Abundant Spirituality + codependency recovery + inner child healing + Love = Joy2MeULogo of Joy to You & Me Enterprises, publisher of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls Joy2MeU Home Page
This is the Newsletter of the Joy2MeU web site of codependency therapist, inner child healing pioneer, Spiritual teacher Robert Burney - who is the author of the Joyously inspirational book of Cosmic Spirituality: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.  These Update Newsletters are posted about 5 times a year at 2 to 3 month intervals.  A short announcement e-mail is sent out notifying people who sign up for the Joy2MeU e-mailing list when a new Update is posted. (e-mail link below)
Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update

August 4, 2002

To all the Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,

Hello all.  It has been over 3 and a half months since my last Update - and I haven't actually added that much to the web site in that period.  There are a combination of reasons for that.  For one thing I just got back from my annual summer trip with my son back to the hot and humid Midwest.  It is always pretty strange for me to go back to the little town (1600 people) in Nebraska where I grew up.  I refer to it as a trip to the Twilight Zone because it is a different world back there.  And I don't just mean Nebraska when I say that.  I would feel that way spending any period of time surrounded by people who are not in recovery, who do not have a clue what living a Spiritual life means.  There are plenty of people here in California who just reacting out of their codependency without having a clue there is another way to live life - to say nothing of people who are in recovery of some kind but are still unconsciously living in reaction to their childhood programming.  It is just that when I am back there I am immersed in it for a period of time - and it reminds me where I came from.

This time it was for two weeks - and I was once again given plenty of reasons to be very grateful for my path.  The most blatant of these came on the flights there and returning.  Both times delayed flights caused us to miss a connecting flight.  On the way home I was forced to spend an unscheduled night in Phoenix because of a missed connection.  I was so immensely grateful that I have learned to live my life in alignment with the Serenity Prayer so that I could accept the things I couldn't change easily and go with the flow of how life was unfolding.  Watching people caught up in melodramatic trauma dramas about what a tragedy they were experiencing because of the disruption of their plans - without a clue of how much easier it would be for them just to accept reality and make the best of it - was a sad and bleak demonstration to me of why the world is so screwed up.  People were freaking out and being abusive to airline personnel because they don't know how to live life in any way but from a victim perspective - and when their lives get out of control they have to blame someone.  Really sad.

I actually spent two different periods of time with my son this summer because his schedule of summer school and boy scout camp did not allow for one trip together.  So I flew him out here at the end of May for about 10 days - and then flew us both to Nebraska from the 10th to 24th of July  (well 25th in my case.)  In between those two trips I spent close to a month writing for the Joy2MeU Journal.

I had planned on getting this Update out prior to leaving on my trip on July 10th - but the writing I was doing for my Journal was too important to me on a personal level for me to accomplish that.  So, I had to let go of that goal until now.  (I will share about the importance of that writing to me in the space below this table.)

So, from the last part of May until now at the end of July, my time was basically divided between my son and writing for my Journal.  I was doing phone counseling through that time - except for the two weeks in the Midwest - but in terms of my writing time I didn't have much to devote to this web site.

In the April Update, I stated that I hoped I would be finishing the articles in the The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process series shortly.  That hasn't happened yet because what I thought was going to be a five part series on The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! turned into a full scale online book.  Six chapters of it are now posted - and I do not know how many more chapters are to come.  I find it a quite exciting work that looks at levels and layers of the phenomena of codependence from perspectives I have not explored to this depth previously.  I think many of you will find it quite helpful.

When I will get the remaining chapters posted - or the twelve step articles finished - I have no idea.  Once I get this Update out, I need to send out requests to printers for quotes on a second printing of my book.  I had done that in June when I believed that I needed to get the publishing process started before leaving on my trip. When I picked up the remainder of my books from the storage facility I had been using for them in late June, I found that I had a case more books left than I had thought.  This means that I have enough books left to last into September - so I was able to let go of the urgency I felt about getting more printed until August.  And quotes from printers are only good for 30 days - I think because the price of paper fluctuates. 

