Abundant Spirituality + codependency recovery + inner child healing + Love = Joy2MeULogo of Joy to You & Me Enterprises, publisher of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls Joy2MeU Home Page
This is the Update Newsletter of the Joy2MeU web site of codependency therapist, inner child healing pioneer, Spiritual teacher Robert Burney - who is the author of the Joyously inspirational Spiritual book: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.  These Update Newsletters are now posted 4 times a year  A short announcement e-mail is sent out notifying people who sign up for the Joy2MeU e-mailing list when a new Update is posted. (e-mail link below)
Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update
To all the Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,

It has been almost 4 months since my last Update - and I have done a lot of work on the web site since February.  It hasn't resulted in a lot of new content on the site however - for variety of reasons. 

In early March the problems that were increasingly manifesting with my iMac that was over 2 years old - and therefore ancient in computer terms - got irritating enough that I stopped at the Mac store one day to see how much it would take to get a new computer. What I found out is that I could trade in my iMac - and I was able to get a reconditioned eMac with up to date software and more memory.  Like every other thing that happens in life, this was a good news / bad news situation.  The good news was that I got a new computer - hurrah - the bad news was I had to learn to use new programs.  That led to a couple of weeks of opportunities to practice patience and acceptance and not buy into the frustration that can arise from relating to a computer.

As I have mentioned in previous Updates, part of what makes my life so interesting to me in recent years is that my work involves some very different kinds of activity.  The writing is a very different kind of energy space from the phone counseling - and both are quite different from the different types of work I need to do in relationship to my web sites.  My relationship with the phone counseling is definitely the least contentious of the three arenas.  And although my relationship with writing can be frustrating at times, working on the web site - which involves interacting with my computer - is definitely the relationship that involves the most areas of potential for frustration.  In my second Newsletter for my original web site, I talked about the frustration of working on web pages and trying to get listed in search engines.

"About frustration, since I mentioned it several times. 10 years ago when I was in a 30 day treatment program for codependence (clinically called: depression) one of the counselors gave a definition of frustration that made me angry then, and still riles me when I am getting frustrated and I remember his words. 

Frustration (he said) is what you feel when you are in a power struggle and you are losing

Which means, for me, that there is something I need to let go of - some part of my plan, my picture of how I think things should be that I need to surrender - so I can see and accept reality as it is and then make the best of it." - Joy to You & Me Newsletter II - August 15, 1998

Getting used to a new computer can be a frustrating experience for most anyone I think.  For me it can be a challenging opportunity for growth because any time I am working on something technical that is important to me (as in, how I make my living), the little boy inside who was always raged at for screwing up - and seemed to always screw up - is so afraid of making a mistake.  Those old wounds and tapes don't have anywhere near the power they used to - but they do get triggered and produce some fear and anxiety.  Also, I don't normally read instructions, just work it out through trial and error - so I get lots of opportunities to practice letting go as I stumble along trying to figure out how to make the new programs work.  This is a personal pattern that can be attributed to different causes, including:  some codependent impatience and stubbornness (doing it my way);  the actual reality that most instructions are written at levels above my computer illiterate understanding;  and perhaps just a bit to the fact I am a man (one of those things that is part of cultural programming but also may be a bit inherent - as I point out in some recent writings, stereotypes grow out of grains of Truth.)  Again I got to see how much I have grown in my recovery, because I only got to the place of wanting to throw the computer through the window 3 or 4 times.  Getting emotionally involved in a power struggle with a computer is a wonderful opportunity to practice applying spiritual recovery principles in my life.

So, I spent the first couple of weeks of March figuring out ways to use my new computer to do the things I need to do for my web site.  I got to watch my ego resist the change - and most of the time, be amused by it's resistance.  As I mention in my writings, our ego fears the unknown and resists change.  It likes comfortable ruts, not new adventures.  During the time that I was figuring out my new computer, some new neighbors moved into the upstairs part of the duplex I live in.  It had been vacant since last fall - and I was quite enjoying not having anyone walking around above my head.  One Sunday morning when I was getting wound too tight from the frustration of dealing with the computer, I stepped outside for a break and noticed that my new neighbors had obviously subscribed to the Sunday paper - and that IT WAS ON MY SIDE OF THE DRIVEWAY.  I had to laugh at how ridiculous my ego can get with it's resistance to change.  Their newspaper was invading my space - the nerve of them!

