Joy to You & Me
and Joy2MeU Update
|To all the
Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,
It has been almost 4 months since my last Update - and I have
done a lot of work on the web site since February. It hasn't resulted
in a lot of new content on the site however - for variety of reasons.
In early March the problems that were increasingly manifesting
with my iMac that was over 2 years old - and therefore ancient in computer
terms - got irritating enough that I stopped at the Mac store one day to
see how much it would take to get a new computer. What I found out is that
I could trade in my iMac - and I was able to get a reconditioned eMac
with up to date software and more memory. Like every other thing
that happens in life, this was a good news / bad news situation. The
good news was that I got a new computer - hurrah - the bad news was I had
to learn to use new programs. That led to a couple of weeks of opportunities
to practice patience and acceptance and not buy into the frustration that
can arise from relating to a computer.
As I have mentioned in previous Updates, part of what makes
my life so interesting to me in recent years is that my work involves some
very different kinds of activity. The writing is a very different
kind of energy space from the phone counseling - and both are quite different
from the different types of work I need to do in relationship to my web
sites. My relationship with the phone counseling is definitely the
least contentious of the three arenas. And although my relationship
with writing can be frustrating at times, working on the web site - which
involves interacting with my computer - is definitely the relationship that
involves the most areas of potential for frustration. In my second
Newsletter for my original web site, I talked about the frustration of working
on web pages and trying to get listed in search engines.
"About frustration, since I mentioned it several times.
10 years ago when I was in a 30 day treatment program for codependence (clinically
called: depression) one of the counselors gave a definition of frustration
that made me angry then, and still riles me when I am getting frustrated
and I remember his words.
Getting used to a new computer can be a frustrating experience for
most anyone I think. For me it can be a challenging opportunity
for growth because any time I am working on something technical that is
important to me (as in, how I make my living), the little boy inside who
was always raged at for screwing up - and seemed to always screw up -
is so afraid of making a mistake. Those old wounds and tapes don't
have anywhere near the power they used to - but they do get triggered and
produce some fear and anxiety. Also, I don't normally read instructions,
just work it out through trial and error - so I get lots of opportunities
to practice letting go as I stumble along trying to figure out how to make
the new programs work. This is a personal pattern that can be attributed
to different causes, including: some codependent impatience and stubbornness
(doing it my way); the actual reality that most instructions
are written at levels above my computer illiterate understanding;
and perhaps just a bit to the fact I am a man (one of those things that
is part of cultural programming but also may be a bit inherent - as I point
out in some recent writings, stereotypes grow out of grains of Truth.)
Again I got to see how much I have grown in my recovery, because I only got
to the place of wanting to throw the computer through the window 3 or 4
times. Getting emotionally involved in a power struggle with a computer
is a wonderful opportunity to practice applying spiritual recovery principles
in my life.
Frustration (he said) is what you feel when you are in
a power struggle and you are losing.
Which means, for me, that there is something I need to let
go of - some part of my plan, my picture of how I think things should be
that I need to surrender - so I can see and accept reality as it is and
then make the best of it." - Joy to
You & Me Newsletter II - August 15, 1998
So, I spent the first couple of weeks of March figuring out
ways to use my new computer to do the things I need to do for my web site.
I got to watch my ego resist the change - and most of the time, be amused
by it's resistance. As I mention in my writings, our ego fears
the unknown and resists change. It likes comfortable ruts, not new
adventures. During the time that I was figuring out my new computer,
some new neighbors moved into the upstairs part of the duplex I live
in. It had been vacant since last fall - and I was quite enjoying
not having anyone walking around above my head. One Sunday morning
when I was getting wound too tight from the frustration of dealing with
the computer, I stepped outside for a break and noticed that my new neighbors
had obviously subscribed to the Sunday paper - and that IT WAS ON MY SIDE
OF THE DRIVEWAY. I had to laugh at how ridiculous my ego can get
with it's resistance to change. Their newspaper was invading my space
- the nerve of them!
March was also a really intense and busy month for phone counseling
- thanks to the Goddess, because that is what made it possible to be
able to trade in my computer. I finally got Chapter 14 of
my online book in progress posted on March 27th.
In April I didn't have time to do hardly any writing - as I
explain in an paragraph for this Update that I wrote to add to my ordering
information page a week or so ago.