So, next on the agenda is getting that publishing process going forward.  I still have no idea where the funding to do that second printing is going to come from.  I really do not want to have my book go out of print in September.  Not having books to sell would threaten my ability to keep this web site viable - although not immediately probably, but it would be very detrimental to my ability to pay my rent.  I can accept the Universe's plan however it unfolds but I would prefer to keep The Dance of Wounded Souls in print and available - and as I said in the first Newsletter of my January Update, I would prefer not to be homeless again.  I have rewritten the Investment Opportunity page as it mentions in the right hand column - and renamed it Future Publications.  It has evolved into more of a page on which I am musing about what the future holds for my book and future books - and a prayer to the Universe for support - than a pitch to get investors.  I am moving forward with faith that the Universe will manifest the money necessary in some way, rather that is because of one or more of you readers coming to the rescue or some other miracle.  More Will Be Revealed.

After sending the request for quotes out, my plan at this time is to get back to doing some more writing for the Joy2MeU Journal.  We will see how that plan pans out.

Oh, and one other thing I wanted to bring you up to date on.  I make mention several times in my April Update about some health concerns that were up for me.  I am very happy to report that what was happening turned out to be a false alarm.  Some time ago I was told that I was borderline diabetic - and was given a little device for testing my blood sugar.  I made changes to my diet and got that blood sugar problem under control with diet and exercise.  I had not even used the little device for several months until some time in March.  When I did do that testing one day just on a whim - it was way too high.  It continued to be way too high as I desperately tried some different ways to get it under control.  I even postponed a scheduled appointment with the Nurse Practitioner I see at the Veterans Administration because I was trying to get it under control before seeing her.  She is big on pushing medication - and I do not want to go on any medication, thus I was trying different dietary things, supplements, herbs, whatever.  About the time I wrote my April Update I was almost at the point of surrendering to the need for some medication when I ran out of testing strips and opened a new batch.  It turned out the testing strips were bad and that there was nothing wrong with my blood sugar.  That was a big relief - and a perfect part of my unfolding lesson plan of course.

So, the additions I have made since the last Update in terms of content pages are the 5 additional chapters of that current online book.  I have also added links, referral resources, new bookstores that have stocked The Dance, and such things - including several collections of really wonderful testimonials and a testimonial for the phone counseling that I really Love.

I have also raised the prices for the book and tapes.  With the recent rise in the postal rates - which is the third or fourth time they have been raised since I set the price for the book - it just became necessary to cover increased shipping costs.  On single copy orders of the book or tape set, I raised the price $.45 - from 15.50 to 15.95 for the book.  I had to raise the multiple copies rates even farther because the Postal Service really changed the Priority Mail schedule - introducing zone rates for any package over 1 lb so that some mailings of 3 or 4 books have increased as much as $2 in cost.

I am also going to be raising the phone counseling rates in early September - probably September 3rd as that is the date I raised them last year.  They will only go up a little - the rate for a single hour and a half session from $37.50 to $40, and a single hour session from $30 to $35.  They are still going to be incredibly affordable - and more than worth the price.

Additions to the site since the April Update include:

There are now 6 Chapters published of the online book in progress:
The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!

Chapter 2: Romantic Relationships

Chapter 3: Emotional Honesty

Chapter 4: false self image

Chapter 5: Pavlov's Dog

Chapter 6: self worth & ego strength

The Investment Opportunity Page has evolved to being something more, so has been renamed Future Publications and includes my newest ideas in this regard. 

In addition:

Bookstores in North Carolina, Georgia, and California stocked the book - these are listed on bottom of New page.

Some new links - including one to a site about mercury poisoning that I think may be very helpful to some people.

A new collection of heart felt and touching testimonials for the book, tapes, and web site are also on the New Page - and a phone counseling testimonial that brought tears to my eyes.

Three new resources have been added to the Referral to local Therapist / Counselors page - including one in New Jersey, one in Canada, and a therapist on the Isle of Jersey in the British Channel Islands.  I also added links to the web sites for two treatment centers that offer workshops and intensive week long programs because of inquiries I have gotten for people looking for this type of resources.

I signed up as an affiliate of Hazelden, the most respected and leading publisher of recovery books - and added their banner to the New page.

 Articles added to my Suite101 page since last Update: 

Obsession / Obsessive Thinking

Obsession / Obsessive Thinking Part 2

Discernment - The Wisdom to Know the Difference

Serenity - Accepting the things we cannot change
Graphic of two hearts with an arrow through them - signifying both Love and heartbreak.
Links to past Update Newsletters for the Joy2MeU site (launched February 4, 1999) can be found on the Information index page.  Links to the Newsletters of my original Joy to You & Me web site (launched February 28, 1998) can be found on the Joy to You & Me page which list pages from that site not moved to Joy2MeU.

