaming – and does have an impact on anyone raised in such a religion in terms of their relationship with their own bodies and sexuality. 

The Catholic Church in my experience is the champion of sexuality abuse however, because it was not necessary to actually do anything to commit a mortal sin – thinking about sex was enough to condemn one to hell.  For a teenage boy to never think about sex is impossible – but I was so brainwashed that I did not even masturbate as a teenager.  Now that is unnatural and abnormal.  It was very sad to me to realize in recovery how much impact the words of codependents as emotionally crippled, sexually repressed, and shame based as Sister Alberta had on me growing up – and it makes me angry that those issues have contributed to the fear of intimacy that has affected my ability to have a healthy romantic relationship in my adult life. 

The article this chapter is based upon was actually written in 2003 and I decided to add it to this book at the last minute while getting the final draft ready in late August 2012.  I had thought about adding it earlier but couldn’t really find a place for it – and knew this book was getting pretty long already.  What made me decide to add it was that on one of my final reviews I was struck by the last chapter in which I talk about the Horndog.

“This horny teenager within is not bad or wrong or shameful – it is a normal, natural result of growing up in the dysfunctional societies we grew up in.  What is dysfunctional, and can sometimes lead to behavior to be ashamed of, is to allow that immature version of male animal lust to run the show.” – Chapter 24 The Maiden and the Horndog

Because of the sexuality abuse I described just above, I had greatly suppressed and felt ashamed of the Horndog within me.  Drinking and drugging gave me permission to express my sexuality a lot in the years before I got sober.  But it was mostly in one night stands or intermittent encounters with women I connected with occasionally but would ultimately be unavailable to because I would feel ashamed of the encounters.  That was even more true after I got sober because I was actually feeling the fear instead of just denying it and rationalizing away my behavior.  I always felt some shame about expressing my sexuality and had to fight against that shame – which would result in long periods of no sexual expression followed by episodes where I felt like I was using the person I had a sexual encounter with. 

The relationship I am in now is the first time that I have been in a relationship (an actual relationship as opposed to a one night stand or occasional partner) with a woman to whom it was important to express her sexuality.  In this relationship I realized that I needed to open up to embracing and expressing my Horndog because I had been out of balance in not owning my sexuality.  It was important for me in this relationship to realize that sometimes a woman wants to be looked at and treated like a sexual object.  (It was also important for me to not feel ashamed of using viagra or cialis because of the reality of what happens to men when they get older – and the fact that I was 56 when I got involved with a woman 14 years younger than me.;-)

So, the Catholic Church had a major impact on me personally but the whole puritan thing was also involved.  That the puritan heritage of the United States has had such an impact on our society is kind of mind boggling.  Attitudes towards sexuality in most of Western Civilization are much less shamed based than American attitudes.  Even as sexually repressed as English culture still seems to be in many ways, it seems to have more freedom from it’s Puritan past than the US.  On a visit to England in the mid-seventies, I was pleasantly shocked to see nudity on television – but very little violence.  American culture has glorified violence while maintaining a very conflicted and twisted relationship to sex – using it blatantly to sell cars (and almost everything else we market) as I say in my book, but still maintaining a Puritanical sense of shame in relationship to sexuality.  Many of the politicians and ministers who strive to uphold the Puritan ethic in public are often caught acting a very different way in private – a great example of the hypocrisy and dishonesty inherent in a codependent society.

I grew up with parents who were sexually repressed and shame based in a society where Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore were a married couple that were not allowed to sleep in the same bed on television.  My parents gave me a book to explain the birds and bees – and said if I needed to talk about it to feel free to ask, at the same time their attitude and behavior very directly communicated that they were terrified of me asking.  I had to look up a lot of the words from the book in the dictionary, and still would have been clueless had not my older cousin filled me in with a graphic description of what sex involved.  I was horrified and started making plans to become a priest.

