"Feel your feelings and release them. Give yourself permission to let it all out. Wail and scream and sob. Try not to let the messages of an emotionally dysfunctional society, or the discomfort of emotionally repressed people around you, keep you from owning the grief to the fullest. They want you to pull it together and get yourself under control so they will be comfortable. Let it out! Release it! Do not shame yourself for it, or apologize - it is marvelously healing to grieve. Owning our grief is part of being True to self. In an emotionally honest society Dan Rather would have been crying and sobbing on his own program - serving as a role model for others - instead of keeping up appearances and stuffing his grief until some of it leaked out on the David Letterman Show."All of the internal links within this article open in a separate browser window.
***"There is however, a very significant difference between those earlier unforgettable moments in history and the terrorist attack on America that took place on September 11th 2001. That difference is the context in which many people are viewing this event. The context is different because a New Age dawned in human consciousness in the late Twentieth Century - an age of Spiritual Awakening, a very special time of healing.
Today there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people around the world who have been healing their wounded souls and learning to access the mystical, intuitive Truth of Love and ONENESS. They are viewing unfolding events from a larger and more Loving perspective than would have been possible prior to the dawning of the Age of Healing and Joy."
"It is because there is more than one level of reality that life is paradoxical in nature. . . . . What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly.
Humans have always had expressions that describe the paradoxical nature of the life experience. Every ending is a beginning. Every cloud does have a silver lining."
"Starting to see death as a transition, as a milestone in a longer journey, made life make more sense to me. It at least had the possibility of being fair and Loving, if the part of it I could see was only a small piece of a much larger puzzle.
The next leap was to realizing that if there were such a Force, then it would have to be so powerful that everything was unfolding perfectly. If there is a Loving Higher Power, then everything happens for a reason. There can be no accidents, coincidences or mistakes in such a plan.
If there is such a Higher Power then even the worst tragedies, the greatest injustices, must be part of the Divine Plan in some way, on some level."
***"There is always a silver lining if we look for it. I am talking about having some faith here. We can choose to believe that everything happens for a reason. You know on some level that is the Truth. We cannot know the reasons right now. It may be years before we can see any silver lining at all with what seems a senseless tragedy. Get angry certainly. But if you channel your energy into hatred and bitterness it will hurt you more. Tune into the intuitive Truth within you - everything happens for a reason. It is my belief that even such a catastrophic event as the destruction of the World Trade Center is a perfect part of the Divine Plan of a Loving Higher Power." ***"The events of September 11th and the reactions that have been generated by that life event are all about codependence in my view. The act itself was a desperate codependent acting out - the act of wounded souls lashing out at an external manifestation they are blaming for their pain. The reaction from most people in the United States has been very much a codependent reaction. The genesis of the terrorist act was in fact - at least in part - the result of the codependent relationship that the United States of America has with the rest of the world." ***"One day at a time. One hour at a time. Five minutes at a time you can get through this. There is a Loving Force in the Universe. It is on your side - it just doesn't feel like it right now."
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The Dance of Wounded Souls
Attack on America - A Spiritual Healing Perspective
On September 11th 2001 the world watched as an unbelievable and horrifying event unfolded on international television. The images that we witnessed that day will be with us for the rest of our lives - just as the image of a blood soaked Jackie Kennedy crawling on the trunk of a car is indelibly etched in the memories of any of us who were alive and old enough to understand what had happened on November 22, 1963. The image of the plane smashing into the tower, of the 110 story towers disintegrating - disappearing before our eyes. Unbelievable. Horrifying. Unforgettable.
November 22nd 1963, like December 7th 1941, is a date that lives in history as an unforgettable moment. Both those dates mark milestone events that shocked and traumatized Americans - as well as many other people around the world. Those "moment in time" type of events that cause people to remember where they were and what they were doing at the instant they heard the news.
Such was the impact of the events of Tuesday, September 11th. An unforgettable day in history.
There is however, a very significant difference between those earlier unforgettable moments in history and the terrorist attack on America that took place on September 11th 2001. That difference is the context in which many people are viewing this event. The context is different because a New Age dawned in human consciousness in the late Twentieth Century - an age of Spiritual Awakening, a very special time of healing.
Today there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people around the world who have been healing their wounded souls and learning to access the mystical, intuitive Truth of Love and ONENESS. They are viewing unfolding events from a larger and more Loving perspective than would have been possible prior to the dawning of the Age of Healing and Joy.
A Transformational Healing Process has begun on the planet Earth. Due to a profound change that has taken place in the energy field of Collective Human Emotional Consciousness, resources are now available to us to do healing that has never before been possible in recorded human history. Human beings now, for the first time, have the capacity to directly address the core issues of the human dilemma.