Information about the 
Joy2MeU Journal

Processing: the key to Consciousness

As I mentioned above, I am quite excited by the online book I am in the process of writing.  In The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!, I am exploring and explaining the dynamics of the condition of codependency and the process of recovery in some new ways.  I think there is some very valuable information and insight in every chapter that I have published so far.  I am just going to mention a couple of points here that are related to the reference I made above to the reason this Update is being posted now instead of at the beginning of July as I originally planned.

What is so important to understand about recovery from codependency, is that it is rooted in our relationship with our self.  Because of that, the only way to recover from it is by becoming more conscious in our relationship with our self.  In Chapter 5, I talk about behavior modification and Pavlov's Dog.  Codependency is not only a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / Delayed Stress Syndrome (Codependence as Delayed Stress Syndrome), it is the result of behavior modification.  Behavior modification is used on both animals and people to train them to behave in a way that is acceptable to whomever has power over them.  This results in conditioned reflexes - programmed reactions that are the result of conditioning.  The differences in the impact that behavior modification has on animals and people, is that human beings have a conscious relationship with self that is affected by behavior modification.  In childhood, as we are forming our conscious relationship with self, behavior modification - both intentional and unintentional - can have a traumatic impact on our sense of self, our feelings of self worth.

"A dog who was abused as a puppy can unlearn their conditioned reflexes by spending enough time in a safe and loving environment.  Although a safe and loving environment can be very valuable to a human being who is healing from their childhood wounding - the emotional trauma they experienced because of behavior modification experiences in early childhood - love from external sources is not enough to heal a person's relationship with self."
The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!  Chapter 5 Pavlov's dog
Codependency is a reactive condition that is rooted in our childhood programming.  An adult can modify their behavior to a certain extent - in reaction to the behavior modification lessons that life brings - without dealing with their childhood wounds.  But it is impossible to have a healthy emotionally intimate relationship with another person without dealing with the fear of intimacy (Fear of Intimacy) we developed in reaction to our first childhood experience of love.  It is impossible to develop a Truly Loving relationship with self without healing the wounds at the core of our relationship with self - and that can only be done by becoming conscious of our relationship with self.  Until we start seeing how our patterns in intimate relationships have been dictated by our childhood wounding we are doomed to keep repeating those relationship patterns - or to go to the other extreme and just live in isolation.

Intellectual knowledge of what healthy behavior looks like is not enough to change our behavior patterns in intimate relationships, because our behavior patterns are driven by our emotional wounds.  Intellectual knowledge of healthy behavior and Spiritual Truth can help us to become healthier in our behavior with people we don't care that much about, but when it comes to opening our hearts to another human being - codependency rules.

"My behavior did not match my words because my behavior patterns were driven by my emotional wounds.  As long as I had no capacity to be emotionally honest, my codependency defended me based upon the programming it adapted in reaction to the emotional trauma I had experienced in early childhood.

My codependent defense system is set up to try to keep me from being abandoned, betrayed, and rejected by someone to whom I have opened my heart.  As a little child, my heart was completely open to my parents.  They emotionally abandoned and betrayed me because they were programmed to emotionally abandon and betray themselves.  It felt to me as a child as if they had rejected me because something was wrong with me.

My ego adopted an emotional defense system - codependency - to try protect me and keep secret the fact that I was a shameful and defective, a pitiful excuse for a man.  Since I felt unlovable and unworthy, and I thought I was the only person who felt that way, I had to keep what a loser I was secret.  I had to be emotionally dishonest with myself to try to stay unconscious to how I felt at the depths of my being.  I had to be emotionally dishonest - and therefore dishonest to some extent on other levels - in my relationships with other people because it felt like anyone who found out my secret would run away screaming in horror.  If anyone could see who I really was, they would reject me - they would abandon and betray me like my parents had."

