"A major goal for me in 2005 is to be more involved in life. I have taken steps to be more Alive and involved with other human beings this year. My time of living in isolation in a beautiful place I Love, focused on my writing, was a wonderful, wonderful chapter in my life. But I entered this year knowing that I wanted to be more involved in the experience of living from now on than in writing about it from an intellectual, theoretical perspective." - Joy2MeU Update Newsletter March 2005When I entered this year, and took steps to get more involved in living, I had no idea what was to come. The opportunity that has manifested in my life is such an amazing and richly textured experience that I don't think I could have imagined it in details anywhere close to the reality that has materialized. The steps I took in early January actually turned out to be symbolic because my plunge into life is not linked to any of them, but the actions I took were important in setting the energy in motion to create the kind of experience and opportunity I was asking for. (In my article on the first 3 steps The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process: 1, 2, 3, and a 1, 2, 3 - The first three steps I talk about how working the third step involves putting out my request to the Universe - asking for help in creating what I want - and taking action towards that desire. By taking action to plant the seeds - while letting go of the outcome - I aligned with metaphysical law of sowing and reaping, something I talk more about on my Love Offering page that is linked below.)
There is plenty of material for anyone to read on my site already - and though I will be writing some original articles for the site in the future, that is not a priority for me now. So, I have added very little to the site this year. There are over 270 pages of content on the regular site right now - and close to 90 pages in the Joy2MeU Journal - so several million words available. If you are one of the rare people who have already read them all, I would suggest that you go back and read them again. As we grow and learn our perspective changes. So, if you read an article 6 month or a year ago - of even last week sometimes - you will see even more in it in reading it again.
I have emphatically become much more involved in life and with other human beings this year, in some quite amazing and wonderful ways. I will get into a little more detail about that in a moment, but just last week a new possibility appeared on the horizon. My 15 year old son just returned to his home after spending close to a month here with me. The day he returned home, his mother called me about the possibility of having him come to live with me. This is something that has come up several times before, but she has always changed her mind within a short period of time. It is something that I have been willing to do for awhile, but did not know how I would be able to financially handle the extra responsibility.
On my biography page, which I mentioned above, I share an outline of how my journey has unfolded - including the financial difficulties that caused me to be homeless for 6 months in 1999. (Not on the street homeless, I had an office for my computer - but crashing on friends couch kind of homeless.) On my Donations / Love Offering page - which includes the history of the book and a discussion of the metaphysical laws of giving and receiving - I share how I learned to be open to receiving help as part of working the 3rd step of my 12 step program, and how Donations to the cause allowed me to publish the book and to keep it in print. Self publishing a book is not the way to make a lot of money - unless or until word of mouth becomes so strong that a larger publisher wants to buy the rights.
It was the gift of exposure on the internet that has kept my book alive and in print - and I have been very grateful in the years since 1999 that I have been able to pay the rent every month. The risk I took this year actually put me in a position where it was possible I might end up homeless again. I don't think that is going to happen now - but it was a risk I choose to make. I called attention to that Donation page - and worked the third step by asking for help again - on my New page when I posted the latest article that I moved from suite101, on my CoDA birthday, June 3rd. I did get a few donations as a result of that request on the New page - and have the promise of another one that will help alleviate a lot of financial pressure in my life right now if it manifests.
Due to the risk I have taken - and the added financial responsibility I have taken on - I have been looking for ways to increase my income. Having my son come to live with me will make that an even more pressing priority. One of the things I am considering is moving some of the pages on my regular web site into a password protected part of the site - and charging a fee to view those pages. This is something I have resisted doing up until now - but something I am needing to consider as part of taking care of my own needs.
I raised telephone counseling prices in May, as one step in trying to create more income. The prices I am charging are still minuscule compared to what some people out there are charging - and the phone counseling is probably the greatest bargain available when it comes to changing the quality of one's life for the better. Learning how to have the internal boundaries that I teach people in the phone work - and describe how to do on my inner child healing pages - is truly the most powerful work I have ever encountered to help a person to open up to more Joy in one's life, to really start learning how to relax and enjoy life as an exciting adventure a great deal of the time. As I tell people often, there are many places one can read or hear that it is important to Love one's self - but no one really tells you how to do it. It is my privilege and honor to be able to share with people an approach that actually helps one to start being more Loving to one's self. An approach that actually works - is functional - in changing one's core relationship with self, life, and other people into one that is more Loving.