Emotional Cataclysm in the New Age - Codependence Manifested
Very few people up to this time have Truly understood the magnitude and scope of the vision that I was guided to share in my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. As I say in the forward to my book:
I was troubled, however, by the fact that every book I read, and every expert with whom I came into contact defined "Codependence" differently. I began to try to discover, for my own personal benefit, one all-encompassing definition.
This search led me to examine the phenomenon in an increasingly larger context. I began to look at the dysfunctional nature of society, and then expanded farther into looking at other societies. And finally to the human condition itself. The result of that examination is this book: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, A Cosmic Perspective on Codependence and the Human Condition. . . . .
One of the reasons for the human dilemma, for the confusion that humans have felt about the meaning and purpose of life, is that more than one level of reality comes into play in the experience of being human. Trying to apply the Truth of one level to the experience of another has caused humans to become very confused and twisted in our perspective of the human experience. It is kind of like the difference between playing the one-dimensional chess that we are familiar with, and the three-dimensional chess played by the characters of Star Trek - they are two completely different games.
That is the human dilemma - we have been playing the game with the wrong set of rules. With rules that do not work. With rules that are dysfunctional.
. . . . . . I share this message with you, the reader of this book, in the hopes that it will help you to remember the Truth of who you are, and why you are here. This information is not meant to be absolute or the final word - it is meant as an alternative perspective for you to consider. A Cosmic Perspective that just might help to make life an easier, more enjoyable experience for you.
In order to transform my life experience, it was necessary for me to find a reason to live. I studied many religious and spiritual philosophies - and found nuggets of what felt like Truth to me in every one - but no single one that worked for me. While I was searching for an intellectual paradigm that would help me find meaning and purpose in life, I was also in the process of getting emotionally honest with myself. That led me into depths of grief and rage that terrified me. It led me into a 30 day Treatment program for codependence (clinically called depression) in 1988. It was there that I learned the grief process work / emotional release therapy that saved my life.
The day I was leaving that Treatment program I ran into one of the counselors as I was processing out. Out of the blue, she said to me, "You know, what you are is a mystic." I didn't know what the word meant, and had to look it up in a dictionary.
What I reluctantly came to accept is that she was right, I am a mystic. My book is a work of Mystical Spirituality. But then so is the Constitution of the United States of America. The Founding Fathers of this country included a number of mystics whose mission was to create a country where there would be freedom to have alternate viewpoints, to expand consciousness.
My mission in this lifetime is to be a mystical messenger. In this New Age, there are many mystical messengers among us - and many works of mystical Spirituality.
I have been compelled to follow my intuitive guidance and do a lot of work clearing out my inner channel to Truth. We all have an inner intuitive channel to the Higher Mind. We just need to clear that inner channel of dysfunctional attitudes, false beliefs, and repressed emotional energy in order to start tuning into our intuition, in order to start becoming clearer and more trusting of our mystical guidance.
The Spiritual paradigm that my intuition led me to, the mystical vision I share in my book, is one that is larger than any I have ever encountered. It works for me to make my life easier and more enJoyable. What I have found over the years is that it works for many other people also. So, I am offering it here as alternate perspective for you to consider.
In the normal course of events, it is rare for someone to read my words who isn't on the same wave length to some degree. However this is not a normal time - and the cataclysmic and tragic events of last week may bring some people to this site who would not normally read my words. I am going to be stating my Truth quite directly in this article without apology - or qualification for the most part. It is not my intention to insult anyone or cause anyone pain. If you think my words are sacrilegious or unpatriotic, then we are definitely not on the same wave length. Go in Peace, and Blessed Be.
I share here for those of you who are on a healing path; who are seeking spiritual answers; who have been forced into recovery. I believe that it is very important - for all of us that are trying to find a way to manifest Love into our lives and into the world - to see what is happening in a large enough context to be able to align themselves with the tremendous opportunity for healing and Spiritual Awakening that has been presented to us. The message I share here is for the old souls who are involved in the Transformational Healing Process that is unfolding in human consciousness.
To those Kindred Spirits, I feel an urgency to communicate.
The Truth as I feel and understand it is that who we are, are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. We are not here as some kind of punishment! We are here to experience being human. To go through that puzzling human experience we call life. The dance of life. The dance that is life.
The Dance of Wounded Souls.
We are the wounded souls. We are the Spiritual Beings who have been wounded by coming into human bodies in the Spiritually-hostile environment that has been present on planet Earth for thousands of years.
The conditions on the planet have changed! That is the Joyous news that I have to share with you. The dance is changing. Since before the dawn of recorded history, the dance of life for humans has been primarily one of survival, of endurance, of suffering.
We have now entered a very special time in human history. An Age of Healing and Joy has dawned in human consciousness on this planet. We now have tools, knowledge, and most importantly, clearer access to healing energy and Spiritual guidance than has ever before been available in recorded human history on this planet.