The role modeling of sexually repressed parents had an impact on most of the people of my generation.  Many of us as a result swung to the other extreme in the sex, drugs, and rock and roll days of the sixties and seventies.  Many of the children who grew up in the generations following us “baby boomers” had role models who expressed their sexuality in ways that were unhealthy and out of balance to the other extreme.  Many of today’s children are being subjected to knowledge of, and images of, sexuality that is out of balance to the other extreme – and I believe can also be classified as sexuality abuse.

I want to include in this month article – because I am on the topic of cultural role models and beliefs that can contribute to sexuality abuse – something I wrote in an article some years ago.  It is an article about fathers, and how being raised by fathers who were emotionally crippled by dysfunctional societal beliefs has impacted us all.  In that article, I wrote about a way that I believe many women in society have been wounded in a manner that I would describe as being – at least in part – sexuality abuse.  I say at least in part because it also could be considered gender abuse – one of the ways in which women got the message that being a woman made them “less than.”  A form of wounding that I have never seen addressed anywhere else.  I am going to conclude this Chapter with an excerpt from the Fathers article in which I talk about this particular type of wounding. 

“There is an additional way in which women are wounded by their fathers that I have never heard, or read, anyone talk about.  It is a devastating blow that many daughters suffer on a subconscious level.  It comes at a very vulnerable time and contributes more evidence to the message that there is something wrong/less than about being a woman that most girls have already received in ample supply from society and the role modeling of their mothers.

This happens when girls start developing a female body.  Their fathers, being males of the species, are naturally attracted to the awakening feminine sexuality of their daughters.  Some fathers of course, act this out in incestuous ways.  The majority of fathers however react to this attraction (which in shame-based western civilization is not acknowledged as normal but rather is so shameful that it is seldom even brought to a conscious level of awareness) by withdrawing from their daughters, emotionally and physically.   The unspoken, subconscious message that the girl/woman gets is “when I turned into a woman Dad stopped loving me.”  Daddy’s little princess is suddenly given the cold shoulder, and often is the recipient of angry (sometimes jealous) behavior from her father – who up until that time, often, has been much more emotionally available for his daughter than for his wife or sons.

In a healthy environment an emotionally honest father could recognize that his reaction was human – not something to be ashamed of – and also, not something to act out.  He could then communicate with, and have healthy boundaries with, his daughter so that she would know she wasn’t being abandoned by her Dad.” – Wounded Parents – the tragic legacy of dysfunctional families” – Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth eBook 2 Deeper Within (emotionally) & Further Out (metaphysically) From Fear of Intimacy to Twin Souls Chapter 25

Cover eBook 2

Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth eBook 2 Deeper Within (emotionally) & Further Out (metaphysically) From Fear of Intimacy to Twin Souls

Announcing that as of 8 am Sunday July 20th eBook 2 of  Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth  (the second 20 chapters of The Greatest Arena) will be available via a discounted count down sale on Amazon.com.  Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth eBook 2 Deeper Within (emotionally) & Further Out (metaphysically) From Fear of Intimacy to Twin Souls  which is normally $9.99 will start at $.99 as of Monday morning for a week – with the price increasing by $1 every 32 hours – And also eBook 2 on Amazon UK http://tinyurl.com/nomvfqt is for sale for £0.99  now – with the price increasing by £1 every 32 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth eBook 2 Deeper Within (emotionally) & Further Out (metaphysically) From Fear of Intimacy to Twin Souls

Table of Contents

Author’s Foreword

Chapter 21 – Uncover, Discover, Recover

Chapter 22 – Emotional Intimacy = in to me see

Chapter 23 – Men and Women are from the same planet

Chapter 24 – The Maiden and the Horndog

Chapter 25 – Sexuality Abuse – the legacy of shame based culture

Chapter 26 – Old tapes / traditional beliefs and gender roles for men and women

Chapter 27 – Monogamy – A Spiritual Teachers Perspective

Chapter 28 – Fear of Intimacy – the wounded heart of codependency

Chapter 29 – Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy

Chapter 30 – The True Nature of Love 1, what Love is not

Chapter 31 – The True Nature of Love 2, Love as Freedom

Chapter 32 – The True Nature of Love 3, Love as a Vibrational Frequency

Chapter 33 – The True Nature of Love 4, Energetic Clarity 

Chapter 34 – The True Nature of Love 5, Twin Souls, Souls Mates, and Kindred Spirits

Chapter 35 – Energetic Attraction – emotional familiarity or Karmic connection?

