"The individual human being is a fully contained system involving multiple interrelationships within multiple levels. This is easy to see, and understand, when looking at the physical level. The interrelationship of the organs to each other, to the blood, to the skin, to the nervous system, etc. - is a dance of grand, and compelling, complexity.
Just as grand, and compelling, is the complexity of the dance of interrelationship between the mental, emotional, and spiritual components/levels that dynamically interact to form the make up of the individual being - the persona, personality, consciousness, of the self. The more awareness is acquired about the different levels of the self, and the interrelationships between those levels, the easier it becomes to diagnose the dysfunctional interaction dynamics."
"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.
This book is about healing. It contains tools, techniques, and insights into the healing process that work in a powerful, effective way to change the quality of the individuals life experience for the better. They work because they help the individual to align with the way life really works instead of expecting it to be something which it is not."
"The wounding that needs to be healed is the result of being raised in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environment by parents who were raised in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environments. The disease which afflicts us is a generational disease that is the human condition as we have inherited it. Our parents did not know how to be emotionally honest or how to truly Love themselves. So there is no way that we could have learned those things from them.
We formed our core relationship with ourselves in early childhood and then built our relationship with ourselves on that foundation. We have lived life reacting to the wounds that we suffered in early childhood. Living life in reaction to old wounds is dysfunctional - it does not work to help us find some happiness and fulfillment in life."
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The Dance of Wounded Souls
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Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light
Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life
In my February 2003 Update Newsletter I wrote the following about the online book (The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!) which I started publishing on Joy2MeU web site in April 2002.
"I have mentioned in previous Updates that this online book pounced upon me when I wasn't expecting it - and turned into something quite different than the article it started out to be. It has turned into quite a wonderful work in my opinion - and is so much larger and more important in my view than just a response to the internet article that sparked the writing. One of the things I am going to change is the title - which I really dislike.In May of 2003 I have taken the initial steps to separate the bulk of this online book from the initial article that sparked the writing. I am adding this Author's Foreword page to the work to explain this change and put the work into the context I see it in now.
In the summer of 1999 while working on what I thought was my next book Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing I wrote a section that did not fit into the chapter I was writing at the time. I was working on a first draft version of this process level book for my Joy2MeU Journal, and as such commented on what I was writing as I did it. I am now using this section as an introduction to Book 2 of that work in progress.
We need to start observing ourselves and stop judging ourselves. Any time we judge and shame ourselves, we are feeding back into the disease, we are jumping back into the squirrel cage.
(All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)
Prologue to Detachment (?? or something)
The first requirement in any healthy problem solving situation is awareness that a problem exists. Until there is awareness that a condition exists which is causing some adverse effect, no positive, proactive action can be taken to change the situation for the better. (I am referring to "healthy" problem solving and "positive, proactive" action as opposed to unconscious, negative, reactive action - such as blaming, scapegoating, focusing on symptoms instead of cause, killing the messenger, etc.)
This is true in any dynamic involving human beings - personal inter- or intra-action, family, company, society, etc. The tools and techniques, method and process, laid out in this book are based upon principles of dynamic human interaction which could be applied to any level of human interaction - up to and including international. The "problems" in any system involving human interaction are merely reflections of dysfunction in the internal human process. The "problems" are the result of some part of the dynamic that is not working - that is dysfunctional - in furthering the goals, meeting the needs, of the system as a whole. This is true rather the system involved is an individual human being or a society.
The individual human being is a fully contained system involving multiple interrelationships within multiple levels. This is easy to see, and understand, when looking at the physical level. The interrelationship of the organs to each other, to the blood, to the skin, to the nervous system, etc. - is a dance of grand, and compelling, complexity.
Just as grand, and compelling, is the complexity of the dance of interrelationship between the mental, emotional, and spiritual components/levels that dynamically interact to form the make up of the individual being - the persona, personality, consciousness, of the self. The more awareness is acquired about the different levels of the self, and the interrelationships between those levels, the easier it becomes to diagnose the dysfunctional interaction dynamics.
"So what's the point already" you subscribers are probably asking.
There are several points I want to make here (although I could see as I was writing that this section is probably the first chapter in the book rather than this chapter - see what you get for subscribing to a work in progress. ;-) )
1. That this process (setting internal boundaries) applies to the dynamics that dictate human behavior. Those dynamics are not just about some people from some families in certain cultures. The symptomatic behavioral defenses that result from the Spiritual, mental, and emotional abuse that has been the Human Condition, come in a variety of flavors and colors, intensity and severity, - but they are universal, and apply to all humans on the planet. Human beings have much more in common with each other than they have differences. Everyone is reacting out of the same basic emotions, and the same basic emotional and Spiritual wounds.