The dance is changing. A Transformational Healing Process has begun on planet Earth. We have begun the process of breaking out of the vicious, self-perpetuating cycles of destructive behavior that humans have been trapped in for thousands of years. The destructive dance is changing into a dance of healing.
The new dance of healing is most simply called "Recovery", while the old destructive dance has acquired a new name: Codependence.
Actually the term "Codependence" is an inaccurate and somewhat misleading term for the phenomenon it has come to describe. A more accurate term would be something like outer-dependence, or external dependence. But it is in the evolution of the understanding of what has come to be called "Codependence" that we have discovered and brought together the tools and knowledge which are so vital to the healing process that has begun.
***The human condition is a symptom! Human nature as we understand it is a symptom! The human condition is not a result of flaws in human nature. Both are effects.
The condition of Codependence - which, as I said could more accurately be described as outer or external dependence - is the human condition as we have inherited it!
In my definition codependence is not some term of pop psychology. It is a word that for me describes not only individual human behavioral defenses, but the human condition itself. It is really a lousy word for that purpose - but it is the word I have.
In my book I interweave a macrocosmic perspective of human life (the Cosmic Perspective) with a microcosmic perspective of the individual human process. I do this because the macrocosmic is a reflection of the microcosmic - without is a reflection of within.
Our society declares war on symptoms instead of healing the cause. We have a war on crime, a war on poverty, a war on drugs (illegal drugs that is). Obviously fighting a war on symptoms does not work - it's backwards, it's dysfunctional.
The wars outside of us are a reflection of the war within. Humans have been at war within and without for thousands of years. The wars, the violence, the rape of mother Earth that is happening, are all caused by the war within being projected outward.
It is all caused by warring on ourselves. By judging and feeling ashamed of ourselves for being human - and by fighting our own emotional process.
The way to stop the war within is through healing and learning to Love our own inner child/children. The inner child is the gateway to discovering our True Self - to reconnecting with the Great Spirit.
I have wanted for years to print a bumper sticker that says:
"Work for World Peace - Heal your Inner Child"
Because that is the only way it can be done. That is the only way that will work.
Saddam Hussein was beaten by his stepfather on almost a daily basis - he was emotionally abandoned and shamed by his mother. He is just an Adult Child acting out of his childhood trauma. Because of his broken heart and wounded soul and reversed thinking, he has been trying to prove to himself that he is the biggest kid on the block, and that his parents should not have treated him that way. He has caused hundreds of thousands of people to be killed in the process.
Work for World Peace: Heal Your Inner Child is not some cute little saying. It is a Metaphysical Truth. It is the key to transforming the human experience from one based upon fear to one based upon Love.
In this article, I am going to be addressing both the Cosmic perspective and the personal individual process - because they are so intimately interrelated. Learning to manifest Love within - and overcome our toxic shame about being human - is only possible through integrating Spiritual Truth into our emotional process. And integrating Spiritual Truth into our subconscious programming - the intellectual paradigm that was imposed upon, and adopted by, us in childhood - is only possible through owning the emotional wounds. Doing the emotional healing and changing the intellectual paradigm we are allowing to define our life experience are two different levels of work - but they are intimately interrelated and intertwined.
I am going to start first with focusing on the individual personal process, on how to maximize the opportunity for healing that we have been presented - but that will by necessity include intellectual perspectives / Spiritual Truths which will aid in that healing. I will then move the focus to the larger perspectives in relationship to cultural and Cosmic facets of what we are experiencing.
The events of September 11th and the reactions that have been generated by that life event are all about codependence in my view. The act itself was a desperate codependent acting out - the act of wounded souls lashing out at an external manifestation they are blaming for their pain. The reaction from most people in the United States has been very much a codependent reaction. The genesis of the terrorist act was in fact - at least in part - the result of the codependent relationship that the United States of America has with the rest of the world.
In part 2 and 3 of this article, I am going to be talking about where it is important to focus our healing attention in order to maximize this opportunity for growth. When I do that, I will share more about the Planetary conditions that have caused codependency. I am going to just share two sentences here from a longer quote I am going to use later, to stress the importance of the concept of codependence in my view.
I stated earlier that Codependence was a new name for the tune that we have been dancing to. What it used to be called was the war between good and evil.
A Healing Perspective for Old Souls
Excuse me while I yell a little."(The term "old-soul" refers to the stage of consciousness evolution an individual has attained by this lifetime - it does not mean better than, or farther along than, those who do not have to do the healing. There is no hierarchy in the Truth of a Loving Great Spirit. Those who appear to have low, or no, consciousness in this lifetime are simply doing their healing in another space-time illusion parallel to this one. All old-souls are born at a heart-chakra level of consciousness and therefore have more sensitivity, and less capacity for denial, than other people. In other words, the gift of having access to Truth and Love carries with it the price of greatly increased emotional sensitivity.)Many, many people around the world are awakening to the True Spiritual Nature and Purpose of life. They are awakening to the Truth of Love, the Truth of ONENESS. This is happening because access to Higher Consciousness is more available to individual human beings on planet Earth than ever before.