March was also a really intense and busy month for phone counseling - thanks to the Goddess, because that is what made it possible to be able to trade in my computer.  I finally got Chapter 14 of my online book in progress posted on March 27th.

In April I didn't have time to do hardly any writing - as I explain in an paragraph for this Update that I wrote to add to my ordering information page a week or so ago.

"I didn't get any writing done in April because I first had to figure out my taxes - and then spent two frantic weeks figuring out how to set up a Catalogue page on a secure processing site: HyperMart.  The secure payment gateway that I use for processing credit card transactions (Authorize.net) had set a deadline of April 29th to change one type of code used in payment links - the code I use because it is the simplest.  This was a security upgrade that Authorize.net was imposing on all of it's clients - but one that wasn't really necessary for me because I have never had any problems with security.  (I don't offer anything that a thief would want to steal.)  Their other options were far too technically complicated for my computer illiterate skills, so I signed up for an account with HyperMart so I could keep selling books after the deadline - and eventually incorporate their type of links into all my items for sale.  About two days before the deadline they decided to postpone it indefinitely.  So, since I am paying to have this Catalogue Page posted on HyperMart, I am placing links to it on my site so people can use it if they like.  It contains all of the products and services I offer on one page - and includes a few extra options for purchasing Bumper Stickers with regular orders, as does my PayPal page."

As I was writing this, I still haven't quite got all the wrinkles worked out with this Catalogue Page (10/03 - this catalogue page turned out to be something that didn't work for the site - so have removed the link now.) - more opportunity to deal with frustration - but believe I will have it ready to go when I post this Update.  (I wrote this sentence on Monday, and on Tuesday got the page working right.  Hurrah!  My inner children were quite proud of me for handling the technical aspects of getting the page functioning.)

I have redesigned my Ordering Information page - and made some slight adjustments to some of the prices, necessary because of shipping costs. These were minor changes that actually involved lowering the price of the audio tapes set - and some adjustments to cover higher shipping costs to Canada.

At the end of April my poor car finally got to the point where it wasn't worth saving anymore - and I was able to get a new car.  Hurrah!  Well, new to me.  I share that good news on the Help page that I posted as a way of asking for assistance from the Universe with my financial situation on January 2nd.  That Help page is something I am going to leave posted and update periodically for anyone who is interested in my personal situation and the future of my book and web site.  It includes a request for donations from anyone who feels that my work has helped them and whose Spirit moves them to send some green energy in this direction.  The new Catalogue page also includes some links for anyone who wants to donate to the cause of keeping my book in print and my web site available.  As I mention on that Help page and on my updated Future Publications page, keeping Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls in print is now my overriding priority financially.

"So, when I sent the request out to the Universe on January 2nd by posting this page, I asked for some financial abundance in relationship to 5 areas.  I have now gotten the new computer and new car.  Right on!

That leaves money to publish more copies of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls when the ones I had printed last August run out - probably around August or September this year - money to bring out a CD version of the audio book, and the money to provide a home for my son.

My son is going to be with me for two periods this summer (the first for a month starting May 28th) instead of living with me permanently because that money has not manifested yet.  The CD is something that will happen eventually, hopefully.  More copies of the Dance is something that is necessary to maintain my ability to keep the web site going - so it is now first on my priority list of requests to the Universe for some financial abundance.

The company that published the second printing for me last summer was bought out by a larger company.  I recently contacted them to lay the groundwork for printing more books.  The change in ownership resulted in an upgrade in equipment.  The way that impacts me, is that this summer to print 1000 copies of the book will cost me about the same amount that it cost to print 1500 last summer - just under $3000.  However the more books printed, the more drastically the cost per book goes down.  It would be possible to print 5000 copies for just under $4500.  Pretty drastic difference - so hopefully the Universe will provide that abundance in time to keep the book in print.

I have had a suggestion from someone - who made a donation to the cause - that I am considering.  This person thought that if I added a dedication page to my site - which would allow people who did donate to the cause to dedicate their contribution to some friend or loved one or cause or whatever, and have their name (or anonymous as they wished) listed on that page - it might increase donations.  If anyone has any thoughts on this they would like to share, drop me an e-mail."  ~ Help page

I invite anyone out there who resonates and values my work and my book - and might have the financial means to help in keeping the message out there and spreading - to check out that page.  As I said, I will run out of books by late August or September - so by the time of my next Update in September the situation will either be resolved or have reached a critical stage.