Chapter 36 – Fear of Intimacy –  Relationship Phobia

Chapter 37 – Codependent Defenses ~ The Gatekeeper

Chapter 38 – Deprivation issues drive relationship addiction behavior

Chapter 39 – My personal Journey through my Terror of Intimacy

Chapter 40 – Romantic Relationships and Valentine’s Day 2010

 

 

 

Father’s Day ~ My Father did love me, he just wasn’t capable of showing it

The first part of this article was written in 2005 – the second half in 2010.

God the Father, and my father

Book cover

Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls

  “Our traditional cultural concepts of what a man is, of what a woman is, are twisted, distorted, almost comically bloated stereotypes of what masculine and feminine really are. A vital part of this healing process is finding some balance in our relationship with the masculine and feminine energy within us, and achieving some balance in our relationships with the masculine and feminine energy all around us. We cannot do that if we have twisted, distorted beliefs about the nature of masculine and feminine.

When the role model of what a man is does not allow a man to cry or express fear; when the role model for what a woman is does not allow a woman to be angry or aggressive – that is emotional dishonesty. When the standards of a society deny the full range of the emotional spectrum and label certain emotions as negative – that is not only emotionally dishonest, it creates emotional disease.

If a culture is based on emotional dishonesty, with role models that are dishonest emotionally, then that culture is also emotionally dysfunctional, because the people of that society are set up to be emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional in getting their emotional needs met.”

“As a child, I learned from the role modeling of my father that the only emotion that a man felt was anger.”

“Human beings have also tried to apply realities of the physical level to the Spiritual level with the disastrous result that humans have come up with an image of the God-Force that fights wars. This image of the God-Force, with the characteristics of a war-like male, is completely out of balance because it is not the image of a balanced male warrior – it is the image of a male with no feminine side.” – quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

We buried my father this last weekend. He had gone into the hospital almost two months ago as an emergency admission. A gall stone led to several surgeries and uncovered other problems. He was in the hospital suffering from numerous complications – in a situation that contained no dignity and much pain. It was a blessing last week when congenital heart failure cropped up and took him within a couple of days. The things he was suffering from previously could have caused him to linger for weeks and weeks.

He was 80 years old and had lived a full life. All of his family members got a chance to see him while he was still lucid and able to communicate. I went to visit him in the hospital in Phoenix several weeks ago after doing a workshop in the Bay area. I was able to get some closure of a sort – to tell him I loved him. He couldn’t say it back to me. He has never been able to say he loved me.

My father was an emotional cripple. A man who had learned that real men don’t get scared or hurt or sad – real men only get angry. I wrote a column about how as a little boy I was terrified of him – and how sad I was about my relationship with my father – for Father’s Day in 1997. (Emotionally Crippled Fathers – a sad tragedy of the masculine)

I had actually done much grieving about my relationship with my father – and his inability to treat me in a way that felt loving – years ago. I didn’t actually have a lot of grief at his passing last week – some, but not a great deal because of that previous grieving. There was actually more grief for me in seeing my family members who have no recovery, who have no understanding of how wounded they were by his behavior, in pain over the myth of fatherhood they were still empowering.

