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 therapist, 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 4 times a year at about 3 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 Newsletter
To all the Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,

I am writing this Update a little sooner than I normally would - although those of you who have been reading my site for awhile know that normal keeps changing in my world.  In the normal course of events I wouldn't have been thinking about doing another Update until April - but I could see that the way my process is heading I might be way too busy by then to get an update out until it is later than normal.

And specifically I wanted to get this out so I could send an announcement about the appearances I have coming up.  I am thinking as I start writing this early in the morning on March 2nd, that I might be canceling plans for one of those appearances before the day is out.  The retreat I am going to be doing on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Ibiza is going ahead very well, and I am looking forward to that trip.  I believe however that it would probably be best to cancel plans for the workshop in Nice.  The extra time that it would involve me being away from my one man business here - including my telephone counseling clients - and the cost of putting on a workshop on the Cote d'Azur - coupled with uncertainty about the turn out there and the need to get my flight and schedule arranged within the next week or so, are leading me in that direction.  So, I will leave a space here to make the announcement about rather that is going to happen or not.

*March 5, 2005 - I have decided to cancel the workshop in Nice.  It wasn't coming together in a way I felt comfortable with, and I didn't really want to spend an extra 5 or 6 days gone without any guarantee of what it would be worth financially.  Perhaps in the fall I can make it there.  There is a place in England that had invited me to do a 2 hour workshop in March - that was not feasible financially by itself and didn't fit with the time period of the retreat in Ibiza - that will probably be inviting me back in October.  More will be revealed about that.

I am doing a 2 hour workshop at a CoDA conference in the Bay Area on the first weekend of May - and the speakers meeting and workshop in Ohio the second weekend in May.  People in several parts of the country are thinking about organizing appearances in their areas - and anyone who might be interested in doing that please contact me.  The workshop in Ohio, as well as the retreat on Ibiza, are each coming together very nicely because of one person there who really wanted to make it happen.  Anyone who is interested can look at the page for upcoming appearances and for the workshops that have been scheduled to learn a little more about that possibility.  (Someone contacted me in the last couple of days that is interested in organizing an appearance in the New York area. That probably couldn't happen before late summer or fall, but is an intriguing possibility.)

I have done very little actual original writing since my last Update.  Basically, just the new articles I have written for Suite 101.  My December article there wrapped up the sub series of articles about the transformational - and very painful - relationship experience I had last year.  That sub series started in March 2004 (Energetic Attraction - emotional familiarity or Karmic connection?), and was part of the series on gender, sexuality, romantic relationships, and directly related topics that I started in March of 2003.  The articles from that series from March 2003 up until February 2004 have now all been added to this site as regular web pages.  That series started with the article Men and Women are from the same planet (this link will take you to that article on Suite 101 - or you can see them listed on my site index page, in the lower part of that page above the information for my Journal.  (I added the last of the articles - the one from February 2004 Falling in love as a choice - in that supra series to this site in January.) 

I have now started a new series - that will probably last for the rest of this year - on a A Higher Power of my own understanding.  In this new series I will be sharing my Spiritual beliefs and how those beliefs have developed and evolved over my time in recovery - including the part that Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Step program have played in my Spiritual growth process.

I stated above that I had done little actual original writing since my last Update - and in actuality, I have done little original writing specifically for Joy2MeU since the spring of 2003 when I added the foreword to my online book Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Author's Foreword and the 15th Chapter of that work Masculine and Feminine.  I will probably get back to that online book one of these days, but I am not feeling any urge to do that any time soon.  The last original writing I did for Joy2MeU was the article for my series on the 12 steps: The Miracle of The Twelve Step Process series: 10 thru 12 - The Maintenance Steps Part 1.  I do feel some need to finish part 2 of that article - and would hope I can do that this month, but there are no guarantees of that because my life is pretty full right now. 

