Spiritual growth process / en-Lighten-ment / Consciousness Raising
"I have only a little experience with feeling Love that sets me Free - and that has come primarily since I have been in recovery. In those moments when I am able to connect with Love in it's True form, then I feel that all of the pain and suffering has been worth the experience. Then I get a taste of what home really feels like. Then I get to feel the Joy and Truth and Love that Truly does set me Free from the illusion of separation. In those moments, I can sometimes even feel grateful for that illusion. Because without the illusion of separation from The Source Energy, from Love - I would never have gotten the opportunity to experience Love."The thing that struck me so strongly about this paragraph was the first sentence where I say I have only had a little experience of Love as a source of freedom. That is not true any more. My life is so much about Love these days - and I have so much freedom that it is kind of mind boggling.
The thing that I wanted to share here about the Spiritual growth process, is that a measure of a person's Spiritual growth, of the level of enlightenment / consciousness they have reached, is not how high they feel when feeling their best, but how high they feel when feeling their worst. By letting go of our attachment to the Illusion - a gradual transition as we pursue our recovery process - we are no longer so affected by it. By learning to take life less seriously and less personally, we become more en-Lighten-ed - lighten up, go from dark to Light and from heavy to light. That is, we transition from giving power to the darkness of unconsciousness and denial to the Light of consciousness, and from the heavy, serious burden of trying to earn love and do life "right" to the lightness and Light of Knowing we are Unconditionally Loved and a perfect part of the ONENESS of The Great Spirit.
As we grow and change our relationship with self and life, we raise the range of our emotional experience of life. There will always be relative highs and lows in our experience of life. We are never going to reach a place where we are high all of the time. There is no "happily ever after" here in these bodies on this plane of existence.
The payoff for doing the recovery work is that we stop swinging to the wild extremes caused by the disease programming, and start being able to relax and enjoy being present for our journey through life. [Many of us did not experience those extremes of high and low as feeling really good sometimes and really bad other times. Our highs were not highs of feeling happy, they were highs of being extremely busy trying to control life and other people, of striving to reach a destination. The highs were the times of feeling driven, feeling intensely involved in life (often mistaking it for being passionately alive) - compulsive / addictive behavior that helped us escape from self, while the lows were the times we collapsed back in on our self, into the inner emotional abyss of pain and shame.]
"The healthier we get, the more emotional healing we do, the less extreme our emotional reaction / response spectrum grows. The growth process works kind of like a pendulum swinging. The less we buy into the toxic shame and judgment, the less extreme the swings of the pendulum become. The arc of our emotional pendulum becomes gentler, and we can return to emotional balance much quicker and easier. But we don't get to stay in the balance position. Life is always rocking our boat - setting our emotional pendulum to swinging. By not taking life events and other peoples behavior so seriously and personally, by observing our process with some degree of detachment instead of getting so hooked into the trauma drama soap opera victimology that is a reaction to our childhood wounds, we learn to not give so much power over our emotions to outside influences and events."As we learn to develop internal boundaries to stop the negative programming and emotional wounds from defining and dictating our experience of life, we transform our relationship with life. We raise our bottoms as it were. Our lowest emotional points are higher - are more aligned with Love - than our highest points used to be. That is, we have days that are not as much fun, that don't contain as many moments of Joy, but eventually we no longer plunge into the despair and "wish to die" depths of emotional pain and shame that we did prior to starting the inner child healing. (And of course, in the earlier stages of the process, this means we don't plunge as deeply into the depths or stay there as long - progress not perfection.)
In my life now, there are times when I am tired and discouraged, when I feel like this life business is a really stupid game that I am sick of playing - but I do not ever feel hopeless and despairing anymore. I may have a moment now and then when I long to go Home - but is has been years since I experienced a moment in which I wanted to die. In my article Union Within, which I wrote in 1996, I talk about how I had wanted to die on a daily basis for most of my life. In 2001, I wrote a follow up to that article: Union Within - healing the inner child - 5 years later.
