deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues

Doing workshops, or any speaking in public – or for that matter in private counseling sessions in person or on the phone, or any opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope – is always a type of Goddess stroke for me anyway.  Anytime I have a chance to speak my Truth, to share the beliefs and knowledge which I so passionately embrace, I get to touch the Divine.  I get to be a channel for Love to flow through.  (One of the things I want to talk about in this Newsletter is that it can be easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.)”

It was at this point that I took the deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues.  The quote above is the first part of my Joy to You & Me & Joy2MeU Update Newsletter from October of 2000.  The deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues was part 2 of that Update – and is what follows.

Sacred Spiral with tail pointing to the right signifying going toward.

It takes a lot of courage to open up to receiving Love.   What we want the most is also what terrifies us the most – because of the toxic shame we are carrying, the core wounded place where we feel unworthy and unlovable.   We are afraid that we will get that which is most important to us – and then have it taken away because of our unworthiness.

In the Joy2MeU Journal, I have a series of articles called The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul.”  This started out as a recovery autobiography of sorts.  A relating of my Spiritual Path, of my healing process over the years since I got into recovery on January 3, 1984.  It evolved into not just a history of the past 16 + years, but into a journal of my process for the past year and a half since I started that Journal.  Here is an excerpt from the first of 3 articles in that series that relate how I ended up in a 30 day treatment program for codependence in 1988 that saved my life.

“One day in particular I remember driving home from work in a very agitated emotional state that I couldn’t quite identify or get a handle on.  The Universe in it’s great power and perfectly unfolding wisdom caused one of those miracles of coincidence to occur.   As I was nearing my home, a song came on the radio.  It was the first song that I learned in childhood by listening to the radio.  When I was about 8 or 9 this song had touched me deeply enough that I made the effort to learn all of the words.  It was really a pretty stupid song – but the message in it matched my programming perfectly.  It pushed the buttons of my core wounding that was a combination of my parents not being capable of Loving me in a healthy way coupled with the wounding that resulted from the Spiritual abuse I had suffered at the hands of the shaming religion I was raised in.

The song was about a boy out on a date with his girlfriend when they are in a traffic accident that kills the girl.  The chorus goes something like this:

“Where oh where can my baby be,

The Lord took her away from me,

She’s gone to heaven so I’ve got to be good, 

So I can see my baby when I leave this world.”

As that song ended that day, and I got to my apartment, I felt ripped apart by the grief that surfaced.  I was in my apartment crying and sobbing – with wounded animal-like moans of pain escaping from me.  I was compelled to keep moving from corner to corner in my apartment, crouching in the corner wailing and crying and moaning and then moving to another corner to do it again.

I got in touch with that place inside of me where I know that I am so unlovable and unworthy, such a shameful monster, that anyone who ever loved me would be taken away.  God could see what a sinful, shameful creature I was and would punish anyone who could possibly think I was Lovable.  If I ever deluded myself enough to allow myself to open up to Love from someone who could Truly Love me, I would be punished by having that person taken away.

I discuss in the Journal article The Unfolding Process about the importance to me of the song entitled The Rose, whose chorus goes like this:

It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance,

It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes a chance.

It’s the one who won’t be taken who that cannot seem to give,

It’s the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.

I couldn’t for the longest time relate to the last line, no matter how much I related to the first three lines – because I wanted to die

What I figured out eventually was that I was afraid to live not because I might die but because whoever I Loved would die.  That I was such a shameful monster that God would take away anyone who I allowed to Love me.

And I resonated with that when I was 9 years old!

That poor little boy.  That poor man who based his life on such feelings of shame and unworthiness.  Such pain.  To, on some level, choose isolation over the risk of being Loved and having that Love taken away.” – 30 Days in the Desert – Falling Apart and Breaking Through Part I

My particular flavor of toxic shame took on this tone – if I allow myself to open up to Love and be Loved, the person I open up to will be taken away from me.

“It is the Heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance.”

This was on a very deep subconscious level.   Something that I uncovered and discovered as my recovery evolved.

All of my issues around abundance – of money, of success, of friendship, of health, of whatever – always come back to my fear of intimacy, my terror of being available for a Loving relationship.  The bottom line is always that toxic shame at the core of my being that says that I am not lovable, that I am defective somehow.

Complex and Convoluted

Part of what I was trying to communicate, in the series on The Recovery Process for Inner Child Healing, was the intricate complexity this process.  Issues are piled on issues.  Each issue has levels and layers of effect – patterns, attitudes, subconscious beliefs, emotional grief energy, etc. – attached to it.

The outer, and most obvious layers, have levels and layers in and of themselves, that need to be worked through to the core issues.   Each time I am at a point of needing to surrender to peeling another major layer, I get to revisit all of my old issues once more – because they are all interrelated and interconnected.   Each time my growth process takes me to a new level – I need to surrender in a major way – I attain a deeper level of honesty, a higher understanding of Truth.  So, my perspective of all of my other issues changes.

The dance of balance, that I talk about in those articles, is an ongoing, ever changing dance.  When my perspective changes in a major way, my relationship with each issue changes also.

Undoubtedly the most telling example of this for me, is in relationship to financial abundance.  For me money has been the most convenient scapegoat, the most potent distraction.   As long as I don’t have enough money in my life, I have a pretty good excuse not to deal with deeper issues.  After all, survival is pretty important.

And the layers and levels of my issues in relationship with money are a convoluted labyrinth indeed.

First of all, I hated the injustice I saw in the society I grew up in.  I am deeply offended by a society that can justify not just homelessness, but so much of the population living in poverty while a small percentage of the population has more money than they can ever possibly spend.  The rebel in me used to get enraged at the callous disregard for individual human rights and dignity created out of the belief systems that underlie capitalism.  (My rebel still can get pretty angry about it, but I have released a lot of rage over the years.)

It is, of course, not just capitalism that can be so cruel.  I believe that it is the patriarchal nature of human civilizations that has created such heartless societies.  Women, who because of the gift of being able to bring life into this world, are naturally more heart connected and innately inclined to have more respect for the gift of an individual human life than men.   (Of course, the ultimate cause is the illusion of separation and the planetary conditions of polarization and reversity that I talk about in my book.)

On a personal level, I hated the power my father gave to money.   My father grew up in the Depression and adapted powerful scarcity issues around money.  So, it didn’t matter that he was making quite a bit of money – he still related to money from a place of fear.  He would spend money on me and my family – but would always have to tell us how hard he had worked for it.  The message I got from his behavior, was that he was spending this money on me but I wasn’t really worth it.  My father never told me he loved me, he tried to show it by “bringing home the bacon” – but it was always grudging, he always complained.  The relationship I formed with money in childhood had shame attached to it.

(To make a point, about the levels of complexity of our issues, I want to note here, how the issues of money were connected for me to being male.  I hated and rebelled against the inhumanity exhibited throughout the history of civilization by the patriarchal system.  I also resented and rebelled against my father who was my role model of what a man was.  And I was taught that god the father (who seemingly endorsed capitalism, genocide, the debasement of women, etc.) would send me to burn in hell forever for being human.  In unraveling my issues about money, I also needed to unravel my issues with my own gender – which also included my relationships with other men, with women, with my own sexuality, etc.  A tangled web indeed.)

I spent much of my life, saying that money and material things didn’t mean anything to me (the rebel’s valiant stand) while giving money great power because I didn’t have enough of it (the sabotaging shame and self abuse cycle of the disease.)

I have spent many years in my recovery unraveling and untangling all of my issues in relationship to money and abundance on a financial and material plane.

I first started to do positive affirmations shortly into my codependence recovery (in late 1986) when I realized that I had a pattern of living in deprivation in terms of living space, car, all kinds of material areas.  The first affirmation that I ever did was not really a true affirmation.  The truest and most powerful affirmations begin with “I am” because that is another name for the God-Force / Goddess Energy.  The first affirmation that I did was:  “God wants me to be happy, healthy, loved, and successful.”

This was a really big thing to me, to think that God might want good things for me.  It certainly was not what the God of retribution that I grew up with would want for me.

Within 6 months of starting this affirmation,  I was driving a new car (new to me), had a good job, and was living in a nice apartment.  I stopped saying the affirmation.  I realized only belatedly that I stopped because I had been focusing on the successful part of the affirmation and I didn’t really believe that I deserved to be happy, healthy and loved yet.

Over the years, I have:  done lots of positive affirmations (at two different periods making tapes of affirmations and messages of Love that I would play as I was going to sleep at night);  positive visualization (visualizing a pile of money on my bed when I came back from a walk, etc. – as a way of affirming that the Universe is capable of any miracle);  bought lottery tickets (as an affirmation and to give myself hope that tomorrow might be the day the Universe showered money on me);  engaged in activities as affirmation (played golf or gone to the movies when the illusion was I couldn’t afford it, just as an affirmation of abundance to come);  expressed gratitude in retrospect for not having money (to honor that in early sobriety it helped me stay sober, and other times when it taught me valuable lessons);  paid attention to mental attitudes that supported scarcity and lack so that I could change them;  worked to change my concept of money to thinking of it as energy that needed to flow;  and many other actions to change my relationship with money.

And the thing that was so important for me to remember, was that money wasn’t the issue at all.  Money is a symbol and a symptom.  A symptom of my wounds – of the causes in my childhood that produced the effects in my adult life.  And a symbol of Love.

What I really wanted was to feel like I was Loved by God.  The bottom line of all of our wounding is feeling separated from The Source.  The only abundance that really matters, is the abundance of Love.

Karma & Past Lives

I want to inject here, that for me – and probably for a lot of people reading this – money was a symbol of the Love we yearned for, we felt deprived of.   That doesn’t mean that people with a lot of money are open to receive Love – or are doing something right that we are doing wrong.   Financial abundance issues are very much tied in with Karma.  Basically, people either have Karmic issues around money or they don’t.  If they don’t then money flows into their life easily.  Often this means that people with lots of money are not old souls.  Many of them are creating negative money Karma in this lifetime that they will have to pay in another.  Some of them are old souls who have settled their money Karma prior to this lifetime – or will in their next lifetime.

“The term “old-soul” refers to the stage of consciousness evolution an individual has attained by this lifetime – it does not mean better than, or farther along than, those who do not have to do the healing. There is no hierarchy in the Truth of a Loving Great Spirit – those who appear to have low, or no, consciousness in this lifetime are simply doing their healing in another space-time illusion parallel to this one. All old-souls are born at a heart-chakra level of consciousness and therefore have more sensitivity, and less capacity for denial, than other people. In other words, the gift of having access to Truth and Love carries with it the price of greatly increased emotional sensitivity.” – Jesus & Christ Consciousness 

It can be much easier in our capitalistic society to make a lot of money, if one is not heart connected.  It is much harder often, to achieve a Spiritual Awakening if one has a lot of money to distract them and make them feel in control.  And it can be a huge challenge for any old soul involved in the healing process to maintain balance once they start achieving financial abundance.

One of the issues which I uncovered in my healing, was a fear that having money would corrupt me.  This was a response to the reality that I had been corrupted by money in past lives.   Money Karma is something that I am settling in this lifetime.

I talk in my book, and in different places on my web site, about the need to not judge ourselves for our resistance and fear.  We have that resistance and fear for a reason.  It is an effect that has a cause.

“One of the reasons on a very deep level, at a soul/higher ego level, that we have resistance to doing our healing and owning our power is because of our past life experiences.

We have all been punished for owning our power in the past!   Whether that was by being burned at the stake for being a healer, or drawn and quartered for being a teacher, or hanged for being a messenger, or whatever.

So we have very good reasons for not trusting God or this life business!

We also have very good reasons for not trusting ourselves because we have all abused the power in the past.  We have had lifetimes when we were teachers who led our students astray, when we were healers or leaders or messengers who took the left-hand path and served the forces of darkness instead of Light.

We have very good reasons for being terrified of owning our power again!

Those are the reasons on the deepest level why we have resistance to the healing process. . .” – All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

All of our issues in this lifetime are reflections of issues that we have been dealing with through multiple lifetimes.  It is not necessary for everyone to get aware of past life issues in order to heal.  By doing your inner child healing, you are not only healing the wounds of this lifetime – but also settling Karma from the past.  It is not necessary to be conscious of where that Karma came from, it is only necessary to be willing to heal our wounds from this lifetime so that we can open up to receive Love now.

A vitally important step in opening to receive Love is to stop judging and shaming ourselves for our issues, for our resistance and fear.  The issues are an effect that had a cause, the fear and resistance are in reaction to past experience – we do not necessarily need to know what those experiences/causes were.  What is important is to start choosing to have faith that there is some Loving Force in charge of this dance, so that we can start forgiving ourselves for being wounded humans.

Blocks to Intimacy

I am not going to focus on money any longer in this Newsletter except to share three of the ways I was at least partially blocked in healing my fear of intimacy issues by my codependent defenses in relationship to money.  Anyone who wants to know more about my evolution in regard to this issue can read my past Newsletters where I reveal the basics of my healing of this relationship.  (Or Journal subscribers can read about it on a more intimate level.)

I devoted what space I have here to money for two reasons.  One, I have realized only belatedly as I write, this is in a way a follow up to my series on the Recovery process and how important it is to stop judging and shaming ourselves for some very complicated and deeply embedded issues.  The other reason, is to set the stage for sharing with you the impact of recent events in my life.

In terms of my fear of intimacy, one very powerful defense that my codependence erected against me being available for an intimate relationship, was my focus on money – or to be more accurate my focus on scarcity, on the near poverty level of existence that has been a pattern in my adult life.  The amount of time and energy I spent on survival seriously subtracted from the time and energy I had available to invest in life – in being Truly alive.

I lived most of my life as if it were a dress rehearsal – and my life wouldn’t really start until I had money.  (Although in my mind I would more often think in terms of getting the relationship, or the success, that would fix me – any fantasy future I entertained by necessity included money.)  Destination thinking.  A great distraction – that isn’t just an excuse.  There is a reality to believing that there is a certain kind of freedom that one does not have in this day and age without having some money.

This is another example of the complexity of these issues because scarcity is both a cause and effect – that causes other effects.

So, I got a lot of great practice in recovery in letting go of the future and just taking life one day at a time.  I have gotten very good at that.  But the reality is, that even though I was able to attain an amazing level of balance and serenity in my daily life in relationship to money issues, there was still a level of stress being generated by the situation.  Even though my conscious stress was reduced to a minimum level by working my program, the subconscious levels of stress affected me emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Secondly, I carried such a suspicion of money, and so much fear about the power of money, that I was afraid that if I got a lot of money before I found a Loving relationship with a woman – that I could never trust that she Loved me for me, and not for my money.  That is a monster of a defense.  Talk about powerful block – both to getting money and to being available for a relationship.

The third way that money factored into my availability for an intimate relationship, was directly related to the Spiritually abusive concept of god that I grew up with – and with an issue that has been very dominant in this lifetime – and that I learned has been a theme through numerous lifetimes.

Here is another quote from The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul.

“After that group, I was in a great deal of pain and went to talk to one of the counselors on the unit.  She suggested that I do some right hand-left hand writing to ask my inner child about the pain.  When I did that writing (my dominant right hand for the adult and my left for the child) the message that I got back was astonishing to me.  What the child wrote back was about an incident that had happened in my childhood that I had never thought was important at all.  What the child wrote was something like this:  “When I got hit by the car when I was seven I wanted to die.  They wouldn’t let me.  They made me come back.”

September 19, 1999, almost 13 years since that day – and I sob with the pain of that wound, that child within me.  I just wanted to die.  The most familiar, most overwhelming feeling for most of my life – the feeling that drove me.  From the time I was a little child until well into my recovery, I wanted to die to escape the emotional pain. It wasn’t until 1990 that a shift occurred in my consciousness so that my desire to live became more consequential than my desire to die.  Back then, in 1986, I don’t think I cried very much – I really don’t remember now.  What I remember was my astonishment that something, which seemed to me so obscure and insignificant, should have come out of the left hand writing – and that it had so much pain attached to it.  Later, when I was in treatment in the desert, more would be revealed to me about that incident.” – 30 Days in the Desert – Falling Apart and Breaking Through Part I

What I got in touch with when I was in treatment was that the incident of being hit by the car was in fact a suicide attempt.  What I realized was that I had gotten the message that day when I was 7, that I would not be allowed to commit suicide in this lifetime – and that I had been pissed about that for 30 some years.

My anger was acted out in the passive aggressive nature of my codependence with behavior that was “I’ll show you, I’ll get me.”  The way that I was “showing” the Universe was by punishing my body.  I tried to commit suicide through alcohol and drugs, through dangerous behavior.

I blamed my body for trapping me here.  I felt that it was my body’s fault that I was separated from God.  I have had incredible resistance to treating my body in Loving ways.   After I got sober, I continued to abuse (often in the name of nurturing) my body with cigarettes and food.

I resisted getting healthier and developing a more Loving relationship with my body because of my anger at God for subjecting me to this painful experience.  And in recovery, I resisted changing the relationship with my body – and through it my relationship with being alive – because the Universe wasn’t supplying me with enough financial abundance.

To some very powerful level of my being – probably predominantly the rebel (who often has a strong alliance with the addict) – for me to get healthier before God had proven to me that I was Loved by supplying enough financial abundance, sounded way too much like Catholic crap about earning God’s Love.

I wanted to feel Loved and supported by the Universe before I started to take action to get healthier – so that it wouldn’t feel like I was trying to reach a destination where I earned the Love of God by becoming perfect enough.

It was kind of like I set a boundary with God, that I would get healthy when God supplied me with some financial abundance – so that it felt like God really loved me.

When one is in a power struggle with God that involves refusing to treat self in more Loving ways until I had some proof of God’s Love that involved money – is another monster block to being available for intimacy.

Emotional Incest

The money related issues that have been blocks to Love for me – though certainly dominant and critically important – are but one of the primary vertical focal points of my recovery.  (I am using vertical here to mean that issues related to money exist throughout the levels and layers of my issues – from the most superficial to the deepest and most ancient.)  The other major focal point in relationship to emotional intimacy has to do with my emotional incest issues.

I am not going to go into detail about those here, except to quote from a couple of my articles.  (This first one has a connection with money issues as well.)

“By the time I was eight, I was completely emotionally isolated and alone.  I grew up in a pretty typical American family.  My father had been trained to be John Wayne – anger was the only emotion he ever expressed – and my mother had been trained to be a self-sacrificing martyr.  Since my mother could get no emotional support from my father – she had very low self-esteem and no boundaries – she used her children to validate and define her.  She emotionally incested me by using me emotionally – causing me to feel responsible for her emotions, and feel ashamed that I couldn’t protect her from my father’s verbal and emotional abuse.  The shame and pain of my father’s seeming inability to love me coupled with my mother loving me too much at the same time that she allowed herself and me to be abused by fathers anger and perfectionism – caused me to shut down to my mothers love and close down emotionally.” – Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy

This second one is from an article I published last week on the Suite101 page I edit.

“I discovered that there was a 4 or 5 year old age of my inner child who felt overwhelming shame that I could not protect my mother from my father.  I thought that was my job.  To make my mother happy.

I thought that I was not worthy of Love because I had been unable to do my job.  So, in my adult life I was attracted to emotionally unavailable women who were verbally abusive.  To my disease, it was better to be in relationship with someone like my father, than to fail to do my job in a relationship with someone who was available emotionally.

I had a relationship phobia that for the most part kept me from getting into relationships because I felt I was defective in my ability to be responsible for another person happiness.” – Inner Child Healing – Emotional Incest

I felt responsible for other’s feelings, felt that I was shamefully flawed and defective – and I reacted by sabotaging and abusing myself.   That is the essence of the disease of codependency.

Complicated and convoluted is our wounding and our recovery.  There is a way out however.  The way out is through Love – starting by being Loving to ourselves by not shaming and judging ourselves.

“As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves we are giving power to the disease.  We are feeding the monster that is devouring us.

We need to take responsibility without taking the blame.  We need to own and honor the feelings without being a victim of them.

We need to rescue and nurture and Love our inner children – and STOP them from controlling our lives.  STOP them from driving the bus!  Children are not supposed to drive, they are not supposed to be in control.

And they are not supposed to be abused and abandoned.  We have been doing it backwards.  We abandoned and abused our inner children.  Locked them in a dark place within us.  And at the same time let the children drive the bus – let the children’s wounds dictate our lives.

We were powerless out of ego-self to do anything any different than we did it.  We are powerless out of ego-self to heal this disease.  Through Spiritual Self, through our Spiritual Connection, we have access to all the power in the Universe.

We need to have the willingness: willingness to get to a new level of self-honesty; willingness to start listening to the Loving inner voice instead of the shaming ones; willingness to face the terror of healing the emotional wounds.

Codependence causes us to have a distorted and repressed emotional process, and the only way out is through the feelings.  Codependence gives us a scrambled mind, a reversed dysfunctional way of looking at ourselves and the world, and we have to be able to use the wonderful tool that is our mind while changing our attitudes and reprogramming our thinking.

It seems awfully complicated, doesn’t it?

That is because it is!

On another level it is also very simple.  It is a Spiritual Dis-ease.  It can only be healed through a Spiritual Cure.  It cannot be healed by only looking at the symptoms.  That is backwards.

The cure is available through surrendering control to a Higher Power.  We cannot do this healing by ourselves.  We need a Loving Higher Power in our lives.  We need other Recovering people in our lives.”

Recent Events

I got clear on my mission, and dedicated myself to my path after direct encounter I had with some past life Karma, and the revelations that resulted, in August of 1988.  Since then I have been committed passionately to learning about Truth, Love, and Joy – and serving as a channel to remind others of the abundance of Love and Joy that is available to us all.

I have learned a great deal about opening to receive through the years.  I would never have gotten my book published without the great progress I have made in this area.  I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for the miracles of manifestation that have flowed into my path.  The financial abundance that was needed came from a variety of sources.  The major ones have been in the form of people who invested in my book and work, and people who have gifted me with money over the years as a way of thanking me for the impact my work has had on their lives.

If you remember, in the news addendum to my last update, I was in a place of fear around survival – of having a place to live and work.  That adventure was seemingly not going well at all (in my view – perfectly in the Universe’s of course.)  I got to the point – as usually happens – where I surrendered completely to the Universes plan, letting go of living in the area I wanted – and accepting that everything would be OK even if I had to live in someplace that I definitely did not want to live.

The day after I took action to support my acceptance of that surrender, everything shifted.  The magic returned.  The Goddess strokes started coming in abundance.  A phone call with an offer of a financial gift was a message to me to focus on opening up to receive once more.  In alignment with having faith in that manifestation, I started looking at more expensive places in the area I wanted to return to – even though I had no discernible way of paying for such a place on an ongoing basis, though I now had enough to pay the move in cost.

I found a place, and another gift of a larger financial denomination manifested to secure it for me.  Now I have a comfortable place to live in the town I want to live in – and I know the rent is paid for the next couple of months.  An incredible luxury for me.

I still don’t have the money I need to pay off debts, to promote my book and web site in the ways I would like to, to get a car that doesn’t have 210,000 miles on it (one that had a major breakdown a week after I moved into my new place and claimed a big chunk of the most recent financial gift – such an exciting adventure this is ;-), I will go into details about all of this in my Journal where I am going to be focusing my writing energy for the coming future), or for other areas of luxury – like dental work.  But for me this is a place of great and luxurious abundance relative to my experience for the last few years.