I have actually done a lot of original writing during the time from June of 2003 through November of 2004, but it was process writing for my personal journal in the Joy2MeU Journal (which is available by subscription only.)  I think I wrote probably a quarter of a million words in that processing last year - but I have not added anything to that body of work since the last journal pages I added in early November.  I am not sure if I will be writing any more for the personal journal any time soon, but I do hope to get the next installment of the story of my Spiritual Path entitled 30 Days in the Desert - about my experiences going through treatment for codependency in 1988 - finished some time soon.  Again, I really don't have any idea how soon that will be - so you Journal subscribers will get an opportunity to practice patience until the time is right for me to get back to writing there.  There is already at least 3 times as much material there as I envisioned when I started that Journal in April 1999 and set a one time subscription price.  So, I have no qualms about short changing anyone in that regard.

That personal process writing in the Joy2MeU Journal has been focused upon my journey to healing my fear of intimacy issues.  One of the things I am adding to the site at the same time I am publishing this Update, is another batch of heart warming and soul touching testimonials for how much impact my book and site have had on the lives of so many people around the world.  I now have 4 huge web pages of those testimonials - 3 of which I moved to my silcom site because Joy2MeU has gotten so huge.  I mention that here because it was in my October 2000 Update - which really cracked opened the door to the intense journey into healing my fear of intimacy issues - that I talked about what I had learned about being open to receive positive feedback.   There is a section of that Update in which I talk about "Goddess Strokes" which I think might be helpful to many of you who are learning how to stop taking other peoples behavior, and life events, so personally - at the same time you are learning to be open to receive positive expressions of Love and good in your lives.  As is always True on my Spiritual Path, my process spirals upwards through different levels as I heal deeper and deeper layers of my wounding.  Some of the very things I talk about in the sharing about my fear of intimacy in that October 2000 Update are issues that I am focusing on again right now in my life.

I am going to share - and get clearer for myself - some more about where I am at with my writing in the Newsletter portion below. 

The other page that I added since the last Update was a page with some questions and answers that come from the Discussions that are of my Suite 101 topic.  I don't spend a lot of time on that site, and often don't get around to answering questions posted there more than once a month - but there were some rather long answers I had given there that I thought I would like to share with readers of this site.  The topics include grief work, "I don't know how to heal," and one from someone who believed their inner child was psychic.  There were also several on parenting that prompted me to start developing a page that will contain some of my thoughts on parenting from different sources, including answers that I have sent to people who e-mailed me for some advice.  I will probably post that page in the next few weeks.

Additions to the web site since the  December 2004 Update include:

Falling in love as a choice

Q & A from Suite101 Discussion page

Major News

Upcoming Appearances:

I am doing a two day retreat on the Spanish Mediterranean Island of Ibiza on April 9th & 10th.

A two hour workshop at CoDA Conference in Santa Clara CA on May 7th.

A CoDA Speakers meeting and 3 hour workshop in Ohio in Cuyahoga Falls on May 14th.

In addition:
More feedback and testimonials were added to Phone Counseling Testimonials.

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

I added a resource to the Finding CoDA Meetings page.

Articles published on my Suite101 page are listed on my page Suite101 Articles page.  The following articles are the ones on Suite 101 that have not been added to this Joy2MeU web site.

March 2004 
Energetic Attraction - emotional familiarity or Karmic connection?
April 2004
Emotional Intimacy = in to me see
May 2004
Fear of Intimacy -  Relationship Phobia
June 2004
A romantic tragedy / a Spiritual Transformation
 July 2004
Enjoying the Journey - a Birthday Miracle
August 2004 
Codependent Defenses - Part 1 The Gatekeeper
September 2004 
Codependent Defenses - Part 2  disassociation vs healthy detachment
October 2004 
Codependent Defenses - Part 3 My Gatekeeper
November 2004 
Codependence Recovery - Taking Responsibility  Part 1
December 2004 
Codependence Recovery - Taking Responsibility  Part 2
January 2005 
A Higher Power of my own understanding
February 2005 
A Higher Power of my own understanding 2 - the beginning of empowerment
Graphic of two hearts with an arrow through them - signifying both Love and heartbreak.
Links to past Update Newsletters for the Joy2MeU site (launched February 4, 1999) can be found on the Information index page.  Links to the Newsletters of my original Joy to You & Me web site (launched February 28, 1998) can be found on the Joy to You & Me page which list pages from that site not moved to Joy2MeU.