"I mention this as an example of the kinds of things that I learned to say to my inner child - but also to make the point that I haven't heard the voice saying 'I want to die' in three or four years now. That was an almost daily voice in my life - and it represented a belief that I would never have peace in my life until death. That was an ingrained part of my perspective on life that greatly influenced my relationship with life. Through doing the inner child work, I have eliminated that negative belief from my programming. That is a miracle. I believe that it is actually possible to change the neural pathways in our brain through positive affirmations and self talk.I have peace in my life today - I did not have to wait for death to find peace. By doing the work to heal the emotional wounds and change the subconscious programming, my relationship with life is now more aligned and defined by my intuitive belief in Joy, Love, and ONENESS as The Truth, than it is with the fear, shame, separation, lack, and scarcity ego programming from childhood. I have an inner peace and faith that is the foundation of my relationship with life today - that is deeply integrated and the basis for how I respond to life.
Now, I may sometimes have emotional reactions on the surface, on a superficial level, out of my human fear of the unknown and unexpected, but underneath that is the faith and inner peace. Prior to recovery, all the levels of my reactions were out of the emotional wounds and damaged ego programming - my life was completely defined by the dis-ease. For many years into recovery, I was trying to affirm Love and faith on the surface level but the foundation underneath my relationship with life was still ruled by fear and shame. Doing the integration work has allowed me to change the foundation that my relationship with life is based upon. Talk about Freedom! What an incredible miracle!
The True Nature of Love series of articles is one that I wrote while I was homeless in 1999. (Something that I talked about as a sacred gift in my January 2002 Update and share about in my updated Biography Page.) In writing the second article in that series about Love as Freedom, I was not writing from experience - I was accessing intuitive Knowing, I was listening to my mystical guidance.
"What is Love? That is the question. . . . . . .That is the key to this work - learning to listen to our intuition. This work is not self help. This is a Spiritual path we are on - and our Spirits will guide us. We just need to learn: to listen and pay attention; to discern the difference between the messages coming from our Soul and the reactions that are an effect of our emotional wounds and damaged ego programming; to be willing to follow where we are led and take actions in alignment with recovery.
In aligning with Truth, we start to transform our relationship with self and life in a magical way because we are aligning with the Ultimate Truth in my belief. Shame and separation are lies. ONENESS and Love are the Ultimate Truth.
Many people are accessing different facets of Truth in this new Age of Healing and Joy that we have entered on planet Earth. Unfortunately, many of them are still reacting out of subconscious programming and emotional wounds from childhood, so that at the same time they are on the surface affirming / writing about / teaching many things that are Truth - the basic principles they are espousing may be Truth - their communications and behavior are sometimes codependently judging and shaming. That is what I talk about in the new Chapters 11 and 12.
Recovery is an ongoing process of healing and awakening. Authors and therapists and teachers are in process also. I was led to start accessing intuitive Truth in a very conscious way in 1988. I wrote the guts of my book in 1991. I have never stopped learning and growing on my path - and feel that only recently have I reached the level of consciousness in my personal process that I intuitively accessed in writing Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.
"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."It is possible to access intuitive Truth and still be codependent in personal and/or professional relationships. Integrating Truth and Love into our emotional relationship with self and life is the key to freedom. It has been learning how to do the integration work that has been the great blessing in my recovery process - although homelessness and such, certainly didn't feel like blessings at the time.
It is always kind of amazing for me to go back and read something I wrote years ago. I am talking about the same Spiritual Truth and wounding / recovery dynamics that I have been for over a decade - but during that time I have grown incredibly in my personal process. I had no idea how much freedom was possible - and still know that I have a long ways to go in my growth and awakening. (Just to pull some figures out of the air to give you an idea of what I am saying here, it seems to me like I was accessing perhaps 5% of my capacity for Love 4 years ago - and maybe I am up to 30% now. You can see that going from 5% to 30% is a real explosion of growth, a huge infusion of Love and freedom - and that there is still plenty of room for growth. It also points out how important it is to learn to enJoy the journey - and let go of the destination thinking.)
Here is something I wrote in November of 1998.