"I didn't get any writing done in April because I first had
to figure out my taxes - and then spent two frantic weeks figuring out
how to set up a Catalogue page on a secure processing site: HyperMart.
The secure payment gateway that I use for processing credit card transactions
(Authorize.net) had set a deadline of April 29th to change one type of
code used in payment links - the code I use because it is the simplest.
This was a security upgrade that Authorize.net was imposing on all of it's
clients - but one that wasn't really necessary for me because I have never
had any problems with security. (I don't offer anything that a thief
would want to steal.) Their other options were far too technically
complicated for my computer illiterate skills, so I signed up for an account
with HyperMart so I could keep selling books after the deadline - and eventually
incorporate their type of links into all my items for sale. About two
days before the deadline they decided to postpone it indefinitely.
So, since I am paying to have this Catalogue Page posted on HyperMart, I am
placing links to it on my site so people can use it if they like. It
contains all of the products and services I offer on one page - and includes
a few extra options for purchasing Bumper Stickers with regular orders, as
does my PayPal page."
As I was writing this, I still haven't quite got all the wrinkles
worked out with this Catalogue Page (10/03
- this catalogue page turned out to be something that didn't work for the
site - so have removed the link now.) - more opportunity to deal with
frustration - but believe I will have it ready to go when I post this Update.
(I wrote this sentence on Monday, and on Tuesday got the page working right.
Hurrah! My inner children were quite proud of me for handling the
technical aspects of getting the page functioning.)
I have redesigned my Ordering Information page - and
made some slight adjustments to some of the prices, necessary because of
shipping costs. These were minor changes that actually involved lowering
the price of the audio tapes set - and some adjustments to cover higher shipping
costs to Canada.
At the end of April my poor car finally got to the point where
it wasn't worth saving anymore - and I was able to get a new car.
Hurrah! Well, new to me. I share that good news on the Help
page that I posted as a way of asking for assistance from the Universe
with my financial situation on January 2nd. That Help page is something
I am going to leave posted and update periodically for anyone who is interested
in my personal situation and the future of my book and web site. It
includes a request for donations from anyone who feels that my work has
helped them and whose Spirit moves them to send some green energy in this
direction. The new Catalogue page also includes some links for anyone
who wants to donate to the cause of keeping my book in print and my web site
available. As I mention on that Help page and on my updated
Future Publications page, keeping Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls in print is now my
overriding priority financially.
"So, when I sent the request out to the Universe on
January 2nd by posting this page, I asked for some financial abundance in
relationship to 5 areas. I have now gotten the new computer and new
car. Right on!
I invite anyone out there who resonates and values my work and my
book - and might have the financial means to help in keeping the message
out there and spreading - to check out that page. As I said, I will
run out of books by late August or September - so by the time of my next
Update in September the situation will either be resolved or have reached
a critical stage.
That leaves money to publish more copies of Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls when the ones I had printed last August run
out - probably around August or September this year - money to bring out
a CD version of the audio book, and the money to provide a home for my son.
My son is going to be with me for two periods this summer
(the first for a month starting May 28th) instead of living with me permanently
because that money has not manifested yet. The CD is something that
will happen eventually, hopefully. More copies of the Dance is something
that is necessary to maintain my ability to keep the web site going -
so it is now first on my priority list of requests to the Universe for
some financial abundance.
The company that published the second printing for me last
summer was bought out by a larger company. I recently contacted them
to lay the groundwork for printing more books. The change in ownership
resulted in an upgrade in equipment. The way that impacts me, is
that this summer to print 1000 copies of the book will cost me about the
same amount that it cost to print 1500 last summer - just under $3000.
However the more books printed, the more drastically the cost per book goes
down. It would be possible to print 5000 copies for just under $4500.
Pretty drastic difference - so hopefully the Universe will provide that
abundance in time to keep the book in print.
I have had a suggestion from someone - who made a donation
to the cause - that I am considering. This person thought that if
I added a dedication page to my site - which would allow people who did
donate to the cause to dedicate their contribution to some friend or loved
one or cause or whatever, and have their name (or anonymous as they wished)
listed on that page - it might increase donations. If anyone has any
thoughts on this they would like to share, drop me an e-mail." ~ Help page
Part of the good news about getting a reliable car is that
it made it easier, and cheaper, to bring my son out for his visit.