The Universe has called my bluff.  This was enough financial abundance to take money off the table as an issue for now – and confront me with the need to surrender to being more Loving to my physical body vehicle.

I have been procrastinating and resisting.  The insight that I had the other day was that I was once again buying into destination thinking.  And that once again, the issues that I was focusing on, were symptoms and symbols.  Underneath, once more is my fear of intimacy.

When I get healthy and lose weight – then I will be available for a relationship.  I will be ready to be fully alive and available for Love when – sometime in the future, when I get there.  I had the same insight that I had in the chain of events leading up to my last encounter with a relationship (An Adventure in Romance) – that is, that I have thrown the romantic within me into a dark dungeon within and sentenced that part of me to remaining there until I feel completely safe and secure to take on the risk of opening up to Love again.

Feel completely safe and secure to opening up to getting my heartbroken again – Ha!   What fantasy world does that happen in?  Who is being dishonest with whom here?  The only way to feel completely safe and secure about taking that kind of risk is to be in denial.  (There is nothing wrong with enjoying the feeling of being in love – what gets us in trouble is buying into the romantic’s fantasy that happily-ever-after has arrived.   We want the fantasy so bad that we do not see reality clearly – and often cast the wrong person in the role of our princess/prince.  It is important to find balance in our relationship with the romantic within – so that we can allow this wonderful part of us out of jail, but not let it make choices based on belief in fantasy.)

I will be ready for an intimate relationship, and to let the romantic out, when I lose weight and get healthier.

What a great codependent set up to resist losing weight and getting healthier!   A perfect set up for the disease dynamic – the codependent three step:

“My father was trained that he was supposed to be perfect and that anger was the only permissible male emotion. As a result, that little boy that made mistakes and got yelled at felt like he was flawed and unlovable.

My mother told me how much she loved me, how important and valuable I was, and how I could be anything that I wanted to be. But my mother had no self-esteem and no boundaries so she emotionally incested me. I felt responsible for her emotional well-being and felt great shame that I couldn’t protect her from father’s raging or the pain of life. This was proof that I was so flawed that, though a woman might think I was lovable, eventually the truth of my unworthiness would be exposed by my inability to protect her and insure her happiness.

. . . Is it any wonder that at my core I felt unworthy and unlovable? Is it any wonder that as an adult I got trapped in a continual cycle of shame, blame, and self-abuse?

The pain of being unworthy and shameful was so great that I had to learn ways to go unconscious and disconnect from my feelings. The ways in which I learned to protect myself from that pain and nurture myself when I was hurting so badly were with things like drugs and alcohol, food and cigarettes, relationships and work, obsession and rumination.

The way it works in practice is like this: I am feeling fat; I judge myself for being fat; I shame myself for being fat; I beat myself for being fat; then I am hurting so badly that I have to relieve some of the pain; so to nurture myself I eat a pizza; then I judge myself for eating the pizza, etc. etc.

To the disease, this is a functional cycle. The shame begets the self-abuse which begets the shame which serves the purpose of the disease which is to keep us separate so the we don’t set ourselves up to fail by believing that we are worthy and lovable.” – A Dance of Suffering, Shame, and Self-abuse

Now, I certainly don’t shame and judge myself like I used to, nor do I beat myself up for my resistance so much.  I have been uncomfortable recently however because I have been out of balance in certain areas.  And it was only a couple of days ago that I realized that I was again facing what I describe in the Adventure in Romance as “that ferociously monstrous beast known as The Terror of Intimacy.”

In writing this Newsletter, I have gotten a brand new insight.  I have just become conscious of a truly monstrous terror that lurks under the ones that I had identified previously.  What I mean, is that though one of the earliest awareness that I had in my inner child healing was about the song I spoke of above – I have never looked at that insight’s relationship to my fear of intimacy issues in quite the way I am right now.  I am looking at it with a new perspective from a much higher level of consciousness.  I have just uncovered the monster that was hiding under the monsters that I had previously become aware of in my recovery.

I had a terror of abandonment and rejection which I had realized was the lesser of two evils for me.  I had discovered and been working on healing this.

“Through revisiting the eight year old who I was I get to understand on a new level why I have always been attracted to unavailable people – because the pain of feeling abandoned and betrayed is the lesser of two evils.  The worst possible thing, to my shame-based inner children, is to have revealed how unworthy and unlovable I am . . . . It is no wonder that at my core I am terrified of loving someone who is capable of loving me back.” – Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy

My fear of intimacy is only about abandonment and betrayal, about being revealed as unworthy and unlovable, on the surface.  Those are symptoms, which I had been seeing as the core.  The core is that I am terrified of fully embracing life and Love – of finding someone who I Love and who Loves me back – and then having her taken away by God.

Uncover, Discover, Recover

This is great!  In trying to explain the process, I just pealed another layer.  In uncovering and discovering another deeper level to my fear of intimacy issues, I have gained the power to start healing them at a deeper level.

The wounded parts of me, to use a simile I have used before, are like an abused puppy cringing in fear of being abused again.  The wounded part of me that so craves intimacy, romantic intimacy with a woman, has been deprived of touch, affection, and Love – wants desperately to be petted – but is terrified of trusting someone enough to open up to Love.  The only alternatives I had experienced were someone who didn’t know how to pet and was abusive (Dad) or someone whose petting carried with it the impossible task of being responsible for that persons emotional well being.

The defenses that my disease created to protect me from disclosing my unworthiness and shameful inability to insure a woman’s happiness (Mom) caused me to pick women who were abuse and emotionally unavailable (like Dad).  Such a sad, twisted dance.

My last relationship encounter (recounted in An Adventure in Romance) combined both of these themes in a way that allowed me to do a great amount of healing around these issues.  I got to feel Loved by a woman in a way I had never known before and open up completely to that Love – whereupon that person swung from being Loving and giving to being unavailable and abusive.  A situation which in the past would have caused me a great deal of shame over my unworthiness.  A great opportunity for growth.  I summarize some of the lessons at the end of that article:

“I have learned:

That when I know who I am and have my self-esteem rooted in my Spiritual connection then I have nothing to fear from intimacy.  I can be hurt for certain because I will be choosing to give some power away over my feelings – but hurt is part of life and well worth the adventure of Loving and Losing.

That it is Truly possible to do enough healing to be able to open my heart to someone and then not take it personally when the other person “rejects” me – because I Truly know in my gut that she is just reacting to her wounds not to some inherent flaw in my being.

That I can have my worst fear of abandonment and rejection appear to come true and not give it any power because I do not have to buy into the disease telling me that it is my fault – that I did something/said something/am something that is wrong/a loser/a mistake/unlovable/unworthy.  This is such a gift – to know that I can keep the critical parent shut up and out of the game is Truly an Amazing Miraculous reward for being willing to do my healing.” – An Adventure in Romance

I made a great leap in healing my fear of intimacy in that encounter.  So, it has been puzzling to me, in the time since then, why I still felt such a great deal of resistance to being open to relationship.  I had not – in the almost two years since that adventure began – really focused too much on my fear of intimacy issues because the money issues were providing such a distraction.  The recent events that took money out of the spotlight, put me back in a place where I needed to get honest with myself on a new level about those issues.

When I realized recently that my resistance to doing the physical healing and balancing was really about my fear of intimacy, I still wasn’t sure what that meant.  Now, in writing this page, I have uncovered and discovered why I still have so much resistance.

The fear that if I get into a Loving relationship with someone who can Love me back – that person will be taken away, probably through death.  If I open up to embracing life fully and with gusto, then – when I finally relax into enjoying being fully alive – I will be crushed in an unbearably painful way.

Since I did not have a parent die while I was a child (something that can cause a person to have this kind of issue), the cause must lie in past lives.  I know intuitively that I have lost my Loved one through death in past lives.  That was why that little boy resonated so much with that song – it spoke to him out of some past life experience, and mirrored his emotional reality in this one.

That stupid song that held so much power for me as a little boy, that was one of the first stimuli to trigger some deep grief work for me when I had been in recovery long enough to recognize what was going on, is the key to healing my resistance to opening up to receive.  Though I had been aware of it for many years, I have never seen it as I see it now.  Until I reached the level of healing I am at now, until I had raised my consciousness to the place it is at now – I could not understand the full implications of what that song had disclosed to me.

Here I am trying to explain how the process works – with it’s levels and layers of healing – and in doing so, I have pealed another level for myself.  Perfect!

What a wonderful discovery!  This is where the biblical quote “The Truth shall make you free.” resonates with such Truth.  (As well as the one about how “the little child shall lead them.”)

By uncovering another layer, I uncover a deeper wound – which then gives me the information I need to start disempowering the emotional wounds and programming that wound caused, and start removing the blocks it triggers.

I had no idea when I started to write this article that this is where I would end up.  Incredible!  First I will give you an insight into the kinds of things that I will start to do, to change and overcome this programming.  Then I will share just a bit about how powerful this is for me.

Changing the programming

I explain the inner child healing process throughout my site, so I am not going into a lot of detail here.  What I will share are the types of messages I will be using to help myself reprogram the intellectual paradigm that is dictating my relationship with being open to a romantic relationship.

“Some of the things that I keep telling others (because I teach best what I need most to learn) is that:

1. We need to know and tell ourselves that it is truly better to love and lose than never love at all.

2. That there are no mistakes only lessons.

3. That everything is unfolding perfectly and there is a Loving Higher Power who is guiding the process.

4. That the right people come into my life at the right time (this does not necessarily mean a wonderful relationship – sometimes it means the right person to teach us how to set boundaries or defend ourselves or know when to walk away.)

 5. That it is important to change our definition of a successful relationship – a successful relationship is not necessarily one that lasts for the rest of our lives, it is one that we learn and grow from.

It is a great risk to open up to and care about another person – and we will feel hurt at times because hurt is part of life – but it is a risk that is worth taking because if we never take the risk we can never be Truly alive.” – The Heart Break of Romantic Relationships – part 3

In addition to the messages that I list in that article, I will be adding one that I have spoken hundreds of times in working with other people – without ever realizing the personal importance that message carried for me.

“The reality of life is that we are born alone and that we die alone – and for most of the time in between we are alone.  Everyone in our life leaves us or we leave them sooner or later.  It is better to accept that reality and make the best of life, than to be a victim of life not being what we want it to be.”

Everyone dies.  Anytime we take the risk of Loving, we open ourselves up for the pain of losing.  It is better to Love and lose than to be the victim of our fear.  It hurts more to not open up to Love than it hurts to Love and lose.  This is the essence of the dysfunction that is codependence.  It does not work.  In trying to avoid getting hurt, we never Truly experience being alive.

Through doing our healing, we can stop reacting to the old tapes and old wounds.  We can learn to have internal boundaries that allow us to let the adult on a Spiritual Path make the choices – instead of the disease, instead of the desperately needy child, instead of the fear.

What I am going to start telling myself, start telling my inner children, is that even if I find a person that I can Truly have a Loving relationship with and that person dies – it will be better than not opening up to Love.  The reality that we all die, is all the more reason to live life to the fullest while we are here.

I have never really been afraid of death – because that will mean I get to go Home.  What I have been afraid of was getting too attached to this place and to a romantic relationship with another human, and having her go home before me.  That has been at the core of my terror of intimacy – of my fear of embracing life to the fullest.

Big Breakthrough for me

This is a huge breakthrough for me.  The intricate perfection of the process just blows me away. This is a Truly amazing process.

I did not know when I started this article off with the quote about the stupid song, where that was going to lead.  I did not know when I was guided to mention the encounter in August 1988 with a past life, that I was going to be focusing on that lifetime once more.  For it was that lifetime, that holds the key for me.

I have mentioned in my Trilogy, the terror that I feel when I think of that lifetime – and I felt that terror again today.  I have been stalled in my writing of the next two chapters of the narrative portion of my Trilogy, because I have been afraid of revisiting that lifetime.  I have been stalled in writing the last article in the series about 30 days in the desert because once I write that article I will then need to write the next article about the events of the summer of 1988 – which will include the Karmic recreation of that lifetime that I experienced.

I have known there was a reason for the resistance and procrastination, and also known that I would get to it when the time was right.  This is so directly connected to the message I am trying to share about not judging and shaming ourselves for our resistance and fear, as to be mind boggling.  Here is a quote from my book:

“What I have found is that in many instances even though the levels that I can see, that I am conscious of, are mostly dysfunctional – arising out of the false beliefs and fears of the disease of Codependence – on deeper levels there are “right on” reasons for behaviors for which I was judging myself.

As one simple example, I used to really judge myself and beat myself up because I had a very hard time meditating.  I could not get quiet enough inside to do meditation in the “right” way and I thought that that meant there was something wrong with me.  I thought that my resistance meant that I was somehow defective.  But what was revealed to me was that I had died in meditation in a past life, which made my resistance make sense in a whole new way.”

The lifetime in which I died in meditation was a Celtic lifetime.  I was Druid priest involved in an initiation rite which involved summoning up and facing my worst past life memory.  The pain and shock of it killed me.

The reasons that I am so drawn to Cambria – the place I feel at home, that the recent financial gifts allowed me to moved back to – is because of the powerful Celtic resonance I feel here.   I did not know that when I first moved here.  It is something that I have written about in my Journal – something that I have figured out over the years.  A powerful energetic connection that is about someplace else.

Now I am back here.  Now, I am going to get to face that lifetime again – because the lifetime where I lost my Love, is also the lifetime whose horror killed me as a Druid.

Things are starting to get really interesting here.

Thank you for being there to share in my process.  Thanks for helping to this new level of healing. – from Joy to You & Me & Joy2MeU Update Newsletter October 2000 Part 2

Sacred Spiral with tail pointing to the right signifying going toward.

I have over 50 Update Newsletters with millions of words of processing in them.  Anyone who wants to check them out can see the list on the lower part of my siteindex page. (Anyone who is curious about the spiral that I use in my writing and website, here is a page that explains the Sacred Spiral.)

Joy2MeU Journal Logo

The Joy2MeU Journal includes a personal journal of my recovery process as well as my personal story “The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul.”  In it I share the story of my recovery.   I have a page that includes special offers on lifetimes subscriptions to the password protected areas of my website Joy2MeU.com: Dancing in Light and the Joy2MeU Journal.  Millions of words of content not available on Joy2MeU.

The key to codependency recovery is the inner child healing work I describe on my site:   A key element of that work includes learning to set internal boundaries

The formula that I pioneered for inner healing – which includes learning to set the internal boundaries – is something that I teach people through telephone counseling   (It is now possible to get phone cards for very cheap rates from many places in the world – and also to use Skype for free from anywhere.)  I talk about how the phone counseling can work to really change a persons life for the better in a short period of time on this page which includes some special combination offers.

Book coverReading my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls  (links to all of my books in hard copy, ebook, and audiobook format are on that page – or you can get Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks through Amazon, or eBooks & books from Barnes & Noble  or eBooks thru Kobo ) would really help you take your understanding to a whole new level.  Understanding codependency is vital in helping us to forgive our self for the dysfunctional ways we have lived our lives – it is not our fault we are codependent.

In the last few years I have also published two more books that can be very helpful. Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing and Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth.  I have special offers for either or both of these books (or for all three of my books) on this page: and also on this page on my mobile friendly site

Codependency causes us to feel like the victim of our own thoughts and feelings, and like our own worst enemy – recovery helps us to start learning how to be our own best friend.  Getting into codependency recovery is an act of love for self. 

I now have a mobile friendly site index with listings of over 170 of my articles on Mobile Friendly sites,  There is a page on that site with special offers for the Holiday Season 2019.

“easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.”

I posted my first crude website in February of 1998 – at the urging of a friend in Santa Barbara where I was living at the time.  The following year in February 1999, I launched my own domain Joy2MeU.com,  In Update Newsletters that I started sending out for the first site and continued to do for the second site, I was sharing my recovery process in a pretty intimate level with people who had signed up for my Update Newsletters.

I did this because I felt it was important for me to be a role model that it is okay to be human.  This is something that I talked about in the first Newsletter I sent out on July 1, 1998.

“Another incident also comes to mind.  I had just started in a therapist position at an outpatient chemical dependence program in Van Nuys California a little over 10 years ago.  One evening in a Family Group I was talking about how grateful I was to be in recovery and I teared up – I did not cry, just teared up.  The next week the Clinical Director came marching into our office and needed to talk to me about something he was quite disturbed about.  He proceeded to lecture me about getting emotional in front of the clients – this psychiatrist who was on anti-depressants because he was suicidal over a relationship breakup – warned me to never let it happen again.  I was not far enough along in my recovery at that point to confront him but I do remember thinking to myself – “Then who is supposed to be the role models?”

The thing that was the most damaging to us was the role modeling of the emotionally crippled adults we grew up around – the role modeling is what taught us the dysfunctional definitions of who we are as emotional beings.  It is vitally important, in my opinion, that we have some beings who are willing to role model what emotionally healthy behavior is – which includes being emotionally vulnerable at times.

Traditional therapy/counseling in this society is set up as a one up-one down situation – that is, the therapist is set up as the expert who treats the poor unfortunate patient.  I happen to agree with something Ram Dass once said about this – “If you meet a therapist who thinks you are the patient – run!”

There were two interrelated things that I had to get clear about when I started working as a therapist:  One is that I am powerless over other people – over the pace of their progress, over whether they hear what I am saying to them, over where their path leads.  I watched a good friend die of Alcoholism (which is in a column in the Alcoholism section) and saw how clearly he helped other alcoholics stay sober because he couldn’t – he did more to keep more people sober than many of the sober people I know.  I can’t know what someone else’s path is – therefore I can’t tell them what is right and wrong.  What I can do is help them see themselves clearer (especially as to understanding how their childhood experiences have dictated their lives), see their choices and the possible consequences clearer, and know that we are Spiritual Beings going to boarding school not taking a test we can fail.

Which brings me to the second thing, which I believe is a Spiritual Truth – I teach best what I need most to learn.  I teach people how to Love themselves because I am trying to learn how to Love myself.  I learned to always listen to what I was saying because, though I have no control whether anyone else hears me, I do have the power to choose to hear myself – and there is always something in what I am saying that applies to me and my process in that moment. I had someone in a workshop say to me one time “Boy, you really know this stuff!  You have really studied this, you are kind of like an Olympic athlete or something in this area.”  My immediate reaction – as it so often is – was to react out of my disease: “That’s because I was so sick.”  But then I caught myself and changed it to wounded. All of the old souls who are doing this healing – in my belief – were born at a heart chakra level of consciousness and then had to shut down our hearts.  That is why is hurts so much – we were expecting something kinder and gentler than what we were born into – I have always felt like I was in the wrong place – like someone screwed up in the Transporter room and beamed me to the wrong planet. 

I am in process just as my clients are – just as we all are.  There is no hierarchy as far as I am concerned – just one wounded person/Magnificent Spiritual Being sharing what has worked for me with another wounded person/Magnificent Spiritual Being. I am doing what I need to do for myself, to heal myself – it doesn’t have to do with anyone else – that it helps other people is just a bonus (and an opportunity to settle Karma).” – Newsletter for July 1, 1998 – Joy to You & Me Newsletter I

In October of 2000, I started posting my Update Newsletter online primarily because I didn’t want to send out large emails – and my Updates were increasingly getting longer as I shared my recovery with the people on my mailing list.  That Update Newsletter turned into a two part one that took a deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues.  One of the reason that writing is such a valuable tool in recovery, is that as we write, nuggets of Truth come bobbing to the surface – often in ways that scared me about what I was uncovering.

I had noticed recently that I haven’t posted a new blog since June – and that I hadn’t updated that one in June.  I made a point to commit to getting to writing another blog here at some point – and that point came today, September 4th, 2019.  I updated the June blog about the events in my life starting back in April that started with spilling coffee on my wireless keyboard continued into a opportunity for growth involving my car. (Cars have proven quite a catalyst for growth in my recovery.)

At some point in the time since I committed to doing a new blog, this one from October of 2000 came to my attention, and I realized that it was probably time for me to revisit.  It has some really valuable processing that I am sure many people will find helpful – but as I say in the quote from my first Newsletter above, there is always something that I need to be reminded of when I share my experience, strength, and hope with others.  So, this blog is going to share how this writing uncovered the insight in the title of this blog – and where it led me.  I hope you find it valuable.

Sacred Spiral with tail pointing to the right signifying going toward.

“. . . . the other purpose that evolved for these updates has been to share my process with you.  With my original Joy to You & Me site the Newsletters I sent out became a process sharing space because my recovery was so intimately connected to the evolution of the web site.  As I state in several places on the site, I believe in sharing my experience, strength, and hope.  I also believe that sharing my fear, anger, and pain is an invaluable part of my role as a teacher.  The core of my work is to get across the message that it is not shameful to be human.  In order to do that, it has been necessary for my own recovery, and for my mission to be open and willing to: be vulnerable, to share embarrassing Truth, to demonstrate my own humanity – with it’s resistance, fear, and procrastination.

In my opinion, as long as the teachers and so called experts (in healing, Spiritual enlightenment, recovery, whatever) are “keeping up appearances” they are giving power to the disease.  Without role models that tell us they are human and that it is OK to be human beings involved in an ongoing healing process – then it is possible to interpret their messages of how wonderful their lives have become as validating that there is a destination to be reached and that anybody who hasn’t reached it yet is doing something wrong, is somehow shameful.

My life is indeed wonderful compared to what it was.  I am very grateful and full of wonder at how free I am of the old programming – and at the capacity I have to be happy and peaceful in the moment now, no matter what is happening in the outer circumstances of my life.  But my life doesn’t feel wonderful all of the time.  There is an ongoing process that involves new levels of surrender, new insights, new changes in perspective, etc.

Having the choice to view the part of the glass that is full and be grateful, happy, and peaceful in the moment – at the same time we can have a consciousness, without shame and judgment, that there are still areas where growth is necessary – is what integration and balance are about in my opinion.  The goal of this dance of recovery is to have the capacity to dance with Joy and Love for as many of the moments of today as possible – and also to have the capacity to be Loving and nurturing to ourselves when we are dancing with the fear, pain, and anger that are an inevitable part of this human experience we are having.

So, anyway, my vision at this point is to use the online Newsletter portion of these updates to share my process – which will at times include discussion of the newest articles, additions, and/or news on the web sites – with those of you who want to take the time to go to the web page that this update Newsletter will appear on; and to point those of you who do not have the time or interest in my process at the New page for news of the web sites.

. . . .  In this update Newsletter I am going to be talking about opening to receive good stuff – Love, abundance, Joy – and how much resistance the disease can throw up to try to sabotage things.