Me and my writing continued (but first I veer into a major digression - something that is normal in my writing;-)

As I have shared in these Updates previously, starting my first web site in February 1998 helped me to overcome the great resistance I have always had to writing - and led directly to the huge body of work that is now available on Joy2MeU.  I have no doubt that there is over 2 million words in content on my site now - and writing for the site has been an invaluable and immense tool in my personal process.  From 1998 through early 2003, I wrote most of the content on this site.  I talk in my November 2002 Update about how that process unfolded for me - and how much Joy my writing has brought me in the time since I started on the internet. In fact, I ended that Update with this quote from the Medicine Cards about Moose medicine that came up for me as I was finishing writing that Update:

"The bellow of the male Moose can be viewed as a positive force, since it represents his willingness to "tell the world" about his feelings.

This "tell the world" trait contains a joyfulness which only comes from a sense of accomplishment.  There is no greater joy than a job well done.  This trait is therefore not a seeking of approval, but rather an enjoyment of sharing because of the spontaneous explosion of joy that comes from the deepest part of one's being." - Medicine Cards quoted in November 2002 Update

I don't completely agree with the quote in saying that there is no greater joy than a job well done - but there is great joy in a job well done.  That joy - and pride - in accomplishment is different from the Joy of being that I believe is a transcendent vibrational energy we can tune into (The True Nature of Love 3 - Love as a Vibrational Frequency.)  In the metaphysical addendum to my March 2004 Update I spoke of this and used a quote from some writings in my journal as part of the explanation. In this quote I refer to the horizontal and vertical - here is a quote to explain what I mean by that.
"The vital difference between human beings and even the most intelligent of animals is consciousness.  Consciousness for human beings includes not only a capacity for self awareness - the ability to have a conscious relationship with self - but also a consciousness of something larger than self.  This consciousness of something larger than self is what has driven human beings throughout history to seek some kind of supernatural force / higher power which gives meaning and purpose to life beyond mere survival.
"Codependence and recovery are both multi-leveled, multi-dimensional phenomena.  It is very easy for me to write hundreds of pages about any single aspect of codependence and recovery what is very difficult and painful is to write a short column.  No facet of this topic is linear and one-dimensional, so there is no simple answer to any one question - rather there are a multitude of answers to the same question, all of which are True on some level.

So in order to facilitate writing a short column on this month's topic, I am going to make a brief point about two dimensions of this phenomena in relationship to empowerment.  These two dimensions are the horizontal and the vertical. In this context the horizontal is about being human and relating to other humans and our environment.  The vertical is Spiritual - about our relationship to the God-Force. Codependence is at it's core a Spiritual disease and the only way out of it is through a Spiritual cure - so any recovery, any empowerment, depends upon Spiritual awakening." - Empowerment and Victimization - the power of choice

. . . . . I am going address the phenomena of consciousness in relationship to the horizontal human experience - consciousness of self - in the remainder of this chapter and the vertical, Spiritual component, consciousness of Self in the next chapter. . . . .

. . . . . . In a holistic approach to healing, it is vital to address both dimensions for a multitude of reasons.  The most important in terms of this chapter, has to do with innate reflexes as opposed to conditioned reflexes.   On the horizontal level, the innate programming for human beings carries the same priority for humans as does the innate programming of animals - survival.  On the vertical level, survival is not the first priority.  Our first priority on the vertical, in relationship to our Source - as Spiritual beings having a human experience - is to reconnect with Love, with our Source." - Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light  Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with LifeChapter 5: Pavlov's Dog or Codependency = conditioned reactive programming

Now here is the quote from my March Update.
"I capitalize words such as Truth, Joy, and Love in my writing because that capitalization indicates that I am referring to the Transcendent vibrational energy that flows through the Illusion on the vertical plane.  When I do not capitalize joy and love, I am referring to emotions of the horizontal plane.  I am going to add bold to a few phrases or sentences in the following excerpt to emphasis the points I am trying to make here - and insert a word in this color to this quote for clarity.
"I have learned to accept the things I cannot change - and change what I can change, which includes my attitudes towards that which I can't change.  It gives me the capacity to have serenity and inner peace..  It gives me the capacity to be conscious in the moment and available to feel happy, and to tune into Joy at times, no matter what the external conditions are in my life - no matter what opportunities for growth are being presented to me.

