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 Newsletter of the Joy2MeU web site of codependency counselor, inner child healing pioneer, Spiritual teacher Robert Burney - who is the author of the Joyously inspirational book of Spirituality: Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.
These Update Newsletters are posted online 3 or 4 times a year at about 3 or 4 month intervals.  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.
(Links within the text will open in a separate browser window, while most of those in right hand column will take you away from this page.)
Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update
Hello Radiantly Beautiful Spiritual Being,

As I am sitting here trying to get clear on where to start in writing this Update, I leaned back in my chair and gazed upward - and my focus went to the calendar on my wall.  The picture on that calendar for the month of March is of a magnificent buck deer.  Therein lies the tale.

The starting point has always been a key for me when I am writing.  The elements of what I want to try to communicate, the issues I need to process through, the points I want to make - all of these things are bubbling in my consciousness for a period of time before I actually start writing.  But in order to actually begin the writing, it has always been necessary for me to find the right starting point.  In the articles I have written, that usually meant the right quote from my book to set the tone at the beginning of the article.  In the Newsletter portion of my Updates, it has been something that will force me to focus on the issues I need to address in my recovery at the time I am writing.

In observing the process I am going through for writing about my process here this morning, I was led back through some old quotes to my Update for May of 2001.

"As I said in the Update part of this Newsletter, my process, and especially my writing, can be like finding my way through a labyrinth.  (And it just occurred to me, may be what some people's experience of my web site is like.;-)
Writing about this level of recovery for me is like exploring some kind of labyrinth at times - each twist and turn I follow leads to a new perspective, to a different facet - and just when I think I am finished, I turn a corner and am headed back into the maze.  - Joy2MeU Update 5-23-01
I have periods where I can't write at all - and then when I need to write, I have great resistance to getting started. . . . . . . .  Once the floodgates open, what I try to do, is direct the flow of my writing towards the goal I have in mind.  An article focused on a specific area, or my Update Newsletter or whatever.  I have some points I want to make, and I choose a starting point and then leap into the labyrinth."  -  Joy2MeU Update 5-23-01 Newsletter 1
It is perfect that I was led to that Newsletter, because that one starts off with this quote:
"Hi everybody.  I hope you are finding some moments of Joy in your life adventure today.  I am having a heaven of a good time myself.  I have really been enjoying my life this last few months.  In fact, someone in my home group here in town - which is a Narcotics Anonymous meeting - had heard me talking about how much I was enjoying life and how grateful I was, for so many weeks that she made the assumption that I was in love.  She asked me on the way out of a meeting a couple of weeks ago how my relationship was going.  I said, "Are you kidding me!  I have been talking about how much I am enjoying life - would I be doing that if I was in a relationship?"

Interesting come back, don't you think? . . . . . " -  Joy2MeU Update 5-23-01

Hearing that come out of my mouth was the red flag that set the tone for what I needed to write about in that Update - which was, pretty obviously, my fear of intimacy.  And the process writing about my fear of intimacy that it sparked led to 3 separate Newsletters for that Update and then another 3 long pages in "My Unfolding Dance" - the personal journal section of my Joy2MeU Journal.

And guess what it is that I need to do some processing about in this Update Newsletter - my fear of intimacy.

"Suffice it to say, for right now, that in that February Update I will share with you how my codependency has been causing me to sabotage my relationship - and how my devious Higher Power has orchestrated it all perfectly to put me at the brink of a huge breakthrough.  It is possible right now for me to choose to take some actions that will be the next steps in opening my heart to someone who is capable of Loving me back.  This is so exciting!!!!!  Also TERRIFYING!!!!!  Another "empty handed leap into the Void" milestone surrender on my Spiritual Path."
That "February Update" has become this March Update - and I sit here getting ready to make that leap into the Void / labyrinth that in the course of this writing will take me full circle back to that magnificent buck deer that was the spark that I needed to get started this morning.  The Newsletter portion of this Update will be what it has always been for me - my processing about my process for me, which I choose to share with you.  Anyone who does not like my style of writing, or the labyrinth that my writing becomes at times, can skip that part of this Update.  (A bit of defensiveness there, due to some recent critical feedback from several fronts - something I will probably talk about in the Newsletter processing.)

I will quickly bring you up to date on the news and additions that are what the Update portion of this Update Newsletter is about, before I go into my process writing.

The quote about the surrender point that I am at on my Spiritual Path right now comes from the Help in keeping Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls in print page I posted on January 11th.  The response that I received from that appeal was enough to allow me to pay the final installment on the printing and take delivery of 3150 copies of the newest printing of The Dance on January 18th.  Hurrah!!!!  And a big THANK YOU to those of you who found it in your hearts to demonstrate your gratitude for, and support of, my book and work.

On March 1, I announced the dates for Intensive Training Day workshops here in San Diego into September.  Doing the workshops has been very gratifying and they have been very positively received - as you can see on my Intensive Testimonial page.  I did learn that scheduling 3 of them in less than 2 months - as I did between December 30th and February 18th - was spacing them a bit too close together.  Thus the upcoming ones - March 24th, May 5th, June 9, July 21, and  September 1 - are spaced 5 to 6 weeks apart.  The attendance at the January and February ones was less than I would prefer - but the experience of them was not diminished by the size of the groups.  They are fulfilling and magical for me to do with even just a handful of people - and potentially life transforming for the participants no matter what the size of the group.  At this time, there aren't any plans to do Intensives at other locations - and I don't foresee being able to take it on the road again unless, or until, my financial circumstances change enough to make that practical.

My attempts to start inner child healing grief groups as a follow up to the Intensives has kind of been sputtering.  There was enough interest from Intensive alumni to get 2 or 3 groups started, but the hunt for appropriate space the last few months has been frustrating - and then once I found a space that will work, the logistics of working out a schedule that will fit for people, combined with a number of the people who really want to do the work but don't have the finances at this time - are factors that contribute to making it difficult to get the groups up and running. Another factor is that so many of the people that have attended so far are not local enough to make the drive to groups a number of weeks in a row.  (Besides the people from all parts of California that have attended, there have now been people that have attended the Intensives from Canada and Mexico, from Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Nevada - and in the next one, March 24th, Arizona will be added to the list as well as attendees from Virginia and Texas again.)

I am hoping - and putting it out to the Universe to try to create the reality - that we will get a Saturday afternoon group started on March 31st.  Anyone who would be interested could then meet the prerequisite by attending the Intensive on the 24th.  I have 2 people committed now and only need one more to make that group a go.  (The minimum number for these grief groups is 3 - the maximum 5.)  (It does appear that the Saturday afternoon group will start on the 31st - and there is a possibility of a Saturday evening group also.)

If I don't get the weekend groups started by early April, I will probably lose the space that I have lined up now - which may or may not be a good thing.  It would actually probably be better to have an office that I can have access to on more days than just weekends, so that I could do an evening groups during the week.  So, I am still looking for potential spaces, and if anyone in San Diego has such a space, or knows of one, please let me know. (760-230-1821)

It will be easier to get the groups going, and to get more local people to the Intensives, once the Universe manifests the financial resources to do some local advertising.  I have left the Help page up in case anyone wants to make a donation to our advertising budget - or as I mention on that page, to help solve the problem of my aging computer.  As I note on that page, giving and receiving is part of one energy flow - and to keep the energy flowing I give back gifts of subscriptions to the pay to view sections of my site (Joy2MeU Journal or Dancing in Light), a spiral bound copy of the articles that make up the inner child e-book - Inner Child Healing The Path to Empowerment, Inner Peace, and Freedom from the Past (not available for sale in hard copy any place - I have them bound as a hand out for my Intensives), and a very special deal for people who contribute a certain amount.