Part of the good news about getting a reliable car is that it made it easier, and cheaper, to bring my son out for his visit.  He is at an age now (13) where some airlines still consider him a minor - which means he can't travel alone on any flight which involves changing planes without paying a considerable extra fee.  Since I had a car that seemed to be up to the trip I was able to fly him into San Jose (about 180 miles away) on a direct flight - there being no direct flights to the nearest airport in San Luis Obsipo.  The car did make the trip all right - but used a lot of oil.  Oh well. sigh. :-)

One of those interesting Cosmic coincidences of timing occurred because of this new car that brought San Jose within range.  A person who had done some phone sessions with me some time ago sent me an e-mail a month or so ago, in which she asked if I would ever consider speaking at a CoDA meeting in her area.  As things unfolded, it turned out that her home group in the San Francisco Bay area meets on Wednesday evenings - and they wanted me to come in late June or early July.  My plans by then included being in San Jose on July 2nd - which made it easy to agree to head on up to speak at a CoDA speakers meeting that evening.  My 17th CoDA birthday was on June 3rd (something I talk about in the Story of Joy to You & Me in the first issue of the Joy2MeU  Journal) - and since our local CoDA group is so small, I didn't really do anything to celebrate my birthday this year.  This speakers meeting will give me a chance to share my story as a way of celebrating that birthday.  Anyone in the Bay Area who thinks they might be interested in coming to Walnut Creek that evening can send me an e-mail for the information on time and place.

The big change that took a lot of time in early May was the change I made to the name of my online book.  As I mentioned in past Updates, this online book grew into something much larger and more sophisticated than the internet article that prompted me to write the response The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!  The new title is Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life.  I explain the genesis, evolution, and new name for this work in the Author's Foreword that I posted in mid May.  In late May, I posted Chapter 15: Masculine and Feminine.

It will probably be a couple of months before I post Chapter 16, as I have some other articles I want to finish first - most notably the last two (or 3 perhaps) articles in The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process series that I was writing when I was propelled into writing this online book, and an article on Romantic Connection/Sexual Attraction that I started writing - and promised - two years ago.  My next priority however, is some articles for my Joy2MeU Journal.  Eventually I will be writing in the personal journal I share in that Journal about some major exciting breakthroughs in my personal process that have unfolded this Spring - breakthroughs that I can now see were necessary for me to finish the article on Romantic Attraction.  More will be revealed about how fast I get any of this writing done - I do have my 13 year old son here with me now, and will be taking a trip with him in late July.

I also started an interesting new series of articles on my Inner Child/Codependency Recovery page on Suite101 - and added a new page Suite101 Articles to this site with a list of, and links to, the articles I have published there since January 2002.  The new series which I started in March, is focused on issues involving gender, sexuality, romantic relationships, and directly related topics - and I am sure will be continuing for the rest of 2003.  The first article in that series is entitled Men and Women are from the same planet.

In the Newsletter portion of this Update, I am going to share something I wrote for my online book last September - but have not used in it.  It is one of the many sections that I wrote and haven't used while writing the chapters of that book.  I did use what I had written - and expanded on it - in my online journal processing I did in November.  What I am sharing below is that expanded version of what I had written - about how recovery can be a lonely journey at times.

Additions to the web site since the February Update include: 

An Author's Foreword and two new Chapters added to the renamed online book in progress.  The first two chapters will eventually be a separate article.

The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages!

Chapter 2: 
Romantic Relationships

Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light 
Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life
New:  Author's Foreword

Chapter 3: 
Emotional Honesty

Chapter 4: 
false self image

Chapter 5: 
Pavlov's Dog

Chapter 6: 
self worth & ego strength

Chapter 7: 
Multiple levels of selfishness

Chapter 8: 
Codependents as Emotional Vampires

Chapter 9: 
Codependency = Emotional Anorexia

Chapter 10: 
Normal Families are Dysfunctional

Chapter 11: 
Codependent Counselors / Therapists

Chapter 12: Codependency in New Age Movement

Chapter 13: 
The Music of Love is not shaming

Chapter 14: 
Spiritual Manifesto

Chapter 15: 
Masculine and Feminine

A new page Suite101 Articles with a list of - and links to - articles published on my Inner Child / Codependency Recovery page on Suite101 since January 2002.

In addition:
I did some redesign and fine tuning of prices on my Ordering Information page

I updated my Help page in regard to my financial situation - which includes the need to raise the finances to print more copies of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls as I share on my Future Publications page.