Due to the planetary conditions, the human ego developed a belief in separation - which is what made violence possible and caused the human condition as we inherited it. The reflection of that human condition on the individual level is the disease of Codependence. Codependence is caused by the ego being traumatized and programed in early childhood so that our relationship with ourselves and the God-Force is dysfunctional - that is, it does not work to help us access the Truth of ONENESS and Love. It is through healing our relationship with ourselves that we open our inner channel and start tuning into the Truth."
Through following intuitive Truth - the vibrational resonance of Truth felt within - people around the world are being guided to heal self, access Self, and reject the limiting belief systems that have trapped humans for so much of the recorded history of this planet. It is those of us that have been led to healing, to recovery, to following a Spiritual path, that will have the capacity to see recent events in a larger context - so that we can access Love energy and consciously focus on manifesting it on our planet.
When we look at reality from a different perspective, on a higher level, in a larger context, then we can start seeing how what we perceive as tragedy on one level, can fit into the plan perfectly on a higher level. How it is a perfect part of the larger picture, of a longer journey. Then we can begin to understand how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
The Twelve Step Recovery process is so successful because it provides a formula for integrating different levels. It is by recognizing that we are powerless to control our life experiences out of ego-self that we can access the power out of True Self, Spiritual Self. By surrendering the illusion of ego control we can reconnect with our Higher Selves. Selfishness out of ego-self is destroying the planet. Selfishness out of Spiritual Self is what will save the planet.
It is because there is more than one level of reality that life is paradoxical in nature. What is True and positive on one level - selfishness out of Spiritual Self, can be negative on another level - selfishness out of ego-self. What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly.
Humans have always had expressions that describe the paradoxical nature of the life experience. Every ending is a beginning. Every cloud does have a silver lining. For every door that closes, another door does open. It is always darkest before the dawn. Every obstacle is a gift, every problem is an opportunity for growth."
There is always a silver lining if we look for it. If we focus on the part of the glass that is empty we can perceive tragedy and impending doom. If we focus on the part that is full, we can be grateful for gifts and recognize opportunities for growth.
Here are a few things I am grateful for:That the death toll in the buildings of the World Trade Center, which on many days held 50,000 people in the twin towers and another 50,000 below the towers, was not much greater than it was. That so many people could make their way down stairs from 80 or 100 stories up in time to get out of the buildings is Truly a miracle.Focusing on the part of the glass that is full does not mean to deny our feelings about the part that is empty. It is very important to own our feelings about what has happened. Balance is achieved by owning our feelings at the same time we are choosing to focus on, and define our reality from, Spiritual Truth and Higher Consciousness.
That the wing of the Pentagon that got hit had just been renovated to strengthen it against terrorist attack - which greatly reduced both the damage and the death toll.
That some courageous passengers on the fourth plane prevented it from being used as a bomb on some other building in Washington D. C.
That people are recognizing their connections to each other - are reaching out with Love and compassion to each other in recognition of shared humanity.
That millions of people are learning more about the grief process as a result of the TV stations needing to fill so much time with talking heads. At least some of those talking heads are communicating good information about healthy grieving.
That so many people in the recovery / healing / Spiritual community are calling for healing and transformation instead of just revenge and retribution.
Here are a few of the things that I feel very sad about:I am very saddened by the wrenching personal trauma suffered by those who lost loved ones in the terrorist attack. As well as the emotional trauma suffered by those who were in and around the buildings that were destroyed - and those who watched it unfold on television.
I am sad that the wounded souls who were the hijackers had suffered such emotional devastation - and had their trauma twisted into such rage and hatred that they felt they had to commit suicide and mass murder to prove their worth.
I am deeply sad and enraged that once again in the history of humanity, religious beliefs have been be so twisted and perverted as to allow a man as sick as Osama bin Laden to provoke an obscenity such as this in the name of his God - and a man like Jerry Falwell to speak obscenities that he claims come from his God.
I find it very sad that it takes a tragic event for us to recognize our common humanity and our connection to each other. I feel even sadder that for most people this recognition does not extend to all humanity.
I feel sad that most of the people who are giving such glowing testimonials about missing loved ones probably never said those things to the loved one while they were alive.