Happiness is a term I use in relationship to external circumstances. It (happiness) comes from doing, experiencing, interacting, etc.  Joy - with the capital J - is about being, not doing. This has to do with the different dimensions - horizontal and vertical - of this human experience that I talk about in the Trilogy, and mention in various articles including the online book I am now writing.

"The horizontal emotion of joy can feel very much the same as Joy - and can in fact help us to access the Transcendent emotional energy of Joy.  But the horizontal emotion that is joy is a relative reaction to external stimuli.  That is, joy is felt because of some outside or external condition that raises our vibrational frequency within the vertical component of the horizontal emotional spectrum.  This can be: an accomplishment such as achieving a goal or winning a contest; the feeling we get from experiencing the Love of another being - or an animal; a sensual experience such as the taste of food, or the feel of silk, or the touch of another being; or any of a number of other types of stimuli that are dependent upon outside circumstances or agencies.  There is nothing wrong with feeling joy in reaction to these outer or external stimuli - what is dysfunctional is believing that they are the only source of joy.  When we buy into the belief that the only joy or happiness we can experience is dependent upon external circumstances or outside agencies then we are giving power over our relationship with self to the illusions - we are worshiping false gods.

The Transcendent emotional energy of Joy on the other hand has nothing to do with winning or accomplishing - it is about being.  About tuning into the Joy that is the Truth of who we really are - Spiritual beings who are part of the Holy Mother Source Energy.  It is about the Love that is our True essence.  Outside influences can help to remind us of this connection - a sunset, a baby, the Love we see reflected in another's eyes - but the connection is made in the quality of our interaction with that outside influence.  It is in being in the moment that we can tune into the Love, Light, and Joy of our connection with everyone and everything." - a quote from the The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy  Book 1 History VI used in the Joy2MeU Journal Mini-Newsletter - November 1, 2002 quoted in March 2004 Update Metaphysical Addendum page

I am reading a book right now at the request of a new friend, a book that has been very helpful to many people in learning how to be more present in the now.  Unfortunately, what I have read so far confirms what I had suspected from what I had heard about this book - that is, that it is another of the so called "New Age" books that wants to focus on the vertical connection to Joy without acknowledging the the importance of clearing up the horizontal emotions that are the result of being emotionally wounded by coming into human body in a hostile environment.  As I have mentioned other places, it is easy to feel spiritual in relationship to nature (or animals or babies, etc.) but it is more difficult to feel spiritual in relationship to other human beings because it was human beings that wounded us in childhood.  As I have said for years, the only reason to do the inner child healing is if you want to interact with other human beings on an intimate level in a healthy way.  So many people out there - being human and wanting to take the easier, softer route - want to get spiritual without doing the messy emotional healing work that is required to Truly integrate spirituality into our human relationships.

It is, of course, possible to get feelings of worth - feel "spiritual" / connected - codependently by focusing on others to the detriment of our self.  That is classic codependency - the traditional view of codependency.  It is what I describe in my book as caretaking rather than care - giving.

We were taught to be caretakers instead of care-givers.  That is, to take our self-definition - our ego-strength - from what we do for others, rather than giving to others out of our Self as an expression of Love.

This is a matter of focus:  Codependence is a disease of reversed focus.  If you are taking your self-worth from what you are doing for others, you are going to end up being the victim, because they are not going to do what you want them to do in return.  ("After all that I've done for you!")

If you are giving as an expression of self-worth then you do not need anything in return - and that is when you really get the gifts.

Giving should be an expression of the Love we have accessed within - not a way of gaining ego-strength by helping people whom we are judging to be less than us.

Codependence is outer / external dependence.  We were taught to look externally to determine our worth - and to do it in comparison to others.  We were taught that self worth is a competitive issue - so the only way we can feel good about ourselves is to feel better than others in some way.  Rather we are being classically codependent - focused on what we do for other people for a sense of worth - or counterdependent - focusing on some other type of external criteria to prove we have worth while denying our need for intimate connection with other people - we are still getting our ego strength from comparison. (And we can be both - for instance, counterdependent in our career and codependent in personal relationships or vice versa.)