The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! Chapter 4 - false self image
In order to open up to receiving Love, it is necessary to consciously change our core relationship with our self so that our codependent ego defenses are not sabotaging our efforts.  We need to start learning how to accept and Love our self before we can Truly open up to the possibility that another person can Love us.
"I was investing an incredible amount of energy into projecting an image to other people.  That image had much more Truth in it than falsehood - but I didn't know that.  I was doing it to try to get the Love and respect and validation that I was so starved for.  But I didn't believe it, so when I did get love and validation it did not work to make me feel good about myself deep inside.  It did not change my core relationship with myself.  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.

This is part of the ultimate dysfunction of codependency.  We put so much energy into reaching the goal, earning your love, doing what we think is necessary to "fix" our self, and if we get that which we have been pursuing, it doesn't work. . . . . . .  Looking outside to fill the hole within is dysfunctional.  As long as I was still reacting to the toxic shame I felt about my self from early childhood, then what I was doing in my interactions (inter-reactions) is being dishonest and manipulative.  It did not matter if most of what I was saying was the real Truth about who I am - I didn't believe it."

The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! Chapter 4 - false self image
It is wonderful and valuable to get validation from external sources, but it will not work to heal our relationship with our self unless we are consciously working on doing that our self.  As long as we are still relating to our self based upon the intellectual programming (both conscious and subconscious) and emotional wounds from our childhood, we cannot see our self clearly.  As long as we are only looking to external sources to determine who we are and if we have worth, we cannot heal our relationship with self or take power away from our fear of intimacy.

The only way that we can be in recovery from codependency is to start changing the way we are looking at, and relating to, our self.   We have to get more conscious of what is going on inside of us in order to change how we are relating to our self - so that we can change the way we relate to life and other people.

In other words, we need to start taking responsibility for our own lives.  We need to start owning our power to change our relationship with self.   We need to start learning how to make choices instead of just react.  We can have the ability to respond - response ability - to life differently once we start becoming more conscious.

And the key to becoming more conscious is to start learning how to process what is going on in our lives in a way that will give us more clarity.

"The process of processing is a dynamic that in many ways is easier to demonstrate over time than it is to explain.  Explaining it on an intellectual level is complicated and difficult because the process itself involves being able to look at multiple levels.  The recovery process is spiritual, emotional, and mental.  These levels are separate but intimately interrelated. 

In learning how to achieve some emotional balance in our lives, it is necessary to be able to look at our self, our own inner process, and the life dynamic itself, from different perspectives.  It is this looking at different levels that is the process of processing.  Processing is a matter of looking at, filtering, discerning, getting clear about what is happening at any given moment in our relationship with life, with ourselves, with everything that is stimulating us."

The Recovery Process for inner child healing 1: Sharing my experience, strength, and hope
Consciousness involves being actively conscious of how different parts of us are reacting to whatever is happening in our lives at any particular moment.  I learned that I needed to observe / keep scanning / paying attention to / taking inventory of, what was happening in my internal dynamic and in my external environment continually in order to be on guard so that I wasn't allowing the old tapes and wounds from the past to define and dictate my experience of life today. 
"It is in relationship to learning how to set internal boundaries that the process of processing is so important.  Processing involves observing our own internal dynamic.  Observing our thoughts and feelings.  It is very important to raise our consciousness, to become more conscious, of our own process.

When we start observing our internal process then we can start discerning between the different levels involved - we can start separating out the codependent, dysfunctional messages from the information that is useful and informative.  Then we can start setting internal boundaries within the mental, between the mental and emotional, and within the emotional levels of our being."

The Recovery Process for inner child healing 4 - the process of processing - internal boundaries
Codependency is not an issue we deal with and then get on with our lives.  Recovery is a way of life.  It is necessary to move through our life with consciousness in order to stop the childhood programming from running our lives.  The more we recover, the less power the old tapes and old wounds have - but they do not go away.

It is through healing our inner child, our inner children, by grieving the wounds that we suffered, that we can change our behavior patterns and clear our emotional process.  We can release the grief with its pent-up rage, shame, terror, and pain from those feeling places which exist within us.

That does not mean that the wound will ever be completely healed.  There will always be a tender spot, a painful place within us due to the experiences that we have had.  What it does mean is that we can take the power away from those wounds.   By bringing them out of the darkness into the Light, by releasing the energy, we can heal them enough so that they do not have the power to dictate how we live our lives today.  We can heal them enough to change the quality of our lives dramatically.  We can heal them enough to Truly be happy, Joyous and free in the moment most of the time.

