Chapter 19 – Taking self worth out of the Romantic equation

The Dance

Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls

“One of the false beliefs that it is important to let go of, is the belief that we need another person in our lives to make us whole. As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims.

A white knight is not going to come charging up to rescue us from the dragon. A princess is not going to kiss us and turn us from a frog into a prince. The Prince and the Princess and the Dragon are all within us. It is not about someone outside of us rescuing us. It is also not about some dragon outside of us blocking our path. As long as we are looking outside to become whole we are setting ourselves up to be victims. As long as we are looking outside for the villain we are buying into the belief that we are the victim.

As little kids we were victims and we need to heal those wounds. But as adults we are volunteers – victims only of our disease. The people in our lives are actors and actresses whom we cast in the roles that would recreate the childhood dynamics of abuse and abandonment, betrayal and deprivation.

We are/have been just as much perpetrators in our adult relationships as victims. Every victim is a perpetrator – because when we are buying into being the victim, when we are giving power to our disease, we are perpetrating on the people around us and on ourselves.

We need to heal the wounds without blaming others. And we need to own the responsibility without blaming ourselves. As was stated earlier – there is no blame here, there are no bad guys. The only villain here is the disease and it is within us.” – quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

I state in my book that codependence is a lousy word to describe the phenomena it has come to be associated with. A more accurate term would be outer or external dependence. We are programmed to give power over our sense of self worth – over how we feel about our self – to external sources and outside conditions.

Nowhere is the result of this programming more disastrous on a personal level than in the area of romantic relationships. Our subconscious and emotional programming started with fairy tales that taught us that when we meet our prince or princess we will live happily-ever-after. Movies and books and songs reinforced the original programming that in order to be whole and happy we must be in a relationship.

The result of this programming is that we are set up to feel like failures in romantic relationships. When we give power over how we feel about our self to another person in a romantic relationship we are practicing toxic love – making the other person our drug of choice, our higher power.

A healthy romantic relationship is an interdependent relationship – not a codependent one. An interdependent relationship is one where two people who have a healthy sense of Self worth, choose to become partners, to form a union. Two whole individuals – or more accurately (since as I have stated, we are all wounded and learning to access a True sense of self/Self worth) two people who are in recovery from their codependency working on owning their inherent worth and wholeness as beings, working on learning to be emotionally healthy and honest – who form an alliance / partnership with each other, not two half people who come together to feel whole.

In a healthy interdependent relationship as I mentioned in Chapter 9, we give the other person some power over our feelings – not over our self worth. Giving another person some power over our feelings is a completely different thing than giving them power over our self worth.

When we choose to give power away over our feelings we give the other person the power to help us feel happy. That also means we are giving them the power to hurt us. Caring for anyone or anything means we have an emotional investment in our relationship with that person or thing. To emotionally invest in a relationship is to take the risk of getting hurt – of getting our hearts broken – if we lose that relationship.

But it is not having our heart broken – it is not pure grief / emotional pain – that can be so debilitating, paralyzing, and agonizing when a relationship ends. It is the loss of self worth that we feel – the level to which we have invested, are dependent upon, the relationship to feel good about ourselves – that causes us to feel like we are going to die, that can make us feel like we want to die. The blame and shame and judgment caused by our codependency creates artificial feelings of inadequacy, of trauma, of agony. The unresolved abandonment / rejection / betrayal issues from our childhood are triggered and throw us into a place where we feel the hopelessness and powerlessness that we felt as a child.

The critical parent disease voice – old tapes / subconscious and conscious intellectual ego programming – tells us what losers and failures we are. The wounded inner child places react out of pain and shame from our childhood – the places within us where we feel unlovable and defective. We blame ourselves for the relationship ending with codependent messages like: if only I had not said that; I should have done that; I will never have a good relationship; I will always be alone; etc. Or we go to the other extreme and try to blame it all on the other person. People stalk and murder ex lovers because of the blow they feel they have suffered to their self worth – because they feel they have lost the source / drug that was making life bearable.