"As I note often in my writing, codependency involves extremes of behavior.  The immature, irresponsible, self destructive codependent is one extreme of the spectrum - usually the person who is genetically an addictive personality.  At the other extreme, is the codependent who is over responsible and/or other focused - and can appear to be very mature and successful, with no need of being rescued.  This is often the adult who as a child was being the parent in the family - rescuing and taking care of their own immature parents from a very young age.  The family hero or caretaker who defines themselves by external accomplishments, popularity, possessions, superiority to others, etc.  This person can be a workaholic, or exercise/health fanatic, or religion addict, or a professional caretaker (therapist, nurse, etc.), or "kind hearted" martyr (who is passively controlling by avoiding conflict and thus set up to be the "wronged" victim) - some type of controlling personality who feels superior to others based upon their seeming ability to be in control of their lives according to certain external criteria.  The external criteria can range from being financially successful to being successful in never getting angry - and are dysfunctional codependent measures of worth based upon comparison to, upon feeling superior to, other people." - Enabling & Rescuing vs Tough Love
As long as we are looking outside / externally to prove to ourselves that we have worth, we are being codependent. (see Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Chapter 6: ego strength and self worth)

True self-worth does not come from looking down on anyone or anything.  True self-worth comes from awakening to our connection to everyone and everything.

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.

When we start looking within and celebrating the Truth of who we Truly are, then we can celebrate our unique differences instead of judging them out of fear.

This caretaking - and any of the codependent programming that causes us to look externally in comparison for self worth - is actually a way of stealing energy from others.

"Many of the expressions that are in common usage in the language of human interrelationship are incredibly accurate on multiple levels.  One such expression is 'giving your power away.'  If we are not clear in our relationship with self, if we are reacting to the definitions of self that we learned in childhood, then we are giving power away both literally and figuratively on multiple levels.

The level that most people are not aware of, and that is important for the focus of this column, is energetically.  When we give power away to other people because our relationship with self is dysfunctional, we actually allow cords of energy to tie us to those people.  These cords (ribbons, cables, tethers, threads, strands) of energy exist on the Etheric plane - which is where the Life Force energy runs through the chakra system.

We can literally be drained of our Life Force by these dysfunctional connections to other people.  All of us learned to allow ourselves to both be drained of Life Force by others as well as to steal Life Force energy from others to survive.

We need to steal Life Force energy from others because we are blocked from clearly accessing our own Life Force energy by our dysfunctional relationship with self.  Because our inner channel is not clear.  In clearing up our inner channel to tune into the higher vibrational emotional energy of Light, Love, Joy, and Truth, we are also accessing our own Life Force energy." - The True Nature of Love - part 4, Energetic Clarity

We were all taught / programmed in childhood to steal Life Force energy from others in some way - to be emotional vampires.  A major part of the way my codependence set me up to steal energy from how I viewed my relationship with others - to be an emotional vampire - was in seeing myself as nicer than other people.
"Both the passive and aggressive behavioral defenses are controlling - they just employ different strategies.  As I said in the last chapter, in talking about selfishness ;
Then I could start to see that the reason that I was being nice to someone was not just because I didn't want to hurt their feelings - it was much more about protecting myself.  It was what I learned to do in childhood to:  avoid confrontation;  keep someone from getting angry with me;  keep from being abandoned;  try to earn love;  etc.  My defense system was set up to protect me from doing things that I thought would cause me pain - like: setting boundaries;  speaking my Truth;  asking for help;  being vulnerable;  etc. - Chapter 7: Multiple levels of selfishness
If I am not speaking my truth, not setting boundaries, as a form of manipulation to keep someone from getting angry at me, keep from being abandoned - that is controlling behavior.  I would hold onto my ego self image of being a "nice guy" and judge those people who were aggressively controlling as being mean and heartless.  I got ego strength from looking down from the moral high ground at people who were aggressively trying to get their needs met because I could not be honest with myself about how I was passively, indirectly, manipulatively trying to get my needs met.  This is a form of emotional vampirism, nurturing myself emotionally by comparing myself to others and feeling "better than."" - Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life  Chapter 8: Codependents as Emotional Vampires
It was very important for me to get past my illusion that I was being unselfish in helping other people.  I do not believe there is any such thing as a completely unselfish act for a human being.
"I had to come to a realization that there is no such thing as an unselfish act.  If I rescue a stranger from a burning car wreck, it does not have anything to do with the stranger - it has to do with my relationship with myself.  I believe that every thing a human being does has a pay off - and it was a very important part of my growth process to start looking for those pay offs.  I had to learn to get honest with myself and stop buying into the illusion that anything I did was for some one else.  I had to stop looking outside for the energy boost I got from doing something nice so that I could own that the energy boost came internally.