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

In recovery we are developing a sense of balance, a feeling for what balance feels like, so that we can catch ourselves when we are swinging out of balance.  We are here to experience being human and to do this healing.  If we are not in recovery, then we can not be consciously present in the moment to enjoy our journey.  I did not title my book the "dance" of wounded souls just out of poetic whimsy - life is a dance.

"Emotional balance is not a destination.  It is a constantly changing dance.  In doing our reprogramming intellectually, and our emotional and Spiritual healing - we are changing the music of our dance.  We are choosing to have the opportunity to dance with Love and Joy, to dance in Light and Truth - instead of in darkness and disharmony.  In order to have the capacity to dance with Love and Joy, we must first be willing to dance with our anger and fear, with the pain and sadness.  Through owning our wounded inner children, we get to uncover and release the spontaneous, playful, Joyous Spiritual child within that is the one who will lead us home to LOVE.

Balance in dancing is about having a feeling for equilibrium, moving in harmony, adjusting, balancing, rebalancing.  Likewise our inner dance of finding balance is an ongoing process - ever changing, fluctuating, oscillating in tune with the vibrational rhythms.  Once we learn to have a sense of balance, a feeling for emotional clarity, then we are able to adjust and rebalance more quickly when some external (life event, other people's behavior) or internal (wounded child reaction, old tape kicking in) stimuli throws us out of balance."

The Recovery Process for inner child healing  4 - the process of processing - internal boundaries
The more conscious we become, the more we can relax and enjoy the journey.
"The healthier we get, the more emotional healing we do, the less extreme our emotional reaction / response spectrum grows.  The growth process works kind of like a pendulum swinging.  The less we buy into the toxic shame and judgment, the less extreme the swings of the pendulum become.  The arc of our emotional pendulum becomes gentler, and we can return to emotional balance much quicker and easier.  But we don't get to stay in the balance position.  Life is always rocking our boat - setting our emotional pendulum to swinging.  By not taking life events and other peoples behavior so seriously and personally, by observing our process with some degree of detachment instead of getting so hooked into the trauma drama soap opera victimology that is a reaction to our childhood wounds, we learn to not give so much power over our emotions to outside influences and events.

I have choices today in regard to how I am relating to myself, to other people, to life.  I am able to accept the things I cannot change much more quickly, and change the primary thing which I have the power to change - that is, my attitude toward the things I cannot change - so that I do not get caught up in a victim perspective.  By not buying into the illusion that I am a victim - of myself, of other people, of life - my emotional swings stay on a much evener keel and I experience a much gentler emotional spectrum in my day to day relationship with life."

Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 1
In my latest article on Suite 101 (link in the upper right hand column) I talk about how 90% of the stress in my life before codependency recovery was caused by the attitudes and beliefs I was empowering.  Once I got aware of how my perspectives and expectations (which were reactions to my childhood programming and emotional wounds and therefore something I was powerless over until I got conscious of them) were setting me up to be a victim, then I could start owning the power to change my emotional experience of life .  Then I could start to take responsibility for my life and eliminate the stress that I was creating in reaction to dysfunctional programming.

Something I often say to people at the end of their first counseling session - rather in person or on the phone - is, "everything that happens in your life from now on is part of this recovery process.  Your job is to pay attention and follow where you are led."  Recovery is why we are here.  This Spiritual growth process is the only thing that makes life make sense - to me.

We have the power to change our relationship with self and life into one that is more functional - into an experience which includes inner peace and moments of Joy.  Into an experience which allows us to learn to be more Loving to our self, to be our own best friend instead of our own worst enemy.

Many teachers / guides / angels appeared on my path to help me to learn how to change my life but none of them would have done me any good if I had not been willing to start focusing on my relationship with my self.  I had to be willing to become more conscious - to live life with more consciousness in order to align with the Spiritual guidance I was getting.  That is why learning how to process was - and still is - so vital to my growth.

In the latest Newsletter for the Joy2MeU Journal I addressed the importance of processing.