Getting our hearts broken is a normal and natural part of life. Blaming our self or the other person is codependency. The emotional pain of a heart break is very painful, but it gets better over time. The blame and shame of codependency causes us to be bitter and resentful, causes us to avoid relationships or to pick another person who will recreate our wounds – another person to try to fill the hole we feel inside of our self.

“Loving and losing is better than never loving” when all we experience is a broken heart. It is the blame and shame of the disease that makes us feel like failures who are incapable of loving – like a victim of our own unworthiness.

At the end of 1998, when I had reached a place in my recovery where I was secure in my self/Self worth, the Universe presented me with an opportunity to experience a romantic relationship in which my worst fear of rejection seemed to manifest – and I did not blame her or me. It was an incredible experience – very painful, but also very liberating.

“It Truly is a completely different experience to have a relationship where my self-worth is not at risk . . . . . if my self-worth is not at risk then another person can only add to me, they have no power to diminish me. What a gift.” – An Adventure in Romance – Loving and Losing Successfully

As that relationship was ending, before it ended, I wrote what I think is one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever written which I mentioned in a previous chapter and will include as the next chapter. It is called: A Wedding Prayer /Meditation on Romantic Commitment.

“You are not the source of each other’s Love. You are helping each other to access the LOVE that is the Source.

The Love that you see when you see your soul in the others eyes is a reflection of the LOVE that you are. Of the Unconditional Love that the Great Spirit feels for you.

It is very important to remember that the other person is helping you to access God’s LOVE within you – not giving you something that you have never had before.” – Chapter 20 A Wedding Prayer / Meditation on Romantic Commitment

Anytime we see another person as our source of love, we will feel a need to control and manipulate that person to be what we want them to be – to be there for us to feed off of emotionally so we can feel good about our self. There is nothing Loving about using another person emotionally because we do not know how to feed ourselves by accessing the True Source.

Love can feel magical and wonderful – can help us feel like we are soaring as the other person helps us to access the higher vibrational frequencies of Love and Joy. To have the opportunity to experience Love is one of the major reasons we have come into human body – but thinking a romantic relationship is what give us worth is codependent and dysfunctional. Romantic relationships can be wonderful opportunities for growth and Spiritual Awakening when we start seeing them realistically, when we stop allowing the perspective of the magical thinking romantic within us to dictate our relationship with romance.

“You are not going to live happily-ever-after once you find your prince or princess. There is no happily-ever-after on this plane of existence. You may find your prince or princess but they will have issues to deal with. Relationships are something that needs to be worked on – not some magic wand that makes everybody happy.” – Chapter 9 Interdependent, not codependent”

From Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth Chapter 19 – Taking self worth out of the Romantic equation

Sacred Spiral

If you live in Southern California and want to learn how to do relationships in a healthier way it would be really helpful for you to come to my Intensive Training Day workshop.   If you are alone this Valentine’s Day, this workshop can help you understand your patterns and fear of intimacy so that you can make better choices the next time you venture into the Romantic Arena. If you are in a relationship and find your self having problems with communicating and reactions – then it would be very helpful for you to come to my workshop together.  I have posted a page with special offers for my February 20th workshop.

If you don’t live in this area, there is a MP3 recording of my workshop that you can download.

Cover of book on romantic relationshipsI have special offers for Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth on this page. (which includes offers for my other books also.)

When you purchase Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth  Codependent Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics & Healthy Relationship Behavior through Joy2MeU you get a personally autographed copy;-) but you can also purchase through Amazon.com, Amazon.UK, or Barnes & Noble.

The Greatest Arena is also available as two ebooks (each only$9.95) eBook 1: Codependent Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics & Healthy Relationship Behavior (the first 20 chapters of The Greatest Arena) is available on Amazon, on Amazon UK, on Barnes & Noble, or in Kobo format.

Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth eBook 2: Deeper Within (emotionally) & Further Out (metaphysically) From Fear of Intimacy to Twin Souls (chapters 21 through 40 of The Greatest Arena) is available on Amazon and Amazon UK, on Barnes & Noble, or in Kobo format.

Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth eBook 1: Codependent Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics & Healthy Relationship Behavior now also available as an audio book on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

Discernment part 2: Loving and losing

December 10th, 2015 – someone made a comment on this blog that I published 6 months ago while I was out of town over the weekend and I decided to post it again.  It is good stuff.