I feel sad that our society is so emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional. The news anchors are busy stuffing their own feelings and keeping up appearances, while their reporters are being emotional vampires trying to steal a few minutes of air time for honest emotions from people who are traumatized and grief stricken. A sad symptom of an emotionally dysfunctional society not unlike reality TV shows where real people are put into artificial situations to entertain an emotionally starved society with real emotional reactions. What we are seeing is the ultimate reality TV. (It has been mind boggling to me how many times I have heard anchors greeting or being greeted by the people they were interviewing with the standard "How are you doing?" "I'm fine." As in, "I'm fine. We are hearing now that the death toll is going to be 5000." Something is definitely wrong with this picture.)
I feel sad that this moment of opportunity for healing is being turned into the kind of "us vs them" polarized conflict that is at the core of the Human Dilemma. The very black and white perspective that has trapped the human race in vicious cycles of destructive behavior.
I feel sad that some of the most famous teachers in the "New Age" movement sent out a message that supports polarity and shame about being human.
I feel sad that so many people do not know how to own the feelings they are experiencing in order to maximize the healing opportunity that is available.
For most of my life I couldn't cry for me. I could cry for you. I could cry over a sad movie or starving children in Africa - but I could not cry for me. That is a symptom of codependency. Because we feel toxic shame about our being, we can have compassion for other people but not for ourselves.
A very important part of recovery is owning our feelings. That means owning that the grief we are feeling is our personal grief, about the emotional traumas we have suffered in our lives. Telling ourselves we are crying for them is emotionally dishonest. When someone we love dies we do not grieve for them, we grieve for our loss, for our feelings of abandonment.
It is vital to the healing process to focus within, on our relationship with ourselves. Life events trigger unresolved grief. If you have been "falling apart" about the recent events, it is important to own that it is your unresolved grief that is causing the intensity of those emotional reactions. Ask yourself how old you are feeling. This is an opportunity to get more in touch with your wounds so that you can heal them.
It was very sad to me when Princess Diana died, to hear a healer and Spiritual teacher I knew talk about how she had cried for days for Diana. She wasn't crying for Diana - she were crying for her self, for her own wounds. Princess Diana was a very powerful symbol for many women. A symbol of the fairy tale come True. A symbol of the fairy tale being an illusion. If you told yourself you were crying for Diana, you were missing an opportunity to own your feelings, to release some of your grief. (Which of course is not something to judge yourself for - it is something to learn from.)
All human beings share the same emotions, the same emotional process. The reason we feel empathy for others is because we have felt the same feeling. The details of what caused those feelings may be very different, someone else's circumstance may be much more dramatic - but the emotions are the same.
I went to Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings for many months before I spoke. The reason I didn't speak is because my wounding was not as dramatic as theirs. I did not come from an alcoholic home so it appeared that my childhood wasn't as traumatic as theirs. That was the disease lying to me - comparing the outside circumstances in order to minimize my wounding. My wounds are my wounds - and I need to own and honor them. If I don't own my right to my pain, I cannot own me - I cannot Love me. We were all emotionally traumatized in childhood. We had our hearts broken and our Spirits wounded - because our parents were wounded, because civilization is emotionally dysfunctional.
It is very important to own our personal pain. To grieve for our loses, our feelings of abandonment and betrayal. It is vital to grieve for the impact that codependence has had on our lives.
It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around.
It is also very important to take responsibility for our feelings. If we are allowing dysfunctional attitudes and beliefs to define our life experiences, then we are setting ourselves up to generate victim feelings. The intellectual paradigm we are empowering sets up our expectations and perspectives, which in turn dictate our relationships and emotional reactions to life.
Part of the defense system of codependence is disassociating from our own emotions. We had to do that as children - we had to find ways to not be present in our own skins because the emotional pain was too great. One of the primary ways we learned to do that was to be in our heads. Long before we found alcohol or food or work or relationships to distract us, we learn to be in our heads in fantasy.
"What if" and "if only" are fantasies. They are part of the disease thinking. "What if" I had been in that plane. "What if" my loved one was missing. "What if" I had to jump out of that building. To have a fantasy projecting ourselves into a situation and then get all emotional about something that is not real, is part of codependence.
I can remember when I was in College, and some kids were shot and killed by the National Guard at Kent State as part of an anti war protest. I freaked out. "What if" my girlfriend (who was my higher power at the time) had been shot by those National Guardsmen. I can remember crying and sobbing and yelling at my mother on the phone about something that was a fantasy - it wasn't real, it never happened to me.
We create emotions out of the attitudes and perspectives we are holding. It is very important to start taking responsibility for what we are creating emotionally. There is plenty of grief and sadness to go around about real things without having to fantasize. What really happened to me back then was my grief from childhood got triggered but I didn't know how to own it, so I created a fantasy to attach it to.
Empathy is feeling compassion for the pain of others because we can relate out of our common humanity. "Falling apart" or getting hysterical about something that did not happen to us, is a sign that our personal unresolved grief has been triggered.