Speaking of the inner child e-book, we have taken some small steps towards being able to produce an audio version of either that collection of articles and/or of the follow up to Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls entitled Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light (part of the Dancing in Light section) - and also possibly come up with edited versions that I could submit to publishers.  More will be revealed about that.  My more immediate concern is to get more copies of the CD version of The Dance which have been out of stock for several weeks.  I am hoping those arrive this week. (The CDs did arrive on Wednesday the 7th.)

In the New category of additions to the site are some recent comments to I added to the page The decline of Co-Dependents Anonymous that is linked from my finding CoDA meetings page (and we have now started a CoDA meeting here in San Diego.)  On the page with information about inner child healing grief groups, I share some of my history in relationship to how doing the emotional release / grief process work saved my life.  In the news category is a Treatment Center in Australia that just ordered a significant number of my books - bookstore page.  Various other additions are listed in the right hand column.

New to, and news of, the web site since the November 2006 Update include:

News: As a result of readers response to a request for Help in keeping Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls in print, a new printing of the book was delivered.

Announcement:  Intensive Training Days are scheduled for San Diego on March 24th, May 5th, June 9, July 21, and  September 1.

Update on the evolution of the Intensive Training Days
on the Intensive Testimonial page as well as the testimonials from recent Intensives.

 Inner child healing grief groups are beginning at the end of March.

In addition:

A  new set of diverse and interesting links was added to the recommended links page.

Some recent comments added to The decline of Co-Dependents Anonymous that is linked from my finding CoDA meetings page.

A new batch of wonderful Testimonials for the book, tapes, and web site.

 Some new testimonials added to the Telephone counseling testimonial page

 A Treatment Center in Australia that just ordered a significant number of my books - bookstore page.

New resources in Canada and England added to referral to local resources page.

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  - and also at the bottom of the site 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.

Magnificent Unicorn that was designed for the cover of Joy2MeU Journal.
Joy2MeU Journal - a body of work in a password protected part of the site where Robert shares the story of his Spiritual Path, a personal recovery journal, and portions of his Trilogy and Attack on America books not available on regular Joy2MeU site.

Dancing in Light
In September 2005 I created this new section of my site. It includes 28 pages that were formerly on Joy2MeU.com that are now in this password protected pay to view section of the site - including the last 13 chapters of Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 2 A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life, the last 10 Chapters from the online book: Attack on America - A Spiritual Healing Perspective and Call for Higher Consciousness and the final 4 articles of the series of articles on The True Nature of Love.

Newsletter

It is now 4:27 AM on March 5th - and I have been up working on this for a couple of hours now.  As I mention in this quote (a quote from my Help in keeping Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls in printpage, which now is part of an additional Newsletter page that is going to follow this one), I realized that my fear of intimacy had been causing me to sabotage my relationship - and that I would be writing about what was happening in this Update (which I thought I would finish in early February.)  Even yesterday morning - Sunday March 4th - when I wrote the bulk of the Update above, I thought that what this Newsletter was going to be focused upon was fear of intimacy.

What I realized this morning though, was that what I really need to focus on is something much more fundamental - that is, in fact, a cause of my fear of intimacy.  That is, my relationship with myself as a man.  That is the tale I need to tell - the message that came from looking up yesterday morning and seeing that magnificent buck deer on my calendar.

5:08 AM March 7th:  In order to write I need to get into a focused space during a time which I won't get interrupted for a period of hours.  In the years when I wrote so much of the material that is on my site - the years that I was living alone in relative isolation - I would get up at 1 or 2 or 3 in the morning to write until 10 or 11.  Now that I have a family - and a 2 year old to take care of - the early morning hours are the only time I have to really write.  But I only have uninterrupted time until about 6:30 or 7 when the baby wakes up, and then I need to start getting Darien ready to go to the Montessori school he has been attending.  I didn't get any writing done yesterday morning because the little man has a tooth coming in and had a very rough night of it - which meant less sleep for Susan and I, and no writing time.

As I mentioned here in what I wrote on the 5th, I am needing to focus some attention on my relationship with myself as a man, with my relationship with my own masculine energy.  That does not preclude the need for me to do some processing about my fear of intimacy issues and how they have been affecting me in recent months however .  So, I have created a separate page, an addendum to this Update, which I am going to use as a vehicle for doing the processing I need to do - which of course will also fit in perfectly with what I will be processing about on the remainder of this page. 

In both cases, a lot of the processing I need to do will involve me rereading and remembering levels I have processed through previously - revisiting layers that I have worked through - to gain new perspectives on the insights.  In the quote within the quote above (next page now) - from the Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy article that I wrote in the summer  of 1998 - I mention the layers and levels of the healing process as I have experienced it.  The layers are much more subtle as I grow, but even subtle changes in my perspectives of an issue changes my perspective - and therefore my relationships - with other interrelated issues. 

"The only way that we can be in recovery from codependency is to start changing the way we are looking at, and relating to, our self.   We have to get more conscious of what is going on inside of us in order to change how we are relating to our self - so that we can change the way we relate to life and other people.

In other words, we need to start taking responsibility for our own lives.  We need to start owning our power to change our relationship with self.   We need to start learning how to make choices instead of just react.  We can have the ability to respond - response ability - to life differently once we start becoming more conscious.

And the key to becoming more conscious is to start learning how to process what is going on in our lives in a way that will give us more clarity.

"The process of processing is a dynamic that in many ways is easier to demonstrate over time than it is to explain.  Explaining it on an intellectual level is complicated and difficult because the process itself involves being able to look at multiple levels.  The recovery process is spiritual, emotional, and mental.  These levels are separate but intimately interrelated. 

In learning how to achieve some emotional balance in our lives, it is necessary to be able to look at our self, our own inner process, and the life dynamic itself, from different perspectives.  It is this looking at different levels that is the process of processing.  Processing is a matter of looking at, filtering, discerning, getting clear about what is happening at any given moment in our relationship with life, with ourselves, with everything that is stimulating us." - The Recovery Process for inner child healing 1: Sharing my experience, strength, and hope

Consciousness involves being actively conscious of how different parts of us are reacting to whatever is happening in our lives at any particular moment.  I learned that I needed to observe / keep scanning / paying attention to / taking inventory of, what was happening in my internal dynamic and in my external environment continually in order to be on guard so that I wasn't allowing the old tapes and wounds from the past to define and dictate my experience of life today. 
"It is in relationship to learning how to set internal boundaries that the process of processing is so important.  Processing involves observing our own internal dynamic.  Observing our thoughts and feelings.  It is very important to raise our consciousness, to become more conscious, of our own process.

When we start observing our internal process then we can start discerning between the different levels involved - we can start separating out the codependent, dysfunctional messages from the information that is useful and informative.  Then we can start setting internal boundaries within the mental, between the mental and emotional, and within the emotional levels of our being." - The Recovery Process for inner child healing 4 - the process of processing - internal boundaries

Codependency is not an issue we deal with and then get on with our lives.  Recovery is a way of life.  It is necessary to move through our life with consciousness in order to stop the childhood programming from running our lives.  The more we recover, the less power the old tapes and old wounds have - but they do not go away.

It is through healing our inner child, our inner children, by grieving the wounds that we suffered, that we can change our behavior patterns and clear our emotional process.  We can release the grief with its pent-up rage, shame, terror, and pain from those feeling places which exist within us.