To all the Magnificent Spiritual Beings reading this Newsletter,

I had a couple of really wonderful “God-shots” this past Sunday.  “God-shots” are messages that come out of the blue – unexpected surprises that are messages from my Higher Power telling me that I am on the right path, doing what I am supposed to be doing.  (Actually the term God-shot is a term I hadn’t used in quite awhile – and while I was walking by the ocean in the fog earlier today, I decided to use a different term:  Goddess Strokes.  I like this better – a little gentler and more accurately descriptive, not such a macho sounding term. 😉

Goddess strokes can come in a variety of forms.  They can involve seeing a whale or some dolphins, some deer or hawks, at a particularly perfect moment.  This morning I looked out my window as I sat here at my computer, and a hummingbird came flying up and hovered there looking in at me for a moment.  In the Medicine Cards, the hummingbird is a symbol of Joy – and a reminder to me of the goal and the purpose of my path – Joy to you & me.

Goddess strokes can involve the perfect words of a song being the first thing I hear when I start my car.  (Although not recently as my car radio hasn’t worked for a while.)  Or flicking the channels on the TV at the perfect moment to hear the message I need to hear.  Or hearing that perfect message in the middle of a movie, or buried in a book that has nothing to do with healing.  Those messages can come from a billboard beside the road or a snatch of conversation overheard.

The most powerful ones usually come from people.  In person, or through an e-mail – over the phone or in a letter.  Sometimes when I am feeling low, when I am feeling as if my Higher Power has abandoned me, some feedback or message will pop up out of nowhere to remind me why I have chosen this path.  To remind me that I teach best what I most need to learn.  To remind me to surrender to being Unconditionally Loved.

This past Sunday, I did a workshop in Santa Barbara.  I do my workshops there at a Unity Church.  I do them on Sunday so I can set up a table with my books on it in the morning through the two morning services.  Doing workshops, or any speaking in public – or for that matter in private counseling sessions in person or on the phone, or any opportunity to share my experience, strength, and hope – is always a type of Goddess stroke for me anyway.  Anytime I have a chance to speak my Truth, to share the beliefs and knowledge which I so passionately embrace, I get to touch the Divine.  I get to be a channel for Love to flow through.  (One of the things I want to talk about in this Newsletter is that it can be easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.)

On Sunday, before the reward of reminding people of Truth and Love in the workshop, I got a couple extra gifts.  One had to do with someone I had never met, while the other related to a Mother and daughter that I had worked with.

The person I had never met, was a man who passed on a couple of years ago.  The woman who had been married to him came to my workshop.  I knew her because she contacted me several years ago to get a copy of the audio tape set of my book – and had later come to a workshop or two.  It has probably been a year or so since I had seen her last.   She made a point of telling me several times something that she had told me previously – something that obviously meant a great deal to her.

What she wanted to reiterate to me, was how important my tapes had been to her husband while he was dying.  She had bought the tapes for him because he had a terminal illness.  She told me again how important those tapes were to him, and how he had listened to them over and over again in the last months of his life.   She said they were the only thing he wanted to listen to – and again expressed her gratitude to me for how much my words had helped her husband find peace and serenity while he was in the process of dying.

What a gift!  What an affirmation!  What Joy to be able to be of that kind of service to another human being and his Loved ones. 

She had told me this previously, as I mentioned – and in many ways I had felt the same reaction to her words as I did on Sunday.   I was profoundly grateful for the gift of such positively affirming feedback.  I felt a deep and awesome humility for the gift I have been given of being able to be a channel of Truth and an instrument of Love that can so profoundly touch the lives of other human beings.  I felt a great pride in the fact that I have been willing to do the work and follow my path in such a way as to be available for this kind of service.  I also felt a great deal of Joy.

My reaction to her gratitude was also different in some interesting and subtle ways.  Perhaps because of my growth over the last few years, or maybe because of the intensity and passion with which she conveyed her gratitude, I was conscious in a whole new way, on a much deeper level, of the gift those tapes had been to her.

Watching a Loved one go through any intense experience – and dying certainly qualifies as an intense experience – can in many ways be harder for the one who is observing, than for the person actually going through the experience.  I had not really been fully conscious previously, of how great a gift it must have been for her to have her husband accept and relax into his dying process.  How that must have helped her to flow with the process with a degree of serenity and peace.  I had always previously accepted that she was telling me what a gift my tapes were to her husband – I had never been fully conscious of what she was saying about what a gift they were to her.

A very cool process, this recovery.

The other wonderful Goddess stroke that I received came when a woman, who I had worked with briefly while I was working with her daughter, came up to me to tell me the latest news.  I worked with her daughter for a period of 4 or 5 months in the later part of 1999.  While I was working with her daughter, I convinced her to come in for a few sessions on her own.

Her daughter turned 16 while I was working with her.  She was acting out and rebelling completely.   I never knew what bright, fluorescent color her hair was going to be – or what new body piercing or tattoos she might have – when she came to see me.  She was acting out in very dangerous ways: sexually, with alcohol and drugs, with strange people in dangerous situations.  Her mother was terrified for her and was reacting with anger and attempts to control.  Mother and daughter were stuck in a reactive dynamic that could have been the death of both of them.

The news she had to share with me was how wonderfully her daughter was doing.  How she had finished high school and was in college through scholarships and grants that she had arranged for herself.  How she had lost weight and gone back to her natural hair color.  How when a relationship she was in ended recently, she had responded to her mother’s offer to travel to the city she is in to help her through the emotional crisis by saying, “The little girl in me wants you to come, but I think it is better for me to learn how to go through this on my own.”

Now, is that cool or what?!? 

It sounds like a happy ending – but actually what it is, is a happy new beginning.  They were able to make a transition that ended one chapter of both of their lives – a period where they were totally enmeshed and negatively empowering each other – and started a new healthier beginning to the next chapter of each of their separate but interrelated lives.

The mother needed to let go of the outcome of her daughter’s path, at the same time the daughter needed to let go of punishing her mother for the past so that she could stop reacting and start taking responsibility for her own life choices.

I Love it when people hear what I am teaching them and start applying it in their lives.  It gives me great satisfaction and real Joy to see someone applying the tools that I share with them.  I feel very grateful that I can play a part in helping others to live their lives in a happier, healthier, more Loving and functional way.

Playing a part is all I do however.  I have no control over the outcome either.  I am powerless over rather people hear me.  I am not the one who is responsible for this happy new beginning – any more than I would have been responsible if the daughter had died of a drug overdose and the mother ended up in a mental institution.  If that had been the outcome, it would have been a perfect part of the Divine Plan somehow, some way.

I sure do love the happy new beginnings better than the ones that do not come out so nicely.  I have had to deal with a lot of grief over clients and friends who could not hear.  I also have felt a great deal of Joy when sharing my experience, strength, and hope have proved a benefit to others.

I realized early on in doing therapy, that defining myself by how my clients did was codependent.  I had to learn to let go of the outcome of counseling others.  I had to get real clear that I was powerless over rather anyone else heard me, but I do have the power to choose to listen to myself.  And I do teach best what I need most to learn.

External Validation

In case you are wondering about whether – in the instances above – I was giving too much power to outside validation, I thought I would talk about that a bit.   There is nothing wrong with enjoying validation, affirmation, and recognition from other people or outside sources.  It is if we define ourselves by that outer validation, and think we have to have it to be OK, that we are being codependent.  It is when we jump through hoops in an attempt to get that validation from people that we are being manipulative and dishonest – which is, of course, what many of us learned to do in childhood.

As with all aspects of codependence recovery – it is a question of balance.  Life and recovery occur in the gray area between black and white.  What we are trying to do is maintain some kind of sense of balance in relationship to this dance we are doing.  That involves, as I tried to communicate in the later articles in the Recovery Process for Inner Child Healing series I just finished, being conscious of multiple levels simultaneously – or as close to simultaneously as possible.  And being able to have internal boundaries so that I am choosing how I respond rather than reacting out of the old programming.

Example:  There have been instances, over the years, where I have had the opportunity to be in close proximity to someone that had been a client of mine while they were talking to someone else.  These opportunities have given me a chance to hear the former client use words in describing some aspect of the recovery process – that were the same words I had said to them – as if it were a revelation they had arrived at themselves.  This gives most of me a great deal of satisfaction because I have worked hard over the years to find the best ways of helping people discover the Truth within them in ways that help them not feel dependent on me.  But at the same time, my ego reacts in a negative way saying “hey wait a minute, I told you that.”

In my recovery, I have gradually over the years been able to turn down the voices coming from the ego/from the wounded inner child places/from the disease – and turn up the volume of the small quiet voice of the Spirit.  I have learned how to realign myself with the Spirit instead of giving so much power to the disease – the old wounds and old tapes, the damaged ego.  But if I were to maintain to myself or to you that I never have those reaction, that would be denial.  (That was part of the reason why I did a little ranting in the news addendum to the last Update about a quote from Marianne Williamson that I believe conveyed the message that being a human in process is somehow shameful.)

This is a relative process.  Progress not perfection.  We can gradually increase the percentage of the time our conscious awareness, our attitudes and mental focus, are aligned with recovery instead of with the disease.  We do not get to wipe out the old ways of thinking and emotional reactions completely – what we do is gradually disempower them.

I can remember a time in the spring of 1989 when I raged at God about how sick I was of the recovery process.  I said something to the effect that I was sick of only being relatively happy – the great tool in recovery where we stop and force ourselves to focus on the part of the glass that is full and be grateful, instead of giving power to the disease’s focus on the part that is empty and feeling like a victim – and that I wanted to be happy without having to compare where I am now to how bad it used to be.

It was about a year later, that one day I realized that I had crossed a line someplace along my path.  That I had shifted my relationship with life enough that my life was now more aligned with Recovery than with the disease, that my life was more defined by Joy, Love, and peace than by anger, pain, and fear.  That I was having moments where I was just happy to be alive period – without having to force myself to look at the relative improvement.

Forcing ourselves to own the power to change our attitudes from negative to positive, working at learning to align with Love instead of fear, are important parts of the process.  The dysfunctional programming is deeply embedded in our relationship with life.  It can be changed gradually.  It will never be changed completely.  Our wounds never go away – they gradually have less power to dictate how we live today.

We are works in progress – in process.   We are evolving back to an awareness of who we really are.  But there are levels and layers of gunk to be removed.

One of the most important ways in which we know we are making progress is through feedback from other people.  It is vital to get feedback from other people in order to see ourselves more clearly.

It is important not to define ourselves by that feedback, but rather to see it as just a part of an information gathering process.  We need to have feedback, knowledge and information, in order to align ourselves with changing the things we need to change.

One of the first things I needed to do was to stop accepting feedback from abusive, shaming people.  In my disease, I always gave the most power over how I felt about myself to people who judged and shamed me.  Because I was judging and shaming myself so much I gave more credence to people who judged and shamed me than to people who told me good things.  (Of course, my ego wanted to grab onto the good things and blow them way out of proportion – the old overreaction of telling myself I was “better than,” in order to deny the part of me that felt “worse than.”)

I had to realize – that though there might be a grain of Truth in the messages that were shaming – that my first job was to protect myself from abuse.  I could then sift through the details of what the person said to see if there was any Truth to look at – but I needed to first reject the shame.  (This is really about working the first step – taking the shame out of our process by accepting powerlessness so that we can see more clearly.)

As I learned to be discerning and have boundaries about who I listened to, at the same time I was learning to have internal boundaries to stop giving power to the disease and the feelings of the wounded children within, I was able to start seeing myself and reality more clearly.

I learned to give power to the positive feedback – not as proof of my worth – but rather as messages of encouragement from my Higher Power.

Example:
I have inner child places within me that:  are starving for love, affection, and touch;  are desperately romantic and aching for my princess to come;  that believe I am not worthy of receiving love in a romantic relationship but that I will never be complete without one;  that are profoundly lonely.  I also have an emotional reality that as an adult I have – because of my issues and patterns – been very deprived of companionship, love, affection, touch, etc.  Because of these factors, I would be emotionally triggered by songs.  All those wonderfully codependent songs about the type of codependent love we learned about growing up.  By giving power to those songs I was at the effect of them – so that I could be driving along in a good mood and have a certain song throw me into my deprivation pain.

What I did is change my relationship with those songs.  I choose to believe that those songs were about my relationship with my Higher Power rather than a woman loving me.  That turned those songs from emotional triggers that threw me into pain to messages of encouragement that could sometimes – because of perfect timing – help me to access Joy. 

The same thing can be done with feedback from other people.  We do not define ourselves by what others tell us.  We can look at what others tell us as messages. 

The ones who are shaming and abusive are demonstrating for us how the disease works.  Once we are able to start having a more objective view of the process (to stop taking it personally), we can see them reacting out of their own fears, out of their wounded inner child places.  They are being used to communicate with us and help us learn about our own wounds and the disease.  They are teachers who – by acting out of their disease – are forcing us to start protecting ourselves by learning to have boundaries.

The ones who are telling us good things are passing along messages of encouragement from our Higher Power.  Goddess Strokes.  That way, it doesn’t matter what their motive or agenda of is – because the are just being a channel, rather they know it or not.  It doesn’t matter if they are being dishonest and codependent – they are still capable of being a channel, and of giving us an opportunity to practice receiving.

My resistance to opening up to receive Love would cause me to minimize positive feedback by telling myself that the other person wanted something from me, or was just being kind, or whatever.  I spent several years in recovery practicing saying just plain “Thank You.”  Instead of minimizing (oh it was nothing), joking it away, turning it back on them (oh you are really the one who ___), or dismissing it because I suspected the other persons motives or mental health.  The feeling deep within was that if someone was loving and positive towards me, it was either a sinister plot or there must be something wrong with them.

By seeing them as channels rather than the source, it doesn’t matter what their motives are.   By seeing positive affirmation and validation coming from other people as Truly originating from my Higher Power, then I can be grateful to them for being a channel – not feel obligated to them because they are being kind to worthless, shameful me.

Now, through the miracle that this writing process is for me, we have come back around to “it can be easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.”  I didn’t know I was going to write most of the above – and do not think I have ever quite broken the process of discerning between giving power in a healthy way to what other people say versus giving power to other people in a codependent way, in quite this manner.  I find it quite useful – I hope you do also.

Anyway, what is up for me now – and for the last few months since my last update – is being open to receive.  I am at a point of being in the process of surrendering the ingrained programming that life is a struggle.  And I do not mean that I am thinking that I have gotten to happily ever after.  What I mean is that I have gotten to a point of doing a paradigm shift in my relationship with life away from the valiant survivor fighting the noble fight against all odds.  I have been saying for most of my adult life it seems like, that I have learned all the lessons I need to learn from poverty – now it is time to learn the lessons that will come with wealth.

This little joking bit of Truth, was usually said in relationship to money – but it is much deeper and more inclusive than just about finances.

I am talking here about abundance on all levels.  In the ability to relax and enjoy life.  In opening up to more Love from other people – and in particular to Love from one person in a romantic relationship.  In having a safe and comfortable space to live in.  In having a level of comfort in my relationship with material things.  In not having to be afraid every time I drive the 130 miles to Santa Barbara that my car will break down.  In terms of health and physical condition.  In terms of having fun and laughing and dancing.  In terms of success for my book and my work.  Everything.

What I find facing me, is an opportunity to relax into the flow of life in a way, and on a level, I have never experienced before.   And parts of me are really resisting.

The rebel in me does not want to give up the battle because that part of me thinks it is defined by battle.  The incredible resistance that I have encountered to Loving my own body is rearing it’s head and fighting for all it is worth.  Some of my inner children are terrified of trusting my Higher Power.  And at the core, as usual, is my fear of intimacy.” – Joy2MeU & Joy to You & Me Update Newsletter October 2000

Sacred Spiral with tail pointing to the right signifying going toward.

It was at this point that I took the deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues.  So, I will share that in another blog in the coming days.  I have over 50 Update Newsletters with millions of words of processing in them.  Anyone who wants to check them out can see the list on the lower part of my siteindex page.  

The key to codependency recovery is the inner child healing work I describe on my site:   A key element of that work includes learning to set internal boundaries

The formula that I pioneered for inner healing – which includes learning to set the internal boundaries – is something that I teach people through telephone counseling   (It is now possible to get phone cards for very cheap rates from many places in the world – and also to use Skype for free from anywhere.)  I talk about how the phone counseling can work to really change a persons life for the better in a short period of time on this page which includes some special combination offers.

Book coverReading my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls  (links to all of my books in hard copy, ebook, and audiobook format are on that page – or you can get Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks through Amazon, or eBooks & books from Barnes & Noble  or eBooks thru Kobo ) would really help you take your understanding to a whole new level.  Understanding codependency is vital in helping us to forgive our self for the dysfunctional ways we have lived our lives – it is not our fault we are codependent.

In the last few years I have also published two more books that can be very helpful. Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing and Romantic Relationships ~ The Greatest Arena for Spiritual & Emotional Growth.  I have special offers for either or both of these books (or for all three of my books) on this page: and also on this page on my mobile friendly site

Codependency causes us to feel like the victim of our own thoughts and feelings, and like our own worst enemy – recovery helps us to start learning how to be our own best friend.  Getting into codependency recovery is an act of love for self. 

I now have a mobile friendly site index with listings of over 170 of my articles on Mobile Friendly sites,

working the Third Step ~ ASKing for Help updated

September 4, 2019 – I have been meaning to update this page for quite awhile – and am just now able to find time to do that.  It was quite a journey since April when this whole owning I have a choice to focus on the part of the glass that is full exercise started.  In this update, I am going to start with my last posting on this page on June 21st, and add the updates I made on my Working The Third Step page.

newcarsmlr5/21/19 – So, there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that I got a new car – it is a silver 2012 Hyundai Sonata . . . . . .  Someone on Facebook asked how I was able to do it financially.  Here is my reply:

“Basically I needed to accept that the only realistic way to get reliable car is to be willing to take on a payment – so I chose to do that. No down payment and first payment due of just over a couple of hundred dollars in 45 Days and every month after that. Living month to month I didn’t want the payment, but I needed the reliable vehicle. So, accept the things I can’t change (that my car had broken down and was no longer reliable) and change the thing I can change (my attitude towards taking on a payment.) Very happy to have the car.”

So that is the bad news, I had to take on a payment.  I live month to month and am very grateful every month that I have enough to pay the rent.  So, adding another payment was not something that I wanted to do. But as I said, accept reality as it is and make an attitude adjustment if necessary to take the action that I need to take. . . . . . Now I have a new payment due on June 15th and then less money coming in the end of June.  Not sure I would have taken on the payment knowing that – but I didn’t know that, which is perfect in the Cosmic Scheme of things.  Things could be pretty hairy at the end of June – when it is time to pay rent for July.  I did get over $500 in donations from my appeal – and am incredibly grateful for the support and the prayers and good wishes from everyone.  I may have to be asking again in June, but I don’t have to know today how things will be then.” – Working the Third Step latest news

May 23 at 1:37 PM 
So, there is good news and bad news. Bad news is my new car broke down on I-5. The good news is that I was just coming up to a rest stop within 15 miles of where Darien lives. I am up here for his 8th grade graduation tomorrow.

May 23 at 9:58 PM 
So, about my new car breaking down. It turns out it has a 30 day warranty (I didn’t buy the long term one) – but the work has to be done by CarMax. So, closest one to where I was at was in Modesto – so I had to car towed there. Good news, it was covered by warranty. Bad news Modesto was farther than my roadside assistance covered for towing – but only 9 miles, so good news the towing company gave me a deal and it will be a lot cheaper than if I had the car towed to a local garage as I had originally been planning. Also good news – they are going to give me a loaner car – which is important because bad news they won’t even look at it to see what is wrong for at least a week. So, going to Modesto tomorrow after Darien’s graduation ceremony.
What happened was the check engine light came on – and it lost a bit of power – just as I was coming to the rest area. I checked the book and is said an emissions problem and you can probably still drive it. Bad news, is that as soon as I started driving out of the rest area it started making noise and coughing and bucking. So, stopped right there. Don’t know how serious it is, but sure glad it didn’t happen any time in the 227 miles I had driven up until there. Some of it is really in the middle of no where. Could have broken down by the elk herd and I would have been in big trouble. 🙂 So, more will be revealed – as usual. Thanks for your good wishes – will keep you all posted.
May 31st
Got a call today from the woman at CarMax in Modesto about my car.  Turns out is was a factory recall on that year and model – and I am going to get a new engine in my new car.
June 11, 2019
There is good news and bad news.  The good news is my car has a new engine in it and I am going up to pick it up (and pick Darien up) on Thursday.  The bad news is that the first payment is due on Saturday and I don’t have it at this point.  Finances are beyond tight right now.  My credit cards are maxed out.  One client who owes me money hasn’t been able to pay it yet and another that told me Monday that he was going to buy more changed his mind.  I really need the Universe to kick down enough to catch up a bit right now.  I need at least $300 – and a $1000 would be even better.  Reminds me of some times in the past when I really needed a miracle, and I don’t know where it is coming from.   I AM Radiantly Beautiful, Vibrationally Healthy, Joyously Alive, and Abundantly Prosperous!  
Abundantly Prosperous!!!
June 29, 2019
So, again t
here is good news and bad news.  As I said below on May 21st, “The April sales are what I get paid for at the end of June.” – and I got that payment today, it is $250 to $300 below my normal payment – and things are very tight for paying the rent this next week.  The good news is that I got my car payment made (thanks to help from some Eskimos) and made 2 credit card payments in the last week – and that I have made payments on 2 other credit cards that are due on the 1st.  The bad news is that I don’t know where the money to pay my and Darien’s cell phone bill – which is also due on the first – is going to come from.  So once again I can use a miracle like back in 1995.  ASKing for some financial support from the Universe again.
July 1, 2019
There is good news and good news.  The Universe – and some new clients – did kick down enough abundance to get all the bills due on 1st and 2nd paid, and to have enough for the rent.  Also good news is the next bills aren’t due until the 8th and 9th.  In the meantime, Darien and I are going back to Nebraska to see my mother who is in her final stages before escaping the body that is failing her.  I would really love for the Universe to kick down enough to catch up a bit right now.  I would love at least $300 – and a $1000 or two would be even better

July 17, 2019
There is good news and good but sad news.  My mother passed away on the morning of July 13th.  It’s good news because her suffering is over and she has gotten to escape from a body and mind that have been failing on her for the last few years. It is, of course, also sad news.  I am going home to Nebraska for her funeral on Friday.  Her passing means that my financial situation has been relieved in a considerable way for now and the foreseeable future.  So, the request for the Universe to provide enough to get out of the hole I was in, was answered in a way that I didn’t expect.  Good news, but sad also.

Posted 4/21/19

I need help right now, and I am working the Third Step by ASKing for help. 

4/21/19 – So I was able to get enough money together to rent a car to pick up my grandson – that is the good news.  The bad news is that my car had a blown head gasket, and maybe a cracked head.  Those are not good things.” – Working the Third Step ~ ASKing for help

“I freely share so much information on my site because – as I say in the article above – I believe it is my Karmic Mission in this lifetime.  I want to share the Joyous message and the precious information that I have discovered – and it is what I need to do for my Recovery and Spiritual Path.  It is not such a great strategy when it comes to finances however.;-)  So Donations to the Cause / Love Offerings / Spiritual Tithes are always appreciated if you feel my sharing has helped you in your Healing / Recovery process and on your Spiritual Path. If my writing has helped you remember Truth that brings you some Joy and inner peace, and your Spirit moves you to send some Love back my way – there are donation links here.” 

“. . . . it can be easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.”