The power / energy / juice that we need comes from within - not from outside.  People, places, and things can sometimes help us to access the power that is within us - but they are not the source of that power.  The source is within!" - The True Nature of Love - part 4, Energetic Clarity

(In reading this over, I feel compelled to clarify that I meant the access to The Source is within.  We are all connected to / part of the God-Force / Goddess Energy / Great Spirit - and can access power from our Spirit as we learn to clear our inner channel to The Source.  That is what the 11 th step is about, learning how to access power from our Spirit by opening our inner channel to communication - through prayer and meditation, talking to and listening to - with our own inner intuitive channel to the Higher Power.)

As long as I was being dishonest with myself about the levels of my motives that were arising out of the selfishness of human ego self, I was set up to feel like a victim of the people I was trying to help because I was such a "nice" guy.

"When we are reacting out of our codependency, unconsciously reacting out of our childhood emotional wounds and programming, then we are not capable of being honest with ourselves or others.  A codependent doesn't rescue or try to save someone they "love" for the other persons benefit - they do it for themselves.  A parent who keeps rescuing a child from self destructive behavior is on some level trying to be loving - but at the deepest level they are trying to rescue themselves from the pain of seeing their child destroy themselves.  They are being selfish - which is human and normal - but they are doing it dishonestly by telling themselves they are doing it for the other person.  This is a set up to feel victimized - and to abuse and shame the child/loved one for their behavior.  "How can you do this to me after all I have done for you?"" - Enabling & Rescuing vs Tough Love
And the absolute hardest part of recovery for most of us, is learning to see our behavior clearly without feeling ashamed and guilty about our humanness.  It was so important for me to see that there were always multiple levels to my motives, so I could stop judging myself so harshly when I uncovered ego selfishness in the way I was relating to other people.
"I want to clarify and expand on the response I wrote in 1998 to reflect what I reiterate in so much of my writing, that recovery is not black and white - there are multiple levels to everything, including our motives.
"Codependence is a disease of reversed focus - it is about focusing outside of ourselves for self-definition and self-worth.  That sets us up to be a victim.  We have worth because we are Spiritual Beings not because of how much money or success we have - or how we look or how smart we are.  When self-worth is determined by looking outside it means we have to look down on someone else in order to feel good about ourselves - this is the cause of bigotry, racism, class structure, and Jerry Springer.

The goal is to focus on who we really are - get in touch with the Light and Love within us and then radiate that outward.  I think that is what Mother Theresa did.  I can't know for sure because I never met her, and it can be difficult to tell looking from the outside where a person's focus is.  Mother Theresa could have been a raging codependent who was doing good on the outside in order to feel good about herself - or she could have been being True to her Self by accessing the Love and Light within and reflecting it outward.  Either way the effect was that she did some great things - the difference would have been how she felt about herself at the deepest levels of her being - because it does not make any real difference how much validation we get from outside if we are not Loving ourselves.  If I did not start working on knowing that I had worth as a Spiritual Being - that there is a Higher Power that Loves me - it would never have made any real difference how many people told me I was wonderful." - The codependency movement is NOT ruining marriages! Chapter 1

I believe that Mother Teresa probably accessed the Truth within her and started focusing on that - which led her to do for others.  What is typical of a Spiritual Path in the beginning of awakening to consciousness, is that maybe 10% of the levels of our motives are focused on Higher Truth - our intuitive guidance - and 90% about stopping the pain.  As I said in an early chapter we don't just wake up one morning and say, "Hey, I think it would be fun to do some emotional healing today."  We start our healing process because we are in pain.