"Years ago I ran across a saying that I really liked and wanted to set as a goal - "Serenity is not Freedom from the Storm - Serenity is Peace Amidst the Storm." I always thought that I had to stop the storm. Now I can be serene and peaceful no matter what the storm brings - life events like car breakdowns, other peoples behavior which is just them dancing with their own wounds, apparent financial insecurity, that I am still doing some unhealthy behavior health wise, whatever - I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to have money, I don't have to be in a relationship, to be happy."Compared to where I am now, it is like I was in kindergarten then - and am working on about my third graduate degree today. I mentioned in my last Update that life events that used to feel like an earthquake of an 8 or 9 magnitude to me (like my server crashing) and felt like they were going to destroy my world, are now like 3 magnitude earthquakes that cause a little shaking. The flip side of that is that the good is magnified in the opposite direction. Times of feeling good, moments of Joy, are multiple times more enjoyable now because I am not holding my breath waiting for them to be taken away. I revel in them - knowing that this moment in time too shall pass - and am able to enJoy being present in this moment. The more I enjoy them, the more of those moments I experience - just as the more I was able to stop judging and shaming myself for the times that felt bad, the less time I spent in those painful places.
It took me many years: of trial and error; of picking nuggets of Truth out of various religions, philosophies, spiritual belief systems, healing modalities; of enlarging my perspective of life so that I could start to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together when viewed in a larger context: of working on accepting and being patient and having faith that whatever was happening in my life was a perfect part of my growth process. I was guided to explore, and then think outside of, any known boxes / belief systems / intellectual paradigms because that was the path to learning how to start being more Loving to myself - that was the way I had to go in order to change my relationship with life into one based upon Love. That was where my emotional healing work - my grief and rage work led me.
I was willing - despite my human resistance, procrastination, resentment at having to do the work - to follow where my intuition guided me, because I was determined to find a way of living that did not just involve pain and suffering. In trying to find a way of living that was Loving, I found my mission and purpose in life - and received the Loving gift of learning how to relax and enJoy life in the moment most of the time.
"I started consciously realizing that this is what I had always been seeking - that my Great Quest in life is to return home to LOVE.Once I started working the twelve steps so that I could start recognizing that I was powerless to control life out of ego self, then I started tuning into Spiritual Self. "To thine own Self be True" was the motto on the recovery chips I got in meetings - and I started awakening to the realization that my journey was a quest to discover that Self, my Spiritual Self, my True Self. From that point on, I was powerless to do anything but follow my soul path through life. I was guided and led - dragging and kicking and screaming at times because of my human resistance and fear - to do whatever I needed to do when it was time to do it. Teachers of many varieties entered my life at perfect moments to to teach me the lessons / give me the messages that I needed to hear. In the summer of 1987, a psychic came to me - intervened in my process - to give me some vital messages.
"She pointed out that every birthday card I had gotten that year had at least one musical note on it. She said that was "about the song that you are becoming."As I write this, I realize that sharing what I have learned and believe - in my book and on this web site - is my way of singing the song I am becoming. It is a song of Love and Joy to You & Me. By following my Spirit, my intuition, I changed the music that dictates my relationship with life from being completely composed in reaction to fear and shame to music that is much more in tune with Love.
That is what Chapter 13 of my current online book is about - changing the music of our dance of life. I share all that I share in my book and on this web site because that is what I need to do to heal me - it is my path. Because of what I have learned and discovered - because of what I have remembered - you don't have to take as many years as I did to change your fundamental relationship with life. You just need to be willing to start working on clearing your inner channel and leaning how to tune into your intuitive guidance - how to Lovingly discover your own song.
We, each and every one of us, has an inner channel to Truth, an inner channel to the Great Spirit. But that inner channel is blocked up with repressed emotional energy, and with twisted, distorted attitudes and false beliefs.
You can learn to be a positive co-creator in your life. You, too, can remember Truth and learn to align with it. You can start getting a taste of freedom by being willing to do this work.
It will not get you to happily ever after. It will not allow you to feel great all of the time. It will not magically make all of your dreams manifest. It will not "heal" you so that you can get back to the "real world" of acquiring and accomplishing and competing.
This work of healing and Spiritual awakening is what is Real. Anyone who resonates with my words is an old soul who is in body at this time to do this healing - to remember and integrate Truth and Love into their lives. Anyone who don't resonate with my words, probably hasn't read this far.