He is at an age now (13) where some airlines still consider him a minor -
which means he can't travel alone on any flight which involves changing
planes without paying a considerable extra fee. Since I had a car
that seemed to be up to the trip I was able to fly him into San Jose (about
180 miles away) on a direct flight - there being no direct flights to the
nearest airport in San Luis Obsipo. The car did make the trip all right
- but used a lot of oil. Oh well. sigh. :-)
One of those interesting Cosmic coincidences of timing occurred
because of this new car that brought San Jose within range. A person
who had done some phone sessions with me some time ago sent me an e-mail
a month or so ago, in which she asked if I would ever consider speaking
at a CoDA meeting in her area. As things unfolded, it turned out that
her home group in the San Francisco Bay area meets on Wednesday evenings
- and they wanted me to come in late June or early July. My plans
by then included being in San Jose on July 2nd - which made it easy to agree
to head on up to speak at a CoDA speakers meeting that evening. My
17th CoDA birthday was on June 3rd (something I talk about in the Story of
Joy to You & Me in the first issue of the Joy2MeU Journal)
- and since our local CoDA group is so small, I didn't really do anything
to celebrate my birthday this year. This speakers meeting will give
me a chance to share my story as a way of celebrating that birthday.
Anyone in the Bay Area who thinks they might be interested in coming to
Walnut Creek that evening can send me an e-mail for the information on
time and place.
The big change that took a lot of time in early May was the
change I made to the name of my online book. As I mentioned in past
Updates, this online book grew into something much larger and more sophisticated
than the internet article that prompted me to write the response The
codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! The new title
is Codependency Recovery:
Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional
Relationship with Life. I explain the genesis, evolution, and
new name for this work in the Author's Foreword that I posted in mid May. In
late May, I posted Chapter 15: Masculine and Feminine.
It will probably be a couple of months before I post
Chapter 16, as I have some other articles I want to finish first - most
notably the last two (or 3 perhaps) articles in The Miracle of The Twelve
Step Recovery Process series that I was writing when I was propelled
into writing this online book, and an article on Romantic Connection/Sexual
Attraction that I started writing - and promised - two years ago.
My next priority however, is some articles for my Joy2MeU Journal.
Eventually I will be writing in the personal journal I share in that Journal
about some major exciting breakthroughs in my personal process that have
unfolded this Spring - breakthroughs that I can now see were necessary for
me to finish the article on Romantic Attraction. More will be revealed
about how fast I get any of this writing done - I do have my 13 year old son
here with me now, and will be taking a trip with him in late July.
I also started an interesting new series of articles on my
Inner Child/Codependency Recovery page on Suite101 - and added a new page
to this site with a list of, and links to, the articles I have published
there since January 2002. The new series which I started in March, is
focused on issues involving gender, sexuality, romantic relationships, and
directly related topics - and I am sure will be continuing for the rest of
2003. The first article in that series is entitled Men and Women
are from the same planet.
In the Newsletter portion of this Update, I am going to share
something I wrote for my online book last September - but have not used
in it. It is one of the many sections that I wrote and haven't used
while writing the chapters of that book. I did use what I had written
- and expanded on it - in my online journal processing I did in November.
What I am sharing below is that expanded version of what I had written -
about how recovery can be a lonely journey at times.
Additions to the web site since the February Update include:
An Author's Foreword and two new Chapters
added to the renamed online book in progress. The first two chapters
will eventually be a separate article.
The codependency movement is NOT ruining
Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls
Dancing in The Light
Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship
New: Author's Foreword
false self image
self worth &
Multiple levels of selfishness
Codependents as Emotional Vampires
Codependency = Emotional
Normal Families are Dysfunctional
Codependent Counselors / Therapists
Chapter 12: Codependency
in New Age Movement
The Music of Love is not shaming
Masculine and Feminine
A new page Suite101 Articles with a list of - and links to - articles
published on my Inner Child / Codependency Recovery page on Suite101 since
I did some redesign and fine tuning
of prices on my Ordering Information page
I updated my Help page in regard to my financial situation - which
includes the need to raise the finances to print more copies of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls as I share on my Future Publications
I added a brief update to the Phone Counseling Page to mark the third anniversary
of doing the phone sessions.