2. That these dynamics apply to all levels of human interaction. I am not being frivolous or whimsical when I say "Work for World Peace: Heal Your Inner Child." This is not some "pop psychology" or New Age airy fairy junk - this is the revolution. Doing this healing is the answer. Doing this work is the most powerful way I know to effectively, dynamically, and relatively quickly integrate Love into our individual internal process. To start Loving ourselves is a revolutionary act that is part of the Second Coming that has begun on the planet.
3. That the first requirement in any healthy problem solving situation is awareness that a problem exists. Detachment is technique that fosters awareness.The goal of this dance of Recovery is integration and balance. That means celebrating being a tree while also glorying in being a part of the forest. Recovery is a process of becoming conscious of our individual wholeness and our ONENESS with all.
Detach 1. To unfasten and make separate; disconnect; disunite.
Detachment 1. A detaching; separation.
(New Illustrated Webster's Dictionary)
The healing process is full of paradox and irony on multiple levels. One of those paradoxes is that in order to get in touch with our ONENESS with everything, we must first be able to define our self as separate from others. And in order to become an integrated whole being, we must first separate and own all of the different parts of our self within. As long as we don't have clear boundaries between our self and others, we cannot know where we end and someone else starts - we cannot get clear on what is our stuff and what is theirs. As long as we don't have clear boundaries within ourselves, we are set up to be the victim of our own thoughts, feelings, and behavior.
Detachment is a vital technique in starting to see our self and others more clearly.
Most people who have any experience with twelve step programs will associate the term 'detachment' with Al-Anon. In Al-Anon terms detachment means to let go of believing that one has the power to make an alcoholic drink - or not drink. To stop taking an alcoholics behavior personally. It means to let go of feeling responsible for another persons feelings and behavior.
Detaching from feeling responsible for the feelings and behavior of other people is one of the initial stages of any codependency recovery. We learned in childhood that we had the power to make our parents happy or sad, angry or scared. We experienced painful consequences when our behavior was not what the adults around us considered acceptable. Some of us came from families where being a human child was not acceptable behavior. Some of us came from families afflicted with alcoholism or mental illness, in which case the definition of acceptable behavior varied wildly from one day to the next. Some of us came from families where as children we were allowed to have the power and be in control - which is terrifying and abusive to a child. Some of us came from families where no one in the family had permission to be human. None of these environments taught us how to relate to self and life in a healthy way.
We grew up getting the message that we were responsible for other people feelings and behavior. And we were taught to give other people or outside agencies power over how we felt about ourselves. We learned to do life backwards.
I spent most of my life doing the Serenity prayer backwards, that is, trying to change the external things over which I had no control - other people and life events mostly - and taking no responsibility (except shaming and blaming myself) for my own internal process - over which I can have some degree of control. Having some control is not a bad thing; trying to control something or somebody over which I have no control is what is dysfunctional.
We tried to control other people so we could protect ourselves emotionally. Some of us (classic codependent behavior) tried to control through people pleasing, being a chameleon, wearing a mask, dancing to other people's tunes. Some of us (classic counterdependent behavior - the opposite extreme) protected ourselves by pretending that we didn't need other people. Either way we were living life in reaction to our childhood wounds - we were not making clear, conscious choices. (If we think our choice is to be in an abusive relationship or not to be in a relationship at all, that is not a choice - that is reacting between two extremes that are symptoms of our childhood wounds.)
Now in May 2003, because of the chapters I have written for the The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!, I am seeing the structure of the book reversed. In other words, the explanation of how to do the work will come first and the chapters looking at different levels and manifestations of codependency will be what I am here calling Book 2. I don't know at this time whether this will actually be a separate book, or just part 2 of one book. One of those more will be revealed things.
I have used parts of the introduction which I wrote to the process level book in 1999 on two of my Topic Index pages - making only slight revisions to update some figures I used then, and perhaps change a word or two. This is the introduction that I wrote then - with the parts I used for Inner Child Healing pages index page and the Spiritual Belief System pages index page indented.
Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing
By Robert Burney
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. - Authors Foreword to Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
As stated above, the material in Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing will be an updated version of the inner child healing pages of the Joy2MeU web site - and the articles that will form the core of it are available in E-book form from Suite 101 for $19.95. (E-Book on inner child work)The approach to healing detailed on these web pages is one which has evolved in my personal recovery over the past 19 years and in my therapy practice over the past 13 years. I have been guided to develop an approach to inner child healing that offers a powerful, life-changing formula for integrating Love, Spiritual Truth, and intellectual knowledge of healthy behavior into one's emotional experience of life - a blueprint for individuals to transform their core relationship with self and life.