That does not mean that the wound will ever be completely healed.  There will always be a tender spot, a painful place within us due to the experiences that we have had.  What it does mean is that we can take the power away from those wounds.   By bringing them out of the darkness into the Light, by releasing the energy, we can heal them enough so that they do not have the power to dictate how we live our lives today.  We can heal them enough to change the quality of our lives dramatically.  We can heal them enough to Truly be happy, Joyous and free in the moment most of the time.

(All text in this color are quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

In recovery we are developing a sense of balance, a feeling for what balance feels like, so that we can catch ourselves when we are swinging out of balance.  We are here to experience being human and to do this healing.  If we are not in recovery, then we can not be consciously present in the moment to enjoy our journey.  I did not title my book the "dance" of wounded souls just out of poetic whimsy - life is a dance.

"Emotional balance is not a destination.  It is a constantly changing dance.  In doing our reprogramming intellectually, and our emotional and Spiritual healing - we are changing the music of our dance.  We are choosing to have the opportunity to dance with Love and Joy, to dance in Light and Truth - instead of in darkness and disharmony.  In order to have the capacity to dance with Love and Joy, we must first be willing to dance with our anger and fear, with the pain and sadness.  Through owning our wounded inner children, we get to uncover and release the spontaneous, playful, Joyous Spiritual child within that is the one who will lead us home to LOVE.

Balance in dancing is about having a feeling for equilibrium, moving in harmony, adjusting, balancing, rebalancing.  Likewise our inner dance of finding balance is an ongoing process - ever changing, fluctuating, oscillating in tune with the vibrational rhythms.  Once we learn to have a sense of balance, a feeling for emotional clarity, then we are able to adjust and rebalance more quickly when some external (life event, other people's behavior) or internal (wounded child reaction, old tape kicking in) stimuli throws us out of balance." - The Recovery Process for inner child healing  4 - the process of processing - internal boundaries

The more conscious we become, the more we can relax and enjoy the journey.
"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.

I have choices today in regard to how I am relating to myself, to other people, to life.  I am able to accept the things I cannot change much more quickly, and change the primary thing which I have the power to change - that is, my attitude toward the things I cannot change - so that I do not get caught up in a victim perspective.  By not buying into the illusion that I am a victim - of myself, of other people, of life - my emotional swings stay on a much evener keel and I experience a much gentler emotional spectrum in my day to day relationship with life." - Discernment in relationship to emotional honesty and responsibility 1

In my latest article on Suite 101 (refers to: Serenity - Accepting the things we cannot change) I talk about how 90% of the stress in my life before codependency recovery was caused by the attitudes and beliefs I was empowering.  Once I got aware of how my perspectives and expectations (which were reactions to my childhood programming and emotional wounds and therefore something I was powerless over until I got conscious of them) were setting me up to be a victim, then I could start owning the power to change my emotional experience of life .  Then I could start to take responsibility for my life and eliminate the stress that I was creating in reaction to dysfunctional programming." - Joy2MeU Update August 2002
In the evolution of my writing for the internet (which I will touch on in the additional page I will be adding) I ended up finding it invaluable to my recovery, and very valuable to many people reading my site, to process in writing.  The way things evolved, I ended up demonstrating processing - and role modeling that it is okay to be human - by writing on an intimate level about my recovery process.  There have always been many people who found it valuable, but also some who found it irritating.  There was one person who referred to it as babble.
"The processing I did last June (in my Update Newsletters) and July (here in this journal) got me in touch with one way I was setting myself up to be unavailable for romantic relationship.  I realized in writing this, that I hadn't ever really summed those realizations up very well.  I tend to get off into explanations of the process - which is helpful to readers I hope - and kind of lose track of the issues I am processing about for a while anyway, though I usually end up back at them.  Sorry, about that.  One of my phone counseling clients the other day - a person who has found a wealth of help in reading my pages and has described the phone counseling experience as making the words from my book and site kind of leap off the page and come alive for him - mentioned that there was one of my pages where I just kind of seemed to be babbling.  I am pretty sure he was talking about one of the Newsletter pages where I was processing - since he doesn't subscribe to this Journal.  Perhaps that is what my processing pages - in this journal, and in certain Update Newsletters - comes across as.   Hopefully, you all do find this babble useful. ;-)" -   - Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 13 July 2, 2002
As I said above, if you don't like my indulgent style of processing - if you have ADD or something - then go in peace and blessed be.  I am going to keep doing what works for me - and hopefully being able to communicate to the people that do get my writing, that codependency recovery is a holistic, multi-faceted experience.  Recovery is an ongoing dance of uncovering and discovering - and ongoing dance of working to try to stay in balance enough to find some enjoyment in this life journey.  We need to keep paying attention and trying to stay conscious of the things we have some control over - at the same time we are learning to relax, let go of the things we can't control, and trust the Spirit to guide us where we need to go.
"We will not find balance in all areas, on all levels at the same time.  The goal is to be at balance in as many areas as possible as much of the time as possible - and to accept wherever we are at as a perfect part of the dance.  We focus on an area of relationship (with some part/level of our being, and/or some outward manifestation of that issue/area) and find some balance in that area - and then it is time to focus on another area.  And then another and another.  By that time, it is time to come back and find a new level of balance in the first area - because we are constantly changing and growing.

We may work on healing our relationship to our same sex parent - which also involves healing our relationship to our own gender, sexuality, emotions, etc., and how we relate to others of our gender and the opposite gender - and that may lead us into focusing on our relationship with money which was distorted by that parents relationship with money.  This leads us into looking at the blocks we have within us to receiving abundance in money and all other levels - which leads us into our fear of intimacy issues - which leads us back to our relationship with our parent.  Etc. Etc.

Each issue branches off into many other related issues, into all the different emotional and intellectual levels of each of those issues.  As we peel away the levels of denial in relationship to each issue, as we get emotionally honest with ourselves on a deeper level with that issue - it opens up more levels, more grief, more denial to peel away.  And we find ourselves back looking at the original issues with a new perspective.

In this process, it is not just necessary to uncover and let go of the dysfunctional attitudes and false beliefs of childhood.  We need to be willing to see, and let go of, our attitudes of 6 months ago, of 6 weeks ago, of 3 days ago.  Because we are growing and changing, our perspective keeps changing.  That means our relationships keep changing.

Part of finding emotional balance involves accepting ourselves wherever we are at in the moment.  I can have a place where I feel very balanced emotionally, Spiritually, intellectually - but still have some obvious imbalance in my relationship with my physical body.  That is OK.  That is part of the ongoing healing process.  I also have places in time when I feel no balance or clarity about anything.  That is OK too.  We are works in progress - in process.  By not judging myself, and not buying into the belief that there is some destination I have to reach before it is OK to Love myself, then I can have some moments of balance today.

There is no destination to be reached.  We will be growing and learning, uncovering and discovering, peeling away denial and releasing emotional energy, for the rest of our lifetime.  On subtler levels, with less pain and discomfort as we heal - but it an ongoing process nevertheless. " -  The Recovery Process for inner child healing - the process of processing

So anyone who cares to read my processing about my fear of intimacy - including my history of healing those issues and the new insights I am gaining in this process about how they are affecting my relationship now - can go to My Fear of Intimacy processing page. (posted 4/6/07)

Now I am going to do some processing about my issues with my own masculine energy - but first an explanation of the importance, and meaning to me, of the deer.


Medicine Cards

One of the very valuable tools in my recovery - as I say in this quote from my book - was the Medicine Cards.