"And what I am going to talk about briefly in this Newsletter is the process of processing.  As I say in one of the added pages:
One of my phone counseling clients the other day - a person who has found a wealth of help in reading my pages and has described the phone counseling experience as making the words from my book and site kind of leap off the page and come alive for him - mentioned that there was one of my pages where I just kind of seemed to be babbling.  I am pretty sure he was talking about one of the Newsletter pages where I was processing - since he doesn't subscribe to this Journal.  Perhaps that is what my processing pages - in this journal, and in certain Update Newsletters - comes across as.  Hopefully, you all do find this babble useful. ;-)
I do hope that you find these processing pages helpful.  If you don't, sorry about that - don't read them.  I am doing these for me - all my writing is ultimately for me and my recovery process, but these pages are specifically and indulgently for my personal process.  They have been invaluable to me over the last 3 + years since I started this journal.  Some of the reasons for that are talked about in the pages that follow this one.

It took me a year or two in early recovery to realize that when I spoke at meetings it was not to share my wisdom with other people.  That may be a result of my sharing, but the purpose is for me to find out where I am at, for me to listen to what I am saying.  We cannot get clear on our inner process just by thinking - thinking can sometimes be the worst thing we can do because it is so easy to get caught up in the right/wrong paradigm of the disease.  What I have learned, is that I need to either speak out loud, or write, about what is going on in order to get my emotional energy moving - in order to get clear on what is happening in my internal process with emotional honesty."

Joy2MeU Journal Newsletter 7 July 9, 2002
As I say in this quote, it is vital for me to be able to speak out loud about issues or write about them in order to stay emotionally honest with myself.  Writing for this web site has been an incredible and invaluable gift for me over the last 4 years or so.  All of the writing I do about recovery and Spirituality helps me in my process, but the Newsletters and Journal articles in which I am processing about my process are especially important to my recovery.  In my web articles I try to communicate about the dynamics of the wounding and recovery process as clearly as possible for an audience, for you readers out there in cyberspace.  In my processing writing, I share my personal processing with you.  I try to explain the processing as I write - but the purpose of those pages is primarily to communicate with myself.

Sharing my process is something I learned from twelve step recovery - sharing my experience, strength, and hope.  I know that some of you find it valuable as a practical demonstration of how I work my program - how I apply theoretical principles in my life. I am not here to tell you the "right" way to do life.  I am sharing with you what I have learned from working my program of recovery, sharing with you what works for me - because it helps me to get clearer on my growth process.

I found myself starting to do this sharing of my process in the first Newsletter Updates I wrote for my original Joy to You & Me web site. (Link to index of those Newsletters is towards the bottom of the upper right hand column.)  When I started my Joy2MeU Journal in April of 1999, I was focusing on writing for that body of work - and started doing any processing for myself in what evolved into a personal journal within that Journal.

I didn't even start doing Update Newsletters again until November of 1999 (Links to the Joy2MeU Newsletters can be found on the Information Index Page) - and then I gradually started sharing a little of my processing in those Newsletters as my site evolved.  It wasn't until the July 2000, and then - what for me is still a vital milestone in my process - the October 2000 Update Newsletters that I started to go into any real depth.  The May 2001 Newsletters were probably the most extensive and intimate sharing I have done on this Joy2MeU site to date - a level of in-to-me-see that I had only previously shared in my Joy2MeU Journal - as I explored my fear of intimacy issues and caught myself in some denial and emotional dishonesty in relationship to those issues.

The recent writing in my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal was a continuation of looking at those fear of intimacy issues - and once again I caught myself in some denial and emotional dishonesty. 

I believe that part of the reason that some people may view my processing as babble, is that I go through multiple levels, multiple perspectives, in looking at the issues that are up for me.  Thus the processing that I started doing in June began with my anger over my car breaking down once more on June 7th.  My poor car breaking down is a life event that I get the opportunity to use often as a point of reference when sharing how I work my program.  As with delayed airline flights, I can accept and be grateful for life events - align my conscious beliefs with Spiritual Truth that everything happens for a reason - while also owning my human feelings about these life events.  This is a vital component of Spiritual integration and emotional balance.

So many people use tools like Positive Affirmations, meditation, etc., not as tools for finding balance - but as ways of denying feelings.  It is vital for me, to own my feelings so that I can stay clear with myself.  In the writing for my personal journal that started out with my anger about driving a car that breaks down often, I ended up processing through my fear of intimacy and deprivation issues - and discovering a deeper level where I was empowering some denial.

This discovery was made possible by the writing I did for the chapters of in the online book I am writing - especially the chapter on our ego self image.  I had written something, in that Chapter 4, that I wasn't in touch with emotionally at the time I wrote it.  I, in fact, felt that what I was saying was a little too strong - it felt like I was overstating what my pattern had been for the sake of communicating the concept. 