My work is firmly grounded on twelve step recovery principles and emotional energy release / grief process therapy. I specialize in teaching individuals how to become empowered to have internal boundaries so they can learn to relax and enjoy life in the moment while healing. It is the unique approach and application of the concept of internal boundaries, coupled with a Loving Spiritual belief system, that make the work so innovative and effective.
My belief is that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience and that the key to healing (and integrating Spiritual Truth into our emotional experience of life) is fully awakening to our Spiritual connection through emotional honesty, grief processing, and inner child work. It is not necessary to agree with my Spiritual beliefs to apply the approach I share on these web pages - and in my book - to help you transform your experience of life into an easier, more Loving and enjoyable journey. I consider Spirituality to be a word that describes one's relationship with life - and anyone, regardless of religious belief or lack of it (who is not completely closed minded), can benefit from doing this work.
The wounding that needs to be healed is the result of being raised in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environment by parents who were raised in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environments. The disease which afflicts us is a generational disease that is the human condition as we have inherited it. Our parents did not know how to be emotionally honest or how to truly Love themselves. So there is no way that we could have learned those things from them.
We formed our core relationship with ourselves in early childhood and then built our relationship with ourselves on that foundation. We have lived life reacting to the wounds that we suffered in early childhood. Living life in reaction to old wounds is dysfunctional - it does not work to help us find some happiness and fulfillment in life.
The approach that is detailed on these web pages does work. It works to help the individual being learn to relax and enjoy life in the moment. It works because it entails healing the wounds from the inside out - it is focused on changing our core relationship with ourselves. Once an individual starts loving, honoring, and respecting her/him self more on a core level, everything on the outside changes. External manifestation such as setting boundaries, seeing life and other people more clearly, letting go of trying to control and the worrying that accompanies those attempts, stopping the victimization, etc., start becoming automatic and intuitive.
It is possible to feel the feelings without being the victim of them or victimizing other's with them. It is possible to change the way you think so that your mind is no longer your worst enemy. It is possible to become empowered to have choices in life at the same time you are letting go of trying to be in control. Life can be an exciting, enjoyable adventure if you stop reacting to it out of your childhood emotional wounds and attitudes.The tools and techniques, insights and beliefs, set out in this book work. They work to support the idea that each and every one of us is Lovable and worthy. They work to help change life from an unbearable ordeal to a sometimes enjoyable adventure. Try it - you might find it works for you also.The Spiritual belief system detailed on this web site and in my book can be incorporated into any open-minded individual's personal beliefs. It is a belief system that allows for the possibility that maybe there is an Unconditionally Loving Higher Power - a God-Force, Goddess Energy, Great Spirit, whatever it is called - which is powerful enough to insure that everything is unfolding perfectly from a Cosmic Perspective. That everything happens for a reason - there are no accidents, no coincidences, no mistakes.
A Higher Power of My Own Understanding
It would be possible for someone to use the tools and techniques contained herein - for inner child healing and setting internal boundaries - to change some of their codependent/reactive behavior patterns and work on healing their childhood emotional wounds without a Spiritual belief system underlying the work. It would be possible, but in my view would be kind of silly. Spirituality is all about relationships. One's relationship to self, to others, to the environment, to life in general. A Spiritual belief system is simply a container for holding all of our other relationships. Why not have one that is large enough to hold it all.
In my personal recovery, I found that I needed a Spiritual container large enough to allow for the possibility that I was not a flawed, shameful being. I searched until I found some logical, rational means to explain life in a way that would allow me to start letting go of the shame I was carrying and start learning how to be Loving to myself.
For me it became a simple choice: either there is a higher purpose to this life experience or there is not. If there is not, then I don't want to play. So, I chose to believe that there is a Spiritual purpose and meaning to life. And choosing to believe in a Loving Higher Power has transformed my life from an ordeal to be endured to an adventure that is exciting and Joyous much of the time.
The bottom line for me is that it works for me, it is functional, for me to believe that there is Spiritual purpose and meaning to life. It works to make my life experience happier today.