"When I was willing to hear and see the messages - and take action based upon them - I began to discover the Truth around me.  There were certain books of Truth that I was led to that were especially important in my consciousness raising, in my Recovery process.  I am now going to quote a story from one of those books which means a lot to me.  It is a story from a book called Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson.  This book deals with the Medicine Wheel, and the totem animals of the Medicine Wheel Spiritual beliefs of certain Native American tribes."

Though I don't actually use the cards themselves in my life very often now, the totem animals - and the messages that they symbolically represent - are still very important to me.  Those totem animals have been a factor in the calendars I have selected each year for many years.  When I lived in Taos New Mexico, I was able to get a calendar that had different animals of the Rocky Mountain Region for each month - and most of those animals were totems in the Medicine Cards, and thus would give me a message / theme to focus on for the month.  Once I moved back to California, it became difficult to find that type of calendar - and for several years I chose calendars that had one of my totems - the wolf - on them.  In this quote from my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal - in which I am talking about my relationship with a male friend during some processing I was doing about my relationships with other males - I mention the significance of calendars in my recovery experience.

"When we communicate by e-mail about golf, I call him Arnie (as in Palmer) and he calls me Tiger (as in Woods.)  In my replies, I found myself referring to myself as Tigger.   I believe I mentioned some place in my writing, how a couple of years ago, when it came time to buy a new calendar, I bought a Winnie the Pooh one.  The year before (I believe it was 1999) had been pretty rough, and I wanted to get a new calendar and mouse pad that was somewhat frivolous.  For several years I had gotten a wolf calendar to go along with a wolf mouse pad.  Wolf is one of my totems in the Medicine Cards - and symbolizes the Teacher.  The first line in the Medicine Card book about the Wolf is "Wolf is the pathfinder, the forerunner of new ideas who returns to the clan to teach and share medicine."  Pretty appropriate for the role I seem to be playing in this lifetime.  Also, wolves mate for life - a connection to my romantic fantasy issues. 

While shopping for a calendar for 2000, I decided that, though wolf is a powerful totem for me that I honor and affirm, it was perhaps a bit too serious a theme for the coming year.  I decided I wanted to affirm "lightening up" for the coming year - put out a request to the Universe for a year without quite so many difficult opportunities for growth.  When I found the Winnie the Pooh calendar, it seemed to be a perfect symbol of having a lighter, more frivolous and happy year.  And I got a mouse pad to match.

I don't really remember reading Winnie the Pooh as a kid.  I do have this feeling of connection to Tigger however.  I think it is because of that song he sings, about what a wonderful thing it is to be a Tigger - and about how he is the only one.  Something that a lonely, isolated boy could identify with - feeling different and unique, though I certainly didn't think it was a wonderful thing." Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 17 November 3, 2002 

(The romantic fantasy issues reference above is perfect for one of the aspects of my fear of intimacy issues that I will be looking at in the page on which I am doing that processing.) 

I referenced the calendar connection again in some writing I did in early 2004.  In the processing I had done in my journal in November 2002, I had gotten honest with myself about how my acceptance of being isolated and alone was keeping me from being available for a relationship.  In this quote from my journal in January of 2004, I make reference to the efforts I was making to get more involved with other human beings - and talk about another of the totem animals that is very important to me.

"Well, I get to start this morning looking above my computer at my new 2004 calendar.  I had actually spotted the calendar I wanted before the end of last year - but was waiting for it to go on sale.  I have this thing about paying full price for a calendar when I know they are going to go on sale soon.  Probably a reaction to my old poverty consciousness.  Choosing to wait, meant creating some irritation for myself when I would look up and see December instead of January for the first week of the month.  Oh well.,

I finally got a chance to get into San Luis on Friday and get the calendar I wanted - another Winnie the Pooh one.  I talked in one of these installments (I think it was here) about opting for Winnie the Pooh calendars the last couple years as symbol of wanting the year to be more on the light and whimsical side.  They actually had a Tigger one - Tigger being an "only one," and thus the character I identified with the most because I felt so different and "not a part of."  But I decided that since a large part of the focus of my recovery these days is to learn to interact and play with the other kids in the Enchanted Forest, that I should stick to the Winnie and friends calendar.

I don't actually have any memories of reading Winnie the Pooh in childhood, but my inner children relate to Tigger.  In recovery I also relate to Winnie, who is after all a Pooh bear.  Bear is one of my totems in the Medicine Cards, and is described as going within to access Truth - which pretty well fits my mystic role.  It is in fact a West totem that is my East totem.  East being the place of the rising sun and illumination.  In other words, my illumination - my Awakening to the Light - comes primarily from looking within.

"The strength of Bear medicine is the power of introspection.  It lies in the West on the great medicine wheel of life.  Bear seeks honey, or the sweetness of truth, within the hollow of an old tree.  In the winter, when the Ice Queen reigns and the face of death is upon the Earth, Bear enters the womb-cave to hibernate, digest the year's experience.  It is said that our goals reside in the West also.  To accomplish the goals and dreams that we carry, the art of introspection is necessary.

To become like Bear and enter the safety of the womb cave, we must attune ourselves to the energies of the Eternal Mother, and receive nourishment from the placenta of the Great Void.  The Great Void is the place where all solutions and answers live in harmony with the questions that fill our realities.  If we choose to believe that there are many questions to life, we must also believe that the answers to these questions reside within us.  Each and every being has the capacity to quiet the mind, enter the silence, and know.

Many tribes have called this space of inner-knowing the Dream Lodge, where the death of the illusion of physical reality overlays the expansiveness of eternity." - Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson (link at bottom of page)

I will probably be talking some more about the Medicine Cards soon." - Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 29 January 12, 2004 Monday 5:30 AM
It has been important for me in my recovery, to make choices and take actions in alignment with what I have been guided to focus on in my growth process.  Even something as small as choosing the Winnie and Friends calendar instead of the Tigger calendar has power on a metaphysical level - in terms of bringing Spiritual intention into everything I do.  Part of what I need to get clearer on in this processing, is the areas of my life that I need to bring more focused Spiritual attention to right now. 

The processing I did in my journal and Update Newsletters - from the May 2001 Update that I mention at the beginning of this Update (which actually threw me back into the Pandora's box of my fear of intimacy issues that I opened with my October 2000 Update) through the November 2002 journal installments - lead to me taking the actions that have put me in the relationship situation I am in now.  In that same Dance 29 installment, I make clear reference to a lesson I am still working on learning today.

"It is very easy for me to write about how important it is to communicate in an intimate relationship - how vital it is to work through tough issues by talking about them.  It is much harder in practice.  The old theory versus actual experience conundrum.  The very thing - that emotionally intimate relationships get messy - which makes it is so important for me to be willing to play with the other kids in the Enchanted Forest.  The "messy" gift in my life today that has been made possible by the fear of intimacy processing that I have been doing here in this journal ever since writing my May 2001 Update put those issues in my face.
"The reality of my life circumstances right now, is that I am at a stage in my journey where I am pretty isolated and insulated.  I am doing a lot of writing and a lot of phone counseling - so that my life in many ways is like being in a 12 step meeting almost all of the time.  It makes it real easy to maintain a conscious contact Spiritually.  Having relatively little contact with other human beings, beyond the superficial, makes it much easier to stay in serenity.  I don't know if you've noticed, but interacting with other people gets messy. ;-)" - Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update - May 23, 2001
I am no longer living in comfortable isolation writing theoretically.  I am in the Enchanted Forest interacting with other human beings.  And it is much easier for me to focus on interacting with the 2 year old Darien kid than it is with the adult kids in my life.  Sigh.

Now about the importance to me of the deer totem in the Medicine Cards. 