I used to have times in my life prior to recovery, and in the early years of my recovery, where I felt good - when I felt happiness and joy. Those highs however, were based upon comparison and competition (or escape through drugs and alcohol, or fantasy and illusion.) They were times when I felt like I had won, had proven myself, had accomplished something or established my worthiness because someone else seemed to love me or honor me. They were horizontal human emotions based upon external criteria.
I have said at times, that my lows today are higher than my highs used to be. I don't mean that in the sense that I didn't feel as happy as it was possible for me to feel at the time, or that I didn't have some moments of extreme joy - even some moments of tuning into Joy. What I meant is, that I have inner peace today in my lowest moments - even when I am tired and afraid and discouraged, I still have faith. My lows and my highs are no longer based upon the "looking down on / up to" comparison, with winning or losing in competition with other human beings who are separate from me - so even in my lowest times I am more aligned with Love than I used to be in my highest times.
(In attempting to communicate how much different my experience of life is now, some of the statements come off sounding kind of black and white - and nothing is black and white. I am a human in recovery and am not anywhere close to perfect, or absolutely free, in how I am doing this human dance. There are still certainly times when I am judging my humanness, which then causes me to project judgment externally. As I said, I still have a long way to go in my journey. I am sure that, a few years from now, I will look back and see where I am now as kindergarten as compared to where I am then.)
In part 3 of the The True Nature of Love series I talk about Love as a vibrational frequency. It was studying Quantum Physics and realizing that life, the whole Universe, is a dance of energy, that not only caused a major paradigm shift for me, but also contributed to the title of my book The Dance of Wounded Souls. When I say we raise the range of our emotional experience of life, I am using that reference to apply to different facets of this process, but on one level it is a reality of vibrational interaction - something I talk about in my Trilogy and mentioned briefly in my series on emotional honesty and responsibility.
" . . . . . . . our repeating patterns are in fact a reflection of the Octave Principle (do, re, me, fa, etc.) in energy interactions dynamics. In our disease we keep repeating the same octave over and over again - and sometimes even descending to lower octaves. In recovery we are spiraling upward to new levels - so that each "do" feels somewhat like the "do" before it, but in reality reflects a higher vibrational level - a Higher level of consciousness, a more enlightened perspective."In recovery, we are spiraling upward on a path of Spiritual awakening - so there is no reason to judge and shame our self for the notes that are playing in our lives today. The times when we are most scared and confused, when we feel we are "falling apart" and "losing it," are the times we are growing the most, the times when we are being raised to a new octave - and the times we most need Love and nurturing. (Loving and Nurturing self on your Spiritual Path) The less we judge and shame our self - and take action to align with Truth - the more our dance starts to harmonize with Love. The more we are willing to clear up our own inner process, the easier it becomes to remember, and tune into, the music of Love and Joy. We are all connected. We are all part of ONE Source Energy. We are all Loved Unconditionally. Our True essence is Love.
Each and every one of us has an inner channel. We now have the capability to atone - which means tune into - to atone, to tune into the Higher Consciousness. To tune into the Higher vibrational emotional energies that are Joy, Light, Truth, Beauty, and Love.
We can tune into the Truth of "at ONE ness." Atone = at ONE. Atonement = at ONE ment, in a condition of ONENESS.
We now have access to the highest vibrational frequencies - we can tune into the Truth of ONENESS. By aligning with Truth we are tuning into the higher energy vibrations that reconnect us with the Truth of ONENESS.
This is the age of atonement, but it does not have anything to do with judgment and punishment. It has to do with tuning our inner channel into the right frequencies.
But our inner channel is blocked and cluttered with repressed emotional energy and dysfunctional attitudes. The more we clear our inner channel through aligning with Truth attitudinally, and releasing the repressed emotional energy through the grief process, the clearer we can tune into the music of Love and Joy, Light and Truth.
Well, that went places I didn't know it would go. Cool.
I wanted to make the point of not judging ourselves when we are in our lower times because the time since the last Update in November has been a low time for me - a grinding time. I wanted to share with you that it has been a down time - and still affirm that I am happy to be alive the vast majority of the time, even at the lowest times in my experience of the journey these days.
Writing my November Update put me into a place of exquisite Joy. In the days preceding my trip to Phoenix to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and son, I felt great Joy and thought I was entering a Flying Time.