I went through 30 day treatment programs twice.  Once while getting sober in Lincoln Nebraska in 1984 – and the second time in my fifth year of sobriety to deal with my codependency.  That second one was in Tucson Arizona – and I mention both of them in the beginning of a blog post entitled MY SOBRIETY DATE: JANUARY 3RD, 1984.

In the first treatment program, I was nearing the end of my 30 days and was getting very scared about whether I was going to be able to stay sober out in the world.  I had hit bottom and had nothing – no car for sure.  I was going to be living in the suburbs with my brother in city I had not lived in for 14 years – and was worried about even getting to meetings.

Once I surrendered to being in treatment, the program became a very safe place for me – it felt like a vacation from life.  Of course, it took me awhile to surrender.

“One of the first surrenders that I had to make was to let go of doing things ‘my way.’ (I used to sit in bars and get tears in my eyes over Frank Sinatra’s recording because I was also doing it ‘My way.’)  I had to start listening to those weird people who were telling me that I could live without alcohol. Then I had to start letting go of my belief that life was impossible without drugs and alcohol.” – Grave Emotional and Mental Disorders – AA language for Codependence  

“So I went into a treatment program in Lincoln Nebraska.  For the first two weeks I really resisted being there.  I thought the people were weird and I certainly didn’t need any of this religious God crap that they were talking about.  I called friends back in LA and complained about how I was locked in this horrible place.  (No doors were locked.)

The turning point came for me when some druggy friends back in LA offered to buy me a plane ticket back to the coast.  That was the point where I had to admit to myself that I had a choice.  I had spent my whole life being the victim because I didn’t believe I had choices – now I had a choice.

So I had to take a good look at myself and my life and see if I wanted to return to the way I had been living.  When I looked at how messed up – (God, what an understatement.  As I wrote that last sentence, I started crying remembering what a hell I had been living in.  At some point in treatment I realized that the song that described what my life had been like was Desperado – “Your prison is walking through life all alone.”  “You’d better get down off you fence and let someone love you before it is too late.”  After I got sober I swore to myself that I would kill myself before I would ever take another drink.)

When I took a realistic view of what hell my life had been, I had to admit to myself that I didn’t ever want to live that way again.  So I turned down the plane ticket and surrendered to trying to learn the things that those weird people were trying to teach me.” – The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul The Awakening Begins in the Joy2MeU Journal quoted in A Higher Power of my own understanding 2 – the beginning of empowerment

So, towards the end of the 30 days, I didn’t really want to leave.  I went to my counselor to share my fears.  I said, ‘I don’t even know how I will get to meetings.’  That was when he told me that the way I would get to meetings was to ask for rides.  I was horrified.  Asking for help was the last thing I ever wanted to do.  That would be admitting I was a failure, that I was a loser.  Then he told me that asking for help was part of working the Third Step of the 12 Step Recovery program.  I later came to realize that ASKing for help was an important part of Metaphysical Law.

God works through people.  We all have had Eskimos in our lives, angels disguised as people.  We are not alone in this process – we can’t do it alone.

I need to ask for help and then let go of rather the person I am asking can in fact help me.  I need to take the risk and let go of the outcome.   What I need will come from someplace.  There is a verse in the bible that says: (paraphrased??)

Ask and ye shall receive.

Seek and ye shall find. 

Knock and the door shall be opened.

ASK.  By asking – either God or another person – I am setting energy in motion in the Universe.  Once the energy is in motion it comes back to me at some time from some place.  I have to put it out before it will come back.  What I sow I reap.  The Universe works on the principle of cause and effect.  It is very important for me to get proactive in my own life by taking the risk of asking for help – and it is much easier when I can let go of my picture of how, and when, that help is going to manifest.” – Working the Third Step ~ ASKing for Help

So there is great news and not so good news.  The great news is the my grandson Darien is here.  I got enough money to rent a car to go and pick him up yesterday – and he will be here for a week over his Spring Break. (I summarized my relationship with my step grandson in my Update last year: https://www.joy2meu2.com/update-june-2018 ). The not so good news is that my car is back running now after some expensive repairs, but is very iffy in terms of taking any trips out of town.  So I need to be looking for another car at a time when my finances are in really poor condition. 

It was kind of humorous to me – my Higher Power’s sense of humor – that I have been posting on Facebook in the last week about the good news bad news (coffee on my keyboard, car breaking down close to home) challenges in my life.

Robert Burney is feeling blessed.

April 9 at 10:14 AM

So there is good news, and bad news. The Bad news is that I spilled a cup of coffee on my wireless keyboard yesterday – it is not working very good any more. The good news is that forced me to drive from Cambria to Pass Robles on highway 46 so that I could see how lush and green the hills are after all the rain.

46-3

Robert Burney is in Cambria, California.

April 16 at 4:04 PM

So, there is good news and bad news. The Bad news is that my car broke down. The good news is that, it is within a mile of my place. Just walked home with some bags of groceries so they won’t spoil as I wait for an hour for tow truck. Going to take another load now.

car

On my Spiritual Tithes page I talk about that good new bad news paradox – something I talk about in my book also.

Book cover

“It is because there is more than one level of reality that life is paradoxical in nature.  What is True and positive on one level – selfishness out of Spiritual Self, can be negative on another level – selfishness out of ego-self.  What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly.

Humans have always had expressions that describe the paradoxical nature of the life experience.  Every ending is a beginning.  Every cloud does have a silver lining.  For every door that closes, another door does open.  It is always darkest before the dawn.  Every obstacle is a gift, every problem is an opportunity for growth.

These are all expressions that refer to the paradoxical nature of life – the seeming contradictions that are a result of the multiple levels of reality.  When we start to understand and recognize that there are multiple levels of reality, then we can begin to unravel the paradox and see how all of the pieces fit together perfectly.” – All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

“Giving and receiving are inseparable parts of one dynamic energy exchange / flow.  I mention often that everything is both good news and bad news because there are different levels to this life experience (what a caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly) – so also, giving and receiving are two different levels / facets of the same dynamic.  When one is giving freely from the heart (not the codependent types of giving we learned in childhood, i.e.:  giving to try to prove our worth / taking ego strength from giving to someone we feel superior to / giving as a way of manipulating to get what we want), one is giving to Self and Honoring the Spiritual Truth that we are all connected.  It is what I call both selfish and Selfish (one of my phone clients who didn’t like the word suggested that Soulfish would sound better. (To me that sounds more like seafood, but oh well.)

It is Soulfish because I Know that giving is an act of Love, is Honoring my True Self.  Opening to receive is also an Act of Love.  Asking for help and allowing someone else to give to me, is giving them the gift of allowing them to Honor and demonstrate Love for their True Self – and for the Truth that we are all ONE.

It is out of Soulfish purpose that I freely share so much information on my web site.  In freely giving Love I not only open to Love flowing into my life, but I am also manifesting Love into the Collective Consciousness and reminding you of the Truth of who you really are.  The more of you that remember who you Truly are and open up to Love flowing into your life, the closer we get to the Hundredth Monkey Effect that will bring about critical mass in the energy field of Collective Human Intellectual Consciousness and allow us to escape from the polarized thinking that has kept human beings warring on each other for thousands of years. (The New Age – An Age of Healing & Joy )

It is selfish because I know that aligning with Spiritual Truth and Metaphysical Law is what is going to make my life experience less painful and more Joyous in the long run.  It is also selfish because writing for this web site has served my recovery – and helped me to bring in enough money through selling my books (and in the last 3 + years [19 + years now in 2019] doing phone counseling) to continue to have the freedom to focus on my mission, to devote my time and energy to following my path. . . . . . . I freely share so much information on my site because – as I say in the article above – I believe it is my Karmic Mission in this lifetime.  I want to share the Joyous message and the precious information that I have discovered – and it is what I need to do for my Recovery and Spiritual Path.  It is not such a great strategy when it comes to finances however.;-)  So Donations to the Cause / Love Offerings / Spiritual Tithes are always appreciated if you feel my sharing has helped you in your Healing / Recovery process and on your Spiritual Path.” – Metaphysical Law: Giving and Receiving ~ Donations / Love Offerings 

In 2000 I received the gift of a donation from someone in Minnesota who believed my work had changed her life.  She sold a house and sent me $5000.  That allowed me to get moved back to Cambria and get a little garage apartment that I lived in for the next 5 years.  I wrote millions of words in articles for my website and books in that little apartment.  It was Truly a gift from another person that helped me to give to a multitude other people in the years since then.  In October of 2000, after being in the new place for a couple of months, I felt comfortable enough in my new environment to take a deep dive into my fear of intimacy issues.  I didn’t know that I was doing that when I started writing an Update Newsletter for the people on my website – but it was the most important single Update in my personal process since starting my first website in 1998.

“Anytime I have a chance to speak my Truth, to share the beliefs and knowledge which I so passionately embrace, I get to touch the Divine.  I get to be a channel for Love to flow through.  (One of the things I want to talk about in this Newsletter is that it can be easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.) . . . . .

. . . . I learned to give power to the positive feedback – not as proof of my worth – but rather as messages of encouragement from my Higher Power.

Example:
I have inner child places within me that:  are starving for love, affection, and touch;  are desperately romantic and aching for my princess to come;  that believe I am not worthy of receiving love in a romantic relationship but that I will never be complete without one;  that are profoundly lonely.  I also have an emotional reality that as an adult I have – because of my issues and patterns – been very deprived of companionship, love, affection, touch, etc.  Because of these factors, I would be emotionally triggered by songs.  All those wonderfully codependent songs about the type of codependent love we learned about growing up.  By giving power to those songs I was at the effect of them – so that I could be driving along in a good mood and have a certain song throw me into my deprivation pain.

What I did is change my relationship with those songs.  I choose to believe that those songs were about my relationship with my Higher Power rather than a woman loving me.  That turned those songs from emotional triggers that threw me into pain to messages of encouragement that could sometimes – because of perfect timing – help me to access Joy. 

The same thing can be done with feedback from other people.  We do not define ourselves by what others tell us.  We can look at what others tell us as messages. 

The ones who are shaming and abusive are demonstrating for us how the disease works.  Once we are able to start having a more objective view of the process (to stop taking it personally), we can see them reacting out of their own fears, out of their wounded inner child places.  They are being used to communicate with us and help us learn about our own wounds and the disease.  They are teachers who – by acting out of their disease – are forcing us to start protecting ourselves by learning to have boundaries.

The ones who are telling us good things are passing along messages of encouragement from our Higher Power.  Goddess Strokes.  That way, it doesn’t matter what their motive or agenda of is – because the are just being a channel, rather they know it or not.  It doesn’t matter if they are being dishonest and codependent – they are still capable of being a channel, and of giving us an opportunity to practice receiving.

My resistance to opening up to receive Love would cause me to minimize positive feedback by telling myself that the other person wanted something from me, or was just being kind, or whatever.  I spent several years in recovery practicing saying just plain “Thank You.”  Instead of minimizing (oh it was nothing), joking it away, turning it back on them (oh you are really the one who ___), or dismissing it because I suspected the other persons motives or mental health.  The feeling deep within was that if someone was loving and positive towards me, it was either a sinister plot or there must be something wrong with them.

By seeing them as channels rather than the source, it doesn’t matter what their motives are.   By seeing positive affirmation and validation coming from other people as Truly originating from my Higher Power, then I can be grateful to them for being a channel – not feel obligated to them because they are being kind to worthless, shameful me.

Now, through the miracle that this writing process is for me, we have come back around to “it can be easier to be a channel for Love to flow through than a receptacle for Love to flow into.”  I didn’t know I was going to write most of the above – and do not think I have ever quite broken the process of discerning between giving power in a healthy way to what other people say versus giving power to other people in a codependent way, in quite this manner.  I find it quite useful – I hope you do also.” – Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update October 2000

When I went to the treatment center in Arizona, they had a tradition that was focused on opening to receive.  Every morning there was a group with all the people in treatment – usually 50 some people.  Everyone would be given a few minutes to share what they were feeling and learning.  This tradition was that, if someone said “I feel loved!” – the whole group would shout at them, “You are loved!”  One was supposed to open their arms and take it in through their solar plexus chakra – which is the chakra where we take in and manifest out of.

My first week or so there, I thought that was the cheesiest thing I had ever heard – and you would never catch me saying that.  Because my ego was in control. 

By the third week I was milking it for all it was worth.  I would say, “I feel supercalifragilisticexpialidociously loved!  And have 50 people shout that back at me.  Then get hugs from 50 people.  I didn’t need any coffee on those mornings.

It was learning to open to receive that made it possible for me to publish my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls – a story with some really amazing miracles. The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance.

So, one more time in my recovery, I am ASKing for help.  I am putting out a request – ASKing for some help here on Facebook and in my WordPress Blog – from the Universe (and any Eskimos and Angels out there willing to be channels for Love to flow to me) – to help me through the opportunity for growth the Universe is presenting me with right now.  If you could make a donation or buy something, it would be really great. Here is a sale page with some great offers on my books, audios, phone / Skype counseling, and my workshop. https://www.joy2meu2.com/joy2meu-sale

Here is my working the third step page: Working the Third Step ~ ASKing for Help

Here is my Spiritual Tithes / Love Offering page: Metaphysical Law: Giving and Receiving ~ Donations / Love Offerings 

I am a Magnificent and Powerful Spiritual Being full of Light and Love!

I am Radiantly Beautiful, Vibrantly Healthy, Joyously Alive, and Abundantly Prosperous! Abundantly Prosperous I say.  (It is important to do positive affirmations as if they are already the Truth – because they actually are on a Spiritual level 😉

With wishes of Joy & Love & Abundance to U & Me ~ Robert

 

 

 

 

Multiple levels of selfishness

I want to clarify and expand on the response I wrote in 1998 to reflect what I reiterate in so much of my writing, that recovery is not black and white – there are multiple levels to everything, including our motives. 

“Codependence is a disease of reversed focus – it is about focusing outside of ourselves for self-definition and self-worth.  That sets us up to be a victim.  We have worth because we are Spiritual Beings not because of how much money or success we have – or how we look or how smart we are.  When self-worth is determined by looking outside it means we have to look down on someone else in order to feel good about ourselves – this is the cause of bigotry, racism, class structure, and Jerry Springer.

The goal is to focus on who we really are – get in touch with the Light and Love within us and then radiate that outward.  I think that is what Mother Theresa did.  I can’t know for sure because I never met her, and it can be difficult to tell looking from the outside where a person’s focus is.  Mother Theresa could have been a raging codependent who was doing good on the outside in order to feel good about herself – or she could have been being True to her Self by accessing the Love and Light within and reflecting it outward.  Either way the effect was that she did some great things – the difference would have been how she felt about herself at the deepest levels of her being – because it does not make any real difference how much validation we get from outside if we are not Loving ourselves.  If I did not start working on knowing that I had worth as a Spiritual Being – that there is a Higher Power that Loves me – it would never have made any real difference how many people told me I was wonderful.” – The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! Chapter 1

I believe that Mother Teresa probably accessed the Truth within her and started focusing on that – which led her to do for others.  What is typical of a Spiritual Path in the beginning of awakening to consciousness, is that maybe 10% of the levels of our motives are focused on Higher Truth – our intuitive guidance – and 90% about stopping the pain.  As I said in an early chapter we don’t just wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I think it would be fun to do some emotional healing today.”  We start our healing process because we are in pain. 

As we commit to following our Spiritual Path wherever it leads – to our own Higher Self being True – that percentage increases over time because having the faith to commit to following a Spiritual Path produces miracles which increase faith.  If Mother Teresa was a Truly Enlightened being, maybe by the end of her life her focus was 90% on serving her Soul, the Higher Truth she had accessed through her inner channel – and only 10% of the levels involved in her motives still coming out of damaged human ego self, out of trying to earn Love, to prove worth.

I am just kind of pulling those percentages out of thin air, in order to try to make a point that recovery is about progress not perfection.  We make gradual progress in becoming more conscious and focusing on higher purpose rather than the baser / humanly selfish levels.  We were never doing things completely out of ego selfishness, we just had to lie to ourselves about it because we were taught it was shameful.  It is not a black and white dynamic.  Our motives are never just codependent – we do care.  It was because we were taught that it is shameful to be selfish that we had to learn to be dishonest with ourselves.  It is because we are not owning all the levels of our motives – including the selfish, self serving ones – that we are not seeing ourselves clearly.  Codependency in relationships starts with our relationship with our self.  It is our relationship with ourselves that is dysfunctional – which causes us to be dishonest and manipulative with others.

When I was being nice to people while still completely unconscious to my disease, it was in part because I am a good person, a nice person – a being with a True heart connection.  But I was blinded to my True Self by all the dysfunctional messages I had gotten in childhood.  Those messages were both directly stated – by my parents and teachers, by the Spiritually abusive lies of a shame-based religion, by other people, including other children – and indirect from:  the role modeling of the adults in my life;  from fairy tales, books, movies, songs, etc.;  from the interpretations of my undeveloped mind based upon how it felt to be a human child.  I suffered emotional trauma because of the behavior of the wounded human beings around me.  So my perspective of myself – as a physical, emotional, spiritual being – was distorted and warped.  I could not see myself clearly – so could not see life and other people clearly.

So, I was doing nice things for other people in part because of who I Truly am – but I had to lie to myself and tell myself that the only reason I was doing those things was because I was a nice person.  I was dishonest with myself about the fact that I had expectations of getting something in return – that I was in part at least, being manipulative.  That dishonesty led me to feeling like a victim of other people not doing what I wanted them to.  (see Serenity and Expectations.)

It was this dishonesty with self that kept me being a victim, a negative co-creator in my life.  When I got into recovery is when I started to make a transition to being a positive co-creator in my life.

Sacred Spiral with tail pointing to the right signifying going toward.

unhealthy selfish vs healthy selfish

The Dance

“The Twelve Step Recovery process is so successful because it provides a formula for integrating different levels. It is by recognizing that we are powerless to control our life experiences out of ego-self that we can access the power out of True Self, Spiritual Self.  By surrendering the illusion of ego control we can reconnect with our Higher Selves.  Selfishness out of ego-self is destroying the planet.  Selfishness out of Spiritual Self is what will save the planet.

It is because there is more than one level of reality that life is paradoxical in nature.  What is True and positive on one level – selfishness out of Spiritual Self, can be negative on another level – selfishness out of ego-self.  What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly.

Humans have always had expressions that describe the paradoxical nature of the life experience.  Every ending is a beginning.  Every cloud does have a silver lining.  For every door that closes, another door does open.  It is always darkest before the dawn.  Every obstacle is a gift, every problem is an opportunity for growth.”

(Quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

One of the messages that most of us got in childhood growing up in a codependent society was that it was bad to be selfish.  We all have within us an archetypal inner child that is completely self centered and wants immediate gratification.  What I call the king/queen baby.  “I want what I want and I want it now.”  It comes in the stage of early childhood development where we are developing a sense of individual identity.  A couple of the big words at that age are “no” and “mine.”

Because the societies we grew up in were stuck in a polarized view of life, we got the message that selfishness was wrong, bad – and that unselfishness was good.  Since one of a child’s jobs is to manipulate his/her environment to survive, we learn to manipulate to get what we wanted.  Since we got the message that it was not OK to be emotionally honest – both from direct and indirect messages, and from the role modeling of the emotionally dishonest adults in our life – we learned to be emotionally dishonest with ourselves in order to cover up our “shameful” selfishness.

All of us are human, and – as I talked about in my January 2002 Update – have levels of motivations that are selfish and self serving on a human level.

“Awakening to my responsibility as a co-creator of my life so that I could align with the process of reprogramming my ego defense, was made possible by the dawning realization that I wasn’t the only one suffering in an emotional hell – that maybe my reality was not being caused by some inherent defect in my being.  That maybe, just maybe, being human wasn’t shameful – and that being imperfect and selfish was a natural, normal part of being human.

I need to keep reminding myself of the fundamental motives – of my need to focus on me and my process, remember I am not doing something for you – so that I can keep aligned with the selfishness of Spiritual Self that is at the heart of the recovery process.  (One of my phone clients suggested that I coin a new word to get away from the negative connotations of selfish – Soulfish, was her suggestion.;-)

In my understanding, the Truth that resonates in the phrase “To thine own Self be True” is about being True to Spiritual Self – the part of me that Knows I am connected to everyone and everything in LOVE – in order to escape the tyranny of unconsciously reacting out of wounded, dysfunctionally programmed ego self.  Ego self is reacting to programming that is trying to keep us separate from others so they do not find out how shameful we are.  (If you are not clear on what I am talking about here see Powerlessness & Empowerment – why the 12 steps work.)” – January 2002 Update Newsletter 

Being honest with our self about selfishness out of damaged ego self – owning it, learning to accept it without shame and judgment – is what allows us to start taking power away from it so that we are not letting it dictate and define our life today.  Denying that we have base ego centered motives is part of the dishonesty of codependency – is a reaction to toxic shame about being human.  One form of codependency is deluding ourselves into thinking that we are doing things for other people just out of the kindness of our hearts and are not expecting any payoff for what we are doing – it is emotionally and intellectually dishonest.

“In order to get clear on how to connect to others in a healthy way we must first realize and define how we are separate from others.  On the level of our physical being, our ego-self, we are separate and need to own that before we can open up to consciously experiencing how we are connected to everyone and everything.  We need to see our relationship with ourselves clearly in order to see our relationships to others clearly.

One of the things that I had to get clear on in order to start learning who I am was selfishness.  I had been taught that it was bad to be selfish and that I should do things for others.  I learned to steal energy from others through what I was telling myself were unselfish acts.  I was just being a “nice guy” and did not expect anything in return – Bull.  I always had expectations – I just was not being honest with myself about them – because I had been trained and conditioned in childhood to be dishonest with myself emotionally and intellectually.

I had to come to a realization that there is no such thing as an unselfish act.  If I rescue a stranger from a burning car wreck, it does not have anything to do with the stranger – it has to do with my relationship with myself.  I believe that every thing a human being does has a pay off – and it was a very important part of my growth process to start looking for those pay offs.  I had to learn to get honest with myself and stop buying into the illusion that anything I did was for some one else.  I had to stop looking outside for the energy boost I got from doing something nice so that I could own that the energy boost came internally.

The power / energy / juice that we need comes from within – not from outside.  People, places, and things can sometimes help us to access the power that is within us – but they are not the source of that power.  The source is within!” – The True Nature of Love, Part 4 – Energetic Clarity

We access the Source Energy, are connected to our Higher Power, internally – through our inner channel.  The outer / external dependence, the reversed focus of codependency, causes us to think that treating another person with respect and kindness earns us worth – proves to our self and others that we have worth.  This is reversed and dysfunctional in my opinion.

What I believe is healthy and functional is owning that we have worth as Magnificent Spiritual Beings having a human experience – and then we can see and honor other people because they are also Magnificent Spiritual Beings who have been wounded by this human experience.  It is by consciously owning that we have worth inherently – that we are children of God / The Goddess, part of The Great Spirit, extensions of The Universal Force – that we start treating others with respect and kindness because they are also manifestations of the Divine.