I added a brief update to the Phone Counseling Page to mark the third anniversary of doing the phone sessions.

A wonderful new testimonial from a woman in Scotland came in just in time to be added with this Update - the sixth new phone counseling testimonial that has been added since the February Update.

Two new resources have been added to the Referral to local Therapist / Counselors page - one in California, one in England.

Three new batches of wonderful testimonials for the book, tapes, and web site have been added since the last Update. 

A new testimonial for the Joy2MeU Journal

The site referral service I had been using was going out of business so I added a new one Tell-A-Friend.

Someone e-mailed me to let me know that the handout Risking was written by Ralph Waldo Emerson - it is on the same page with the The 10 Commandments of Self Esteem

Most Recent articles published on my Inner Child/Codependency Recovery topic page on Suite101: 

February 2003 
Intellectual Discernment - Choices, not "shoulds"

 March 2003 
Men and Women are from the same planet

April 2003 
The Maiden and the Horndog

May 2003 
Old tapes / traditional beliefs and roles
Graphic of two hearts with an arrow through them - signifying both Love and heartbreak.
Links to past Update Newsletters for the Joy2MeU site (launched February 4, 1999) can be found on the Information index page.  Links to the Newsletters of my original Joy to You & Me web site (launched February 28, 1998) can be found on the Joy to You & Me page which list pages from that site not moved to Joy2MeU.

Logo of the Joy2MeU Journal of Codependence therapist/Spiritual teacher.
I am publishing drafts of several books, the story of my recovery / Spiritual Path, and a personal journal in my Joy2MeU Journal

To preview first issue of Joy2MeU Journal go to Journal Premier Issue

To sign up for e-mailing list
Contact RobertLogo of Joy to You & Me Enterprises, publisher of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls


"Here is something that I wrote in August as part of my writing for the online book.  I may still use it in that online work eventually.

The Road Gets Narrower

Recovery from codependency, healing our wounded souls, can be a very lonely journey at times.  There is an expression in twelve step recovery - the road gets narrower.  It does.  There is a lot of letting go involved in the healing process.  As we learn to be more Loving to our self, as we start to honor and respect and have compassion for ourselves, we start choosing to let go of old ideas, old behaviors, and lots of people we care about.  The healthier we get, the more old playmates and old playgrounds we find it necessary to let go of - as we let go of the manipulative games that we learned to play in childhood, the masks we used to wear. 

That doesn't mean we have to let go of people we care about completely, although some of them we certainly will choose to - or they will choose to have nothing to do with us once we start standing up for ourselves and speaking our Truth.  It means we need to let go of the illusion that they are who we want them to be - that we need them in our life.  We need to start seeing people more clearly so we can practice discernment in the people we choose to trust, the people to whom we choose to open up our hearts and minds.  There are two through nine choices in relationships - different levels / categories of friendship. 

"I have found it important to have boundaries in terms of how I view other people.  If I have one or two people in my life that I feel that I can truly communicate with and be emotionally honest with on all levels, that is an incredible abundance. . . . . . . It has been very helpful to me, to accept that people are where they are at - and that it is OK. . . . . . .  This was especially important in terms of letting go of expecting my family of origin to change.  They are not who I want them to be, they don't understand me and can't see me.  It isn't personal - they are just dancing with their wounds and following their path.  It is not for me to judge someone else's path.  Letting go - especially in terms of doing the inner child grieving about letting go of the myth of family - and accepting, was a necessary component in being able to have a friendly, superficial relationship with my family today.  Superficial is what they are capable of - I needed to accept that and make the best of the situation. 

In terms of friends, there are going to be people in my life, who I can share certain things with - but not other things.  Some people that I can relate to on certain levels, or about certain issues.  To expect that I can be emotionally honest with everyone in my life in a way that works (is safe, is heard, is understood) is an insane expectation in such a dysfunctional society with relatively so few people actually doing the healing work." - Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 2

Getting sane in an insane world is crazy making sometimes.  As we change and get healthier, many of the people in our lives will be uncomfortable with our new behavior.  Some of them will judge and shame us, will be abusive to us, when we start setting boundaries and acting with more self respect. 

When I mention above that we start choosing "safe" people to interact with, I was not talking about other people actually being able to harm us.  The safety I was referring to is an internal thing.  We need to build a sanctuary for ourselves internally - grounded in our Spiritual connection - so that we aren't giving other people power over our self esteem. 