Emotional pain, feeling hurt, is an inevitable part of this human experience we are having – just as loss and grief are unavoidable parts of life. There is no happily ever after when we find our Prince or Princess, when we do life “right.” Judging and shaming our self for having been hurt is part of the inner war that is codependency.

The Dance

“The dysfunctional dance of Codependence is caused by being at war with ourselves – being at war within.

We are at war with ourselves because we are judging and shaming ourselves for being human. We are at war with ourselves because we are carrying around suppressed grief energy that we are terrified of feeling. We are at war within because we are “damming” our own emotional process – because we were forced to become emotionally dishonest as children and had to learn ways to block and distort our emotional energy.

We cannot learn to Love ourselves and be at peace within until we stop judging and shaming ourselves for being human and stop fighting our own emotional process, until we stop waging war on ourselves.” – Quotations in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

I realized in my codependency recovery that getting hurt was not the biggest problem for me – it was the way I beat myself up, and blamed myself, when I got hurt that felt unbearable. Judging and shaming myself for the pain and heartbreak I experienced caused me to live a life of suffering.

“When I had first gotten sober, I had noticed a saying on some bumper stickers or wall hanging or someplace. That saying was “The pain is mandatory, the suffering is optional.” What I was really beginning to realize at this point in my process was that the suffering came about because of resistance to feeling the pain – and anger and fear. By changing my attitudes, I was changing my perspective and giving myself permission to feel the feelings. I was starting to allow them to flow instead of putting all my energy into damming them, suppressing them. That is where the suffering really comes from – denying my own emotional reality.” – Joy2MeU Journal – My Spiritual Path: 30 Days in the Desert – Falling Apart and Breaking Through II

I had to deny my own emotional reality in childhood because in my parents were my Higher Powers whom I was incapable of seeing as anything but perfect. I felt like it was my fault I was hurting, because something was inherently wrong with me. In my adult life I was still emotionally reacting to life out of the intellectual beliefs I had adapted in childhood – out of the interpretations of an immature egocentric mind. Until I started separating my adult perspective of reality from my childhood subconscious and emotional programming, I was incapable of having compassion for my own pain.

Until I started to learn discernment intellectually, I was set up to keep allowing my childhood experiences to dictate my relationships with life – and with love. In this quote from one of the articles in my Healthy Relationships series, I have done what I suggest in the article – that is, I have inserted “love” into the quote from my book everywhere it says “life.”

“We learned about life (love) as children and it is necessary to change the way we intellectually view life (love) in order to stop being the victim of the old tapes. By looking at, becoming conscious of, our attitudes, definitions, and perspectives, we can start discerning what works for us and what does not work. We can then start making choices about whether our intellectual view of life (love) is serving us – or if it is setting us up to be victims because we are expecting life (love) to be something which it is not.”Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney

Consciousness raising is a process of enlarging the intellectual paradigm which we base our relationship with life upon. As I have stated previously in this series, our beliefs, attitudes, and definitions determine our expectations and perspectives – which in turn dictate our emotional relationships to everything and everyone in our environment. And when I say everything, I am not just talking about objects. Everything includes ideas, concepts, opinions, etc.

In order to have healthier romantic relationships it is very important to examine our concept of romantic love. If we do not have a healthy concept – realistic definitions and beliefs about – romantic love, then we do not have much chance of having a healthy relationship. If our concept of romance is based on the fairy tales and books, songs and movies, from our childhoods, then we are set up to be disappointed in our romantic relationships.

Read the quotation above and substitute “love” everywhere it says “life” and you might better understand why you have felt like a victim in romantic relationships. We were set up to be victims in romance because we were taught that it is a magical paradise where we will have all of our needs met – and live “Happily ever after”. We were taught that getting the romance was the goal and that after that everything was smooth sailing.” – Healthy Relationships – Part 6, Romantic Love as a Concept

As long as I saw love / life as a black and white test of my worth, as a competition that could be won or lost – with winning taking me to happily ever after and losing causing me to judge myself as unlovable because of my hurt and heartbreak – I was not only incapable of loving and allowing myself to be loved, I was incapable of really living.