"I just went outside and saw a hummingbird.  In the Medicine Cards hummingbirds symbolize Joy.  I stood telling him/her how beautiful she/he was - and it flew to a flower so close to me that I could hear it's wings humming.  Majorly cool.  Anytime I see a hummingbird I take it as a direct message from my Higher Power to remember that Joy is the point, the goal, what healing is all about.  Joy and Love. 

Animal totems have a very special meaning for me.  The place where I walk by the ocean, is a place we call locally the East West Ranch.  When I first moved to Cambria back in late 1989, it had been a ranch that went bankrupt.  It is something like 600 acres, and sits between two of the main residential sections of the town - on the ocean side of Highway 1.  Back then, it was posted with no trespassing signs, but there were spaces in the fence to climb over and get through - so the effect was that the signs protected the owners from liability but people could walk on the ranch as they pleased. 

I Love this ranch space.  When I was living in a place near the back edge of it in 1990, I would go for walks on the ranch all of the time.  Near where I would enter the ranch, I could cross a small stream and come to a meadow in the woods.  The meadow was a mound - and felt like sacred space to me.  I would commune with the meadow and then walk up the hill through the woods.  Coming out of the woods I could see the ocean and then walk down the hill to the bluffs overlooking the ocean. Along the part of the ocean that the ranch runs along there is no beach.  There are bluffs with rocks and tidal pools below.

It brought me great pleasure and serenity to walk through my meadow and up the hill - or though a passageway through the trees that came out in a different part of the ranch.  There was a place just after this passageway, where a tree stood alone.  A tree that was bent over almost double, creating what looked like kind of a portal.  I would visualize that being a portal to other dimensions or to the future where I was done with all the pain.

As I would walk through the woods, I would see deer.  Deer in the medicine cards are about gentleness.  Whenever I see a deer, I take it as a direct reminder from my Higher Power to be gentle with myself. I get to see lots of deer around here - to help me remember gentleness.  (My landlady doesn't like it that they come into her garden at night and eat the flowers - but I think it is cool.)  As I came out on top of the hill where I could see the ocean, I would sometimes see whales.  A whale - again in the medicine cards - is the record keeper, the keeper of ancient knowledge.  It was symbolic for me because I felt that I was accessing ancient knowledge while writing my Trilogy.

1990 was a year before I first gave the talk that became the Dance of Wounded Souls.  The only book that I was working on then was my Trilogy."  - Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance 9 July 12, 2000

I don't actually miss Cambria that much - although I do miss my walks on the Ranch.  And I miss getting to see deer all the time.  That is the reason that I chose a Deer calendar this year.  The move to San Diego we made in September, is a perfect part of my Spiritual Path, and is working out quite nicely.  Getting to do the Intensives regularly is a very important to me - and I am sure the grief groups are going to be a perfect part of the journey also - but I do miss the deer.

Among the gifts that Susan has brought into my life is encouraging me to do the Intensives, and moving to San Diego.  I will be exploring more of those gifts on my fear of intimacy processing page.

Magnificent Buck Deer

In alignment with how this writing processing unfolds perfectly for me, the last line in that last quote mentions my Trilogy.  That work: The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 - "In The Beginning . . ." is A Magical, Mystical, Spiritual Fable which is a book that probably will never be finished - and certainly won't be part of a Trilogy.  But it was the first writing that I did in 1988 after I had gone through treatment for Codependency.  That body of work is what I thought of when I looked at the calendar with the magnificent buck deer on it.  That Trilogy writing formed part of the foundation of what was later to become Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.
"I started writing my book (what I hoped was just going to be one book because I really did not like writing ;-) The Dance of Wounded Souls in a cabin at 11,000 feet elevation on Taos Mountain in the fall of 1988. . . . . 

. . . . . .  That book evolved into being the first book of a Trilogy, and over the next few years I worked on it intermittently.  Meanwhile, I was working on my emotional healing, and started working with others in helping them to access and release their grief.

I was looking at the work I was doing on internal healing, and the work I was doing on the mystical book as being two separate things.  It never occurred to me to connect them.  And then suddenly in early 1991, they came together.  In some speaking engagements to talk about codependence, I heard myself answering questions with mystical statements that I had never even considered that I would make in public." - Attack on America - Chapter 7 (Attack on America - A Spiritual Healing Perspective is an online book that I started writing a few days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.  I published it online as I wrote it - but subsequently moved the bulk of it to my Joy2MeU Journal.  It is also now available in the Dancing in Light pay to view section of the site.)

In my Joy2MeU Journal two part installment about publishing The Dance I talked about how the events unfolded.
"In the next month or six weeks, I also spoke publicly at a couple of other places.  One was at the County Drug and Alcohol satellite office in Cambria - and the other was at a Speakers meeting for CoDA for Helping Professionals. (This was a short lived version of CoDA for counselors, therapist, and various other helping professionals who thought it would not be okay for them to share honestly in regular CoDA meetings - a manifestation of the codependent programming of keeping up appearances in my opinion, which I shared with them when I spoke.)

It was in those public speaking engagements that the inner child work I was doing merged with the mystical information that I was writing for the Trilogy.  I can remember two examples of hearing "myself answering questions with mystical statements" - that I refer to in the quote from my Attack on America book above.  One was while speaking here in Cambria - which was not a meeting but an informational event the satellite office was offering for the general public.  In it, I shared my view that everything was unfolding perfectly from a cosmic perspective.  Someone asked me if that meant that I believed that everyone who died in a plane crash was meant to die that day.  I answered that yes that was what I believed.

The other one I remember was in the CoDA Speakers meeting in February.  I have a memory of talking about the clinging creatures story I paraphrase from Richard Bach's Illusions in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.  The one where the creature that has learned to let go and go with the flow of the stream is viewed as a messiah by clinging creatures he flies over down stream. . . . . 

It was in those talks that the seeds of my book sprouted.

"In the spring of 1991, Robert Burney was asked to speak in several different venues on the subject of Codependence. In the course of those speaking engagements he heard himself making statements to a general audience that he had never considered saying in public because of their controversial nature. To his surprise he found that the practical process level tools and techniques that he utilized in his private therapy practice were merging with mystical and magical knowledge he had acquired writing a book that was an adult fable about the history of the Universe - the first book of a trilogy.

Although he experienced a great deal of fear about making such controversial statements in public, he was compelled to further explore this message that he felt coming through him. He arranged dates in June of 1991 to give a talk in Cambria and Morro Bay, California. He then found he was unable to write the talk. The message that he was formulating was multileveled and nonlinear so that he found it impossible to organize his thoughts into a coherent presentation. His anxiety mounted as the date for his talk approached until in a burst of inspiration born out of desperation he wrote almost continuously for the last 48 hours prior to the talk. The presentation was scrawled on yellow legal pages that first time he presented the talk.

As he got ready to give his talk, he was overwhelmed with feelings of dread and experienced emotional memories of being stoned to death by an angry mob. He was convinced the audience would not be able to hear his message because of the outrageously controversial aspects of it but was compelled to go forward with it because of his personal Karmic need to take responsibility and stand up for his Truth. To his amazement, the audience not only heard what he was saying but cried tears of Joy in recognition of the Truth he was sharing.