"I want to make a point here also, that when I say "safe" in terms of being emotionally honest, I am talking about what will work best.  In earlier recovery, when I was still giving a lot of power to the old wounds and old tapes, it could feel devastating to me to have someone judge and shame me.  Then safe referred to danger, to people who would judge and shame me.  It also meant people who would try to fix me.  Trying to fix someone else is not support, it is codependence.  When someone starts trying to rescue me it imparts a judgment on where I am at - it means they are not comfortable so they are going to try to change me to make themselves comfortable.  This is tied into what I was speaking of above about offering advice or opinions to someone who hasn't asked.  It can be a form of abuse. 

As I have gotten healthier in recovery, with more capacity to be balanced and see life with some clarity - other people and life events have less power to effect me.  The more I am grounded in the Spiritual belief system I have integrated into my internal process, and the more I have done my inner child healing - the less power any of my old buttons hold. The better I have become at letting go, the shorter the periods of time have become that I am giving others the power to rock my emotional boat.  The term safe for me transformed into meaning something more like: safe from wasting time and energy trying to communicate with someone who can not hear.  To get into an argument, a power struggle over right and wrong, with someone who doesn't speak my language is dysfunctional - is actually, pretty silly." - Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 2

Earlier in my recovery, it was necessary for me to stay away from certain people who were not safe - people who were the mad dogs and skunks I mentioned in the last chapter and will talk in more detail about in the next.  Because I had not yet learned to be able to set healthy and appropriate boundaries, to have internal boundaries so I wasn't giving others so much power to trigger me, it was best to not be around them.  Now, it is not necessary for me to stay away from anyone, it is just a choice I make because I value where I invest my time and energy. 

The less we are allowing the disease to cause us to judge and shame ourselves, the more we are Loving and respecting ourselves by owning our worth as Spiritual beings, the easier it becomes to feel safe within no matter what is happening externally.  The saying that I quote often, "Serenity isn't freedom from the storm, Serenity is Peace amidst the storm" has gradually become a concrete reality in my life.  It has become the foundation upon which my relationship with reality is based.  I certainly can have emotional reactions to life events and other peoples behaviors, can experience fear and hurt and anger - but underneath my reactions to day to day life is an inner peace and faith that is ultimately what defines my relationship with my life experience today.  Very cool result of having been willing to heal and grow. 

The road does become narrower - but the horizons get broader.  The scenery on our journey gets more beautiful as we learn to relax and smell the flowers.  The experience of this human trip in day to day life becomes happier and easier, includes more Joy and Love in the moments of our days.  It can still feel like a pretty solitary journey at times however, because we are pioneers. 

"We are pioneers in this healing movement that is happening.  Even if you just arrived at some consciousness of the path, you are still a pioneer [to use a Western American analogy . . . . .  - if I am a Mountain Man who followed the fur trappers, then you are in the first wagon trains.]  And it can often be lonely and scary and painful being a pioneer.  Life does not often feel Loving.  It does not normally, tangibly feel like there really is a Loving Higher Power.  As we do the work, and change our intellectual paradigm to one based on Love instead of fear so that our emotional responses to life change, we can change our relationship with life into one that is more Loving - but it still doesn't feel Loving a lot of the time.  So, it is important to remember what a gift we have been given.  In healing our relationships with our self, we are becoming vehicles / channels / vessels of Love.  By learning to Love our self we are manifesting Love into the world.  This is the dawning of the Second Coming of the message of Love, and we are all messengers/messiahs who have the privilege of carrying the message of Truth and Love by being in recovery and doing our healing to the best of our ability in the moment."  -  Joy2MeU Update 12-11-99
November 4, 2002
After using that quote from the December 1999 Update in this section above that I wrote in September - I realized that it is really not a good analogy.  The part about you all being in covered wagons that is.  Most of the time, it is not going to feel like you are a part of a group of people in recovery - on a journey - together.   If you have a CoDA group or something similar, that inspires you and gives comfort - that will give you the feeling of community some of the time.  Thanks be to the Goddess for this incredible gift of the internet - because it can help us feel connected to a community some times.  But most of the time, this recovery process is a pretty solitary journey.  It is normal to feel quite alone, a good bit of the time. 