Emotional honesty and emotional responsibility are very important if we are going to see clearly. See ourselves, other people, life events with any degree of honesty and clarity. This is why the inner child healing work is so important - because until we start having internal boundaries so we can own our grief and change the dysfunctional programming we are not capable of a very high degree of emotional honesty and responsibility.
One of the dysfunctional attitudes that causes us to have insane expectations and therefore to set ourselves up to create negative emotional experiences is to be in denial about death.
Death as Transition
Life is a journey, a process - it's not a destination. Life is continuous and constant change and growth. We were taught to fight and try to control the change, to resist the growth. We were taught to swim upstream, to go against the flow. No wonder we get tired sometimes.
We were taught that death is a great tragedy and that we should spend our lives fearing and ignoring it. We were taught to fear death and to never live life. That's backwards.
Death is a transition, a transformation, death is a milestone in the longer journey. It is not a tragedy to be feared - it is an eventuality to be accepted. What is tragedy is not enjoying living while we are here.
Life is temporary and transient. Ignoring that reality and denying it's inevitability, sets us up to be traumatized when something happens to break through our denial. The Truth of existence is that safety and security are illusions that can be gone in an instant.
The reality of this human experience is that we are born alone, we die alone, and in between everyone in our life leaves us or we leave them one way or another. Loss is an inherent and unavoidable part of human life. That means that grief is also inevitable.
However, emotionally dysfunctional, patriarchal societies taught us that being emotional was weak and shameful (whereas violence was strong and necessary), that our worth was determined by external factors, and that life was a test that we might fail if we did it wrong. Since being wrong included being imperfect emotional humans, we were set up to live life dysfunctionally. That is why it is so important to have a Spiritual belief system that helps us make some sense of this human experience we are having.
When I first got into twelve step recovery in January of 1984, I had great resistance to even hearing the word spiritual because I associated it with religion and God. The concept of God that I had grown up with was a mean, vicious SOB - and I didn't want anything to do with that God or anything having to do with religion or spirituality because of the Spiritual abuse I had suffered at the hands of the shaming religion I grew up in.
But I was desperate. I was willing to try anything to stop living in the hell my life had become the last 5 or 6 years of my alcoholic drinking. I was told that spiritual was not the same as religious, and that I could choose a concept of a Higher Power of my own understanding. I was desperate enough to start trying out this 12 step thing - and to consider their idea that maybe there might be a Loving Higher Power.
So I started on a quest to figure out a concept of a Higher Power that could possibly be Loving.
One of the first things I needed to do was to change the context in which I viewed life. I realized that if I looked at this life experience as if it were a one time thing - that our existence began with birth and ended with death - there was no possible way that it could be fair and Loving. Not with billionaires on one hand and children starving to death on the other.
The only way I could see that it was possible that there was a Universal Force that could possibly be Loving, that could possibly Love me in my imperfect humanness, that could possibly have a Divine Plan that was somehow fair and equitable - was over the span of multiple lifetimes. Reincarnation is what made sense when I started searching for some Spiritual answers."All the worlds a stage and the men and women merely players.We have all lived multiple lifetimes. We have all experienced every facet of being human.
They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts."- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II Scene 1
We are now not just healing our wounds from this lifetime, we are doing Karmic settlement on a massive scale, at a very accelerated rate.
Karma is the Loving, wonderful law of energy interaction which governs human interaction. Like the other levels of Universal Law, it is about cause and effect. In this case, "what you sow, you reap."
Karmic Law dictates that every action of cause on the Physical Plane is paid for with a consequence of effect on the Physical Plane. In other words, no one can end up in the hole, or in some hell in an afterlife. (Hell is here on earth, and we have all experienced it already.)
Starting to see death as a transition, as a milestone in a longer journey, made life make more sense to me. It at least had the possibility of being fair and Loving, if the part of it I could see was only a small piece of a much larger puzzle.
The next leap was to realizing that if there were such a Force, then it would have to be so powerful that everything was unfolding perfectly. If there is a Loving Higher Power, then everything happens for a reason. There can be no accidents, coincidences or mistakes in such a plan.
If there is such a Higher Power then even the worst tragedies, the greatest injustices, must be part of the Divine Plan in some way, on some level. I realized that not only was it not important that I know why - it was impossible from my limited human perspective. So I needed to start choosing to have faith that such a thing as an All-Powerful, Loving Higher Power existed.
When I started to believe that maybe a Higher Power, a Universal Force, existed which was Truly All-Powerful and Unconditionally Loving then life started to become a lot easier and more enjoyable. Then I could start to see that the "accidents" and "coincidences" are really miracles. That the "mistakes" are really opportunities for growth.
I do not believe that it is possible for any human being to fully understand how it all works, for anyone to see the whole puzzle. What we can do though is to start having some faith, start remembering (what I am doing here is reminding you of what you already know on some level), that all of the pieces do fit together perfectly, that everything is unfolding perfectly according to the Divine purpose of a Loving Universal Force - and that we are Spiritual beings who are a perfect part of that Force who have come to Earth to have this human experience.