And Loving other wounded humans, treating them with respect and kindness, includes setting boundaries with them if their behavior is abusive.  We can Love their being while protecting our self from their behavior.  Allowing another human being to treat us with disrespect out of their unconsciousness is not Loving – it is enabling them to stay unconscious.  We demonstrate respect for their Spiritual Self by respecting our inherent worth (which comes from the same place their inherent worth comes from) enough to set boundaries with them about their codependent behavior.

“True self-worth does not come from looking down on anyone or anything.  True self-worth comes from awakening to our connection to everyone and everything.

The Truth is that we are like snowflakes:  Each individual is unique and different and special and we are all made from the same thing.  We are all cut from the same cloth.  We are all part of the Eternal ONENESS that is the Great Spirit.

When we start looking within and celebrating the Truth of who we Truly are, then we can celebrate our unique differences instead of judging them out of fear.”

If I do something nice for another person, the payoff is that I feel good about myself because I am acting out of my higher nature, my True Self – it helps me tune into higher vibrational frequencies and thus get an internal energy boost.  When we are in the moment tuned into higher vibrational transcendent emotional energy is when we feel like our spirit is soaring – is when we are accessing Love and Joy energy from the Source.  Treating another being with respect and dignity is an affirmation of my inherent worth, and my connection to them – and helps me to plug into higher vibrational frequencies, recharge my spiritual batteries as it were.  It is also, often, a way to settle Karma – which is another payoff that serves selfish motives on a higher level.

Treating another kindly out of codependence, in order to prove to myself I have worth, is a reaction to the judgments and shame I feel about myself – and often I am judging the other person as being less than me because I am acting better than them.  If I delude myself into thinking I am being nice to them just for their sake, then I will feel like a victim if they are not nice in return.

“We were taught to be caretakers instead of care-givers.  That is, to take our self-definition – our ego-strength – from what we do for others, rather than giving to others out of our Self as an expression of Love.

This is a matter of focus:  Codependence is a disease of reversed focus.  If you are taking your self-worth from what you are doing for others, you are going to end up being the victim, because they are not going to do what you want them to do in return.  (“After all that I’ve done for you!”)

If you are giving as an expression of self-worth then you do not need anything in return – and that is when you really get the gifts.

Giving should be an expression of the Love we have accessed within – not a way of gaining ego-strength by helping people whom we are judging to be less than us.”

A key difference between healthy behavior and codependent behavior – as I talk about in my article about setting boundaries (Setting Personal Boundaries) – is that we let go of the outcome.  If I am setting a boundary to try to get a certain outcome – that is being controlling and manipulative.  If I am nice to another person to get something in return without owning my selfish motive – that is codependent.  I set a boundary to protect myself and let go of the outcome.  I treat people with dignity and respect because it feels good.  I am being True to my Self by doing so – and I let go of taking how they treat me in return personally.  (This means not allowing the external to define us – rather it is positive or negative.  If they affirm and validate me, that does not prove my worth – just as, if they abandon and abuse me that does not prove my defectiveness.)

And again, this is a relative process.  If I set a boundary, of course I may want a certain outcome – that is human – but I let go of thinking that I need that outcome to be okay.  In my recovery I have learned to set a boundary because it is the kind thing, the Loving thing, to do for me – and I am willing to accept the outcome that is presented, which often includes owning my sadness that I didn’t get what I wanted.  Often in my interactions with other people I want something in return, that is natural and normal – the point is to be direct and honest about it, not indirect and manipulative.

Part of the paradox and irony of recovery is that the more we let go of trying to get external validation to prove our worth, the more external validation we receive.  As long as we think we need that external validation to prove our worth, it won’t work to meet our needs – as I said in Chapter 4 when I was talking about ego self image.

“I could not truly accept / take in / own the external validation because I thought I was living a lie.  I thought I was a fraud and was fooling you when you liked me.” –  Chapter 4: False Self Image

There is nothing wrong with external validation – it is codependent to buy into the illusion that we need that external validation to prove our worth.  This is something I talked about in my Update for October 2000 where I tried to explain how we achieve some balance between different levels:

“In case you are wondering about whether – in the instances above – I was giving too much power to outside validation, I thought I would talk about that a bit.   There is nothing wrong with enjoying validation, affirmation, and recognition from other people or outside sources.  It is if we define ourselves by that outer validation, and think we have to have it to be OK, that we are being codependent.  It is when we jump through hoops in an attempt to get that validation from people that we are being manipulative and dishonest – which is, of course, what many of us learned to do in childhood.

As with all aspects of codependence recovery – it is a question of balance.  Life and recovery occur in the gray area between black and white.  What we are trying to do is maintain some kind of sense of balance in relationship to this dance we are doing.  That involves, as I tried to communicate in the later articles in the Recovery Process for Inner Child Healing series I just finished, being conscious of multiple levels simultaneously – or as close to simultaneously as possible.  And being able to have internal boundaries so that I am choosing how I respond rather than reacting out of the old programming.

Example:  There have been instances, over the years, where I have had the opportunity to be in close proximity to someone that had been a client of mine while they were talking to someone else.  These opportunities have given me a chance to hear the former client use words in describing some aspect of the recovery process – that were the same words I had said to them – as if it were a revelation they had arrived at themselves.  This gives most of me a great deal of satisfaction because I have worked hard over the years to find the best ways of helping people discover the Truth within them in ways that help them not feel dependent on me.  But at the same time, my ego reacts in a negative way saying “hey wait a minute, I told you that.”

In my recovery, I have gradually over the years been able to turn down the voices coming from the ego/from the wounded inner child places/from the disease – and turn up the volume of the small quiet voice of the Spirit.  I have learned how to realign myself with the Spirit instead of giving so much power to the disease – the old wounds and old tapes, the damaged ego.  But if I were to maintain to myself or to you that I never have those reactions, that would be denial.

. . . . . . . This is a relative process.  Progress not perfection.  We can gradually increase the percentage of the time our conscious awareness, our attitudes and mental focus, are aligned with recovery instead of with the disease.  We do not get to wipe out the old ways of thinking and emotional reactions completely – what we do is gradually disempower them.” – Joy2MeU Update – 10-20-2000

As I say in the quote from 1998, it can be hard telling where a person’s focus is while looking from the outside.  It is what is going on within, in our relationship with ourselves, that determines rather our motives are more about being healthy than about reacting codependently.  As we become more conscious of, more aligned with, Spiritual Self, we start owning our inherent worth more and looking outside for validation less.

That is when we can start to Truly Love our neighbor as our Self – and stop letting the fear and shame programming of ego self dictate how we see, and relate to, both our self and other wounded humans / Magnificent Spiritual Beings.  It was vital for me to start getting honest with myself about my selfish motives so that I could take power away from the levels that were in reaction to my damaged ego programming.  As long as I was denying my human selfishness out of a false sense of shame, I was doomed to keep myself trapped on the codependent merry-go-round – looking outside for the solution to a conflict that exists within.

Looking externally to try to heal my wounded soul is what caused me to be trapped in a self perpetuating squirrel cage of self defeating behavior.  The dynamics of codependency – the fact that I was energetically drawn to people who felt familiar, who resonated emotionally with what I experienced with my parents growing up – dictated that I was attracted to people who would not treat me with kindness and respect in return, thus reinforcing the toxic shame, the feeling that there is something wrong with me.

“In our disease defense system we build up huge walls to protect ourselves and then – as soon as we meet someone who will help us to repeat our patterns of abuse, abandonment, betrayal, and/or deprivation – we lower the drawbridge and invite them in.  We, in our Codependence, have radar systems which cause us to be attracted to, and attract to us, the people, who for us personally, are exactly the most untrustworthy (or unavailable or smothering or abusive or whatever we need to repeat our patterns) individuals – exactly the ones who will “push our buttons.”

This happens because those people feel familiar.  Unfortunately in childhood the people whom we trusted the most – were the most familiar – hurt us the most.  So the effect is that we keep repeating our patterns and being given the reminder that it is not safe to trust ourselves or other people

Once we begin healing we can see that the Truth is that it is not safe to trust as long as we are reacting out of the emotional wounds and attitudes of our childhoods.  Once we start Recovering, then we can begin to see that on a Spiritual level these repeating behavior patterns are opportunities to heal the childhood wounds.

The process of Recovery teaches us how to take down the walls and protect ourselves in healthy ways – by learning what healthy boundaries are, how to set them, and how to defend them.  It teaches us to be discerning in our choices, to ask for what we need, and to be assertive and Loving in meeting our own needs.  (Of course many of us have to first get used to the revolutionary idea that it is all right for us to have needs.)”

As I discuss in my January 2002 Update, it was my base human level of motivation – wanting to stop the pain, stop living in an emotional hell – that caused me to open up to starting to become conscious of Spiritual Truth.  Becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired brought me to a point where I surrendered to learning how to live life differently.  Once I surrendered some of my ego definitions that were keeping me in bondage I started to listen to my intuition – started tuning into Truth from my Higher Self / Power.

Then I could start looking at myself with more clarity and start seeing how dysfunctional my behavior patterns had been.  Then I could start seeing, that yes I am a nice person, but most of the levels of my motives for behaving in the ways I was behaving towards other people was coming from my childhood programming.

Then I started to realize that a very large part of what I was calling being “nice” to others was based upon protecting myself, on selfish human motives.  I was rationalizing when I told myself that I was behaving in a certain way to protect other people’s feelings.  It was important to get honest with myself so I could start seeing how I was taking ego strength from my rationalized concern for others – it was part of how I tried to convince myself that I was worthy, that I was a good person.

I needed to get honest with myself in order to see the selfish motives.  Then I could start to see that the reason that I was being nice to someone was not just because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings – it was much more about protecting myself.  It was what I learned to do in childhood to:  avoid confrontation;  keep someone from getting angry with me;  keep from being abandoned;  try to earn love;  etc.  My defense system was set up to protect me from doing things that I thought would cause me pain – like:  setting boundaries;  speaking my Truth;  asking for help;  being vulnerable;  etc.  So, there was a level of my motives that was about caring for others – but there were more levels that were selfish, were part of the survival programing my ego had adapted in childhood.  My behavior patterns were being driven by the emotional wounds and programming of childhood but I had to rationalize my behavior as only being about the level where I did care about others.

I needed to realize that, yes those people who I was judging for not being nice, were very often abusing me out of the selfishness of their wounded ego – but that in allowing myself to be abused I was also reacting out of ego selfishness.  Both the abuser and the abused are reacting to the programming of their wounded ego.  Both are being a victim of their codependency.  Both the bulldozer who is running over other people and the doormat who gets run over are being selfish out of damaged, dysfunctionally programmed ego self.

I needed to get honest with myself in order to own that it was okay to be selfish and protect myself, but that the ways I was doing it were dysfunctional, dishonest, and unhealthy.   Then I could start to learn new, healthier ways to protect myself and try to get my needs met.

Levels of Motivation

We always have multiple levels to our motives for doing something.  What we need to do is learn how to see ourselves with more clarity so we can be honest with ourselves intellectually and emotionally – and can be discerning in our choices of behavior.   By recognizing how the conditioned programming and emotional wounds of our childhood have dictated our lives, by becoming aware of the ways in which we have been limited and powerless in our relationship with our self and life, we can start becoming empowered to change that programming and heal those wounds.  By accepting our human imperfection, our selfish and self centered ego driven motives, we can stop that level of our being from dictating our life.  We are allowing ourselves to be run by the dysfunctional survival drive of the damaged ego – by the instant gratification needs of the king/queen baby – rather we are rationalizing that instant gratification out of arrogant self righteousness or denying it because of our shame.  There can be no balance as long as we are reacting to extremes.

We need to learn to be discerning about our motives so that we can pick the baby out of the bath water.  Then we can change and disempower the dysfunctional levels and honor the “right on” levels.

“What I have found is that in many instances even though the levels that I can see, that I am conscious of, are mostly dysfunctional – arising out of the false beliefs and fears of the disease of Codependence – on deeper levels there are “right on” reasons for behaviors for which I was judging myself.

. . . . . . .  As another, more universal example, when I started to learn about Codependence, I used to really beat myself up because I found that I was still looking for “her,” even though I had learned about some of the dysfunctional levels of that longing.

I had learned that as long as I thought that I needed someone else to make me happy and whole I was setting myself up to be a victim.  I had learned that I was not a frog who needed a princess to kiss me in order to turn into a prince – that I am a prince already, and just need to learn to accept that state of Grace, that princeness.

I had come to understand that those levels of my longing were dysfunctional and Codependent – and I judged and shamed myself because I could not let go of the longing for “her.”

But as my awakening progressed I realized that there were “right on” reasons for that longing, for that “endless aching need” that I felt.

One of those “right on” levels was that the longing was a message concerning my very real need to attain some balance between the masculine and feminine energy within me – which begets dysfunctional behavior when it is projected, focused, outward as I had been taught to do in childhood.

And on a much deeper level I came to understand that I am – and have been, ever since polarization – looking for my twin soul.

As I become discerning I could learn to pick the baby out of the bathwater, that is, not judge and shame myself for longing for “her” – and throw out the dirty bath water, that is, not take action based on, or give power to, the dysfunctional belief that I am a frog who cannot be happy until I find my princess.

By learning discernment we can begin to become conscious of the reasons that are dysfunctional and based on Codependent beliefs and fears (the dirty bathwater) so that we can change the way we react to those levels, can stop giving them power, and we can honor that there are “right on” levels by not shaming or judging ourselves (the baby) even if we are not sure what those reasons are.”

The Universe used my “looking for her” longing to teach me some very vital lessons in my recovery in the later part of 1988 and through much of 1989.  This was a crucial time in my codependence recovery after I had gone through a 30 day treatment program that spring.  I was living in Taos New Mexico and didn’t have a car for almost a year.  It was actually quite an enjoyable year not having a car – it made winter a completely different experience for me because I was walking everywhere I needed to go instead of having to worry about the car starting, scraping ice of the windshield, and such things.

At that time, I was desperately trying to get clear on how to discern the difference between my intuitive guidance and the impulsive reactions of my codependent ego programming and emotional wounds – between my will and God’s will.  I had realized by that time that when I met someone who felt like my soul mate, it was much more likely to be an attraction based upon familiarity – i.e. someone who was unavailable in a way that would fit my codependent patterns.  I was selfishly trying to get clearer on how to know God’s will so that I wouldn’t set myself up to get hurt.

That summer had given me a huge wake up call that caused me to see that life wasn’t going to be all sweetness and light now that I had been through treatment and learned how to do my grief work.  I had spent most of that summer in Sedona Arizona, and had gotten a very interesting warning from the Universe when I first moved up there.  One day I was walking in the desert surrounded by the beautiful red rock mountains of that area.  I was thinking about how wonderful it was going to be now that I had done so much deep emotional work and learned so many new tools.  I was day dreaming about how exciting it was going to be able to have healthy relationships.  All of a sudden from out of the underbrush burst this mad looking dog barking and snarling and hurtling right at me – and then right past me.  I hadn’t even caught my breath after that scare when the strong odor of skunk wafted by.

The message from the Universe:  I may be a lot healthier, but I still need to watch out for mad dogs and skunks.  The mad dogs in my understanding are the abusive, aggressive codependents – and the skunks are the martyr, victim codependents.  In  other words I needed to learn to be discerning about who I open up to, who I invest time and energy in, because the world is full of wounded people – including, as I already knew, some that claim many years of recovery.  I realized that day that recovery was going to be on ongoing adventure – not some stroll through the park.  And that it was very important for me to stay conscious and pay attention so that I didn’t set myself up with insane expectations, so I didn’t allow the magical thinking inner child to lead me into believing that I had reached happily-ever-after.

Only a short time later I had an experience that really showed me how important it was to be discerning and trust my intuition.  A milestone experience that revealed to me my Karmic mission in this lifetime – that changed my life and altered my path in the direction it has been on since.

It was shortly after that milestone experience in August of 1988 I moved to Taos.  My first few months in the area I lived in a friends ski cabin on Taos Mountain – as I mentioned in the last chapter.  With winter approaching I moved down to a casita – a little studio apartment heated by an adobe fireplace – just a block from Taos Plaza.  Shortly after that I surrendered my car because I couldn’t make the payments.  A walking winter it was to be.

In the latest installment of the personal journal I share in my Joy2MeU Journal, which tells the story of my recovery and spiritual growth process, I wrote about this very vital lesson.  Here is an excerpt from the The Path of one Recovering Codependent – the dance of one wounded soul.

“. . . . . . In his cabin on the mountain, and during the rest of the time I was in Taos, many mystical, miraculous, and magical things happened to help me to better understand the process, the dynamics, my path, everything.  It was in that cabin that I started writing what became the Trilogy.

One of those magical things happened one day as I was out for a walk.  The cabin I was staying in was at 11,000 feet, which was above the ski area of Taos Mountain.  In those days there was an off season in Taos – a time when there were very few tourists around.  There were actually two off seasons.  One in the spring after the ski resort closed until summer started, and one in September, October and early November before the resort opened on Thanksgiving.  What that meant was that I was about the only person on top of that mountain on that day as I was walking.

I was walking along wondering if I would ever have a loving relationship, and probably complaining to God about it a bit.  (One of my phone counseling clients shared an insight he had in an Al-Anon meeting recently – one that I like a lot.  He said he had this image of himself as a child on a trip in the car, asking, “Are we there yet?”  “How long until we get there?” etc.  Anyone who has ever taken a trip with a kid knows this one.  The insight was this:  that pestering, irritating, impatient complaining is probably exactly what it feels like to God when we are constantly wanting to know about the future.  Sounds pretty accurate to me.  Except, of course, the Goddess is quite amused by this, as are we on a higher level – since we are part of the Great Spirit.;-)

Anyway, as I am walking along asking “When am I going to have a relationship?” – all of a sudden a woman comes riding up on a horse.  A beautiful woman that looked enough like the image of my dream woman to really get my attention.  We started talking and discovered that I had gone to high school with some of her cousins in the little town I grew up near.  It seemed like an answer to my prayers.  Hurrah.

Well, it was a message for sure – but not what I thought it was.  Even then, I was far enough on my path to realize that it probably wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

I got her phone number, and in one of our first phone conversations, the topic of what was called Taos Furniture came up.  A type of furniture made in Taos that I thought was really uncomfortable and impractical.  I voiced that opinion.  It turned out that she made Taos Furniture.

I already knew by that time that there are no mistakes.  I knew that the foot in the mouth statements I made were a perfect part of the plan somehow.  I realized that this woman’s appearance on the mountain at the specific time she had ridden up was a message from my Higher Power.  Something to this effect:

“Pay attention.  A miracle can happen any time, any where.  I work in mysterious ways.  You don’t get to know the timing or the reasons.  Yours is to follow where you are lead and keep the faith.  Know that I am with you always.”

This message got reinforced over and over again after I moved off of the mountain into town before the winter set in.   During the rest of the year that I lived in Taos that time, I was really focusing on learning how to follow where I was lead.  I knew that I needed to pay attention to what got my attention.  I came to understand that my HP would get my attention in the way that worked best – which in many cases, was my deprivation issues – my search for Her, my dream woman.

I was without a car that winter (Miracles) so would walk everywhere I needed to go.  As I was walking I would keep asking my HP, at every corner, should I go this way or that way.  I was following whatever path it felt like I should follow to get to wherever it was that I was going.  Often as I was walking through the Plaza, or along the street, I would see what appeared to be an attractive woman across the way, go into a certain store.

That had gotten my attention, so I would go into that store.  It would never be about the woman I saw go in there.  There was always something else, someone else, I needed to see.  There was always some other reason for me to make that detour – even if it was to get the timing of my arrival at the post office just right so I ran into someone I needed to see there.

I got the message real clearly:  that sometimes the Universe uses something, or someone, to get my attention so I alter my path slightly on a different heading – but that I needed to let go of any expectations or projections of where that heading was going to take me.  I learned that I got directions to veer off on a different heading not to get me where I thought I was headed, but rather to get me to a point a little farther down the path where the Universe would once again get my attention and say, “Okay, now come this way for a while.” I needed to keep following where I was led while letting go of the outcome – letting go of projecting any fantasies about the destination I was headed towards.

A wonderful lesson to learn.  Follow the guidance and let go of the outcome.” – My Unfolding Dance 14 – posted July 2002

An invaluable, priceless lesson.  My job is to show up for life today and pay attention.  Pay attention to what gets my attention without judging and shaming myself.  The Universe uses whatever works to get my attention and to motivate me to follow where it wants me to go.  The things that get my attention most effectively usually have to do with my human desires, with longings and unfulfilled needs – that is not shameful, it is human.   Follow where I am led and let go of the outcome.  Let go of assuming, interpreting, fortune telling, projecting my fantasy of where I was going to end up because of what got my attention.

It was absolutely vital for me to get honest with myself so that I could discern between different levels of my motives – so that I could see my self with more clarity.  As I explained in the earlier chapter about ego self image, as long as I wasn’t being honest with myself about my human selfishness, my behavior did not match how I was seeing myself.  This caused me to be dishonest and manipulative.  This prevented me from having any true, healthy emotional intimacy with another human being – because I wasn’t being emotionally intimate with myself.  I had to learn how to be emotionally and intellectually honest with myself before I could start to see other people with any clarity.  That is why the process of learning how to practice discernment internally so I could set internal boundaries (which I will talk about in a later chapter) was so vital to my recovery.

Empowerment comes from seeing reality clearly and then owning that I have choices about how to make the best of reality as it is being presented to me.  It was impossible for me to see reality – internally or externally – with any clarity until I was able to get past the toxic shame I was carrying to see, own, and accept the base, ego centered, selfishness that is an inherent part of being a human being who grew up in a dysfunctional environment.  Once I owned it, I could start to take control of some of the things I can have some control of – my own attitudes and behaviors.

“The higher purpose, the Spiritual motive for making recovery the number one priority in my life is intimately connected to the human motive. Our human motives are not bad or wrong.   There is nothing shameful about being human.  It is vital to stop judging ourselves based upon the belief that being human is shameful.  Codependence is a defense system adapted in reaction to the feeling that it was somehow shameful to be human – to be me.

It is self perpetuating because we react to that core feeling of toxic shame out of a polarized intellectual paradigm that judges us and our behavior as right or wrong.   Our ego relates to life as if it is a test which we can fail by being wrong.  And being human is wrong and shameful according to the beliefs, attitudes and definitions we learned in early childhood.

The more I can take the shame out of my relationship with being human and start changing the dysfunctional intellectual paradigm I learned in childhood – the easier it becomes for me to align with higher purpose, to align ego self with Spiritual Self, to surrender my will and accept God’s will.  I can learn to accept being human, and see how my human motives are connected to my Spiritual purpose so that I can find some balance in life.  So I can start relating to life as a growth process instead of a test that I am doomed to fail.” – January 2002 Update Newsletter 

Recovery / Spiritual growth is a process of realigning our ego self with Spiritual Self so that, from our human perspective, life is less painful and more enjoyable.  No matter how enlightened we become, the bottom line to the human part of us is that recovery is the most functional way to make life less painful, to find some meaning and purpose in life.  Aligning with higher purpose, with Love, is what will meet our selfish human needs as well as serve the Divine Plan and help us reconnect Spiritual Self.  Accepting our human selfishness is piece of the puzzle that allows us to integrate Spiritual Truth into our human experience.