"I saw myself in alignment with the conscious self image that I was projecting - a sensitive, caring male who was so different from all those macho clowns that were not in touch with their feelings - but my behavior in intimate relationships was dictated by the subconscious perspective of emotions that I had learned from my male role model in childhood.  That paradigm dictated that a man could not feel sad or hurt or afraid - a man only felt anger.  In other words, I saw myself as, and talked the talk of, a sensitive caring male but when anyone got too close emotionally my behavior was that of a macho clown."
The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! Chapter 4 - false self image
What I discovered in my journal writing is that I was not overstating my pattern at all in saying this.  In consciously looking at certain aspects of my patterns closely for the first time, I realized that there was some behavior that I exhibited because of my fear of intimacy that was worse after I got into recovery than before - after getting in touch with my fear instead of denying it's existence.  I had behaved horribly towards some women I had intimate interactions with.  It was a very painful discovery.  I did have awareness of the behavior in a general sense but I had never looked at it too closely because of the guilt and shame I felt - and had never looked closely enough to realize that my behavior had gotten worse in recovery.

It was shameful behavior that I engaged in as recently as 3 and 1/2 years ago.  I would allow myself to buy into being a victim of my "deprivation issues" as an excuse for getting physically involved with women who I was not interested in having a relationship with - and then would withhold in our interactions to try to keep them from falling in love with me.  Talk about macho clown behavior.  I used those women. 

It was something that I blamed on the deprivation issues that were caused by my terror of intimacy.  I was not taking responsibility for my behavior - or looking at it closely enough to see what was really causing it.  I kept it in the dark because I felt guilty and it didn't match my ego self image - the very thing I wrote about in that chapter over a month before I got in touch with the emotional reality of it by examining it consciously.  A pretty blatant example of how important the writing is to my process.

Codependency is doubly traumatic.  We were traumatized in childhood because our parents were traumatized in their childhood.  Our ego adapted codependent defenses to protect us - and those defenses caused us to repeat behavior patterns as adults that caused us further trauma.  Recovery is an ongoing journey of discovery - uncover, discover, recover.  We have to get conscious in order to heal.  We need to be willing to shine the Light of consciousness into every corner within.  That which is hidden in the dark has power.  Any past behavior that I am still keeping in the darkness of unconsciousness and denial is an issue that I still am powerless over to some degree.

Recovery is an ongoing transformational process.  As I grow and learn, my perspective of the past keeps changing.  That means I have to be willing to look at those issues again when the Universe sends me messages that more needs to be uncovered.

"I have been going through a transformation one more time in my recovery.  Each time that I need to grow some more - need to surrender some more of who I thought I was in order to become who I am - I get to peel another layer of the onion.  Each time this happens I get to reach a deeper level of honesty and see things clearer than I ever have before.  Each time, I also get to release some of the emotional energy through crying and raging. 

Through clearer eyes, and with deeper emotional honesty, I get to look at all of my major issues again to heal them some more.  I used to think that I could deal with an issue and be done with it - but now I know that is not the way the healing process works.  So recently I have gotten the opportunity to revisit my issues of abandonment and betrayal, of deprivation and discounting.  My issues with my mother and father, with my gender and sexuality, with money and success.  My issues with the God I was taught about and the God-Force that I choose to believe in.  My patterns of self-abusive behavior that are driven by my emotional wounds - and the attempts that I make to forgive myself for behavior that I have been powerless over.  And they all lead me back to the core issue.  I am not worthy.  I am not good enough.  Something is wrong with me. 

At the core of my relationship is the little boy who feels unworthy and unlovable.  And my relationship with myself was built on that foundation.  The original wounding caused me to adapt attitudes and behavior patterns which caused me to be further traumatized and wounded - which caused me to adapt different attitudes and behavior patterns which caused me to be further traumatized and wounded in different ways.  Layer upon layer the wounds were laid - multifaceted, incredibly complex and convoluted is the disease of Codependence.  Truly insidious, baffling and powerful." 