A wonderful new testimonial from a woman
in Scotland came in just in time to be added with this Update - the sixth
new phone counseling testimonial that has
been added since the February Update.
Two new resources have been added to
the Referral to local Therapist / Counselors
page - one in California, one in England.
Three new batches of wonderful testimonials for the book, tapes, and web site
have been added since the last Update.
A new testimonial for the
The site referral service I had been
using was going out of business so I added a new one Tell-A-Friend.
Someone e-mailed me to let me know that
the handout Risking was written by Ralph Waldo Emerson - it is on the same
page with the The 10 Commandments of Self Esteem
Most Recent articles published on my Inner Child/Codependency Recovery topic page on Suite101:
Intellectual Discernment - Choices, not "shoulds"
Men and Women are from the same planet
The Maiden and the Horndog
Old tapes / traditional beliefs and roles
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.
I am publishing drafts of several books, the story of my recovery
/ Spiritual Path, and a personal journal in my Joy2MeU Journal.
To preview first issue of Joy2MeU Journal
go to Journal Premier Issue
To sign up for e-mailing list
"Here is something that I wrote in August as part of my writing for
the online book. I may still use it in that online work eventually.
The Road Gets Narrower
Recovery from codependency, healing our wounded souls, can be a very
lonely journey at times. There is an expression in twelve step
recovery - the road gets narrower. It does. There is a lot
of letting go involved in the healing process. As we learn to be
more Loving to our self, as we start to honor and respect and have compassion
for ourselves, we start choosing to let go of old ideas, old behaviors,
and lots of people we care about. The healthier we get, the more
old playmates and old playgrounds we find it necessary to let go of -
as we let go of the manipulative games that we learned to play in childhood,
the masks we used to wear.
That doesn't mean we have to let go of people we care about completely,
although some of them we certainly will choose to - or they will choose
to have nothing to do with us once we start standing up for ourselves and
speaking our Truth. It means we need to let go of the illusion that
they are who we want them to be - that we need them in our life.
We need to start seeing people more clearly so we can practice discernment
in the people we choose to trust, the people to whom we choose to open
up our hearts and minds. There are two through nine choices in relationships
- different levels / categories of friendship.
"I have found it important to have boundaries in terms of
how I view other people. If I have one or two people in my life that
I feel that I can truly communicate with and be emotionally honest with
on all levels, that is an incredible abundance. . . . . . . It has been very
helpful to me, to accept that people are where they are at - and that it
is OK. . . . . . . This was especially important in terms of letting
go of expecting my family of origin to change. They are not who I
want them to be, they don't understand me and can't see me. It isn't
personal - they are just dancing with their wounds and following their
path. It is not for me to judge someone else's path. Letting
go - especially in terms of doing the inner child grieving about letting
go of the myth of family - and accepting, was a necessary component in being
able to have a friendly, superficial relationship with my family today.
Superficial is what they are capable of - I needed to accept that and
make the best of the situation.
Getting sane in an insane world is crazy making sometimes.
As we change and get healthier, many of the people in our lives will be
uncomfortable with our new behavior. Some of them will judge and
shame us, will be abusive to us, when we start setting boundaries and acting
with more self respect.
In terms of friends, there are going to be people in my life, who
I can share certain things with - but not other things. Some people
that I can relate to on certain levels, or about certain issues.
To expect that I can be emotionally honest with everyone in my life in a
way that works (is safe, is heard, is understood) is an insane expectation
in such a dysfunctional society with relatively so few people actually
doing the healing work." - Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty
and responsibility 2
When I mention above that we start choosing "safe" people to interact
with, I was not talking about other people actually being able to harm
us. The safety I was referring to is an internal thing. We need
to build a sanctuary for ourselves internally - grounded in our Spiritual
connection - so that we aren't giving other people power over our self
"I want to make a point here also, that when I say "safe"
in terms of being emotionally honest, I am talking about what will work
best. In earlier recovery, when I was still giving a lot of power to
the old wounds and old tapes, it could feel devastating to me to have someone
judge and shame me. Then safe referred to danger, to people who would
judge and shame me. It also meant people who would try to fix me.