“We need to let go of the illusion that we can control this life business.  We cannot.  We never could!  It was an illusion.  And we need to let go of the false beliefs that tell us that we are bad and shameful.  We cannot become whole as long as we believe that any part of us is bad or shameful.

That includes the ego – that bloated out-of-balance dragon within.  Thank God for our egos, they are what allowed us to survive.  Thank God for Codependence, without it we would not be alive.  But now is the time to get things into balance – the time to bring ego-self into alignment and balance with Spiritual Self.

That is the transformation which is known as “the death of the ego.”  To quote the St. Francis Prayer, “It is through dying that we awaken to eternal life.”  It is not referring just to physical death, it is referring to the death of the ego which allows us to awaken to the Truth of eternal life.

The death of the ego is not an event – it is a process.  It is not an act of violence – it is an act of Love.  A process of learning to Love.

We are bringing ego-self into alignment with Spiritual Truth. We are reconnecting with our Spiritual nature and Spiritual purpose so that we can find some fulfillment and happiness in life.” – Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Chapter 7: Multiple levels of selfishness

Sacred Spiral with tail pointing to the right signifying going toward.

Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light  Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life is available in a subscription area of the Joy2MeU website entitled: Dancing in Light

A special offer for that subscription (as well as for the Joy2MeU Journal) is available on this special offers page.

The first two chapters of this online book is available through my regular website:  Chapter 1:  The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!

I have published some other chapters of this work as blogs including:  Chapter 4: False Self Image,  Chapter 8 Codependents as Emotional Vampires and Chapter 13: Changing the Music: Love instead of fear and shame.

Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light  Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life is the third book of what I think of as the Wounded Souls Trilogy along with Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls A Cosmic Perspective on Codependence and the Human Condition and Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing. (This is different from The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .” which is a Magical, Mystical Adult Spiritual Fable that was in fact the first book I wrote – but have never finished.)

Chapter 3: Emotional honesty

The Dance

“We learned about life as children and it is necessary to change the way we intellectually view life 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 is serving us – or if it is setting us up to be victims because we are expecting life to be something which it is not.” – (Text in this color is used for quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

In the course of writing this article – which seems to be turning into another online book – I realized that though I talk a lot about the importance of emotional honesty in my work, I probably do not give a lot of down to earth, easily understood examples of what the term means to me.  So, I decided to start this Chapter 3 with an example. 

It was focusing on the dynamic of expectations that was the key for me in starting to get emotionally honest with myself.  Starting to understand the cause and effect relationship between my emotional reactions and my expectations was essential for me to start understanding why my relationship with life was so dysfunctional.  I, of course, in my codependency, had swung between the extremes of feeling, and believing, that it was all my fault because of my shameful defective being – and being angry and resentful at other people, the system, something or someone external to my being. 

The twelve step recovery application of the disease model in the treatment of alcoholism – the concept that I had been powerless over my past behaviors because I had a disease – helped me to take enough shame out of my perspective of myself to start seeing my life with a little bit of objectivity.  The spiritual approach of the twelve step program – that there is a Power greater than myself that is on my side, The Force is with me – helped me to shift my intellectual paradigm enough to start to see life as something other than a test I could fail by doing it “wrong.”  The definition of insanity that I heard in my first days of recovery – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – caused me to start focusing on cause and effect. 

It was the concept of powerlessness that led me to start becoming empowered to take responsibility for my life.  Instead of viewing life through a perspective that was black and white – either I had to be perfect or I was shameful – I was able to start to see what my part had been in how painful and miserable my life experience had been.  How I had some responsibility – how I was creating cause in my life that had negative consequences – but that it did not mean that there was something inherently wrong with me.  I started seeing that my relationship with life was dysfunctional, was not working, and that I could take some action to change that relationship.

Insane Expectations – Road Rage

The specific area that opened me up to a new perspective on my insanity, was starting to understand what my part was in the road rage I was experiencing driving on the streets and freeways of Los Angeles.  Looking at the cause and effect relationship between my expectations and the rage I was feeling at all the stupid blankety blank drivers in Southern California greatly accelerated my process of becoming emotionally honest with myself – and opening up my mind to a Spiritual Awakening, a paradigm shift in consciousness.

“There is an old joke about the difference between a neurotic and a psychotic. The psychotic truly believes that 2 + 2 = 5.  The neurotic knows that it is 4 but can’t stand it.  That was the way I lived most of my life, I could see how life was but I couldn’t stand it.  I was always feeling like a victim because people and life were not acting in the way I believed they “should” act.

I expected life to be different than it is.  I thought if I was good and did it “right” then I would reach ‘happily ever after.’  I believed that if I was nice to people they would be nice to me.  Because I grew up in a society where people were taught that other people could control their feelings, and vise versa, I had spent most of my life trying to control the feelings of others and blaming them for my feelings.

By having expectations I was giving power away.  In order to become empowered I had to own that I had choices about how I viewed life, about my expectations.  I realized that no one can make me feel hurt or angry – that it is my expectations that cause me to generate feelings of hurt or anger.  In other words, the reason I feel hurt or anger is because other people, life, or God are not doing what I want them, expect them, to do.

I had to learn to be honest with myself about my expectations – so I could let go of the ones that were insane (like, everyone is going to drive the way I want them to), and own my choices – so I could take responsibility for how I was setting myself up to be a victim in order to change my patterns.  Accept the things I cannot change – change the things I can.” – Serenity and Expectations – intimately interrelated

Expecting other drivers to drive the way I think they “should” is absolutely, incredibly insane.  Talk about egotistical and arrogant.  I, being an excellent driver myself (how many people do you know that don’t think they are excellent drivers?), knew how people should drive – I was right and anyone who didn’t drive the way I thought they “should” was wrong.  I felt extremely, righteously justified in ranting and raving and cussing out other drivers – sometimes cutting them off and giving them the finger, while wishing I had a laser mounted on the roof of my car so that I could just vaporize them.  Luckily, this was in the days before people started shooting each other on the Freeways, or I may not have ever made it into recovery.  Actually, this was something I continued to do into my first few years of recovery.

Detaching enough to look with some objectivity at how I was relating to driving a car in L. A., allowed me to awaken to how insane it was to allow my emotions to be dictated by such a ridiculous expectation.  Then I was also able to look at my emotional reactions and get in touch with how dishonest I was being emotionally in relationship to other drivers.

What I came to understand about my emotional experience of driving, was that one of two things was happening.  One was, that other drivers were scaring me.  The way they were driving – either too slow or too fast, cutting me off, swerving back and forth between lanes, etc. – was causing an actual fear of survival reaction.  That kind of primal human emotional response that is generated by a sudden loud noise or any perception of a threat of physical harm.

When something scared me, and I reacted to the fear with anger – that was emotionally dishonest.  I wasn’t owning my true feelings.  In reaction to the jolt of fear energy that shot through me, I became the angry, self righteous victim of the other drivers “idiocy.”  The reality that this happened almost every time I drove on the freeway, just proved to me how many idiots there were out there – because I was relating to the experience from a victim perspective.  It was impossible for me to have any serenity because I was giving other drivers the power to throw me into anger – which often triggered the suppressed rage I was carrying at how unfair, unjust, and painful life was.

Once I started to look at what my part was in those emotional reactions, at how I was setting myself up with my expectations, then I could start to take responsibility for changing that which I have the power to change.  I learned to accept the thing I cannot change – other drivers – and change the thing I can, my attitude towards other drivers.  It was when I realized that this anger was emotionally dishonest, and what my part in empowering that emotional reaction was, that I was able to start taking back the power over my feelings that I was giving to those “idiots.”

After that, when something another driver did scared me, I would own the fear.  I would say out loud, “That scared me.”  Then I would say a prayer for the other driver.  I would ask that the other driver be helped to become happy, joyous, and free (knowing that the process of them opening up to that possibility would involve having their denial ripped away so they were not so unconscious – a prayer both Spiritually aligned and humanly selfish 😉 – and would offer up the incident as an amends for one of the thousands of times I had done something while driving that scared other drivers.

(During my years pursuing an acting career in Hollywood – the role of suffering artist being perfect for both my alcoholism / addiction and my codependent martyrdom – I lived out the romantic vision of the struggling actor by making my living by waiting tables and parking cars and driving a taxi.  Driving a cab for several years – often stoned – really built up the number of driving amends I owe.  Seeing those incidents as Karmic – what goes around comes around – also played a part in helping me to stop buying into the belief I was being unfairly victimized on the freeway.)

The second thing that I realized was happening, had to do with fear also.  This was the fear that caused me to try to control life.  That fear caused me to be very self obsessed.  I was getting angry because those people were getting in my way.  The immature, self centered perspective of life which was dictating my relationship with life, caused me to think and act as if I was the only person who was important.  I reacted out of an ego selfishness that told me these idiots should get out of my way because I had places to go and things to do that were much more important than anything they were doing.

This ego driven, self centered fear was directly related – both as cause and effect – to my unconsciousness, my inability to be present in the moment.  I was always caught up in the past or the future, and related to driving in traffic as a great inconvenience that was slowing me down. (Which, also, sometimes led to me driving too fast and cutting between lanes.)

The society I grew up in taught me that reaching the destination was what I should focus upon, was the thing that was vitally important.  I was always striving to reach the destination where I would be fixed, where I would be respected and loved.  When I reached that destination (college degree, fame and fortune, the right relationship, the Academy Award, etc.) then I would live “happily ever after.”

I was forever in pursuit – either of the illusive “happily ever after,” or for something to distract me from, or kill the pain of, feeling defective because I had not already reached the destination.  I was always bouncing between the extremes:  trying to figure out how to control my life, how to do the “right” things, to get “there” – or working on going unconscious (with alcohol, drugs, obsession, rumination, food, whatever) to escape the pain of being “here.”  Being “here,” being present in the moment in my own skin, was too painful because I had a dysfunctional relationship with my own emotions – and was carrying a ton of suppressed grief energy.

And it was so painful emotionally because the subconscious intellectual paradigm that was dictating my relationship with self and life, was insane, delusional, and dysfunctional.  I could never relax and enjoy life (without some chemical help, either from a substance or from an illusion/fantasy about love or success that would affect my brain chemistry) because wherever my life was at that point – according to the critical parent voice in my head – was not good enough and was my fault, or their fault.  I was always feeling like a victim. (Empowerment and Victimization – the power of choice)

I needed to start letting go of that destination programming and start learning how to be in the moment.  To actually be present and conscious while driving my car.  (What a concept!)  To start relating to driving as being a perfect part of my journey, a classroom – a wonderful arena for Spiritual growth.

When the rush hour traffic was disrupting my plans of getting someplace by a certain time, I would practice my Spiritual program.  I would take some deep breaths to get into, and conscious of, my body.  Then I would thank the Universe for this wonderful opportunity to practice patience and acceptance.  I would take some steps to let go of the urgency I felt – the inner child’s fear of doing it “wrong,” the feeling that the world would come to an end if things did not go the way I had planned them.  I would remind myself that life was a journey, and that this moment was a perfect part of that journey.  I would talk to my inner children and tell them it was okay – that if I was going to be late, that was a perfect part of God’s plan.  I would let go of my picture of how I thought things have to unfold for me to be okay.  I would affirm that I am Unconditionally Loved and am being guided on my journey.

I would look around me, to see if there was something the Goddess wanted me to see – and that perhaps, was the reason I was stuck in traffic.  I would remind myself that it was possible that this delay was really a wonderful gift.  That perhaps because I was being delayed:  I would not be in a traffic accident later that day:  or the timing would be perfect for me to run into someone I needed to see, that without the delay I would have missed;  or something to that effect.

I would remind myself that I am not in control of life, I am not writing the script, so:

I need to surrender the illusion that I am in control; 
remember that I have a Loving Higher Power who is in control; 
and be willing to accept reality as it was being presented to me, and take whatever action I could to make the best of the situation – to align with God’s will so I could flow with the Universal plan.  (Work steps 1, 2, & 3 – the dance of recovery.)

That action may just be to relax, be in the moment, and do some prayer and meditation (talk and listen to The Great Spirit – which can certainly include expressing my irritation for the delay.)  The action may be to figure out an alternate route, get off the freeway at the next opportunity and take surface streets – but not with that feeling of life and death urgency, rather with sense of adventure.  “This is an interesting twist, let’s see how this unfolds.”

I started to learn to take responsibility for my feelings – to own the things I have some control over.  Learning how to be emotionally honest with myself allowed me to start becoming empowered to take responsibility for my life and stop empowering insane expectations.  By focusing on letting go of the belief in victimization that was caused by my attitudes and perspectives – the mental level of my being – I could greatly decrease the feelings of victimization, the amount of emotional energy that was being generated on an emotional level.  I still had some feelings of being victimized, but I could be nurturing and Loving in relationship to those feelings – and set some Loving boundaries with my inner children who were reacting out of the immediate gratification urgency of a child.  (I am just going to die if I don’t get what I want!)

I learned to develop an observer self – a mature, recovering adult with a Spiritual perspective – that could tell the critical parent voice to shut up with all the shame and fear messages, and assure my inner children that everything was going to be okay because there is a Higher Power in charge of my life. (Learning to Love our self)

Twisted and Distorted is the Dance of the Emotional Cripple

“We are set up to be emotionally dysfunctional by our role models, both parental and societal.  We are taught to repress and distort our emotional process.  We are trained to be emotionally dishonest when we are children.”

Early in my recovery, it was vital for me to start realizing how emotionally crippled I had been by the role modeling and messages I had experienced growing up in an emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional culture.  I had to become conscious of how dysfunctional my relationship with my own emotions was, in order to start healing the dysfunction in my relationship with my self and life.

The single most important influence in the development of a person’s relationship with their own emotions is role modeling.  Mom and Dad were our primary role models for how a male emotional being and female emotional being behave, for how they relate to, and express, their emotions.  (As well as for how male and female relate to each other.)  The cultural role models that we were exposed to – through books, movies, television, etc., – play an important factor also, but our primary role models were our parents.

The direct messages we got – both verbal (big boys don’t cry, little ladies don’t get angry, there is nothing to be afraid of, etc.) and behavioral (punishment for expressing emotions) – and indirect messages (the ways we interpreted and internalized the behavior of other people – parents, teachers, peers, etc. – as being personal punishment, as being our fault) we got both from our parents and from society play a part in that development, but role modeling has the greatest impact.

“In order to find out who we are, we have to start being emotionally honest with ourselves.  And in order to be emotionally honest with ourselves, we have to start changing our perspective on our own emotional process.

As a child, I learned from the role modeling of my father that the only emotion that a man felt was anger.  From my mother, whose definition of love included the belief that you cannot be angry at someone you love, I learned that it was not okay to be angry at anyone I loved.  That left me with very little permission to feel anything.  That did not mean that I did not have feelings – it meant that I was at war with my own emotions, that I could not be honest with myself about having them.  As long as I could not be honest with myself emotionally there was no way I could know who I was.  Until I started owning the grief and rage from my childhood, the sadness and hurt and fear that I had denied all of my life, I was incapable of being honest with myself, incapable of knowing who I Truly was.”

I remember very distinctly the thoughts I had in one of my first AA meetings when several people at a podium spoke of being afraid.  My thought was, “Who are these people – talking so much about being afraid.  I was never afraid.  They stuck guns in my face and it didn’t scare me.”

I did not have permission from my self to acknowledge that I felt fear, because I had learned growing up that real men do not feel fear.  I was emotionally crippled because I did not have permission to own my fear – or my pain or sadness.  I had no permission to be emotionally vulnerable – “weak.”  So, like the manly man I was trained to be, instead of owning that I was afraid or hurt, I got angry.

The Truth, as I soon came to understand it, is that I had really been scared of everyone and everything.  I was scared because I knew I was not perfect, and I was sure that other people would discover what a shameful loser I was.  Scared that I would fail the life test – that I would never reach “happily ever after.”  Afraid that I would never find someone to Love me.  The little boy inside of me was scared that god would punish me for being unworthy – scared of being condemned to burn in hell forever.

While pursuing an acting career, I would pontificate to other actors, sharing my wisdom about the key to building a true character – which was to understand the characters gut level fears.  I maintained that all people were driven by their gut levels fears, and that any other levels of motivation were in reaction to that level of fear.  I was a very good actor.  I could really make characters come alive because of my insights into the human emotional process.  However, I personally was not afraid of anything.

Talk about emotional dishonesty.  The power of denial is truly awesome.  I could see other people with some degree of clarity, but I did not have a clear perspective of my my self.

What is so insidious about codependency, is that it is entrenched in our core relationship with self and life.  The intellectual paradigm that determines our perspective of our self – and therefore how we behave in relationship to life and other people – is subconscious until we get into recovery and start becoming conscious enough to stop being the victim of false beliefs, of delusional and insane expectations.  Until we start becoming conscious, we are powerless over our behavior because we cannot see our self with any objectivity.  Since the only choices in the polarized perspective of life (that was imposed upon me in childhood) were right or wrong – and wrong was shameful – my ego tried to protect me from the toxic shame I felt at the core of my being with denial and rationalization.

To own the incredible pain and shame I felt at the core of my being, the self hatred I felt towards myself for being imperfect and unlovable, felt like a threat to my survival.  So, my ego kept me in denial of any feelings which were not acceptable to the perspective of being a man I learned in childhood.

The subconscious beliefs that were dictating my relationship with self, told me that fear was not an acceptable emotion for a man – so I had to deny that I had any fear.  My subconscious intellectual paradigm, the beliefs that were defining my relationship with my own gender and emotions, severely limited my perspective of myself.

As long as I had a distorted and twisted perspective of my own emotions it was impossible to see my self with any clarity.  I was powerless to understand my self and my behaviors until I started to get emotionally honest with my self.  It is not possible for a person to be honest in relationships until they start getting emotionally honest in their relationship with self.

Control and fear – thinking to avoid feeling

Attempts to control are a reaction to fear.  I attempted to control life because I was so afraid.  As I explain in my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, human beings have been doing life backwards due to a condition of reversity in the planetary energy field of Collective Human Emotional Consciousness.  One of the effects of this condition, is living life focused externally – trying to control things over which we have no control – while simultaneously judging and shaming ourselves because the way we are living life is not working.

“I spent most of my life doing the Serenity prayer backwards, that is, trying to change the external things over which I had no control – other people and life events mostly – and taking no responsibility (except shaming and blaming myself) for my own internal process – over which I can have some degree of control.  Having some control is not a bad thing; trying to control something or somebody over which I have no control is what is dysfunctional.  It was very important for me to start learning how to recognize the boundaries of where I ended and other people began, and to start realizing that I can have some control over my internal process in ways that are not shaming and judgmental – that I can stop being the victim of myself.”

I had to deny any emotions that were not acceptable to my subconscious programming in order to feel that I had some control of my life.  Since the only acceptable emotion to the definition of being a man I had learned growing up was anger – and even anger was only acceptable to feel in relationship to other men – I had to deny almost all of my feelings.

As a child I had to learn to disassociate, to not be present in the moment in my own skin, because the emotional pain was too great.  The primary way I learned to be unconscious early on was to be in my head to avoid the feelings.  Later on, I would use drugs and alcohol to escape being present “here” – in my body in the moment – but even then being in my head was my primary defense against feeling my feelings.

I would fantasize, intellectualize, and analyze.  I would focus on something or someone outside of myself – and was always caught up in the past or future.  I was not capable of being present in my own skin in the moment because it was not okay to feel my feelings.  Because I was living in so much fear – at the same time I could not acknowledge that I felt any fear – I had to put a great deal of energy into denying that fear.

I would escape from my emotional reality by thinking about the future – creating grandiose fantasies of a positive nature (rehearsing my Academy Award acceptance speech, or fantasizing about the unavailable woman I was currently obsessing about) or of a negative nature (worry, impending doom, financial insecurity) – or ruminating on the past, either beating myself up for something “stupid” I said or did, or wallowing in resentment and self pity about how someone had victimized me.  This is very dysfunctional because it generates more emotional energy.

“Worry is negative fantasizing.  It is a fantasy that is being created in reaction to feeling fear.  It is not real – it is something that is being created because my mind has slipped into the old familiar rut of right and wrong thinking.  Worry is not a feeling – it is a reaction, an negative emotional state, that is created by the perspectives of a belief system that empowers illusions like failure.  The sooner that we can pull ourselves out of that rut and start seeing the situation as part of a learning process – shift back into a recovery perspective – the less negative emotional response we will generate in relationship to the situation.

Emotions do not have value in and of themselves – they just are.  What gives emotions value is how we react to them.  We were programmed to react negatively to emotions and adapted defenses to try to keep from feeling emotional energy.  Being in our head worrying about the past or the future, is a defense against being in our own skin and feeling our feelings.  But it is dysfunctional – it does not work.  Reacting negatively to our feelings generates more feelings.   The more we worry, the more fear we generate. . . . . . .

When I catch myself worrying then I know that I am not being emotionally honest with myself.  Worry is a symptom that tells me I am avoiding some feelings.” – Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 2

In order to start getting emotionally honest with myself, I had to start becoming aware of the ways in which I was avoiding my feelings.  I learned to observe myself so that I could be conscious enough to catch myself when I was thinking to try to avoid feeling.

I realized that any time I was worrying about “what if,” or fantasizing about “if only,” or obsessing about a woman or the outcome of a situation, it was sign that I was being dishonest with myself emotionally.  I started to become aware of all the ways I had been taught by society to keep my feelings at bay.  The ways I talked and thought that helped me stay in denial of my feelings.

“Emotions are energy.  Actual physical energy that is manifested in our bodies.  Emotions are not thoughts – they do not exist in our mind.  Our mental attitudes, definitions, and expectations can create emotional reactions, can cause us to get stuck in emotional states – but thoughts are not emotions.  The intellectual and emotional are two distinctly separate though intimately interconnected parts of our being.  In order to find some balance, peace, and sanity in recovery it is vitally important to start separating the emotional from the intellectual and to start setting boundaries with, and between, the emotional and mental parts of our self. . . . . .

. . . . . . . I had to become aware that there were such things as emotions that lived in my body and then I had to start learning how to recognize and sort them out.  I had to become aware of all the ways that I was trained to distance myself from my feelings.  I am going to mention a few of them here to help any of you reading this in your process of becoming emotionally honest.

Speaking in the third person.  One of the defenses many of us have against feeling our feelings is to speak of ourselves in the third person.  “You just kind of feel hurt when that happens” is not a personal statement and does not carry the power of speaking in the first person.  “I felt hurt when that happened” is personal, is owning the feeling.  Listen to yourself and to others and become aware of how often you hear others and yourself refer to self in the third person.

Avoiding using primary feeling words.  There are only a handful of primary feelings that all humans feel.  There is some dispute about just how many there are primary but for our purpose here I am going to use seven.  Those are: angry, sad, hurt, afraid, lonely, ashamed, and happy.  It is important to start using the primary names of these feelings in order to own them and to stop distancing ourselves from the feelings.  To say “I am anxious” or “concerned” or “apprehensive” is not the same as saying “I am afraid.”  Fear is at the root of all those other expressions but we don’t have to be so aware of our fear if we use a word that distances us from fear.  Expressions like “confused,”  “irritated,” “upset,” “tense,” “disturbed,” “melancholy,” “blue,” “good,” or “bad” are not primary feeling words.