The most damaging thing about our relationships with our parents growing up, is that we incorporate the messages we received from them directly – and indirectly through their behavior and role modeling – into our relationship with our self. It is not possible to develop healthy relationships with our parents if they do not change and get into recovery themselves. We can certainly get healthier in our interactions with them – but we cannot develop healthy relationships with anyone who is not getting healthier themselves. We can however heal our relationship with ourselves by taking power away from the old tapes and emotional wounds their behavior caused us to incorporate into our relationship with self.

This is what I am focusing on as I write this. A dysfunctional level in my relationship with myself that still needs some healing. This is a level of wounding that came not just from my relationship with my father – but also with the concept of God the Father I had imposed upon me as a child.

The Old Testament concept of a punishing, judgmental God the Father – a god with a human ego who created humans to adore him – is an abusive, ridiculous concept in my opinion. (I share some of my beliefs in this regard – along with links to articles focused on different aspects of my beliefs – in my December 2004 Update Newsletter.) That masculine image of a God is – as I say in the quote from my book above – an image of a male with no feminine side.

That image of an angry patriarch has been a fundamental component of the template for the way men were trained to express their masculinity and deny their feminine side in Western Civilization. The similarities between the way our fathers treated us and the image of the judgmental, abusive God the Father has been devastatingly wounding to not only many men in society – but also the many women who have tried over and over again to win the love of the emotionally unavailable, abusive males that were recreating the ways they were wounded in relationships with fathers who were emotional cripples like my father.

The combination of the reality that my father did not ever treat me in a way that made me feel that I was lovable and worthy, but rather the very opposite – along with the concept of a Father God who would send me to burn in hell forever because I was inherently sinful and shameful – are at the core of the toxic shame that is the foundation of my codependency. I have been working on healing – and have made great progress in eliminating – that shame about my being in the years of my recovery. I count my codependency recovery as beginning on June 3rd, 1986 – so I am coming up on my 19th CoDA anniversary. (The Story of “Joy to You & Me”)

There has been however, a dark corner deep within me where the feeling that I am not lovable or worthy – that I am somehow defective – has still been causing me to sometimes engage in self sabotaging behavior. I still have some terror at the core of my relationship with myself at fully opening up to believe that I deserve Love and Joy and abundance, some resistance to fully embracing being alive – and because of that terror I have periodically found myself justifying some behavior that is hurting me.

I deserved to be treated better than my father treated me. I certainly didn’t deserve the emotional and spiritual abuse heaped upon me by a shame based religion. And I need to stop indulging myself in this self destructive behavior – so that I can more fully honor and respect my self by treating myself in a way I deserve to be treated. Today I am leaving that behavior behind. Today, May 31st 2005 – to honor that I deserve to be treated better than my father was capable of treating me – I am going to commit myself to stopping the self abusive behavior that directly relates back to how his behavior wounded a little boy many years ago. Today I am going to defy that stupid ridiculous concept of an angry male god the father by stopping the self sabotaging behavior that I have until now been powerless to stop completely. Today I make this commitment to myself – to treat my self with Love and respect in all my behaviors. I commit my self to accessing the power available to me from my Higher Power to be more Loving to my self – because I deserve that Love.

5 years later – grieving for my father who DID LOVE ME!!!

Today would have been my Father’s birthday. June 14th. Flag day. He used to tell us they put the flags up because it was his birthday.

It never felt to me like my father loved me. He was never able to say “I love you” to me directly in his life. On his death bed I said “I love you” to him – and the best that he could do was say, “Same here.”

I have said for years – and said again at a CoDA meeting last night – that I think I have more shame because my father was there the whole time I was growing up. If he would have abandoned us physically and not been there – then I could have made up stories about him loving me. But he was there every day – and it never felt like he loved me.