Living our life trying to avoid getting hurt keeps us from Truly being alive. It is Truly better to love and lose than to never love – but until I started changing the programming that told me I wasn’t lovable I was powerless over my patterns. I was unable to be discerning in the choices I made about who to get involved with because of my codependency. I was incapable of really receiving love because I did not believe I was lovable at the core of my relationship with myself.

My ego interpreted emotional pain in childhood as a threat to survival, and adapted a defense system to try to protect me from being hurt emotionally. That defense system – my codependency – does not want me to relax and be in the moment, because then I might get hurt. It does not want me to take risks, to venture into the unknown. In one of the first installments of my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal, I shared part of an email I had written to a friend about how important it was for me to start learning how to take power away from the old tapes – from the codependent programming that had been running my life.

“. . . . . . A client was admiring the bouquet of flowers that I had in my office and I told her the story of why I often buy flowers for my office. About two years ago I did a workshop at a church in the San Fernando Valley on a Sunday afternoon. When I was packing my stuff up getting ready to leave they gave me the flower arrangement from the Sunday service. I didn’t want it. I watched my reaction – which was I didn’t want the flowers – and the thought that I saw pass through my mind was “Why do I want those flowers, they will just die.” I immediately recognized that for what it was, an old tape. When I discover old tapes dictating my reactions I need to do something to counter them – so I started buying flowers to put in my office.

Why have flowers when they are just going to die? . . . . . .

Why take a risk if I will fail?

Why open up to Love if I am just going to get hurt?

Boy is that my old stuff! – my disease talking.

I don’t remember if you ever heard me give my talk before it became a book – but I used to always end my talk with quoting the words to a song that was perfect for ending the talk. I couldn’t use it in the book because they wouldn’t give me copyright permission. The song was The Rose.

“Some say Love it is a river that drowns the tender reed,
Some say Love it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say Love it is a hunger – an endless aching need …
I say Love it is a flower – and you it’s only seed.

(This next part is the part that really speaks to me of the way that I lived most of my life)
It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance,
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes a chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken that never learns to give,
It’s the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long,
and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong.

Just remember in the winter far beneath the winter snow,
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the Rose”

So once more I get to work on countering all the old tapes and all the seemingly concrete evidence to the contrary and tell myself that: YES :

It is better to Love and lose than never Love,

it is better to have flowers that are beautiful for a few days than not to enjoy the flowers. . . . .” – Joy2MeU Journal  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Process – Dance 2 July 1999

As long as I was not in recovery from codependency I was trying to avoid being hurt by not taking the chance of opening up to someone who was available to love me. This was my codependency’s way of trying to keep my shameful, defective being a secret. In my unconscious codependent defense system this translated behaviorally into being attracted to women who were unavailable so that I could blame them. Thus my attempts to have a relationship became self fulfilling prophecies – repeating behavior patterns. Having my heart broken meant that either I was a loser or it was the other person’s fault – so I needed to blame it on her to keep from falling into the bottomless abyss of pain and shame within me.

The ridiculous thing about this, one of the things that makes codependency such a stupid, dysfunctional defense system, is that feeling rejected by anyone could throw me into that abyss.

“It is a defense adapted by my ego in an attempt to keep me from opening my heart so that it can be broken again. If my heart is broken again, I have to make it your fault because the only other option in a polarized perspective of life is to admit that I am to blame. To blame myself is to plunge into the abyss of pain and shame at the core of my being – the unendurable, hopeless, want to die, place within me where I feel shamefully unlovable and unworthy.

This is the behavior that I was powerless to change until I started to get emotionally honest with myself. The intellectual and emotional programming from my childhood set me up to be incapable of having a healthy intimate relationship.

Codependency is very dysfunctional. It hurts just as much to be rejected by an unavailable person as by an available one. As long as we are reacting out of our inner child wounds, we will take any perceived rejection as personal – as a reflection of our shameful defectiveness.