Emotions are energy that is meant to flow: E – motion = energy in motion.  Until we own it, feel it and release it, it cannot flow.  By blocking and repressing our emotions we are damming up our internal energy and that will eventually result in some physical or mental manifestation such as cancer or Alzheimer’s disease or whatever.” – The Journey to the Emotional Frontier Within

Someone could ask me if I was afraid, and I would respond, “No, I’m not afraid.  A little concerned perhaps, but certainly not afraid.”  Saying, “I am feeling some fear.” is a quite different energetic experience from saying, “I am a bit apprehensive.”  Naming and claiming the feeling is an important part of emotional honesty.  There is power in the way we express ourselves.  It is very important to start becoming aware of the emotional energy in our bodies.  In order to be present in our own skins in the moment, it is necessary to be consciously in touch with our feelings.

There was no way that I could start changing the way I was relating to life until I started to own my fear.  Fear is not a bad thing – just as sadness, pain, and anger are not negative or bad in and of themselves.  Emotions are a vital part of our being that need to be owned, honored, and respected.  Denial and repression of emotions is what leads to negative consequences.

“Emotions have a purpose, a very good reason to be – even those emotions that feel uncomfortable.  Fear is a warning, anger is for protection, tears are for cleansing and releasing.  These are not negative emotional responses!  We were taught to react negatively to them.  It is our reaction that is dysfunctional and negative, not the emotion.”

Human beings have a fear of the unknown for a reason.  It is part of our survival programming.  Because I did not have permission to own my fear, I was very out of balance emotionally.  It was impossible for me to own that I had fear and still feel that I had worth as a man, so the only options I had – according to the subconscious programming of my childhood – were to deny my fear or feel that I was defective as a man.

“Fear is an emotion that exists to serve us.  It provides a warning system to help us be aware of potential danger.  It is appropriate and healthy to be aware when we are driving.  To be conscious of potential threats.  It is important for us to be in touch with our fear so that we can pay attention to it when it sends us a message.

What is not functional is to completely empower fear or to deny it.  The 1 or 10 extremes of the disease.

Emotions are an incredibly powerful and important part of this experience we are having of being human.  Emotions are a vital part of our being – and dictate the quality of our life experience.

“Emotions have two vitally important purposes for human beings.  Emotions are a form of communication.  Our feelings are one of the means by which we define ourselves.  The interaction of our intellect and our emotions determines how we relate to ourselves.

Our emotional energy is also the fuel that propels us down the pathways of our life journey.  E-motions are the orchestra that provide the music for our individual dances – that dictate the rhythmic flow and movement of our human dance.  Our feelings help us to define ourselves and then provide the combustible fuel that dictates the speed and direction of our motion – rather we are flowing with it or damming it up within ourselves. . . . . . .

 . . . . there are two primary transformers from which emotional energy is generated.  Our ego self and our Spiritual Self.  Our ego was traumatized in childhood and programmed very dysfunctionally. The ego is the seat of the disease of codependence.” – Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 2

The ego is the part of us that composed the score and conducts the music for our dance of codependence.  It composed that score based upon the definitions, attitudes and beliefs it adapted in early childhood due to what our emotional experience of being a human child felt like.” – Newsletter part 2 May 2001 Update

Denying my fear was dysfunctional and emotionally dishonest.  Focusing on fear, giving it a great deal of power, is also dysfunctional – and can be immobilizing.  The extremes of the disease of codependency.

In writing the May 2001 Joy2MeU Update just quoted, I shared how I caught myself making a statement that set off alarm bells in my codependency control center – my observer self.  Observing and listening to myself made me aware that my fear of intimacy issues were up to be looked at again.  I subsequently did 3 Newsletter web pages of processing about those issues (and another 3 pages in my journal pages of the Joy2MeU Journal) in which I uncovered a level where I was being emotionally dishonest with myself – and was empowering some black and white thinking.

Recovery is on an ongoing process of uncovering, discovering, and recovering.  We have layer upon layer of wounding – which means layer upon layer of denial, emotional dishonesty, and rationalized perspectives.  We keep peeling another layer of the onion and getting to a deeper level of honesty – both intellectually and emotionally.

June 3rd will mark the 16th anniversary of my codependency recovery.  (I write this some time ago – my anniversary is June 3rd 1986: The Story of Joy to You & Me)  There are still times when I find the process irritating.  But the benefits have been incredible.  It is through healing my relationship with my self that I have found an incredible inner peace.  That I have learned to be present in the moment – and have some moments of Joy – every day.   Recovery works.

Focusing on the future or the past, blaming them or blaming me, underreacting or overreacting (stuffing my feelings until they exploded forth in ways that made me feel crazy and ashamed,) feeling triumphant over “winning” or wanting to die because I was such a loser, were the rhythms of my dance of codependency.  As long as I was in denial and unconsciously reacting to life I was doomed to “keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.”  Unconsciousness doomed me to ride on a merry go round of cause and effect – never getting anywhere different emotionally.  As long as I was incapable of being emotionally honest with myself, I was doomed to keep repeating the patterns that dictated my emotional reality.

Codependency recovery is the path to finding enough freedom from the past to find happiness and Joy in being alive today.  I highly recommend it. 😉 – Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light  Book 2:  A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life  Chapter 4: False Self Image

Sacred Spiral

Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light  Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life is available in a subscription area of the Joy2MeU website entitled: Dancing in Light

A special offer for that subscription (as well as for the Joy2MeU Journal) is available on this special offers page.

The first two chapter of this online book is available through my regular website: The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!

I have published some other chapters of this work as blogs including: Chapter 8 Codependents as Emotional Vampires,  Chapter 13: Changing the Music: Love instead of fear and shame, and Chapter 4false self image.

Cover of Inner Child Healing Book

Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light  Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life is the third book of what I think of as the Wounded Souls Trilogy along with Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls A Cosmic Perspective on Codependence and the Human Condition and Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing. (This is different from The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .” which is a Magical, Mystical Adult Spiritual Fable that was in fact the first book I wrote – but have never finished.)

The True Nature of Love – part 4, Energetic Clarity

“The key to healing our wounded souls is to get clear and honest in our emotional process.  Until we can get clear and honest with our human emotional responses – until we change the twisted, distorted, negative perspectives and reactions to our human emotions that are a result of having been born into, and grown up in, a dysfunctional, emotionally repressive, Spiritually hostile environment – we cannot get clearly in touch with the level of emotional energy that is Truth.  We cannot get clearly in touch with and reconnected to our Spiritual Self.

We, each and every one of us, has an inner channel to Truth, an inner channel to the Great Spirit.  But that inner channel is blocked up with repressed emotional energy, and with twisted, distorted attitudes and false beliefs.”

(All quotations in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

“It can be relatively easy to access Love and Joy in relationship with nature.  It is in our relationships with other people that it gets messy.  That is because we learned how to relate to other people in childhood from wounded people who learned how to relate to other people in their childhood.  In our core relationship with ourselves we don’t feel Lovable.  That can make it very difficult to connect with other people in a clean and energetically clear way that helps us to access Love from the Source instead of viewing the other person as the source.  We are so defended, because of the pain we have experienced, that we are not open to connecting with others.  If we haven’t done the grief work from the past we are not open to feeling our feelings in the moment.  As long as we are blocking the pain and anger and fear, we are also blocking the Love and Joy.  The more we heal our emotional wounds and change our intellectual programming the more capacity we have to be in the moment and tune into the Love within. 

I will discuss further in the next column in this series, how to differentiate between looking outside for the source and combining our energy with some outside influence to help us access the Source within.” – The True Nature of Love-part 3, Love as a Vibrational Frequency

(If you have not already read part 3 you may wish to do so before reading part 4 – all internal links in this column/web page/blog will open in a new browser window so that you can read them and then be back at this column when you collapse the window.)

As I say in the quote above from the last column in this series, relating to nature is easy – relating to other people is messy.  That is because we did not learn how to have a healthy relationship with ourselves in early childhood.  We have to clear up our relationship with our self in order to see our self clearly before we can start to see our relationship to other humans clearly.

And I want to make a point right at the beginning of this article that this is a gradual process of finding a sense of balance – not an absolute destination.  The language I have to use to describe this multi-leveled, multi-faceted growth process is very limiting. 

“Unfortunately, in sharing this information I am forced to use language that is polarized – that is black and white.

When I say that you cannot Truly Love others unless you Love yourself – that does not mean that you have to completely Love yourself first before you can start to Love others.  The way the process works is that every time we learn to Love and accept ourselves a little tiny bit more, we also gain the capacity to Love and accept others a little tiny bit more.

When I say that you cannot start to access intuitive Truth until you clear out your inner channel – I am not saying that you have to complete your healing process before you can start getting messages. You can start getting messages as soon as you are willing to start listening.  The more you heal the clearer the messages become.”

So, with that qualification about the limitations of language, I am now going to try to communicate as clearly as possible how clearing our relationship with ourselves can help us to be energetically clear in our relationship with other people and with life.

Giving power away

Many of the expressions that are in common usage in the language of human interrelationship are incredibly accurate on multiple levels.  One such expression is ‘giving your power away.’  If we are not clear in our relationship with self, if we are reacting to the definitions of self that we learned in childhood, then we are giving power away both literally and figuratively on multiple levels.

The level that most people are not aware of, and that is important for the focus of this column, is energetically.  When we give power away to other people because our relationship with self is dysfunctional, we actually allow cords of energy to tie us to those people.  These cords (ribbons, cables, tethers, threads, strands) of energy exist on the Etheric plane – which is where the Life Force energy runs through the chakra system.

We can literally be drained of our Life Force by these dysfunctional connections to other people.   All of us learned to allow ourselves to both be drained of Life Force by others as well as to steal Life Force energy from others to survive.

We need to steal Life Force energy from others because we are blocked from clearly accessing our own Life Force energy by our dysfunctional relationship with self.  Because our inner channel is not clear.  In clearing up our inner channel to tune into the higher vibrational emotional energy of Light, Love, Joy, and Truth, we are also accessing our own Life Force energy.  (The Life Force energy and the vibrational range of Light, Love, Joy, Truth, and Beauty are not the same thing but they are intimately interrelated.)

So, when I talk about giving our power away on an energetic level, it is an actual drain of energy, of power. Our codependence/ego defense system is set up to help us survive by trying to keep us from being drained of power at the same time it tries to steal energy from outside sources.  Since we cannot clearly access the Source energy we have available to us to within, we look externally for sources of power and energy.

Codependency is outer or external dependence.  We are dependent on outer or external sources to feed us the energy we need to survive.  We make people, places, and things and/or money, property and prestige the Higher Power that we look to as the source of our energy, our power.

We are attached to those things literally on an energetic level by the cords of energy that are created on the Etheric plane due to the relationship between the bodies of our being that exist on that plane – which includes our mental and emotional bodies.

(I am now going to use a quote from my Trilogy, and again a little later in this column a continuation of this quote as well as a quote from another article, that are part of my Joy2MeU Journal and are only available to subscribers of that Journal.  I apologize for that to all of you that are not subscribers.  This is not an attempt to get you to subscribe – although it would certainly be OK if you decided to do that – it is just the best way I can find to facilitate communicating what I am attempting to communicate here.  For those of you who are not subscribers, there is plenty of material on this web site to focus on that will help you clear up your relationship with your self without having to understand the more metaphysical aspects of this life experience.  In fact, many people focus on the metaphysical aspects as a way of avoiding doing the emotional healing – so sometimes it is best not to get too caught up in the metaphysical.)

“The holographic illusion which is the Physical plane is composed of multiple levels of illusions.  The most basic illusion within the Physical plane is that substance and separation exist.  They do not.  Everything in the physical universe is composed of energy.  This energy interacts to form energy fields.  These energy fields interact according to energy patterns to form other energy fields, which in turn interact according to energy patterns to form other energy fields, which in turn interact….etc., etc.  The interaction of the One energy produces energy fields on the sub-subatomic level.  These energy fields interact to produce subatomic energy fields, which in turn combine/interact to produce the energy field that we call the atom.  (Remember energy fields are formed by energy vortex interaction, and atoms are are little bundles of swirling energy.)  These atoms interact/combine to form the energy field that is the molecule.  Molecular energy fields interact to form every type of substance/matter which humans perceive.

All energy fields are temporary effects of energy vortex interaction.  (Temporary is a relative term.  Physicists measure the lifetime of some subatomic particles/energy fields in quintillionths of a seconds, while the planet Earth has existed for billions of years – both are temporary.)  The energy patterns which govern these interactions are also energy fields in and of themselves.  For example – the individual human mind is an energy field, but it is also an energy pattern that governs the flow of communications between a humans’ Spiritual being and physical being, and within the seven bodies which make up the humans’ being.  (The seven bodies and the mind will be discussed later.  Note that attitudes in the mind can block the flow of communication from the Soul because the mind is an energy pattern.)

Each energy field vibrates at certain frequencies, and is interrelated and interdependent with all other energy fields.  Each letter in this sentence is an energy field composed of energy fields vibrating at certain frequencies, each combination of letters that forms a word, each combination of words that forms a sentence, etc., etc., etc.  (Millions of atoms can go into making up a single letter – aren’t you glad you asked.)  Each word, each concept, each idea, is an energy field interacting according to energy patterns that are energy fields.

(Get the point?  The bottom line is that nothing is what it appears to be.  You are made up of the same subatomic, atomic, and molecular energy as the chair you are sitting in and the air you are breathing.  Just bring to consciousness for a moment the fact that your physical body vehicle is composed of an uncountable number of energy fields interacting according to energy patterns.  Just to imagine the number of energy fields interacting within your physical body at this moment is overwhelming.  Now think of the number of energy fields and energy patterns that come into play when dealing with something outside of yourself, and then of course there is your emotional body and your mental body, etc. – and you wonder why relationships are so hard.)” – The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 – “In The Beginning . . .”  History of the Universe Part V

The fact that the mind is an energy field that is also an energy pattern of interaction is very important to realize.  Communication from within (both internally between different parts of our being and from our spirit/Soul/Higher Power) and without – stimulation from our environment and everything/everyone in it – flows through the energy field that is the mind to our being.

Our experiential reality is determined by the interpretations of our mind – by the intellectual paradigm which we are using to define / determine / translate / explain our reality.  The attitudes, definitions, and belief systems which we hold mentally dictate our emotional reactions.  Attitudes, definitions, and beliefs determine perspective and expectation – which in turn dictates our relationships.  Our relationships to our self, to life, to other people, to The God-Force / Goddess Energy / Great Spirit.  Our relationships to our own emotions, bodies, gender, etc., are dictated by the attitudes, definitions, and beliefs that we are holding mentally / intellectually.  And we acquired those mental constructs / ideas / concepts in early childhood from the emotional experiences, intellectual teachings, and role modeling of the beings around us.  If we have not done our emotional healing so that we can get in touch with our subconscious intellectual programming then we are still reacting to that early childhood programming / intellectual paradigm even though we may not be aware of it consciously.

“The Truth is that the intellectual value systems, the attitudes, that we use in deciding what’s right and wrong were not ours in the first place.  We accepted on a subconscious and emotional level the values that were imposed on us as children.  Even if we throw out those attitudes and beliefs intellectually as adults, they still dictate our emotional reactions.  Even if, especially if, we live our lives rebelling against them. By going to either extreme – accepting them without question or rejecting them without consideration – we are giving power away.”

“It was impossible to start Loving myself and trusting myself, impossible to start finding some peace within, until I started to change my perspective of, and my definitions of, who I was and what emotions it was okay for me to feel.

Enlarging my perspective means changing my definitions, the definitions that were imposed on me as a child about who I am and how to do this life business.  In Recovery it has been necessary to change my definitions of, and my perspective of, almost everything.  That was the only way that it was possible to start learning how to Love myself.

I spent most of my life feeling like I was being punished because I was taught that God was punishing and that I was unworthy and deserved to be punished.  I had thrown out those beliefs about God and life on a conscious, intellectual level in my late teens – but in Recovery I was horrified to discover that I was still reacting to life emotionally based on those beliefs.

I realized that my perspective of life was being determined by beliefs that I had been taught as a child even though they were not what I believed as an adult.”

“I went home to do some writing and was pretty amazed at what it revealed.  I realized that I was still reacting to life out of the religious programming of my childhood – even though I had thrown out that belief system on a conscious, intellectual level in my late teens and early twenties.  The writing that I did that night helped me to recognize that my emotional programming was dictating my relationship with life even though it was not what I consciously believed.

I realized that the belief that “life was about sin and punishment and I was a sinner who deserved to be punished” was running my life.   When I felt “bad” or “bad” things happened to me – I tried to blame it on others to keep from realizing how much I was hating myself for being flawed and defective, a sinner.  When I felt good or good things happened I was holding my breath because I knew it would be taken away because I didn’t deserve it.  Often when things got too good I would sabotage it because I couldn’t stand the suspense of waiting for god to take it away – which “he” would because I didn’t deserve it.

I could suddenly see that I had been playing a game, with that punishing god I learned about in childhood, for all of my adult life.  I tried not to show that I enjoyed or valued anything too much so that maybe god wouldn’t notice and take it away.  In other words, I could never relax and be in the moment in Joy or peace because the moment I showed that I was enjoying life god would step in to punish me.” – Joy2MeU Journal Premier issue The Story of “Joy to You & Me”

We cannot get clearly in touch with the subconscious programming without doing the grief work.  The subconscious intellectual programming is tied to the emotional wounds we suffered and many years of suppressing those feelings has also buried the attitudes, definitions, and beliefs that are connected to those emotional wounds.  It is possible to get intellectually aware of some of them through such tools as hypnosis, or having a therapist or psychic or energy healer tell us they are there – but we cannot really understand how much power they carry without feeling the emotional context – and cannot change them without reducing the emotional charge / releasing the emotional energy tied to them.  Knowing they are there will not make them go away.

A good example of how this works is a man that I worked with some years ago.  He came to me in emotional agony because his wife was leaving him.  He was adamant that he did not want a divorce and kept saying how much he loved his wife and how he could not stand to lose his family (he had a daughter about 4.)  I told him the first day he came in that the pain he was suffering did not really have that much to do with his wife and present situation – but was rooted in some attitude from his childhood.  But that did not mean anything to him on a practical level, on a level of being able to let go of the attitude that was causing him so much pain.  It was only while doing his childhood grief work that he got in touch with the pain of his parents divorce when he was 10 years old.  In the midst of doing that grief work the memory of promising himself that he would never get a divorce, and cause his child the kind of pain he was experiencing, surfaced.  Once he had gotten in touch with, and released, the emotional charge connected to the idea of divorce, he was able to look at his present situation more clearly.  Then he could see that the marriage had never been a good one – that he had sacrificed himself and his own needs from the beginning to comply with his dream / concept of what a marriage should be.  He could then see that staying in the marriage was not serving him or his daughter.  Once he got past the promise he made to himself in childhood, he was able to let go of his wife and start building a solid relationship with his daughter based on the reality of today instead of the grief of the past.

It was the idea / concept of his wife, of marriage, that he had been unable to let go of – not the actual person.  By changing his intellectual concept / belief, he was able to get clear on what the reality of the situation was and sever the emotional energy chains / cords that bound him to the situation and to his wife.  He was then able to let go of giving away power over his self-esteem (part of his self-esteem was based on keeping his promise to himself) to a situation / person that he could not control.  He gained the wisdom / clarity to discern the difference between what he had some power to change and what he needed to accept.  He could not change his wife’s determination to get a divorce but he could change his attitude toward that divorce – once he changed the subconscious emotional programming connected to the concept.

Falling in love with a dream

It is letting go of the dream, the idea / concept, of the relationship that causes the most grief in every relationship break up that I have ever worked with.  We give power and energy to the mental construct of what we want the relationship to be and cannot even begin to see the situation and the other person clearly.

Far too often – because of the concept of toxic / addictive love we are taught in this society – it is the idea of the other person that we fall in love with, not the actual person.  It is so important to us to cast someone in the role of Prince or Princess that we focus on who we want them to be – not on who they really are. In our relationship with our self, we attach so much importance to getting the relationship that we are dishonest with ourselves – and with the other person – in order to manifest the dream / concept of relationship that will fix us / make our life worthwhile.  Then we end up feeling like a victim when the other person does not turn out to be the person we wanted.

“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.”

The attitude / dream / concept that has all the power is internal – it is not really about the other person.  All of our emotional responses to life are based upon an internal relationship with our own intellectual paradigm / belief system / definitions.  Other people are actually actors that we cast in the roles of the movie that we are projecting from our own mind.  The foundation for what kind of movie we are making was laid in childhood due to our emotional wounds.  If we want to change the quality of the movie, we need to get to the subconscious attitudes by grieving / clearing the emotional energy.  Then we can change the music we are dancing to in our relationship with life and with other people.

Now, you have probably noticed that I have shifted from the metaphysical level back down to the practical level here – I am sorry if this is confusing. It can be difficult to speak about multiple levels simultaneously, but I find it necessary because it is so important to actually do the healing and not just get caught up in the intellectual gymnastics of trying to figure it all out.

The real point that I am trying to make here is that the healing process is an inside job.  No one outside of you can drain you of energy, or exert power over you, unless it fits into the intellectual paradigm that your emotional wounds have set you up for.  The cords / chains / threads of energy that connect us to other people connect us because of our beliefs.  By changing the beliefs we can disconnect from the unhealthy linkage we have to other people.  We can then learn how to connect energetically in ways that are healthy and Loving – We can learn the difference between healthy interdependence (which involves giving some power away over our feelings) and codependence.

“Codependence and interdependence are two very different dynamics.

Codependence is about giving away power over our self-esteem. . . . Interdependence is about making allies, forming partnerships. It is about forming connections with other beings. Interdependence means that we give someone else some power over our welfare and our feelings.

Anytime we care about somebody or something we give away some power over our feelings. It is impossible to Love without giving away some power. When we choose to Love someone (or thing – a pet, a car, anything) we are giving them the power to make us happy – we cannot do that without also giving them the power to hurt us or cause us to feel angry or scared.

In order to live we need to be interdependent. We cannot participate in life without giving away some power over our feelings and our welfare. I am not talking here just about people. If we put money in a bank we are giving some power over our feelings and welfare to that bank. If we have a car we have a dependence on it and will have feelings if it something happens to it. If we live in society we have to be interdependent to some extent and give some power away. The key is to be conscious in our choices and own responsibility for the consequences.

The way to healthy interdependence is to be able to see things clearly – to see people, situations, life dynamics and most of all ourselves clearly. If we are not working on healing our childhood wounds and changing our childhood programming then we cannot begin to see ourselves clearly let alone anything else in life. ” – Codependence vs. Interdependence

We can have healthy ties / threads / cords of energy connecting us to other people but only by learning to see ourselves clearly.  As long as our self definition is enmeshed with other people’s attitudes and behaviors, we are incapable of making True choices about our own best interests.  Until we start seeing ourselves clearly, we will continue to be energetically drawn to people who will recreate our childhood emotional wounds.