It felt to me as if I were remembering things that I couldn't remember ever having known. The feeling of Truth that resonated within me from such statements as "Everything happens for a reason" and "The Force is with you" was so powerful that I paid extra attention to those types of statements - and started integrating them into my emotional relationship with life.
I certainly had never felt like this place was my home. For as long as I can remember, I felt like someone had screwed up in the Transporter room and sent me to the wrong planet. It made sense to me (and brought a great deal of relief) to start believing that being here in human body was just a temporary visit, kind of a Cosmic boarding school - and that since I was part of the ONENESS of a Loving Universal Force, I would of course get to go home when I finished with this role and exited this particular stage.
I realized that I wasn't really figuring things out so much as I was paying attention to where I was led. I started to let myself be guided by my intuition, by the feeling of something resonating within me. One of the first things I was guided to, when I was only about 3 months sober, was a mind boggling, paradigm smashing book called Illusions by Richard Bach. It presented me with concepts that it took me years to understand intellectually. But I knew instantly that the book was full of Truth.
In order to become aligned with Truth so that we can stop the war within and change life into an easier, more enjoyable experience, it is vitally important to become clear in our emotional process and to change the reversed attitudes that we had to adopt to survive. Those reversed attitudes are what cause our dysfunctional perspectives - which in turn, have caused us to have a lousy relationship with life.
I am going to quote from a book now, and again a little later, that is my own personal favorite book of Truth. I feel a great deal of Truth in this book. It has guided me and helped me to remember my Truth and to become conscious of my path. It was a very important part of my personal process of enlarging my perspective - of being able to see this life business in a larger context.
It is a book called Illusions by Richard Bach. This is one of my favorite quotations from that book.The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.The "depth of your belief" is about perspective. If we are reacting to life emotionally out of the belief systems we had imposed on us as children we will then see change as tragedy and feel that being forced to grow is shameful. As we change our attitudes toward this life experience, when we can start viewing it as a process, a journey, then we can begin to see that what we used to perceive as problems are really opportunities for growth. Then we can begin to realize that even though our experiences in childhood have caused to think of ourselves as, and feel like, lowly caterpillars - we are in Truth butterflies who are meant to fly.What a caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.
We are all butterflies. We are all Spiritual Beings.
I used to use the caterpillar - butterfly quote a lot when I spoke. I would usually say something like "a measure of your Spiritual Awakening" instead of "mark of your ignorance" in order to soften it a bit. We codependents are such experts in beating ourselves up and shaming ourselves, that we tend to see the word ignorance as being something that is our fault. In fact, the word ignorance refers to a lack of knowledge, of not being informed. The reason we didn't know how to set boundaries, or have healthy relationships, was because of ignorance caused by not having anyone to teach us - no healthy role models, no resources for learning how to be healthy. We not only did not have resources to teach us how to relate to life and other people in a healthy way - we were taught the very opposite of healthy behavior in most cases.
There is no shame in having been programmed to react to life from unhealthy perspectives. That is what recovery is all about, learning to change our programming so that we can start seeing our self, our relationships, and life more clearly - instead of through a filter of false beliefs and mistaken attitudes. One of the most insidious aspects of the disease of codependence is that, as we awaken and become more conscious - start seeing that we have some part in how our lives have unfolded - the very disease that caused our dysfunctional patterns turns right around and causes us to judge ourselves for the things that are being revealed to us.
The Truth is that we were powerless over the programming adapted by our egos in response to being raised in dysfunctional, patriarchal, emotionally dishonest, shame based, Spiritually hostile environments - until something caused us to start awakening. In most cases, our Spiritual awakenings were caused by some life event that felt like tragedy to us at the time.
As I say in my book, the Universe works with the carrot and stick approach.
The way I think of it is that my Higher Power works with the carrot and stick approach: like a mule driver trying to get a mule moving, he can either dangle a carrot in front of the mule and get the mule moving after the carrot, or he can take a stick and beat him until he gets moving.
It is a lot easier on me to follow the carrots that my Higher Power dangles in front of me than to force the Universe to use a stick to get me moving. Either way I am going to get to where the Universe wants me - but the carrot method is a lot easier on me.
***No matter what our personal stick is, whether it is Alcoholism or love addiction or overeating or whatever, it is the vehicle which has forced us to start awakening. It is the blessed gift that has started our awakening to consciousness of our path.
As long as we were living life out of the false belief systems imposed upon us in childhood, we were incapable of hearing the messages. We kept thinking that when we got the relationship, or the money, or the house, or the success, when we got to the destination - then we would get to experience happily ever after.