That talk formed the basis for the book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. The message evolved and expanded over the years as he refined the techniques he was developing to facilitate Codependence recovery, but the basic structure of the book was essentially born in those two days of desperation. Robert made a trip from Taos New Mexico, where he was living at the time, to the Central Coast of California in the winter of 1995 in an attempt to raise funds to publish a book based on the talk. Because of that trip (which was a real leap of faith) he did receive the financing to start the publishing process in the summer of 1995. He returned to Cambria to set up his publishing company, Joy to You & Me Enterprises, in the fall of 1995. The official publication date of the book was January of 1996." - Biographical information page

That first time I did the talk, at the Pewter Plough Playhouse in Cambria on June 16th 2001 before a crowd of over 50 people, it was literally on yellow legal pages." - Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance
The Trilogy alternates between a narrative story line and a History of the Universe told tongue in cheek (including a recently discovered transcript of God's thought process in deciding to create the Universe.;-)  The narrative story involves my Higher Self appearing to me in the form of a unicorn running off a picture on my desk in Taos New Mexico in early 1989.   My unicorn / Higher Self then takes me on a journey through time and space to help me learn the things I needed to learn.   In one of the later chapters of that work, my Higher Self transforms from a unicorn to the form of a woman representing the Goddess Energy / Feminine Principle.  During the course of my interaction with my Higher Self, a doe and two fawns had been playing a part in the unfolding story.  After we had discussed some of the levels of healing that were affecting me and had caused my fear of intimacy, came this passage.
"Sorry about that," I laughed.  It was wonderful to laugh about where I had been - and was going back to - and not feel any shame about it.  It was after all, only a part of my evolution.  There Truly is no need to judge where I have been, or am, because it was/is just a step in my becoming process.

Just then my attention was once again caught by the deer. The doe and both fawns had turned and were looking back into the trees at that south end of the meadow. And what came walking out of the trees at that point was the most magnificent Stag deer that I have ever seen.  He was tall and regal with the most magnificent set of antlers I had ever seen.  I counted fourteen points in his incredible rack.

I . . . . . . stood up, staring in awe at this magnificent male animal.  I was moved somewhere deep within my being, and tears sprang to my eyes from the emotions that the grandeur of his presence stirred up within me.

"Yes," said my dream woman softly by my side, "he is magnificent.  And he is you, that is that he is a symbolic representation of the magnificence of your own masculinity."

I turned and looked at her, feeling an emotional surge in my chest as her words sank in.

"You see," she continued, "you have, up to this point in your recovery, put much effort into healing the feminine within and your inner children - which are symbolically represented by the doe and her two fawns.  But you have almost completely ignored the healing of your masculine.  Your relationship with your father, and your disgust over the sins of man-kind, have led you to disown to a large degree, your own masculine energy.  A very large part of your journey in the coming years will be to focus on the healing of your masculine so that you can own and honor what a magnificent male being you are."

Tears were freely running down my face as I stood there looking at her.  Then I turned and gazed once again at the magnificent creature.  All four of the deer were standing there looking back at me with Love in their eyes.  I could feel the Truth of her words, and along with the Joy that I was experiencing from the sight of this regal animal, there was a profound sadness at the realization of the depth of my masculine wounds.  I was too overwhelmed with feeling at that point to speak.  I just stood there gazing at the buck and feeling the urgency of my need to own my masculine self." - The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 - "In The Beginning . . ."  Chapter 10

It is now 3:07 AM on the morning of the 13th of March 2007.  It was on the morning of the 4th that I looked up at my calendar and got the message from the Universe that I needed to look at a new level of healing my masculine - healing my relationship with my self as a man - in the context of the processing I already knew that I needed to do about my fear of intimacy issues and how they were affecting my life and relationship now.  I will be doing that on the page (could even be more than one page) that will follow this one.  I want to wrap this one up and get it posted - and my e-mail announcements sent out now.  When I will have the next page ready to post, I really have no idea right now.  Hopefully by the 25th, which will be the day after my next Intensive - the day I will be posting an Updated Intensive Testimonial page, as well as changing the Intensive page to raise the price for the next workshop.

There are 4 spaces still available for that next Intensive, by the way - so perhaps it will fill to capacity.  More will be revealed.  More will also be revealed about where my fear of intimacy processing will lead me.  I know that I need to get clearer on where I am at, and what areas I may need some action, in order to get cleaner and clearer in my relationship with Susan.  And I know that I need to take some steps to own my own masculine power more fully.

One of the key insights for me years ago, when I first started to focus on my issues with myself as a man, was one I mention in the following quote from my journal - that I had never had a clear image of what positive, strong and powerful masculine energy looks like.

"What I remember that morning was that I needed to own my powerful positive masculine energy.  Years ago I had come to a realization (and I can't believe I haven't written about it somewhere - but can't find it right now) that I had spent years working on healing my inner children and my feminine without even considering that I might need to heal my masculine.  Like Duh!  That was a time when I started reading authors like Robert Bly and starting to focus on healing my masculine.  One of the things I realized then, is that I had no image of strong positive masculine energy - that I associated strong masculine energy with violence and anger and rage.  That was when I came up with or discovered (maybe in Bly's book Iron John - see Bookstore page) the term "fierce determination" as a trait of powerful positive masculine energy.  Focused power and fierce determination in doing, manifesting, standing strong - that was the masculine energy I discovered back then.  That was the masculine energy I needed to rediscover and own on the morning of March 30th.

I started to see that I needed to start using my will power to stop playing small in my relationship with myself.  To stop giving the pain so much power and to own that I have the power to have more positive control of my own internal process.  I realized that I had gone out of balance in my relationship with myself, towards the feminine, feeling side of me - and that I wasn't standing in my Truth with powerful Masculine positive energy.  I needed to start being the Alpha male in my own internal process.  In recent months I have noticed myself explaining the process of setting boundaries with the critical parent voice to phone counseling clients in an interesting new way.  I would tell them that we don't want to argue with the critical parent voice, we want to SLAM it with spiritual Truth.  I have been thinking about the process of setting boundaries in a way that is like establishing who is in charge internally - who is the Alpha force.  And that it was necessary to slam the critical parent voice - to own positive powerful force in my own internal process.  This was a wonderful insight that is the key to taking control of my own inner process in a new more empowering way.  In a way that will be more outward directed and focused on external manifestation and action than inner focused." - Joy2MeU Journal:  The Path of one Recovering Codependent ~ the dance of one wounded soul My Unfolding Dance35April 8, 2004

So, there are some areas in my life where I need to stop playing small and start focusing some fierce determination in making changes that need to be made in how I am relating to myself and life - so that I can start being clearer in my relationship.  I have some idea right now what that might look like to some degree - and more will be revealed as I continue to process.

There is one additional thing that I am going to be including on this page - and that is an excerpt from Chapter 15 of Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life (the last chapter I have written so far of that work.)  That is a chapter that is focused on masculine and feminine, and explains the difference in my understanding between different levels of masculine and feminine - and how those terms are related to the genders male and female.  I want to include it in order to bring more clarity to the processing I am doing - for those of you who actually read this far and beyond.;-)

The Adventure continues in 2007 - remember to find some Joy in the Journey,
Robert

Masculine ~ Feminine / masculine ~ feminine / male ~ female

In my book and writing, I capitalize certain words in an attempt to communicate that different levels of reality are being referenced. 

"What we feel is our "emotional truth" and it does not necessarily have anything to do with either facts or the emotional energy that is Truth with a capital "T" - especially when we our reacting out of an age of our inner child."

"As long as we look outside of Self - with a capital S - to find out who we are, to define ourselves and give us self-worth, we are setting ourselves up to be victims."

(All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

I offered an explanation of that in Chapter 6 of this work, while trying to differentiate between the ego self and Spiritual Self. 