What was so vital to me was to separate the three major levels of my loneliness - so that I could discern between legitimate feelings of loneliness for connection with other human beings, the desperate loneliness of my inner child, and the spiritual emptiness that comes from the illusion of separation from my Source.  This is what I talked about in the latest chapter of my online book. 

"Codependency is a condition which sets us up to be starved for emotional nurturing - to be emotionally anorexic.  Not having our emotional needs met in childhood sets us up for the behavior patterns that cause our adult emotional needs to go unmet - and both areas of need are reflections of our Spiritual wound, of the hole we feel within due to the feeling of disconnection from our Source.  That deep empty longing can only be filled Spiritually, by reconnecting with our Source. 

As long as we are looking outside to fill the hole we feel within ourselves, we are destined to be emotional anorexics.  Our emotional needs cannot be filled as long as our self worth is enmeshed in our emotional relationship to external sources.  We are not able to discern between our legitimate adult emotional needs and the desperate emotional neediness of our wounded inner children as long we are looking outside of ourselves to find worth, to fill the feeling of emptiness within." - The codependency movement . . . marriages! Chapter 9 emotional anorexia

I also talked about it in the Newsletter processing I did about my fear of intimacy issues in May and June of 2001. 
"When I mentioned being alone, I was talking specifically about in person, emotionally intimate relationships.  I was not talking about that desperate feeling of loneliness that I used to experience.  That desperately lonely part of me involved my inner child loneliness - and beyond that, the hole in my soul that was about feeling disconnected from the Source.  I have not felt disconnected from the Source for many years now.  That Spiritual hole that I spent much of my life trying to fill with something or someone outside of me, is what I learned to fill by working a twelve step Spiritual program.  I am never alone on that level.  I have not felt alone in that way for a long time. 

Through my inner child healing work, I have developed relationships with the desperately lonely, needy inner children within me - and those wounds have only a fraction of the power they used to have.  The next time that I have the opportunity to explore a relationship with another person that includes the possibility of a romantic connection, those wounds will come into play / buttons will be pushed - and it will be an wonderful opportunity for further growth and healing. ;-) 

So, in stating that I was very alone - notice that I did not say I was lonely - I was referring to an adult need for connection with other human beings in person. . . . . .  A sad truth for many people, is that the emotional intimacy they have experienced on the internet is the most powerful intimacy they have ever experienced.  This is a symptom of how wounded and starved emotionally we were as children - the reason for patterns of emotional deprivation as an adult - and a message from the Source about how important it is to develop compassion for self in recovery.  Just as the first twelve step meetings I ever attended were the most intimate, honest, real, and safest places I had ever experienced up to that time - so for many people the internet was the first place to experience any kind of true emotional honesty and safety.  As I grew, and learned to be more emotionally intimate with myself, my capacity for emotional intimacy increased - and after a certain point, the number of people who had a comparable capacity decreased, the number of places where it was really appropriate to share on the deepest levels became fewer.  There are multiple levels to everything, recovery keeps changing and getting different - the road gets narrower as the horizons get broader."  -  Joy2MeU Update May 2001 Newsletter 1

What I know for me, is that my experience is that I have felt lonelier in relationship with someone who I wasn't connecting with than without a relationship.  "One is the loneliest number since the number 2"   The bottom line to any decision we need to make about a relationship, is to look at whether the payoff is worth the price we are paying - and in order to do that, it is vital to see the situation as clearly as possible.  Developing a detached, objective, observer perspective - my recovery control center - has been the key for me in learning to have internal boundaries so that I can separate out the different levels of my process, so that I can see my issues and my relationships with more clarity. 

The breakthrough that I had in my journal processing in June and July, is that I was able to see, and make a conscious choice to opt for deprivation over getting involved with someone that I did not feel I could really open my heart to.  It was very important for me to do that, so I could take some power away from my deprivation issues.  Even though I have done tremendous healing over the years, I find that in this one critical area I keep uncovering ways that I am giving power to feeling like a victim.  That was a very big breakthrough for me - to make deprivation a conscious choice rather than engaging in behavior that felt like a betrayal of myself.

Now I am getting a chance to look at the way I have swung out of balance in my acceptance of being isolated.

I do have legitimate adult needs for connection with other humans.  It is very difficult to get those needs met because of how narrow my path has become - but I could do more than I have been to make myself available for such relationships.  That is why it was so important for me to look at this area.  I can take some action.  I can take some risks to open up to the possibility of connection with other beings."