Trying to fix someone else is not support, it is codependence. When
someone starts trying to rescue me it imparts a judgment on where I am at
- it means they are not comfortable so they are going to try to change me
to make themselves comfortable. This is tied into what I was speaking
of above about offering advice or opinions to someone who hasn't asked.
It can be a form of abuse.
Earlier in my recovery, it was necessary for me to stay away from
certain people who were not safe - people who were the mad dogs and skunks
I mentioned in the last chapter and will talk in more detail about in the
next. Because I had not yet learned to be able to set healthy and
appropriate boundaries, to have internal boundaries so I wasn't giving others
so much power to trigger me, it was best to not be around them. Now,
it is not necessary for me to stay away from anyone, it is just
a choice I make because I value where I invest my time and energy.
As I have gotten healthier in recovery, with more capacity to be
balanced and see life with some clarity - other people and life events have
less power to effect me. The more I am grounded in the Spiritual belief
system I have integrated into my internal process, and the more I have done
my inner child healing - the less power any of my old buttons hold. The
better I have become at letting go, the shorter the periods of time have
become that I am giving others the power to rock my emotional boat.
The term safe for me transformed into meaning something more like: safe from
wasting time and energy trying to communicate with someone who can not
hear. To get into an argument, a power struggle over right and wrong,
with someone who doesn't speak my language is dysfunctional - is actually,
pretty silly." - Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and
The less we are allowing the disease to cause us to judge and shame
ourselves, the more we are Loving and respecting ourselves by owning
our worth as Spiritual beings, the easier it becomes to feel safe within
no matter what is happening externally. The saying that I quote often,
"Serenity isn't freedom from the storm, Serenity is Peace amidst the storm"
has gradually become a concrete reality in my life. It has become
the foundation upon which my relationship with reality is based. I
certainly can have emotional reactions to life events and other peoples behaviors,
can experience fear and hurt and anger - but underneath my reactions to day
to day life is an inner peace and faith that is ultimately what defines my
relationship with my life experience today. Very cool result of having
been willing to heal and grow.
The road does become narrower - but the horizons get broader.
The scenery on our journey gets more beautiful as we learn to relax and
smell the flowers. The experience of this human trip in day to day
life becomes happier and easier, includes more Joy and Love in the moments
of our days. It can still feel like a pretty solitary journey at times
however, because we are pioneers.
"We are pioneers in this healing movement that is happening.
Even if you just arrived at some consciousness of the path, you are still
a pioneer [to use a Western American analogy . . . . . - if I am
a Mountain Man who followed the fur trappers, then you are in the first
wagon trains.] And it can often be lonely and scary and painful being
a pioneer. Life does not often feel Loving. It does not normally,
tangibly feel like there really is a Loving Higher Power. As we do
the work, and change our intellectual paradigm to one based on Love instead
of fear so that our emotional responses to life change, we can change our
relationship with life into one that is more Loving - but it still doesn't
feel Loving a lot of the time. So, it is important to remember what
a gift we have been given. In healing our relationships with our
self, we are becoming vehicles / channels / vessels of Love. By learning
to Love our self we are manifesting Love into the world. This is the
dawning of the Second Coming of the message of Love, and we are all messengers/messiahs
who have the privilege of carrying the message of Truth and Love by being
in recovery and doing our healing to the best of our ability in the moment."
November 4, 2002
After using that quote from the December 1999 Update in this section
above that I wrote in September - I realized that it is really not a good
analogy. The part about you all being in covered wagons that is.
Most of the time, it is not going to feel like you are a part of a group
of people in recovery - on a journey - together. If you have
a CoDA group or something similar, that inspires you and gives comfort -
that will give you the feeling of community some of the time. Thanks
be to the Goddess for this incredible gift of the internet - because it
can help us feel connected to a community some times. But most of
the time, this recovery process is a pretty solitary journey. It
is normal to feel quite alone, a good bit of the time.
What was so vital to me was to separate the three major levels of
my loneliness - so that I could discern between legitimate feelings of
loneliness for connection with other human beings, the desperate loneliness
of my inner child, and the spiritual emptiness that comes from the illusion
of separation from my Source. This is what I talked about in the latest
chapter of my online book.