As we commit to following our Spiritual Path wherever it leads - to our own Higher Self being True - that percentage increases over time because having the faith to commit to following a Spiritual Path produces miracles which increase faith.  If Mother Teresa was a Truly Enlightened being, maybe by the end of her life her focus was 90% on serving her Soul, the Higher Truth she had accessed through her inner channel - and only 10% of the levels involved in her motives still coming out of damaged human ego self, out of trying to earn Love, to prove worth.

I am just kind of pulling those percentages out of thin air, in order to try to make a point that recovery is about progress not perfection.  We make gradual progress in becoming more conscious and focusing on higher purpose rather than the baser / humanly selfish levels.  We were never doing things completely out of ego selfishness, we just had to lie to ourselves about it because we were taught it was shameful.  It is not a black and white dynamic.  Our motives are never just codependent - we do care.  It was because we were taught that it is shameful to be selfish that we had to learn to be dishonest with ourselves.  It is because we are not owning all the levels of our motives - including the selfish, self serving ones - that we are not seeing ourselves clearly.  Codependency in relationships starts with our relationship with our self.  It is our relationship with ourselves that is dysfunctional - which causes us to be dishonest and manipulative with others.

When I was being nice to people while still completely unconscious to my disease, it was in part because I am a good person, a nice person - a being with a True heart connection.  But I was blinded to my True Self by all the dysfunctional messages I had gotten in childhood.  Those messages were both directly stated - by my parents and teachers, by the Spiritually abusive lies of a shame-based religion, by other people, including other children - and indirect from:  the role modeling of the adults in my life;  from fairy tales, books, movies, songs, etc.;  from the interpretations of my undeveloped mind based upon how it felt to be a human child.  I suffered emotional trauma because of the behavior of the wounded human beings around me.  So my perspective of myself - as a physical, emotional, spiritual being - was distorted and warped.  I could not see myself clearly - so could not see life and other people clearly.

So, I was doing nice things for other people in part because of who I Truly am - but I had to lie to myself and tell myself that the only reason I was doing those things was because I was a nice person.  I was dishonest with myself about the fact that I had expectations of getting something in return - that I was in part at least, being manipulative.  That dishonesty led me to feeling like a victim of other people not doing what I wanted them to.  (see Serenity and Expectations.)

It was this dishonesty with self that kept me being a victim, a negative co-creator in my life.  When I got into recovery is when I started to make a transition to being a positive co-creator in my life." - Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Chapter 7: Multiple levels of selfishness

Recovery is a process of making progress rather than achieving perfection.  We are works in progress - and we are not the artist who is in control of the process.  We are co-creators because we do have the power to change our attitudes and make better choices about our behaviors.  What we are doing in codependency recovery is learning how to change the things we can out of Love and compassion for our own wounds instead of out of fear, shame, and pain.  Being patient with ourselves as we uncover and discover our codependency is vital in recovery.  And so hard!

We are learning to compassionately accept where we are at in any given moment in time, at any given point on our Spiritual path - at the same time we take whatever action we can to change any attitudes or behaviors we are uncomfortable with / that are dysfunctional in that they are not working to meet our needs in the long run, are not aligned with our Soul purpose in the long run.  Sometimes there is behavior that it is not time to change yet for whatever reason, and then it is so important to work on changing our attitudes towards that behavior so that we don't shame and judge ourselves so harshly.  As long as we are shaming ourselves for some behavior, we will probably keep doing it.  (Sometimes we can judge and shame ourselves into some behavioral change - but that is dysfunctional in the long run because it is not Loving.  An example would be a dry alcoholic who is not drinking out of ego and will power.  Dry alcoholics are some of the most miserable people on the face of the planet.)

Wow, that was a whole major digression that I didn't see coming.  What I was leading up to saying is that I am very proud in the accomplishment that is the body of writing I have done for the internet.  It is a great accomplishment that I feel very good about - but it is not what gives me worth.  I have worth because I am a magnificent Spiritual Being who is part of the ONENESS of ALL THAT IS / God / Goddess / Great Spirit - just as each and every one of us is.  Accomplishing is something I can take pride in because I made choices to use the talent and intelligence I have - and I took the action that produced this writing.  It would be false pride for me to think I have worth because of my inherent gifts, my talent and intelligence. It would be codependent to believe that my worth is based upon being a human "doing" - based upon what I have done or what you think of what I have done, because of my writing or the positive testimonials I get from people all over the world.