“3.  Our emotions tell us who we are – our Soul communicates with us through emotional energy vibrations.  Truth is an emotional energy vibrational communication from our Soul on the Spiritual Plane to our being/spirit/soul on this physical plane – it is something that we feel in our heart/our gut, something that resonates within us.

Our problem has been that because of our unhealed childhood wounds it has been very difficult to tell the difference between an intuitive emotional Truth and the emotional truth that comes from our childhood wounds.  When one of our buttons is pushed and we react out of the insecure, scared little kid inside of us (or the angry/rage filled kid, or the powerless/helpless kid, etc.) then we are reacting to what our emotional truth was when we were 5 or 9 or 14 – not to what is happening now.  Since we have been doing that all of our lives, we learned not to trust our emotional reactions (and got the message not to trust them in a variety of ways when we were kids.)

 4. We are attracted to people that feel familiar on an energetic level – which means (until we start clearing our emotional process) people that emotionally / vibrationally feel like our parents did when we were very little kids.  At a certain point in my process I realized that if I met a woman who felt like my soul mate, that the chances were pretty huge that she was one more unavailable woman that fit my pattern of being attracted to someone who would reinforce the message that I wasn’t good enough, that I was unlovable.  Until we start releasing the hurt, sadness, rage, shame, terror – the emotional grief energy – from our childhoods we will keep having dysfunctional relationships.” – Feeling the Feelings

It does not make any difference what our conscious intellectual beliefs are as long as we are reacting energetically to old programming.  That is why it is so vital to do the emotional healing.  In order to clear our emotional body of the repressed emotional energy so that we can change the intellectual paradigm that is embedded in our mental body / mind, it is necessary to do the emotional healing.  All of the intellectual knowledge of Spiritual Truth and healthy relationship behavior that we can acquire will not significantly transform the behavioral patterns that are being driven by the subconscious programming.  We cannot heal our fear of intimacy so that we can open up to receiving Love without feeling the feelings.

“This grieving is not an intellectual process.  Changing our false and dysfunctional attitudes is vital to the process; enlarging our intellectual perspective is absolutely necessary to the process, but doing these things does not release the energy – it does not heal the wounds.

Learning what healthy behavior is will allow us to be healthier in the relationships that do not mean much to us; intellectually knowing Spiritual Truth will allow us to be more Loving some of the time; but in the relationships that mean the most to us, with the people we care the most about, when our “buttons are pushed” we will watch ourselves saying things we don’t want to say and reacting in ways that we don’t want to react – because we are powerless to change the behavior patterns without dealing with the emotional wounds.

We cannot integrate Spiritual Truth or intellectual knowledge of healthy behavior into our experience of life in a substantial way without honoring and respecting the emotions.  We cannot consistently incorporate healthy behavior into day to day life without being emotionally honest with ourselves.  We cannot get rid of our shame and overcome our fear of emotional intimacy without going through the feelings.

Walking around saying “We are all one,” and “God is Love,” and “I forgive them all,” does not release the energy.  Using crystals, or white light, or being born again does not heal the wounds, and does not fundamentally alter the behaviors.

We are all ONE and God is LOVE; crystals do have power and white light is a very valuable tool, but we need to not confuse the intellectual with the emotional (forgiving someone intellectually does not make the energy of anger and pain disappear) – and to not kid ourselves that using the tools allows us to avoid the process.

There is no quick fix!  Understanding the process does not replace going through it!  There is no magic pill, there is no magic book, there is no guru or channeled entity that can make it possible to avoid the journey within, the journey through the feelings.

No one outside of Self (True, Spiritual Self) is going to magically heal us.

There is not going to be some alien E.T. landing in a spaceship singing, “Turn on your heart light,” who is going to magically heal us all.

The only one who can turn on your heart light is you.”

And, of course, the way we turn on our heart light is to tune into the energy, the power, of the Transcendent emotional energy of Love, Light, Joy, Truth, and Beauty.  We need to open up to receiving Love – and we cannot do that without changing our relationship with the child who we were.

“It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child’s experiences, honor that child’s feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around.”

“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.”

The healing process is an inside job.

The relationship I need to heal is between me and me.  Everything in my lesson plan / life experience is there for me to learn from so that I can heal my relationship with me. All the people who play a significant role in my life are teachers reflecting back to me some aspect of my relationship with my self – with my humanity, with my emotions, with my sexuality, with whatever – that needs healing. Through healing my relationship with me I am owning and honoring my connection to everything.

There is nothing wrong with who we are – it is our relationship to our self that is so messed up.  We are all Spiritual Beings having a human experience.  We all have Divine worth as children of The Source.  We are all perfect parts of The Source.  In our relationship with ourselves on this level we need to learn to open up to receiving the Love that is our True state of being – that is why we are here.  To heal so that we can reconnect with Love.

I am going to have to put off talking about the details of energetic clarity in relationship and “how to differentiate between looking outside for the source and combining our energy with some outside influence to help us access the Source within” until my next column (this one is getting too long) in order to to make one point very clearly here.  It was impossible for me to start to get clear energetically in my relationships with others and life until I started to have boundaries that told me where I ended and other people began.  As long as I believed that I was responsible for other people’s feelings and behavior I could not start seeing myself clearly.  As long as I was looking to other people for the juice / energy / power to feel OK about myself, I was set up to be a victim and recreate the old patterns.

This is The big paradigm shift.  Shifting our intellectual paradigm – our attitudes, definitions, and beliefs – is necessary in order to raise our consciousness and open up to consciously accessing the Transcendent vibrational energy of Love, Light, Joy, and Truth.  I had to stop looking outside for the answers and start accessing the Truth within.  Only when I started to open up to the idea that perhaps, maybe, I was Lovable and worthy in a way that was not dependent on outside or external conditions, could I start to let go of defining myself in reaction to other people and other peoples belief systems.

In order to get clear on how to connect to others in a healthy way we must first realize and define how we are separate from others.  On the level of our physical being, our ego-self, we are separate and need to own that before we can open up to consciously experiencing how we are connected to everyone and everything.  We need to see our relationship with ourselves clearly in order to see our relationships to others clearly.

One of the things that I had to get clear on in order to start learning who I am was selfishness.  I had been taught that it was bad to be selfish and that I should do things for others.  I learned to steal energy from others through what I was telling myself were unselfish acts.  I was just being a “nice guy” and did not expect anything in return – Bull.  I always had expectations – I just was not being honest with myself about them – because I had been trained and conditioned in childhood to be dishonest with myself emotionally and intellectually.

I had to come to a realization that there is no such thing as an unselfish act.  If I rescue a stranger from a burning car wreck, it does not have anything to do with the stranger – it has to do with my relationship with myself.  I believe that every thing a human being does has a pay off – and it was a very important part of my growth process to start looking for those pay offs.  I had to learn to get honest with myself and stop buying into the illusion that anything I did was for some one else.  I had to stop looking outside for the energy boost I got from doing something nice so that I could own that the energy boost came internally.

The power / energy / juice that we need comes from within – not from outside.  People, places, and things can sometimes help us to access the power that is within us – but they are not the source of that power.  The source is within!

It has always come from within – we were just trained to look outside for it because of the reversity of the planets energy field of emotional consciousness has caused human beings to do human backwards.  Codependence is a disease of reversed focus – looking externally for that which is available within us.

“Codependence is also a disease of reversed focus – it is about focusing outside of ourselves for self-definition and self-worth.  That sets us up to be a victim.  We have worth because we are Spiritual Beings not because of how much money or success we have – or how we look or how smart we are.  When self-worth is determined by looking outside it means we have to look down on someone else to feel good about ourselves – this is the cause of bigotry, racism, class structure, and Jerry Springer.

The goal is to focus on who we really are – get in touch with the Light and Love within us and then radiate that outward.  I think that is what  Mother Theresa did – I can’t know for sure because I never met her and it can be difficult to tell looking from the outside where a persons focus is – Mother Theresa could have been a raging codependent who was doing good on the outside in order to feel good about herself – or she could have been being True to her Self by accessing the Love and Light within and reflecting outward.  Either way the effect was that she did some great things – the difference would have been how she felt about herself at the deepest levels of her being – because it does not make any real difference how much validation we get from outside if we are not Loving ourselves.  If I did not start working on knowing that I had worth as a Spiritual Being – that there is a Higher Power that Loves me – it would never have made any real difference how many people told me I was wonderful.” – Question & Answer Page 2

The relationship I need to heal is between me and me.  Everything in my lesson plan / life experience is there for me to learn from so that I can heal my relationship with me (which will heal the Karma I need to settle.)  All the people who play a significant role in my life are teachers reflecting back to me some aspect of my relationship with my self – with my humanity, with my emotions, with my sexuality, with whatever – that needs healing. Through healing my relationship with me I am owning and honoring my connection to everything.

There is nothing wrong with who we are – it is our relationship to our self that is messed up.  We are all Spiritual Beings having a human experience.  We all have Divine worth as children of The Source.  We are all perfect parts of The Source.  In our relationship with ourselves on this level we need to learn to open up to receiving / accessing the Love that is our True state of being – that is why we are here.  To heal so that we can reconnect with Love.

We can have healthy ties / threads / cords of energy connecting us to other people but only by learning to see ourselves clearly.  As long as our self definition is enmeshed with other people’s attitudes and behaviors, we are incapable of making True choices about our own best interests.  Until we start seeing ourselves clearly, we will continue to be energetically drawn to people who will recreate our childhood emotional wounds.

“Both the classic codependent patterns and the classic counterdependent patterns are behavioral defenses, strategies, design to protect us from the devastating pain and debilitating shame of being abandoned because we are flawed, because we are not good enough, not worthy and lovable.  One tries to protect against abandonment by avoiding confrontation and pleasing the other – while the second tries to avoid abandonment by pretending we don’t need anyone else.  Both are dysfunctional and dishonest.”  – Codependent Relationships Dynamics – Codependent & Counterdependent Behavior

On an energetic level, abandonment means getting unplugged from our energy source.  Abandonment feels life-threatening because the cords that bind us to other people, and feed us Life Force energy, gets unplugged and we do not know how to access that energy for ourselves.  That is why it is so important to learn to plug in internally, access the Transcendent emotional energy of Love, Light, Joy, and Truth that is available to us within.

It is very important for us to learn to let go of our unhealthy attachments to other people and outside sources so that we can access the power from the Source that is available within.  Learning how to define ourselves as separate, how to have boundaries that tell us who we are as individuals, is a vital step in starting to see ourselves with more clarity so that we can see others and life with more clarity.

And once again here, I want to make the point that clarity with our self is not an absolute destination.  This healing is a gradual process of finding a sense of balance – a sense of what clarity feels like, so that we can look for and recognize when we have it and when we do not.   In order to do that it is vital to learn how to be emotionally honest with ourselves so that we can be discerning in our relationship with our own mental and emotional process. Through that honesty we will achieve some energetic clarity as well.

Through that energetic clarity we will be able to access Love from the Source – and we will learn to Love and trust our Self to guide our self through this boarding school that is life as a human.

Sacred Spiral with tail pointing to the right signifying going toward.

Robert Burney is a pioneer in the area of codependency recovery / inner child healing. His first book Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls has been called “one of the truly transformational works of our time.”  It combines Twelve Step Recovery Principles, Metaphysical Truth, and Native American Spirituality with quantum physics and molecular biology in a Cosmic Perspective of Codependence & The Human Condition.  It is possible to get personally autographed copies of his books from his main website Joy2MeU.com or from a Mobile friendly site.  You can also get Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks through Amazon:  Books or eBooks from Barnes & Noble or eBooks thru Kobo    Here is a page with special offers for his books. 

His website Joy2MeU.com offers over 200 pages of free original content  on codependency recovery, inner child healing, relationship dynamics, alcoholism/addiction, fear of intimacy, Twelve Step Spirituality, New Age Metaphysics, emotional abuse, setting boundaries, grief process, and much more.  The Joy2MeU website is designed in an ancient design program which is not mobile friendly.  A new site – joy2meu2.com – is a redesign of joy2meu.com in a mobile friendly format. The Joy2MeU2 siteindex page that will help you to access most of his articles on mobile friendly sites (around 170.)

The True Nature of Love – Part 1, what Love is not, The True Nature of Love – Part 2, Love as Freedom, and The True Nature of Love – Part 3, Love as a Vibrational Frequency have previously been published here on WordPress.  This is Part 4, and articles 5 and 6 of this series are now exclusively available in the Dancing in Light pay to view component of Joy2MeU.com There are special offers for Dancing in Light and Joy2MeU Journal (where the Trilogy quoted can be accessed) subscription areas of Joy2MeU.  The Dance of The Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 “In The Beginning . . .” (is never going to be finished – the first book is not, let along the other two.  Writing it was a process that helped me make a paradigm shift, not a project that was ever meant to be finished.  The story of publishing Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls is told on this page:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance

The True Nature of Love – part 2, Love as Freedom

The Dance

“The Universal Creative Force, as I understand it, is the energy field of ALL THAT IS vibrating at the frequency of Absolute Harmony.  That vibrational frequency I call LOVE.  (LOVE is the vibrational frequency of God; Love is an energy vibration within The Illusion which we can access; love is, in our Codependent culture, most often an addiction or an excuse for dysfunctional behavior.) 

LOVE is the energy frequency of Absolute Harmony because it is the vibrational frequency where there is no separation.

Energy moves in wave-like patterns; what enables movement is the separation between the valley of the wave and its peak.  The distance from peak to peak is called it’s wavelength.  It is a law of physics that as vibrational frequency rises, as it gets higher, the wavelength gets shorter.  The frequency of LOVE is the vibrational frequency where wavelength disappears, where separation disappears.

It is a place of absolute Peace, motionless, timeless, completely at rest:  The Eternal Now

The Peace and Bliss of The Eternal Now is the True Absolute Reality of the God-Force.”

(Text in this color are quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

What is Love?  That is the question.  I have been quite balled up the last week in attempting to write this column.  No, that is not quite true – I have been unable to get into a space to even attempt to write this column.  I need to get into a certain space – need to be feeling a special kind of creative energy – to write about a topic such as this.  It was much easier to write last month’s column about “what Love is not.”  Then I was writing about something much more concrete, much more black and white (the irony of this – since one of the characteristics of the disease is black and white thinking – is fodder for a completely different column.)  The dynamics of the disease and the wounding process are very clear in my eyes.  I have experienced the type of love that is shaming, abusive, manipulative, smothering, intrusive, addictive, etc., my whole life. 

In fact, I learned a new word while writing this column.  As I was composing the above paragraph, and taking note of how much easier it was to write last month’s column, the word empirical came to mind.

So, I did what comes naturally when a word pops to mind – I looked it up.

empirical  1. Relating to or based on experience or observation.  2. Relying entirely or to excess upon direct, repeated, and uncritically accepted experience: opposed to metempirical.

Aha, a new word.

metempirical  1. Lying beyond the bounds of experience, as intuitive principles; not derived from experience; transcendental.

So, even though I just said that it was easier to write ‘what Love is not’ because of my experience – in Truth when I say that Love is not shaming and abusive, I am actually stating my intuitive Truth.  If I were just relying on my experience, I would say “love is shaming and abusive and controlling,” “love is being responsible for other people’s feelings and well being,” etc. – and that would be the Truth about love with a small l.  When I say Love is not shaming, I am talking about the True Nature of Love as I intuitively understand it.  Once I started to awaken to the reality that civilized society on this planet was based upon some false beliefs, then I started to be able to validate my intuitive feeling that something was dreadfully wrong here.  I Knew deep inside, from a very young age, that this was not my home.  I Knew that Love, if it was really such a wonderful thing, should not be so painful – just as I Knew it was ridiculous for both sides in a war to think that God was on their side and would help them kill the enemy.

Love that is Freedom

I could feel that Love must be something much greater than I had learned growing up.  If Love is so wonderful, if Love is the answer – then Love should set us Free.  That is what is coming up as I write this column – Love that is Freedom.  Love that is Joy.  Love that is the only Truth that has ever mattered.

Love that is Freedom – what does that mean?  To me it means the Freedom to be OK with being me.  The Freedom to relax and enJoy the moment.  The Freedom to be – just be, without having to strive, to work for, to try to reach, to prove myself, to earn Love, to get “there.”

It means: Freedom from shame.  Freedom from judgment.  Freedom from loneliness.  Freedom from feeling separate, different, not a part of, not acceptable.  Freedom from the endless, aching longing for something more.  Freedom from the hole in my soul – from the bottomless abyss of pain and shame and sadness that I feel at the core of my being.

This place is not my home.  When I yearn for Love, I am longing to go home.

“I was ‘transported with Joy’, and my ‘spirit was soaring’, as I danced on the rock.  And in my dancing and singing I Truly understood what those expressions meant.  For in being ‘transported’ and ‘soaring’ I was merely tuning into the vibrational frequency that is Joy and Love and Truth.  I could see clearly now how human beings throughout history had been trying to tune into Love.  The primal urge that has caused humans to attempt to ‘alter their consciousness’, through drugs or religion or food or meditation or whatever, is no more than an attempt to raise one’s vibrational frequency.  All any soul in body has ever done is to try to return home to God – we were just doing it all backwards because of the reversity of the planets energy field.” – The Dance of The Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 “In The Beginning . . . “ (Chapter 4)

“Humans have always been looking for a way home.  For a way to connect with our Higher Consciousness.  For a way to reconnect with our creator.  Throughout human history, human beings have used temporary artificial means to raise their vibrational level, to try to reconnect with Higher Consciousness.

Drugs and alcohol, meditation and exercise, sex and religion, starvation and overeating, the self-torture of the flagellant or the deprivation of the hermit – all are attempts to connect with higher consciousness.   Attempts to reconnect with Spiritual Self.   Attempts to go home.”

Part of the reason that I have had trouble in writing this column is because of the intellectual context I was approaching it from.  I was thinking that I had to know what I was talking about, had to be able to communicate to you the Truth about Love.  That was pretty silly of me.*  Love is what I am learning about.  Love is what recovery and healing are all about.  Love is the goal.  Love is home.

*[Actually, it was my disease at work – causing me to judge and shame myself for not feeling competent to write about the True Nature of Love. This disease of codependence is so incredibly insidious, treacherous, and powerful.  It continually turns back in on itself.  The disease doesn’t want me to take the risk of Loving and trusting my self and then it turns around and causes me to judge myself because I don’t Love my self.  I don’t Love myself because of the disease – the ego programming that is a result of being wounded and traumatized by being Spiritually orphaned in an alien environment.  By being born into and raised in an emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional, Spiritually hostile, shame based, Love mutilated (mutilate – 1. To deprive of a limb or essential part. 2. To damage or injure by the removal of an important part.) civilization on a planet where civilized societies have evolved based on the belief in separation and fear-based hostility – separation between beings, separation between humans and their environment, and separation between the flesh and the Spirit.  The civilization I was raised in is so sick and twisted that it took the teachings of the Master Teacher who came into body to teach us about Love and twisted those teachings into something shameful and hate-filled.  Jesus Christ carried a message of Love – not shame and judgment.]

“Due to the planetary conditions, the human ego developed a belief in separation – which is what made violence possible and caused the human condition as we inherited it. The reflection of that human condition on the individual level is the disease of Codependence. Codependence is caused by the ego being traumatized and programed in early childhood so that our relationship with ourselves and the God-Force is dysfunctional – that is, it does not work to help us access the Truth of ONENESS and Love. It is through healing our relationship with ourselves that we open our inner channel and start tuning into the Truth.” – Jesus & Christ Consciousness

Now what I thought last month was going to be one column about the True Nature of Love has turned into at least a 4 part series.  In dealing with the shame I was feeling about not knowing enough about Love to write about it’s True Nature, I have in fact been processing through that shame to get to a place where I can be free to write about the type of Love that can set me Free.  So, I will save “Love as a vibrational frequency” and “Love and romance” for future columns.

I have only a little experience with feeling Love that sets me Free – and that has come primarily since I have been in recovery.  In those moments when I am able to connect with Love in it’s True form, then I feel that all of the pain and suffering has been worth the experience.  Then I get a taste of what home really feels like.  Then I get to feel the Joy and Truth and Love that Truly does set me Free from the illusion of separation.  In those moments, I can sometimes even feel grateful for that illusion.  Because without the illusion of separation from The Source Energy, from Love – I would never have gotten the opportunity to experience Love.

I am going to end this column with a continuation of the quote from my book “The Dance of Wounded Souls” which I started it with.   This quote is from the very end of my book.  This is my intuitive Truth.  This is an important part of the understanding which has led to the beginning of my liberation from the shame.  This Truth has helped me to start Loving myself a little bit – to start Loving myself enough to be Free to start believing that maybe, just maybe I am Lovable and Loved.

“The Peace and Bliss of The Eternal Now is the True Absolute Reality of the God-Force.

The illusion of separation – the distance, the separation, between the peak and the valley – is what makes motion possible.  Separation is necessary for energy to be in motion.  The illusion of separation was necessary to create The Illusion.

As part of the ONENESS of ALL THAT IS, we are God and God is LOVE.  We are part of the Truth of ONENESS vibrating at LOVE.  As part of the ONENESS of LOVE we would never have been able to experience Love.  It is kind of like, “If you are sugar then you never get to taste sugar.”

In God we are LOVE.  Without the illusion of separation we would never have had the opportunity to experience Love.  Would never have been able to Love and be Loved.

Separation was necessary to allow us the incredible gift of experiencing Love, of Loving and being Loved.

The Illusion that caused all of the pain is also the vehicle for allowing us to feel and be Loved.

If you pursue your path of healing, I think that you will find as I have that it is very much worth it.  It is worth it to be able to experience Love.

This is the Age of Healing and Joy.  It is time to start remembering who you Truly are, to start feeling and tuning into the Truth which exists within you.

We are all butterflies.

We are all swans.

We are Spiritual Beings.

The Springtime of the Spirit has arrived:  It is possible to learn to Love yourself.

It is possible to be happy, Joyous, and free – if you are willing to be scared and hurt, angry and sad.

You are Lovable.

You are Loved.

You are LOVE.”

Sacred Spiral

Robert Burney is a pioneer in the area of codependency recovery / inner child healing. His first book Codependence The Dance of Wounded Souls has been called “one of the truly transformational works of our time.”  His website Joy2MeU.com offers over 200 pages of free original content  on codependency recovery, inner child healing, relationship dynamics, alcoholism/addiction, fear of intimacy, Twelve Step Spirituality, New Age Metaphysics, emotional abuse, setting boundaries, grief process, and much more.  The Joy2MeU website is designed in an ancient design program which is not mobile friendly.  A new site – joy2meu2.com – is a redesign of joy2meu.com in a mobile friendly format. The Joy2MeU2 siteindex page that will help you to access most of his articles on mobile friendly sites (around 170.) 

Robert recently posted a sale page to generate some income prior to his birthday on July 23rd.  Special Birthday Sale in honor of Robert’s 70th (Egad!!) Birthday!!!  https://www.joy2meu2.com/special-birthday-sale

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Articles 3 through 6 of this series are now exclusively available in the Dancing in Light pay to view component of Joy2MeU.com  There are special offers for Dancing in Light and Joy2MeU Journal (where the Trilogy quoted can be accessed) subscription areas of Joy2MeU.