"Codependency is a condition which sets us up to be starved
for emotional nurturing - to be emotionally anorexic. Not having
our emotional needs met in childhood sets us up for the behavior patterns
that cause our adult emotional needs to go unmet - and both areas of need
are reflections of our Spiritual wound, of the hole we feel within due to
the feeling of disconnection from our Source. That deep empty longing
can only be filled Spiritually, by reconnecting with our Source.
I also talked about it in the Newsletter processing I did about my
fear of intimacy issues in May and June of 2001.
As long as we are looking outside to fill the hole we feel within
ourselves, we are destined to be emotional anorexics. Our emotional
needs cannot be filled as long as our self worth is enmeshed in our emotional
relationship to external sources. We are not able to discern between
our legitimate adult emotional needs and the desperate emotional neediness
of our wounded inner children as long we are looking outside of ourselves
to find worth, to fill the feeling of emptiness within." - The codependency
movement . . . marriages! Chapter 9 emotional anorexia
"When I mentioned being alone, I was talking specifically
about in person, emotionally intimate relationships. I was not talking
about that desperate feeling of loneliness that I used to experience.
That desperately lonely part of me involved my inner child loneliness -
and beyond that, the hole in my soul that was about feeling disconnected
from the Source. I have not felt disconnected from the Source for
many years now. That Spiritual hole that I spent much of my life trying
to fill with something or someone outside of me, is what I learned to fill
by working a twelve step Spiritual program. I am never alone on
that level. I have not felt alone in that way for a long time.
What I know for me, is that my experience is that I have felt lonelier
in relationship with someone who I wasn't connecting with than without
a relationship. "One is the loneliest number since the number 2"
The bottom line to any decision we need to make about a relationship, is
to look at whether the payoff is worth the price we are paying - and in
order to do that, it is vital to see the situation as clearly as possible.
Developing a detached, objective, observer perspective - my recovery control
center - has been the key for me in learning to have internal boundaries
so that I can separate out the different levels of my process, so that I
can see my issues and my relationships with more clarity.
Through my inner child healing work, I have developed relationships
with the desperately lonely, needy inner children within me - and those
wounds have only a fraction of the power they used to have. The next
time that I have the opportunity to explore a relationship with another
person that includes the possibility of a romantic connection, those wounds
will come into play / buttons will be pushed - and it will be an wonderful
opportunity for further growth and healing. ;-)
So, in stating that I was very alone - notice that I did not say
I was lonely - I was referring to an adult need for connection with other
human beings in person. . . . . . A sad truth for many people, is
that the emotional intimacy they have experienced on the internet is the
most powerful intimacy they have ever experienced. This is a symptom
of how wounded and starved emotionally we were as children - the reason for
patterns of emotional deprivation as an adult - and a message from the
Source about how important it is to develop compassion for self in recovery.
Just as the first twelve step meetings I ever attended were the most intimate,
honest, real, and safest places I had ever experienced up to that time
- so for many people the internet was the first place to experience any
kind of true emotional honesty and safety. As I grew, and learned
to be more emotionally intimate with myself, my capacity for emotional intimacy
increased - and after a certain point, the number of people who had a comparable
capacity decreased, the number of places where it was really appropriate
to share on the deepest levels became fewer. There are multiple levels
to everything, recovery keeps changing and getting different - the road gets
narrower as the horizons get broader." - Joy2MeU Update May 2001
The breakthrough that I had in my journal processing in June and
July, is that I was able to see, and make a conscious choice to opt for
deprivation over getting involved with someone that I did not feel I could
really open my heart to. It was very important for me to do that,
so I could take some power away from my deprivation issues. Even though
I have done tremendous healing over the years, I find that in this one critical
area I keep uncovering ways that I am giving power to feeling like a victim.
That was a very big breakthrough for me - to make deprivation a conscious
choice rather than engaging in behavior that felt like a betrayal of myself.
Now I am getting a chance to look at the way I have swung out of
balance in my acceptance of being isolated.
I do have legitimate adult needs for connection with other humans.
It is very difficult to get those needs met because of how narrow my path
has become - but I could do more than I have been to make myself available
for such relationships. That is why it was so important for me
to look at this area. I can take some action. I can take some
risks to open up to the possibility of connection with other beings."