Grief, Love, and Fear of Intimacy
I wrote the article Grief, Love, and Fear of Intimacy in the summer of 1998 - and announced it's publication in my first Joy to You & Me Newsletter.  A major change that has taken place in my process since that time - a change I talked about in the Newsletters of my January 2002 Update - is that it has been quite some time, years, since I have uncovered any rage.  I seem to have released all the rage I was carrying - although, once again, more will be revealed as my process unfolds.  I no longer rage at my Higher Power, at the Divine Plan.  I get highly irritated with it sometimes, but my work at changing my relationship with life has resulted in great rewards in this respect.  There is still grief that I get in touch with - but it is no longer so much about my childhood as it is about the effects the childhood trauma had on my adult life.
"As I said, I really don't want to hurt anyone, but underneath that intention is the codependency that caused me to behave in abusive ways as a protection of me.  My codependent defenses tried to protect me from overwhelming burden of feeling responsible for another persons feeling - so I would not have to feel that toxic shame at the core of my relationship with myself.

I have released and healed most of that toxic shame now, what I am uncovering is residue of the defenses against it.  I no longer feel like a shameful, unlovable being. That is the good news.  I have owned that I am worthy and lovable on a gut level - not just intellectually.  The bad news is that I am still finding nooks and crannies within where the defenses against that lie of toxic shame still have some power.  It is the good news that I am finding them.  It is recovery."

The Path of One Recovering Codependent  ~ the dance of one wounded soul: My Unfolding Dance 13 - July 2002
As I state in my writing, toxic shame is a lie - we are not shameful beings.  However, our behavior because of our emotional wounds and dysfunctional programming - the behavior we were powerless over - has in the past sometimes been shameful behavior.  It is vital for me to be willing to get conscious of any nooks and crannies within where I haven't yet shined the Light of the level of consciousness that I have now achieved.  The processing I did in the summer of 2001 led to a breakthrough in my process that, as I say in my August 2001 Update, I believe allowed me to reach in my personal process the level of consciousness that I was accessing when I wrote Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.

It is because I had not yet healed my fear of intimacy issues enough to access that level of consciousness in relationship to my personal intimate relationships that I was powerless over the shameful behavior I was exhibiting up until 3 and 1/2 years ago.  I have not had an intimate interaction with a woman since that time - and that was a gift from the Universe.  This shameful behavior was something that I was powerless over until the processing I did in June.  It was on a deeper level, one of the "right on" reasons for me being deprived of an intimate relationship for most of my life.  By that I mean, that the bad news is that I have spent most of my life alone, I have been very deprived in regard to intimate, romantic relationship.  The good news / silver lining is that my codependent defenses kept me out of relationships so that I did less damage to other human beings because I wasn't in situations that triggered those defenses.

Now that I have gotten conscious of the denial and emotional dishonesty that was hiding this level from me, I can heal it - and take responsibility for my patterns in a new more complete way.   It was a wonderful - and very painful - breakthrough in my personal process.

I just got the gift of peeling another layer of the onion.  And I cried some in the process.  Emotional honesty can be a real pain sometimes.  As I often tell people, the Truth shall set you free - but first it will make you angry and hurt a lot.  I have just broken through to a new level of freedom in relationship to my fear of intimacy issues.  And my fear of intimacy issues - as I talk about in that October 2000 Update and elsewhere - are underneath all of my issues.

There are a couple of more facets to those fear of intimacy issues that I want to focus upon right now in my personal process.  Fourteen years ago this month I had an incredible, mind boggling experience which revealed to me that the power of my fear of intimacy issues was - in part, at least - related to an ancient wound.  I want to get back to writing for my Journal to see if I can delve deeper into that wound and put another chunk of those fear of intimacy issues behind me.  Rather I will be able to do that will fall into the more will be revealed realm.

I will add more pages to this site as soon as the Universe leads me to do that.  If the pages upon which I am sharing my processing sound like babble to you, don't take that as meaning something is wrong with you - or that I am just crazy.  Focus on the pages that make sense and leave the processing pages for later.  Discernment is a vital part of recovery and consciousness raising.  Take what resonates with you and leave the rest for now.  Focus on learning more about your relationship with your self, and any of my writing that you find useful in that process.  The thing that I have always found to be Truth in my recovery, is More Will Be Revealed. ;-)

With Wishes of Joy to You and Me,
Broken hearts and broken dreams lead to fear of risking - graphic with two hearts with an arrow through them.
Go to November 2002 Update
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