"Back in February and early March, I heard myself saying to people who asked how I was doing, "I'm grinding. You know how it is, sometimes you're flying and sometimes you're grinding." I said that even though the people I was saying it to probably didn't have a clue what I was talking about - since they had probably never been flying. What I meant by that was something similar to a phrase from AA about "trudging the road to happy destiny." I always disliked the way that sounded - sounds like sludge. When I looked it up in the dictionary however, it meant striding purposefully. My grinding is not really striding purposefully, but it is about moving forward - moving through the day doing the next thing in front of me. I take it as it comes (working those first 3 steps) and enjoy as many of the moments of the day as possible, maybe taking a short flight here and there - but it is not a Flying Time.Entering a prolonged Flying Time isn't what happened. Some issues with my father that came up triggered some wounds that need healing. The processing for my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal I had done in October and November caused me to get in touch with an issue related to my fear of intimacy that I needed to shine some Light upon - and then take some action / risks to show my willingness to be open to changing. Shining the Light into the shadows within - and taking some risks that made me vulnerable - subsequently put me into a place of grieving in December. That was compounded by the car problems that I asked for help with in early January. I have not been able to get into one of my writing frenzies since the last Update (although this week one seems to be starting.) It has in fact, been a struggle for me to write 2 or 3 hours a day instead of 5 or 6 hours a day when I am really cooking (jamming with my music.;-)
All in all it hasn't been a fun period. I am still happy to be alive however. I still have moments of Joy in every day. I still have that deep faith and inner peace at the core of my being. I am still dancing through my life primarily to the music of Love. It has been more like a slow dance alone (the source of much of the grief) however, than a really exciting Flying Time (Cosmic jig as it were.)
I Love my life. I am sooo grateful for my path. My lowest periods are still full of happiness and Joy, of faith and peace. I am glad I am alive today, on a daily basis. Even at my lowest times now, I am still too chipper and happy - still flying too high - for some serious people's taste. When I am in a Flying Time, really soaring, people who have no permission from their programming to experience Joy either try to ignore me or treat me like I have the plague.
I have no idea what the future holds. The big news in the last Update about my son coming to live with me may not be happening. His mother is going back and forth, changing her mind. More will be revealed about that. I don't need to know what the future holds to feel Loved and peaceful - to experience some moment of Joy today. The whales are migrating past, and the wild flowers are blooming, and I Love where I am living. I Love what I do. I am free to be happy today - and also to be sad or scared or angry or whatever I need to feel. Emotions are transitory as long as I allow them to flow. Life is temporary. Love is Eternal. My life is good today.
"A moment ago, on this Valentine's Day evening, I was flying down the road in the winter darkness. My inner little girl wanted to hear a song on the radio, but none of the "oldies" stations were playing the song she was humming. When I tuned into her, in the enveloping silence of the car, I realized that what she was humming was the tune to a Beatles' song. . . You know the song: Blackbirds singing in the dead of night/ Take those broken wings and learn to fly/ All your life/ You were only waiting for this moment to arrive. . ." Another line says: "You were only waiting for this moment to be free."It is possible to heal our broken wings and learn to fly. ;-)
"A couple who organize cruises for recovering people, recently moved to the small community I live in. These ocean cruises for recovering people often feature speakers - notable figures in recovery . . . . . . I can envision a week long retreat at sea. Doesn't that sound interesting?" - Joy2MeU Update April 2001In a couple of conversations recently with the fellow who organizes these cruises, I learned how they work. Basically, any cruise for which I can get 20 people to sign up for, I can get my cruise free. I would still have to pay for my air fare if the cruise was one of the many leaving from Florida - but my cruise would be free. The cruise would include a number of seminar / workshop kind of groups with me for anyone interested - and I would also set some time aside to schedule individual or couple sessions for an extra fee with anyone who wanted to take advantage of that opportunity. Hopefully, I would get enough of those to at least pay for my air fare. So, I am going to put a link to that web site here, and anyone who thinks that they might have the interest and means to do such a cruise - a retreat on the sea - can drop me an e-mail so we can see if there is enough interest to move forward with the idea. 12 Step Travel.com
New Page Site Index Joy2MeU Journal Premiere Issue Union Within The True Nature of Love
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.