In Chapter 5, I talked about consciousness of self - and about the horizontal (relationship with being human) and vertical  (relationship with being Spiritual) components of our beings.  Now I am talking about consciousness of Self - and I capitalize one and not the other for a reason. In my writing, I capitalize certain words to try to differentiate between different levels of the process, between different perspectives / dimensions of existence.  This works for me - is helpful / functional - in the goal of seeing myself more clearly, and in communicating my understanding of the dynamics of recovery.

Thus when I mention Love, I am writing about a transcendent vertical emotion - which I see as different from love, which too often is the toxic variety that makes the other person our higher power.  When I talk about Self I am referring to Spiritual Self, to the part of us that helps us to know intuitively that we are connected to everyone and everything.  Whereas, when I talk about self, I am talking about ego self - which is the part of us that was conditioned to react to both the horizontal and the vertical from an intellectual paradigm that empowers fear, scarcity, lack, and shame. - Chapter 6

I think that - in both my book and my writing - I did/do a pretty good job of keeping this personal writing convention clean with regard to certain words:  Love, Truth, Self, being the most prominent that come to mind.  I have found it a little harder to be consistent in my references to Spirit, Spiritual or Spirituality - as those words are not ones that I have, until the last few years (probably since I wrote the article on spiritual integration), been consciously focused upon in regard to using capitalization to differentiate between different levels.  The area where I have probably been the most inconsistent, has been in reference to the terms masculine and feminine.

In this chapter I am going to try to clarify my understanding of masculine and feminine as I talk about the masculine feminine imbalance that has so affected the history of our planet - and has so distorted the relationship of human beings to gender and sexuality. 

Masculine and Feminine capitalized will refer to the Masculine and Feminine Principles / Energy of Creation - a transcendent vertical (up and down through the vibrational frequency ranges of The Illusion) Energy / Force. 

One level is, of course, as symbols of the Masculine and Feminine Energy of Creation.  The marriage of the Princess and the Prince can on this level be seen to represent the Feminine and Masculine Principles of the Universe and their union of perfect balance and harmony - the eternal balance of yin and yang. 

While masculine and feminine (lower case) will refer to the horizontal human experience - to masculine and feminine energy as it relates to human beings, and to the environment human beings experience on the planet Earth.  In other words, to characteristics, traits, qualities, attributes, features, elements that are thought of as masculine or feminine.  I will also be making a distinction between masculine and feminine energy in a metaphysical sense, and masculine and feminine characteristics in terms of observable attributes or behaviors.

All human beings are the creation of the perfect interaction of the Masculine and Feminine Principles - and all individuals have both masculine and feminine energy as part of their make up as human beings.  Our perspective of masculine and feminine has been very twisted and distorted due to the planetary conditions that caused the dysfunction in the human experience. 

Our traditional cultural concepts of what a man is, of what a woman is, are twisted, distorted, almost comically bloated stereotypes of what masculine and feminine really are. A vital part of this healing process is finding some balance in our relationship with the masculine and feminine energy within us, and achieving some balance in our relationships with the masculine and feminine energy all around us. We cannot do that if we have twisted, distorted beliefs about the nature of masculine and feminine.

The terms male and female refer to the genders that are representations of masculine and feminine energy - and reflections of the Masculine and Feminine Principles.  Many of the characteristic attributes and behaviors that society identifies as male and female are in fact bloated, distorted, polarized magnifications of masculine and feminine qualities.


Feminine and Masculine Principles of Creation

The Feminine and Masculine Principles of Creation are inseparable parts of One Force.  They have never been out of balance, and never could be.  They are terms used to describe a vertical dynamic which is indivisible into parts.

The way we change the dance of Codependence to the dance of Recovery, the way we tame the dragon inside, is through integration and balance.  One of the ways we do that is by stopping the dysfunctional behavior of looking for the Prince or Princess who is going to fix us and make us whole.

The Prince and the Princess exist within.  That Prince, the Masculine Energy of Manifestation and Action, and that Princess, the Feminine Energy of Creativity and Nurturing, exist within us in perfect balance and harmony.  They always have - and they always will.

Masculine and Feminine are names humans apply to twin energy vortexes that together form the One Creative Force - The Life Force.  Yin and Yang, Masculine and Feminine, are One Transcendent Dynamic that not only exists throughout the levels of this Illusion, but in fact manifested the illusion that it was possible to separate from the ONENESS of ALL THAT IS.

In writing this chapter I was led into some pretty far out metaphysical realms that kept making this chapter longer and longer.  So, once again, as I said in Chapter 13:

It seems like for every chapter I write here, I write another half of a chapter that I end up not using.  Right at this moment, I am not sure which of several alternatives will become the next chapter. - Chapter 13: The Music of Love is not shaming
In this case, it has been more than a half of a chapter and I am going to use it as Chapter 16.  In that chapter I am going to attempt to explain what I mean when I refer to The Illusion of human reality.  Although there will be references in the rest of this chapter to metaphysical aspects, I am going to try to communicate an understanding of masculine and feminine imbalance and the huge impact it has had on the evolution of human beings on this planet.

In broad strokes I first want to try to delineate what I am talking about in regard to different levels and aspects of masculine and feminine.

As stated above, the Masculine and Feminine Principles of the Universe are indivisible parts of One dynamic - The Life Force.  Each man or woman on this planet - as well as the planet itself and everything else in the Universe - is a manifestation of the perfect balance and harmony of the interaction of the Feminine and Masculine.  The Yin Yang symbol in Reality is not black and white - it is all gray.  It was the polarized perspective of the energy field of Collective Human Intellectual Consciousness - the Lower Mind - that has caused humans to see Yin and Yang as polar opposite forces in conflict.

Within this human reality we are experiencing there are metaphysical masculine and feminine energies that are reflections of the Masculine and Feminine - and are in turn reflected into the physical level.  On the physical level these energies are reflected not only in the essence and form of male and female beings, but also within each being in multiple ways including within the human brain with it's right and left hemispheres and their interrelationship with each other - and with the rest of the grand and compelling dance that makes up a human's body and being.

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. - Author's Foreword

The emotional and spiritual aspects of a human's being fall into the realm of metaphysical (beyond physical) because these components exist on levels that are not measurable and quantifiable in concrete physical terms.  To attempt to explain these things in a concrete way using polarized language is actually a reflection of the problem that has plagued humans and been part of the cause that manifested the imbalance in the human experience.  One of the reasons that the emotional and spiritual components of a human's being have been discounted in Western Civilization is because there has been such an imbalance of masculine and feminine energy in the underlying belief systems.
"Western civilization has for many years been way out of balance towards the left brain way of thinking - concrete, rational, what you see is all there is (this was in reaction to earlier times of being out of balance the other way, towards superstition and ignorance.)  Because emotional energy can not be seen or measured or weighed ("The x-ray shows you've got 5 pounds of grief in there.") emotions were discounted and devalued.  This has started to change somewhat in recent years but most of us grew up in a society that taught us that being too emotional was a bad thing that we should avoid.  (Certain cultures / subcultures give more permission for emotions but those are usually out of balance to the other extreme of allowing the emotions to rule - the goal is balance: between mental and emotional, between intuitive and rational.)" - Feeling the Feelings - grief / emotional energy release
I am not going to get real hung up on trying to explain all of this - ultimately the details are not that important.  I am just going to use broad strokes here in the hopes of communicating some larger and/or different perspectives for you to consider.  Trying to divide these energies / qualities into two groupings is actually dysfunctional because it is an exercise in polarity, in the duality that has been part of how humans have seen The Illusion - but I will do it anyway, just as an example of the types of energies that are generally associated with the metaphysical levels of masculine and feminine.
masculine
mental, rational, logical, linear, concrete, analytic, intellectual, hard, rigid, individualistic, independent, strong, specific, known, seen, quantifiable, external manifestation, action, outgoing, expansive, aggressive, competitive, doing

feminine
intuitive, emotional, creative, nurturing, yielding*, pliant, flexible, expressive, relational**, intaking, enfolding, compassionate, loving, spiritual, sensitive, gentle, abstract, imaginative, soft, mysterious, unknown, internal contemplation, introspection, being
*(not the same as passive - think of it more in a martial arts sense.  One example of how human perspective has been twisted and distorted - into thinking of feminine as passive.  The counterpart to aggressive here would be more in along the lines of pliant, resilient.)
**(tends to focus on larger picture interrelationship, holistic interdependence rather than specific, separate, individualistic)

In reality, both types of energy are involved in all human endeavors.  For example:  a creative impulse would be feminine, while a creative act would be masculine;  pregnancy (nurturing life within a woman's body) would be thought of as feminine, while the act of giving birth is a manifestation - masculine.  In recovery we are looking for a balance between being and doing, between mental and emotional, between rational and intuitive - between masculine and feminine.