Making part of the site a pay per view kind of section is just one of the actions that I am needing to consider at the present time. I would rather not do this - and if enough donations to the cause come in, or money manifests in some other way, won't have to - but it is an option. It has been my privilege and honor to provide so much information for free here on the internet - and even if I do decide to charge for some of the content, it will only be perhaps a couple of dozen pages. There have now been 10s of thousands of people who have been helped by my pages - and only a small percentage of those people have even bought my book. That is something I am okay with however. As I say on the Donations page, I am settling Karma and getting the opportunity to be of service, and that is a wonderful gift.
"Of course, one of the reasons that I have the
honor and privilege of carrying this Joyous message in this lifetime is
because of my Karmic debts from other lifetimes.
As I also say on that Donation page, I am not really asking for donations just for my sake - because by opening to receive I present other people an opportunity to give, which helps them to to align themselves Karmically with a message they believe in, and to keep the healing energy flowing for their lives.
"I do not need you to make a donation for my sake - though I would, of course, be very grateful for your help in allowing me to continue doing something I Love to do. Perhaps however, if you resonate with my work, you would find it beneficial to make a donation for your sake - to demonstrate and affirm your alignment with the message of Joy and Love in my work. If you have been able to access some more Love for yourself through reading my words, perhaps sending a little Love my way in the form of money energy will help keep the Love energy flowing into your life." - Donations / Love OfferingHaving my son come to live with me is something that has always terrified me. As I talked about in the March Update, I had a lot of knowledge on an intellectual, theoretical level about romantic relationship - but needed to actually have some relationship experience to really learn how to get healthier in actually being in a romantic relationship. The same is true for being a father - I have theoretical knowledge, but no real experience at actually doing it on a day to day basis. It will be a wonderful opportunity for growth - and a major challenge - if I get the gift of having him come to live with me.
And that brings me to one of the events in my life recently. My father passed away on May 24th. I wrote about it in my latest Suite101 article God the Father, and my father. It is something that I will probably be processing through for awhile.
If the major donation that has been promised to me materializes, that will make it possible to actually start taking steps towards bringing out the audio tapes in a CD version. This is something I have wanted to do - and been asked about - for years now, and it would be great if enough abundance manifests to actually do that. I will announce it on my New page if it happens - as well announcing the change to pay to view certain pages if that happens. For those of you that don't know it, there is a service that will send you an e-mail letting you know that the New page has changed. Any time I make any changes or additions to the web site - or announce any news (like workshops being scheduled) - I announce it on the New page. If you would like to sign up for that service it is here: Notification of change to New page sign up page.
Now I will tell you a little about the amazing, miraculous, relationship experience that I have been blessed with here in 2005.
"a receptacle for Love to flow into"
"The Universe answered my prayer / affirmation / challenge by bringing a new teacher into my life to help me do some more work on healing my relationship with myself - healing my fear of intimacy issues. And my Higher Power arranged that I would be completely through with the last experience before this one appeared in my life. Very cool.This relationship has turned into an absolutely amazing, Truly remarkable adventure. The woman whom I am involved with has proven to be a major catalyst for growth in my life - and a source of incredible Joy. I am actually getting the opportunity to experience what I have intuitively - and theoretically - known was possible in a romantic relationship for years now. I am getting a chance to follow the advice I gave to some friends in the Wedding Prayer that I wrote at the end of 1998.