The Path of one Recovering
Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Process - Dance 18 November 2002
Why, in this excerpt
from my journal, I refer to writing the section on The Road Gets Narrower
in August in one place, and only a short way down the page say it was in
September, I have no idea. Brain hiccup I guess. I wrote it
in August and September last year obviously.
As I said, that section
was written for the online book and thus the reference to "mad
dogs and skunks I mentioned in the last chapter." That was a reference
to Chapter 7: Multiple levels of selfishness.
The issue of being alone and and feeling lonely is a big one for
most of us. It was vital for me in my recovery to see that I actually
felt less loneliness when I was alone - because my patterns were more
of the counterdependent type, trying to convince myself I didn't need other
people. My fear/terror of intimacy issues were so powerful that I
effectively had a relationship phobia. Those of you whose patterns
were more classically codependent, tended to make the relationship your
higher power and hold on for dear life because of inner child fears of being
alone. These are two extremes in the patterns I have observed in how
codependents react to fear of intimacy - to be isolated and alone most of
the time or to stay in relationships that aren't meeting our needs out of
fear of being alone. The third major pattern is to go from relationship
to relationship, often being more codependent in some (trying to take a
hostage / make the other person our drug of choice) and counterdependent
in others (resisting being someone else's drug / being taken hostage.)
(Parts 3 and 4 of the Codependent
Relationship Dynamics series talks about this come here - go away dynamic.)
It was when I was with other people that I felt the loneliest - because
I didn't have a clue of how to connect in a healthy way. So, I tried
to convince myself that I didn't need other people. I had so much shame at
the core of my relationship with my self that it felt like allowing another
person to really see in to me (intimacy, in to me see) would cause them
to run away screaming in horror at what a shameful defective monster I was
- the ugly ogre within (just watched Shrek with my kid again the other night.:)
It has been powerfully freeing and empowering for me to learn to
be discerning in seeing the different levels of loneliness - to separate
the feelings of loneliness caused by spiritual disconnection from the loneliness
and grief of my inner child wounds. As I took the power away from
those levels by working a spiritual program and doing my inner child healing
work, I could then more clearly own and see the level that was about an
adult human being wanting connection with other adult human beings - and
of course, a special connection with one other person. That is a legitimate
need - and I needed to grieve for the ways I had been deprived in getting
my needs to connect with other beings met - but it was by far the least
powerful of the three levels of loneliness. Separating my soul longing
and the desperate, life threatening, feelings of my inner children from the
adult grief made it possible to start playing in the gray area of relationships
- instead of being stuck swinging between the extremes of complete isolation
or opening my heart to be shattered once more by someone who would "betray"
me by not being who I wanted her to be. (Because of my childhood trauma,
my fear of betrayal was greater than my fear of abandonment, so counterdependent
behavior felt less potentially painful to my ego defense system than codependent
- something I saw more clearly, on a deeper level, in that May 2001 Newsletter
Letting go of my schedule
I was planning on getting this Update posted on June 11th - so much
for my plans. In writing about how the road gets narrower I got into
how vital it is to start learning how to practice discernment in relationship
to the issues of being alone and feeling alone - and this Newsletter portion
of the Update kept getting longer and longer. Discernment in looking
at our issues is so vital in learning to open up to Love - and the ability
to start separating being alone and feeling alone was so important
to me in beginning to peel away the layers of my fear/terror of intimacy
- that this section kept growing. It is not possible to change our
patterns in intimate relationships without practicing discernment - and
in writing this I found myself explaining the process in a way that is a
little different (and hopefully clearer) that I have previously.
Yesterday (June 15) I surrendered to making the Newsletter portion
of this Update a different page. It is too important a topic for
me to try to cram it in with this Update portion - I want a little more
space to explore where this writing is going. Hopefully I will be
able to finish that page within the next couple of days. I will announce
on my New page when the Newsletter page of this Update is posted and activate
a link to it here.
"As I started to validate and understand my emotional wounds,
and separate the levels and layers of them, I could then start to see
my adult relationship patterns more clearly. I could then see how
the combination of feeling disconnected Spiritually and feeling unlovable
to my parents in childhood gave power to the illusion that I was shameful
and defective. And because I felt shameful and defective I had good
reason to fear intimacy. That helped me to start understanding why
my fear of intimacy had run my life."
Wishes of Love to Me and You all 2,
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Go to September
2003 Update Newsletter