A Personal Note from Robert Burney
This piece of writing has turned into another online book that I am publishing as it is written. I am feeling compelled to make another attempt to write what feels like a definitive exposition of my work and my beliefs from a different perspective than the online book about the terrorist attack of September 11th that I wrote last fall and early winter. That book turned into a very personally revealing work that also included what could be interpreted as by certain fanatical elements of at least 3 major religious groups as blasphemy, and by some secular groups as very controversial political opinions - which in part, was why I decided to move the bulk of that book to my Joy2MeU Journal. (As I explained in my April Update.) This one I foresee keeping on this Joy2MeU site - and hopefully publishing as a book, or at least an e-book. (See Future Publications page for the evolution of my thoughts in relationship to the compelling urge I am feeling and the newest ideas about future publications that have been sparked by recent messages in my process.)
This writing follows perfectly in the acceleration of my personal process and the manifestation of that evolution in my writing that I talk about in my January Update Newsletter.
"I mentioned at the very beginning of this update that I have experienced tremendous growth in my personal process in the last 3 years. I am so grateful for this web site - and the internet reality that makes it possible for me to Truly reach out and touch people around the world. The power of this means of connection and communication has stimulated me to do a tremendous amount of writing since 1998 when I launched my first crude web site. That writing process has facilitated, and accelerated, my personal growth process in Truly amazing ways.One of the most fascinating aspects of my writing - to me, anyway - is that I am writing about the same basic dynamics that I have been focused on for more than 10 years. The basic dynamics of codependence - of the disease / the wounding process and the recovery / healing / Spiritual awakening process - are something I have seen clearly for quite awhile. There is nothing in my book (Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls) - though the final draft was written in 1995 - that is not aligned with what I believe and know today. (A remarkable, amazing fact to me - and certainly nothing I take credit for. I mention in my August 2001 Update that I feel like I am just now reaching, on a personal level, the level of consciousness that the book was written out of. ) What is happening though, is that I keep writing - and understanding - on deeper, more sophisticated levels. The layers are more subtle, but each one I peel leads to a clearer, more refined understanding from a higher perspective. I would never have guessed two years ago that I would find so much more to write about - and there are already enough new writing projects waiting in line to keep me busy for this year." - Joy2MeU Update January 2002 Newsletter 2In this online book (which wasn't one of the writing projects I had waiting in line), I am finding myself exploring new levels and perspectives - both dissecting the dynamics of codependency and recovery on more sophisticated and subtle levels (both psychologically and historically) and discussing different facets of the phenomena in more concrete, practical, and hopefully understandable, terms. This latest writing adventure has turned into quite an exciting adventure in itself. ~ Robert May 15, 2002
"It is also a reminder for me of how absolutely perfectly this writing and my healing process have unfolded in relationship to this web site over the past 4 years. The Recovery Process for inner child healing - finding emotional balance series of articles followed the True Nature of Love series. The True Nature of Love series is something I started writing in 1999 - shortly after I started my Joy2MeU Journal, and the personal journal I share in it. I started writing both of those bodies of work while I was homeless - shortly after the end of My Adventure in Romance - Loving and losing successfully.The Emotional Honesty and Emotional Responsibility series led directly into the processing that I did about my fear of intimacy issues in the Newsletters of the May 2001 Update. That processing led to a major breakthrough in my personal recovery process."One of the things that I am realizing in the processing that was set off by this latest breakthrough in my process, is that I seem to just now be reaching - on a personal level - the level of consciousness that my book was written out of. It has been over 10 years now, since I wrote the core of what was to become Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls - over a period of 48 frenzied hours of writing, to be able to give a talk that I had scheduled months before." - Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update - August -2001
The way we do that is to change the attitudes and beliefs within us that tell us that we are not Lovable. And we cannot do that without going through the black hole. The black hole that we need to surrender to traveling through is the black hole of our grief. The journey within - through our feelings - is the journey to knowing that we are Loved, that we are Lovable.
Here is an excerpt from the foot note that I added to the first chapter while doing this revision in May 2003. (The footnote/post script mentions 15 chapters because I am hoping to have the fifteenth chapter added within the next week or so.)
One of those paradoxes is that in order to get in touch with our ONENESS with everything, we must first be able to define our self as separate from others. And in order to become an integrated whole being, we must first separate and own all of the different parts of our self within.In Book 2, I discuss the importance of separation on multiple levels in regard to a number of different issues, including: separating ego strength from self worth and separating our feelings of self worth from our emotional relationships to external sources. I believe this work contains many valuable insights - and hope that you find it of value also. Here are links to the first 3 chapters of this work with their new titles.
Part 2 Love & Romance, Marriage and Divorce
Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life
Chapter 3 Emotional Honesty
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