"You each have emotional "buttons" that trigger old defensive reactions, fears and insecurities - and you are sitting next to the person who was specifically prepared and trained to be a specialist in pushing your buttons. The gift you will give each other by pushing those buttons will help each of you uncover the wounds that need to be healed.My lady and I are a most improbable, surprising coupling in many ways. We had been living very different life styles with divergent priorities - and an almost 14 year age differential. It took a cosmic "coincidence" of pretty monumental proportions for us to even connect at all in the first place. I had taken down my profile on the online dating services for a period of time because I didn't anticipate getting involved in another relationship in early January. I was still processing through the lessons I had learned in the relationship experience I was gifted with in 2004 - and because the shift I mentioned in my March Update had taken place at the very beginning of the year, had not made the profile visible again as yet.
". . . . . And then something happened that I have never experienced so powerfully previously. A communication from her about that article - and an e-mail that she sent me on January 2nd (my e-mail response to that one was the last communication between us) - opened my eyes to some facets of the relationship experience I had not seen clearly before. I read that e-mail through one time - and I was completely done with the relationship. Instantaneously it was over for me absolutely. In writing this today - because of the digression above - I realize that what happened in the moment of my reading that e-mail, was that any ties / chords of energy that were still in place from me to her were completely severed. Never before have I experienced such a clear and clean and complete closure of anything in my recovery process. It was a blessed gift and a miracle.The coincidence had to do with a phone counseling client on the East Coast. I had shared with her that an important part of me opening up to becoming available for a relationship experience had been putting up a profile on some online dating services. (I originally did the online dating thing thinking nothing would come of it, but rather as a symbolic action - such as I mentioned above - to put my desire for a relationship out to the Universe.) She had decided to take my advice that she try out the experience - and in communicating with me about the profile she had put up, asked me if she could see my profile. So, I made my profile viewable for a period of less than 24 hours. During that time the woman who I am involved with now contacted me. She happened to do a search that night for men who lived in Cambria. She has always been drawn to the little coastal town I live in - and had even gotten married here some years earlier. She had dreamed for years of moving to this area - and on that night her frustrations with living in San Diego had driven her to repeat a search that she had done previously without seeing my profile because it wasn't available.
So, on the night of January 12th I received a communication from her. I was not really interested in a long distance relationship, and though she was very attractive it didn't look to me from her profile as if we were interested in the same types of things - so I didn't respond for a few days. We exchanged a few e-mails and she told me that she was going to be in the area soon - but I really had no expectations that anything would come of our connecting.
She did not contact me when she had told me she probably would - and I had pretty much dismissed the possibility of meeting her from my mind that weekend. When I did hear from her on Sunday afternoon the 23rd of January, it was unexpected and on the phone number I use for counseling which I do not get other calls on normally. I was actually kind of rude when I first answered because I thought she was someone else that should have known better than to call me on that line. Despite my rudeness, she was compelled to drive to Cambria to meet me that night.
During the course of the time we spent together that evening I got a glimpse of her True Self. Because of her childhood wounding and life experience, she had developed a defense system that to me - in our communication up until that night - had already seemed to be waving a lot of red flags warning me not to get involved. I was pretty stand offish despite the fact that I found her to be a very beautiful woman. Once I got a glimpse of her True Self, I knew immediately that this was a woman that I had to get to know.
What I saw was a woman with a beautiful heart and soul - with a huge capacity to Love - underneath the defenses that she had been forced to adapt to protect herself in her life journey. There was no doubt in my mind after that night, that no matter how many red flags I was seeing, I needed to surrender to experiencing whatever my Higher Power had brought her into my life to experience.
Her defenses were perfectly designed to push my buttons - to trigger some of my deepest wounds and reactions. And of course, my defenses pushed her buttons as well.
That night I surrendered to whatever ride the Universe had in store for me with this woman. That night I realized that I needed to ignore the red flags, let go of any preconceived boundaries or expectations, and go wherever this adventure led me.
It has been a real e-ticket ride so far. I have thought it was over a multitude of times. She would react in ways that pushed my buttons - and I was sure it had ended. But then it would begin again.
The key factor is that she is actively in recovery, dedicated to getting healthier. Thus though her reaction was to run away from me - her pattern has been to leave relationships before she could be left - she did not run away for long. I had my deepest wounds around abandonment, betrayal, and rejection pushed - and kept coming back for more because that is what I had surrendered to doing back on January 23rd. I kept throwing out any intellectual, rational conclusions about what was going on, about the red flags that kept appearing - and surrendering to following my intuitive guidance to go wherever this ride took me.