All human beings have both masculine and feminine energy within them.  These are not necessarily in equal proportions.  Some people have more of one type of energy than the other - because in our human form we are each unique in our individual make up / combination of these energies.

The Truth is that we are like snowflakes:  Each individual is unique and different and special and we are all made from the same thing.  We are all cut from the same cloth.  We are all part of the Eternal ONENESS that is the Great Spirit.

We are all manifestations of the Feminine and Masculine Principles - and we each have masculine and feminine energy that makes up our being.  The imbalance that has been part of the human condition has been in our relationship with those energies within us.   And the imbalance in our relationships with the masculine and feminine energies within has reflected outward to produce imbalance in our relationships with each other - and with the concepts of masculine and feminine.

What we are striving for in recovery is balance and harmony in our relationship with the masculine and feminine energies within us - to reflect the perfect balance and harmony of the Masculine and Feminine Principles.  This does not mean we are striving for some kind of adrogeny.  Polarized thinking causes an either / or perspective.  There are other options besides 1 or 10.   We are each unique in the individual manifestations we are experiencing in this lifetime.

Life is not black and white.  Life involves the interplay of black and white.  In other words, the gray area is where life takes place.  A big part of the healing process is learning the numbers two through nine - recognizing that life is not black and white.

As I said, we each have different proportions of masculine and feminine energy - what we are striving for is balance in our relationship with our self/Self on an individual basis, which will allow us to be more balanced and harmonious in our relationships with other human beings.  In recovery we are uncovering and discovering our Self by recovering from the wounding that was inflicted on our relationship with self in childhood.  "To thine own Self be True" is a mystical, metaphysical aphorism of Spiritual Truth.

Male and female beings (once again polarized perspective, nothing is Truly black and white - there are gender combinations in between male and female) are physical representations of masculine and feminine energies.  Male and female beings have masculine and feminine traits and characteristics.  Our inherited perspective of those traits and characteristics, are in large part twisted, distorted, magnified stereotypes of masculine and feminine energies.  Those stereotypes are emotionally polarized into extremes which often result in a female being adapting an emotional / behavioral defense system that is a representation of the twisted, distorted view of masculine energy - because she is reacting to the role modeling and emotional trauma of her childhood.  And of course, it happens conversely with males.

In this society, in a general sense, the men have been traditionally taught to be primarily aggressive, the "John Wayne" syndrome, while women have been taught to be self-sacrificing and passive.  But that is a generalization; it is entirely possible that you came from a home where your mother was John Wayne and your father was the self-sacrificing martyr.

Men and women are different but not nearly as different as we have been led to believe.  I could probably write several books focused specifically from the perspective of masculine and feminine imbalance and the affects it has had on every level of this human experience.  In this chapter, I am trying to convey some understanding of the impact of this imbalance in a larger historical perspective rather than in regard to the individual level.  I already addressed some of the impact of this imbalance in relationship to romance, marriage, and male / female relationships in part 2 of the article that spawned this work.

"Men were programmed to be emotional cripples whose only acceptable emotional outlet was anger, and women were brainwashed to feel they had worth only in relationships to men.  Truly a set up!  Women were brain washed into defining themselves so completely in relationship to men that they give up their name for their husband's name. (Of course, the name they give up was their fathers - a symbolic transfer of ownership.)" - The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! Part 2  Love & Romance, Marriage and Divorce
I recently started a series of articles on my Inner Child/Codependency Recovery Topic page on the Suite 101 Directory focused on issues of gender, sexuality, romance, and related topics.  (I will include a link at the bottom of this page to my page that lists these recent articles.)  Here are quotes from the first two articles in that series that relate to the point I am making here.
"Men and women are not from different planets.  Anyone who is trying to explain male - female relationships without taking into account the impact that culturally programmed emotional dishonesty, generational shame about sexuality, and centuries of patriarchal supremacy have had on how human beings relate to their own gender and sexuality - let alone to romantic relationships - is focusing on symptoms.  It is not possible to bring about fundamental change or true understanding by focusing on symptoms.  Just as it is not possible to understand our romantic relationship patterns without starting to see how our childhood wounding and programming was causal in producing those patterns.

Men and women are different of course, but not nearly as different as the emotionally dishonest, comically bloated stereotypes of normal male and female behavior - that have been the prototypes for society - would have us believe." - Men and Women are from the same planet

"Traditionally in dysfunctional civilized society on this planet men were programmed to be codependent (define self and take their feelings of self worth) from their work, their ability to produce.  Women were programmed to be codependent on their relationships with men.  (The Feminist Movement changed this somewhat in recent history - but in some areas that effect was negative.  I will address this in a later article in this series.)

The bloated stereotypes of masculine and feminine that the quote from my book in last month's article mentioned - like all stereotypes - started with a grain of Truth that got twisted and distorted by the planetary conditions that dictated human evolution on the planet." - The Maiden and the Horndog

I have stated several places in this work, how human internal dynamics - emotions, emotional process, and internal interaction between the mind, emotions, and spirit - are the same for all human beings.  This includes men and women.  There are some differences in the ways men and women relate to / process their inner dynamic - but the basic dynamics are the same.  Men and women are much more alike than they are different.  The differences are fascinating and intriguing - they do not make us from different planets.  The more balanced and healthy any man or woman becomes, the more we clear up our relationship with the masculine and feminine energies within us, the easier it becomes to start learning how to relate to each other in a healthier, more balanced way - instead of seeing each other as some kind of alien creatures.

Emotions are a vital component of a human's being.  They are not something that only women are supposed to feel.  To be a healthy balanced human being, a man needs to get in touch with the feminine energy within him and find some balance in his inner process - just as a woman need to get in touch with the masculine energy within her to find some balance and harmony in her relationship with self/Self and life.

And excerpt from: Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2:  A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Chapter 15 Masculine and Feminine

 Go to My Fear of Intimacy (page posted 4/6/07)
Go to August 2007 Update Newsletter (posted 8/31/07)

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Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney is copyright 1995.  Material on Joy2MeU web site (except where otherwise noted) is copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, & 2007 by Robert Burney  PO Box 235401 Encinitas CA 92023.
The Medicine Cards (This link and the one on the graphic will take you to the page it is offered on Amazon.com) have been a very valuable tool in my recovery process.  Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls from: Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, copyright 1988, Bear & Co.  Reprinted by permission Bear & Co., P.O. Box 2860, Santa Fe, NM 87504. (Since the book was published they have moved to P.O. Box 3876, Gettysburg, PA 17325)