Until I started to consciously work on changing the ego programming which was keeping me in denial and emotional dishonesty, I was unable to change my core relationship with self – I was unable to see through the false self image, was unable to see my self with any clarity.” – Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Chapter 4: False Self Image

There is nothing we humans beings want more than to feel Loved – in my opinion.

“On one of my web pages I state that romantic relationships are the greatest arena for Spiritual growth available to us. I believe that this is the Truth because it is the area that is most important to us. Recently I saw a communication from the Dalai Lama in which he stated a very simple Truth: we all want to the same thing, to be happy and feel Loved. I would simplify that even further to say: feeling Loved makes us happy – so ultimately we all want the same thing, to feel Loved.” – Healthy Relationships – Part 5, Healthy Joyous Sexuality

This is a reflection of our desire to return home to LOVE – to reconnect with our Source. On a human level it manifests as a desire to feel Loved by other human beings – and especially to feel Loved by one other human being in a romantic relationship, in a relationship that includes physical union.

“Everything on the physical plane is a reflection of other levels. Ultimately, the strong sexual and sensual desires of human beings really have very little to do with the actual physical act of sex – the True compulsion to unite is about our wounded souls, about our endless, aching need to go home to the God/Goddess Energy. We want to reunite in ONENESS – in LOVE – because that is our True home.” – Jesus & Mary Magdalene – Jesus, sexuality, & the bible

Our codependent programming causes us to believe that love has to come from external sources and validation. That feeling loved by another person will fill the hole in our soul. It cannot. When we think another person is the source of love for us, then we are making that other person our higher power.

I believe that the great quest for all of us old souls who are doing this healing is to feel Loved. Before we are open to that however, we need to heal our relationship with ourselves enough to start believing that we deserve Love. Doing the inner child healing work is an act of Love that is a Loving thing to do for our self.

As long as we are looking for that Love externally, we are looking for love in all the wrong faces and wrong places. That doesn’t mean that another person can’t help us access that Love – what it means is that it is important to remember that the Source of that Love is accessed internally, not found externally.

“You are together because you resonate on the same wave lengths, you fit together vibrationally, in such a way that together you form a powerful energy field that helps both of you access the Higher Vibrational Energy of Love, Joy, Light, and Truth – in a way that would be very difficult for either one of you to do by yourself. You are coming together to touch the face of God. You are uniting your energies to help you access the Love of the Holy Mother Source Energy.

You are not the source of each other’s Love. You are helping each other to access the LOVE that is the Source.

The Love that you see when you see your soul in the others eyes is a reflection of the LOVE that you are. Of the Unconditional Love that the Great Spirit feels for you.” – A Wedding Prayer / Meditation on Romantic Commitment

If we are not open to accessing Love internally – through our Spirit – then we will not be able to take in and hold love coming from another person. We won’t feel like we deserve it on a gut level – so we will sabotage it in some way.” – Joy2MeU Update Newsletter 2 June 2003

Sacred SpiralThe Update Newsletters I used to write regularly are often very long and contain a lot of really valuable information about the recovery process as I share my processing through my issues.  This is taken from the second page of the Newsletter portion of the June 2003 Update.  (the sharing there starts off with The Road gets Narrower – and begins a discusses about being alone and loneliness that continues in Newsletter Discernment Part 1)

This excerpt is actually less than half of that Newsletter 2 page – the page continues with My Terror of Intimacy about 1/3 of the way down the page.

Joy2MeU Journal Logo

Joy2MeU Journal

There are two quotes in this excerpt from The Joy2MeU Journal.  The Joy2MeU Journal is “a body of work in a password protected part of the site where Robert is publishing the story of his Spiritual Path (11 part), a ongoing personal recovery journal (58 installments), and portions of his Trilogy (14 Chapters of a Magical, Mystical, Spiritual Fable) and Attack on America (11 Chapters) books not available on regular Joy2MeU site.

Also quoted is Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life – which is part of Dancing in Light another subscription area of the site that includes “some of the most sophisticated of my writings – dealing with very advanced levels of recovery and some revolutionary and controversial perspectives on metaphysics, spirituality, and enlightenment.”

Special offers for either / or both subscription areas of my site are on the special sale page.