One of the most unusual things about the experience to me, is that she was resistant to my writing from the beginning. What has been a normal occurrence for me in recent years, is that women who fell in love with my writing and my message would think they were my soul mate or something and want to get to know me. She didn't much care for my writing - has still not completely read my book - but was interested in me anyway. She saw something in me that she was very attracted to, that was not the result of what I do or the message I have been given the gift of carrying.
She had no interest in me being her teacher - and in fact, thought that it was me that needed her as a teacher. She was, of course, accurate in that assessment in multiple ways. She has been the catalyst for amazing growth for me - and is continuing to teach me daily. I had to let go of my role as a teacher in relationship to her - and really start learning about being a man in a relationship separate from my identity as a messenger and teacher.
This is not a relationship that I am going to be writing about in any detail as I have with past journalizing about my fear of intimacy issues - and my journey to learning to open my heart. I am only going to share in the most general kind of way about this amazing adventure the Goddess has gifted me with.
What has unfolded in recent months, is that she is now living here in Cambria - and I am moving in with her in the next couple of weeks. I have not only been given the blessing of having the opportunity to share my life journey with a dynamic, exciting romantic partner - I have inherited a whole family in the process. The brood includes her 17 year old daughter, her daughters boyfriend and their 7 month old baby - soon perhaps to be joined by her 20 year old son. I am getting the Joyous and amazing opportunity to be a step grandfather to the amazing little baby - and am sooo grateful for the opportunity. The family also includes 2 dogs, 2 cats, a rat, and a chicken named Jack. (And now a 3 month old pygmy goat named Pixie.)
The way the events unfolded - which included her getting a job in the area that fell through and being forced to move with very little in the way of financial resources - has allowed me to do something which I have never done before. I was able to step up to the plate and take financial responsibility for this whole brood. I have always had a problem just providing financially for myself, and have never felt capable of taking on that kind of responsibility. (Although I have paid support payments for my son, I haven't until now thought I could possibly take on the financial responsibility of having him live with me. In the October 2000 Update I am going to be quoting shortly, I talk about my core fear of intimacy issues and how they are tied into the financial issues my codependency created in my life.)
That is what has put me into a precarious financial position - supporting my new family (along with plane trips to see my father before he died, and to go to his funeral.) When I got to the point of giving notice on my apartment in anticipation of moving in with my lady and her family, I still wasn't sure that the relationship wouldn't blow up and cause her to run away in reaction to her counterdependent defenses - leaving me in a position where I had no money and no place to live. But I took the risk anyway because that is what my Spiritual guidance told me to do - because I could see that there was potential for a great reward, a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, if things worked out between us.
I am so very very grateful I have done this. I am today, June 27th, feeling very secure in the relationship - having grown to a place where I am giving less and less power to my reactions and hers - and really believe this is going to work out in very wonderful ways.
The growth I have made in surrendering to the adventure and not letting my inner child wounds have so much power, has created the space for her to grow in tremendous ways. She has been able to accept my help and develop a trust in me - two things that her wounding caused her to be very very resistant to - that has helped her to open her heart to me in amazing ways. She has learned to get past her defenses and be vulnerable - and we are developing a delicious and magnificent emotional intimacy. The experience of being Loved by her as she opens her heart to me, is exquisite. For the first time in my life, I am Truly being given the opportunity to receive an abundance of the Love I have been starved for all my life.
In my Update Newsletter from October 2000 I shared about my fear of intimacy issues in a way that was a catalyst for everything that has happened in my recovery process since that time. In that Update I mention the one issue that was at the core of my wounding - that is one of the most challenging for all codependents - which is opening up to receive Love. Because of the toxic shame at the core of codependency - the feeling of being somehow defective, unlovable and unworthy because my parents were wounded and wounded me - allowing myself to Truly be Loved is the hardest thing I have ever had to learn. In that Update I put it this way.