So, the Universe used the stick to wake us up. Whatever that stick was, whatever life events caused us to start waking up - relationship breakup, DUI, heart attack, emotional break down, whatever - it felt like a tragedy at the time, but was in fact also a gift that brought about a new beginning, a Spiritual awakening.
There is always a silver lining if we look for it. I am talking about having some faith here. We can choose to believe that everything happens for a reason. You know on some level that is the Truth. We cannot know the reasons right now. It may be years before we can see any silver lining at all with what seems a senseless tragedy. Get angry certainly. But if you channel your energy into hatred and bitterness it will hurt you more. Tune into the intuitive Truth within you - everything happens for a reason. It is my belief that even such a catastrophic event as the destruction of the World Trade Center is a perfect part of the Divine Plan of a Loving Higher Power.
Life events are wake up calls. They are opportunities for growth.
If you lost a loved one last Tuesday, if someone who you care about is missing or dead - own your grief. Know that your grief is about you and your loss.
If you lost a loved one
Try to not buy into the messages from the disease that are telling you that you could have done something that would have prevented this loss. Try not to buy into all the guilt and shame messages coming from the disease - that you shouldn't have had that argument with them, or that you should have told them how much you loved them the last time you saw them. The disease is always heaping guilt and shame on us - tell it to shut up. You were doing the best you knew how, there is nothing you can do now to change what has happened.
Be nurturing and Loving to the wounded inner children within you. Tell the wounded inner child that believes he/she is somehow responsible for what has happened, that feels that he/she is being punished by God for being unworthy, that those messages are a lie. Nurture the emotional places within you that feel abandoned and betrayed. Be as Loving to your self as possible one day at a time, and you will not only survive this - you will learn and grow from it.
Feel your feelings and release them. Give yourself permission to let it all out. Wail and scream and sob. Try not to let the messages of an emotionally dysfunctional society, or the discomfort of emotionally repressed people around you, keep you from owning the grief to the fullest. They want you to pull it together and get yourself under control so they will be comfortable. Let it out! Release it! Do not shame yourself for it, or apologize - it is marvelously healing to grieve. Owning our grief is part of being True to our self. In an emotionally honest society Dan Rather would have been crying and sobbing on his own program - serving as a role model for others - instead of keeping up appearances and stuffing his grief until some of it leaked out on the David Letterman Show.
Catch yourself when you stop breathing as a way of holding it in. Allow yourself to breath into the pain so that it can be released in sobs and tears and snot running out of your nose. The more you can let out now, the easier it will be to move through this grieving. Suppressing the emotional energy will not make it go away, it will just cause it to build up pressure within you.
Allow yourself to be angry at God for the pain that life entails. Scream and curse at God for the dysfunctional world we live in that causes wounded people to do things like this to other people. It is much healthier to be angry at God than to be angry at yourself or to focus blame and hatred on someone else. God can handle it - and he/she/it knows you are just releasing energy, and is happy for your healing.
Do not let yourself be distracted by fantasies. Don't torture yourself trying to imagine what they must have been feeling in the moments before death. You can't know what they were feeling - they may have been at peace at the very end. The details of how someone dies are not important to the grief process. We are grieving for our loss, not for how they died. We hate it when someone we love dies violently at the hand of another - but the effect is the same as if it would have been a car accident.
Death is a transition, a transformation. It makes no difference - except perhaps in positive terms of increased Karmic settlement - rather they suffered or were terrified before their death. If we torture ourselves trying to imagine the details of how they died, we are empowering a fantasy. When a loved one dies and we hope that they didn't suffer, that is about us wanting to protect ourselves from feelings - not about them. They are finished with this lifetime. They may be very grateful to have gone in a sudden death instead of enduring growing old and senile. Is it preferable to wait around and spend years incapacitated by a stroke or Alzheimer's?
They are free of this human experience now. They have broken out of the cocoon and are flying. They are no longer trapped in limited consciousness.
Know that it is natural to experience anger at them for leaving us. Anger and envy that they get to go and we have to stay. Anger at being abandoned and betrayed.
If you are experiencing survivors guilt, be nurturing to your self. Know that you are still here for a reason. Know that you cannot understand what that reason is right now. It may take years before you can look back and see that this ending was in fact a new beginning - that there was a silver lining.
One day at a time. One hour at a time. Five minutes at a time you can get through this. There is a Loving Force in the Universe. It is on your side - it just doesn't feel like it right now.
Chapters 2 through 11 of Attack on America -
A Spiritual Healing Perspective are now
only available in the pay to view Dancing in Light component of Joy2MeU.com - or in the
Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote from: Illusions "The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah"
by Richard Bach. Copyright 1977 by Creature Enterprises, Inc.
Reprinted in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
by Robert Burney by permission of Bantam Doubleday Dell, New York,