The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul  My Unfolding Process - Dance 18 November 2002

June 11-15, 2003,
Why, in this excerpt from my journal, I refer to writing the section on The Road Gets Narrower in August in one place, and only a short way down the page say it was in September, I have no idea.  Brain hiccup I guess.  I wrote it in August and September last year obviously.

As I said, that section was written for the online book and thus the reference to "mad dogs and skunks I mentioned in the last chapter."  That was a reference to Chapter 7: Multiple levels of selfishness.

The issue of being alone and and feeling lonely is a big one for most of us.  It was vital for me in my recovery to see that I actually felt less loneliness when I was alone - because my patterns were more of the counterdependent type, trying to convince myself I didn't need other people.  My fear/terror of intimacy issues were so powerful that I effectively had a relationship phobia.  Those of you whose patterns were more classically codependent, tended to make the relationship your higher power and hold on for dear life because of inner child fears of being alone.  These are two extremes in the patterns I have observed in how codependents react to fear of intimacy - to be isolated and alone most of the time or to stay in relationships that aren't meeting our needs out of fear of being alone.  The third major pattern is to go from relationship to relationship, often being more codependent in some (trying to take a hostage / make the other person our drug of choice) and counterdependent in others (resisting being someone else's drug / being taken hostage.)  (Parts 3 and 4 of the Codependent Relationship Dynamics series talks about this come here - go away dynamic.)

It was when I was with other people that I felt the loneliest - because I didn't have a clue of how to connect in a healthy way.  So, I tried to convince myself that I didn't need other people. I had so much shame at the core of my relationship with my self that it felt like allowing another person to really see in to me (intimacy, in to me see) would cause them to run away screaming in horror at what a shameful defective monster I was - the ugly ogre within (just watched Shrek with my kid again the other night.:)

It has been powerfully freeing and empowering for me to learn to be discerning in seeing the different levels of loneliness - to separate the feelings of loneliness caused by spiritual disconnection from the loneliness and grief of my inner child wounds.  As I took the power away from those levels by working a spiritual program and doing my inner child healing work, I could then more clearly own and see the level that was about an adult human being wanting connection with other adult human beings - and of course, a special connection with one other person.  That is a legitimate need - and I needed to grieve for the ways I had been deprived in getting my needs to connect with other beings met - but it was by far the least powerful of the three levels of loneliness.  Separating my soul longing and the desperate, life threatening, feelings of my inner children from the adult grief made it possible to start playing in the gray area of relationships - instead of being stuck swinging between the extremes of complete isolation or opening my heart to be shattered once more by someone who would "betray" me by not being who I wanted her to be.  (Because of my childhood trauma, my fear of betrayal was greater than my fear of abandonment, so counterdependent behavior felt less potentially painful to my ego defense system than codependent - something I saw more clearly, on a deeper level, in that May 2001 Newsletter processing.)

Letting go of my schedule

I was planning on getting this Update posted on June 11th - so much for my plans.  In writing about how the road gets narrower I got into how vital it is to start learning how to practice discernment in relationship to the issues of being alone and feeling alone - and this Newsletter portion of the Update kept getting longer and longer.  Discernment in looking at our issues is so vital in learning to open up to Love - and the ability to start separating being alone and feeling alone was so important to me in beginning to peel away the layers of my fear/terror of intimacy - that this section kept growing.  It is not possible to change our patterns in intimate relationships without practicing discernment - and in writing this I found myself explaining the process in a way that is a little different (and hopefully clearer) that I have previously.

Yesterday (June 15) I surrendered to making the Newsletter portion of this Update a different page.  It is too important a topic for me to try to cram it in with this Update portion - I want a little more space to explore where this writing is going.  Hopefully I will be able to finish that page within the next couple of days.  I will announce on my New page when the Newsletter page of this Update is posted and activate a link to it here.

June 24, 2003 June 2003 Update Newsletter Discernment part 1   Here is a paragraph from that page:
"As I started to validate and understand my emotional wounds, and separate the levels and layers of them, I could then start to see my adult relationship patterns more clearly.  I could then see how the combination of feeling disconnected Spiritually and feeling unlovable to my parents in childhood gave power to the illusion that I was shameful and defective.  And because I felt shameful and defective I had good reason to fear intimacy.  That helped me to start understanding why my fear of intimacy had run my life." 
With Wishes of Love to Me and You all 2,

Broken hearts and broken dreams lead to fear of risking - graphic with two hearts with an arrow through them.
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