"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.)" Joy2MeU Update Newsletter October 2000I am now getting the opportunity to be a receptacle for Love to flow into in amazing and wondrous ways. I am so incredibly grateful for this relationship, for this beautiful amazing woman in my life. I have faith that the financial needs will be met somehow and that we are going to get the chance to explore this wonderful intimacy that we are creating between us. I do believe that what I intuitively wrote about in that Wedding Prayer over 7 years ago is now present and happening in my life.
"You will need to Let Go. And Let Go, and let go again. On a daily basis. Let go of believing that the other person has to be in a good mood or has to like the same things or wants to do things at the same time. Let go of expecting that they can be there for you in the way you want all of the time. They can't. They are human. No one can meet all of another person's needs. You each need to have resources / friends outside of your relationship. You each need to have parts of your life that aren't dependent upon the other.I now have the friend and partner who is willing to go on this adventure with me. It is an exquisite, blessed opportunity. This year has already been the most Joyous of my life - and it keeps getting better!!!!!!! What a blessing! What a gift!
With Wishes of Joy and Love to me and you ~ Robert
The other thing that is happening, is that the possibility of my son coming to live with me seems more apt to happen now. Although it looks like it may not happen until the end of the year. More will be revealed about how this all unfolds, but it would seem to be good for me to get settled into the new relationship more comfortably before adding the extra dimension of my son's presence to our new lives. I am moving over the course of the next week or ten days, so there are a multitude of changes that are going to be happening in our day to day lives - a lot of figuring out how things are going to work living together. I am very happy that this is happening - and feel soooo very blessed at the gift of having this amazing woman in my life. It makes me deliriously, deliciously happy to be Loved by her.
I was wearing a T shirt the other day - one that someone in Texas sent me some years ago in gratitude for my web site. It is a shirt that I haven't worn for several years because it was too small for me. Now I can wear it because I have lost close to 30 lb. since January - and am told I look at least 10 years younger. I would say that is a pretty good indicator of the impact that Love is having on my life - and of my embracing being alive in ways I was resisting previously.
Anyway, this T shirt says, "Grace can't be earned, it is absolutely Free." Thinking of Grace brought to mind the Swan story that I share in my book. I share it on the site on my Choosing a therapist or counselor with discernment page. I am just going to quote one paragraph from it here, in way of closing this Update.
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." - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
We are all Magnificent Spiritual Beings who are perfect parts of the ONENESS that is the God-Force / Goddess Energy / Great Spirit. Codependency is caused by feeling that we are not Lovable and worthy because planetary conditions caused our parents to be wounded and to wound us with their behavior. Codependency recovery is about learning how to change our relationship with our self / Self, so that we can own the state of Grace that is our True condition. We are Unconditionally Loved - every one of us.
We are all beautiful swans who exist in a state of Grace, in a condition of being unconditionally Loved. The dance of Recovery is a process of learning to accept and integrate the Truth of Grace into our lives.
The goal in this Age of Healing and Joy is integration and balance. To integrate the Spiritual Truth into our physical experience so that we can fill the hole inside and find wholeness within. As we integrate our True Spiritual nature into our relationship with our physical being we can begin to achieve some balance and harmony with and between all of the parts of our being.
This age is a time for growing and learning, a time to become conscious of the True nature of the Source Energy, a time of Spiritual Awakening. We have been given the wonder-full gift of having the ability and the tools to start integrating the Truth of a Loving Universal Force into our day-to-day experience of life. We now have the knowledge and guidance that we need to start bringing some balance to our relationships - with ourselves and our God/Goddess, with other people and the planet - so that we can live in a way that allows us to experience some Peace and Love on our life path.
We can heal our wounded souls enough to change the dance of life from a dance of endurance and suffering to a dance that celebrates living. We now have access to the power to transform the dance of Codependence to a dance of healing and Joy. - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
I am today, celebrating living in to an extent, and with a gusto, that I had only dreamed about previously. I am so Grateful for my recovery. ~ Robert 7/3/05
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