Thanks to the beautiful, courageously recovering woman I am in relationship with, I realized last fall that it was my father that I got sober for. It had never occurred to me to think that. And also, thanks to being in a relationship with someone who is in recovery, I got in touch with pain from when I was an infant about what felt like my father’s abandonment and betrayal. What felt like was his rejection because I wasn’t good enough – because I wasn’t lovable. I always have said that I never felt loved by my father, but what I realized last fall was that there was a time when I felt like he loved me – when I was a baby. His first son. Then my parents left the college town where my father was going on the GI bill – he always said he had to quit college because of me – and moved on to the farm I grew up on when I was about 6 month old. That was the start of my father working very hard to support a family that eventually included 6 kids. My next brother was born 15 months after me – and I was no longer the center of attention – but by then, I had already lost much of my father’s attention because he was working to support his growing family.

I did get in touch with this infant wounding last fall, but I hadn’t really worked through it yet – which was causing me to react – out of that wordless pain and terror of an infant who feels rejected and betrayed by his father – to my partner. That happened yesterday – and again today. The part of me that is convinced that I am so unlovable that even someone who seems to love me completely will leave me – as it felt like I lost my father as a baby.

When I reacted yesterday, and my partner was able to respond out of her recovery instead of out of her old wounded defensive behavioral reaction, I was not able to get through it – I just turned it back in on myself and judged myself for my reaction. Today when it happened and she again was able to respond out of recovery, I was able to bring the focus back to myself in a healthy way – and that led to my breakthrough.

I have been saying to people for years that my mother taught me how to rationalize abusive behavior – both with her role modeling and with direct messages like: “Your father really loves you, he just doesn’t know how to show it.” And I did learn to rationalize from statements like that. What was different today, was that for the first time ever, I got it on a gut level that what she was saying was also the Truth (with a capital T.)

My father did love me – and was incapable of showing it. My father did love me!!!!!!

My father died in May 2005 – just a bit over 5 years ago. I didn’t grieve for my father then. I said that I had been grieving for not having a loving father for years – and that was the truth. But I did not ever really grieve for my father. Today I am grieving for my father. My father who did love me, but was incapable of showing me. Maybe it is not too late to be a different kind of father to my son.

Owning that my father did love me is hopefully going to let me finally open up to receive the love from my partner that I haven’t been trusting because deep down inside I didn’t feel like I was lovable.

6/14/10 12:56 pm. I finished writing this and sent a copy to my partner Susan at 12:16 – 40 minutes ago. We got off the phone talking about it – and crying – only a few minutes ago. The miraculous, incredible gift that is a result of us both being in recovery, is that me getting on a gut level that my father really did love me, helped her for the first time to get on a gut level that her mother really did love her. Huge paradigm shift for both of us!!!!!!!!!

I am going to be expanding on this processing in the coming days, and hopefully by Father’s Day I will have been able to process through it in more depth and breadth and post it on my site. Right now, I am sobbing and crying because this is a huge piece – for both of us.

As long as at the core of my relationship with myself, was the belief / feeling that my father had rejected and betrayed me as an infant, there is no way that I could open up to receive love unconditionally from another person. There was no way that I could truly be more Loving to myself in how I treat myself, in how I live my life. As I say in the article above, I have made huge progress over the years – but this shame and terror of rejection was at the core of my relationship with myself. Opening my heart to Susan brought it to the surface for me. Now maybe I can really open up my heart to my self.

My father really did love me!!!!! ~ Robert 6/14/10 1:13 pm

6/20/10 ~ I have not had a chance to do that process writing yet, so won’t be posting a Fathers Day article today. Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads who did the best they knew how. To all the sons and daughters, own your pain and anger and sadness over the ways your wounded fathers wounded you – but know also that they were powerless over their codependency. Forgive your self for something that wasn’t your fault – and that will open the space to be able to forgive them. Forgiveness is a process not an event. Codependency recovery is ninth step work – making amends to our selves for the ways that our wounding caused us to wound ourselves. And caused us to wound our sons and daughters. I have this week made a shift that is making it possible for me to forgive and Love myself more which helps me to forgive and own my Love for my father more. ~ RB”

 

This is an excerpt from the recording of my Intensive Training Day Workshop where I talk about this insight that my father really did love me.