God I Love this process!  I am crying and sobbing from Joy as I write this Update.  Once again, everything is unfolding perfectly - and my writing is serving my recovery process and vice versa.

This writing has led me right back to one of the earliest articles that I wrote in 1996.

"True pride comes from action taken. It is false pride to feel good about ourselves in comparison because of looks, talent, intelligence or for being forced to become spiritual, healthy, or sober. Those are gifts. True pride is taking credit for the action we have taken to foster, nurture, and maintain those gifts." - A Dance of Shame, Suffering, and Self-abuse - the codependent three step
In that article, I talk about how important it is to stop buying into the toxic shame that is the core of the disease of codependence.  As I say in my book, codependence feeds on shame - and as long as we are shaming and judging ourselves we are perpetuating the disease.  As I also write all the time, part of codependency is black and white thinking.  We cannot flip a switch and turn off the disease dynamics - it is a long gradual process.

Part of the reason I am crying as I type this sentence, is the Joy of how the process works - another part of the reason is the incredible grief and the pain of how long it can seem to take at times.  In that article that I wrote in 1996, I was talking about how we need to take the shame out of our internal process at the same time we start taking actions that are more Loving for ourselves.  The things we have the power to change are our own attitudes and behaviors.  And one of the most important - and hardest - principles for us to apply in our lives is patience with our own process.  This goes hand in hand with learning to develop True humility.

"One of those principles - that really scared me when I first heard I had to develop it - was humility.  I equated humility with humiliation because of my toxic shame.

In Truth, humility really means to see clearly.  To see that as a human being the reality is that I am not perfect.  There are some areas I am strong in - that I have gifts, abilities, talents, skills - and some that I am weak in.  None of us human beings are perfect in our humanness - we are all perfect in our Spiritual essence.

One person will be talented in one area but weak in another.  Because we got the message in childhood that we were supposed to be perfect, that it was shameful to be 'wrong' - and we were taught to look outside and compare ourselves to determine our worth - we focused on our strengths as proof we were better than others.  Which also meant we needed to deny our weaknesses - or deny that the areas in which we were weak had any importance.  Humility is about owning both our strengths and our weaknesses - and realizing that all human beings have both strengths and weaknesses.

Looking outside of ourselves for self-definition and self-worth means that we have to judge people in order to feel good about ourselves.  There is no other way to do it when you look outside.

We were taught to have ego-strength through judgment - better than, prettier than, smarter than, richer than, stronger than, etc., etc.

In a Codependent society everyone has to have someone to look down on in order to feel positive about him/herself.  This is the root of all bigotry, racism, sexism, and prejudice in the world.

True self-worth does not come from looking down on anyone or anything.  True self-worth comes from awakening to our connection to everyone and everything.

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.

When we start looking within and celebrating the Truth of who we Truly are, then we can celebrate our unique differences instead of judging them out of fear.

When I started to open up to the concept that there was a Higher Power who Loved me Unconditionally, then I could start getting past the shame to seeing the gray area.  Then I could start to stop reacting out of the black and white, fear based programming of my damaged ego.

When I started to be open to seeing myself more clearly, then I could start to see that I had more in common with other human beings than I had differences.  Then I could start to see that thinking I was better than someone else because of a gift is false pride.  A gift is just that - a gift.  Talent, intelligence, looks - those are gifts to be cherished and cultivated, not standards for feeling better than another human being.

Through working the twelve step program, I could start to understand that every cloud has a silver lining.  (I just flashed on my mother in childhood telling me that every curse is also a blessing - in regard to my emotional sensitivity I believe.  We do hear messages of Spiritual Truth from early on - it is applying them to our lives that we need some help figuring out how to do.)  A gift also carries obligations with it.  Though feeling pride about a gift was false - what I could take pride in was the action I took to cultivate that gift.   (Which of course I had not done in some cases because of the black and white thinking and toxic shame - I was afraid to take a risk because I was sure I would fail.  Another thing to realize I was powerless over and forgive myself for.)

Through starting to see myself more clearly - by stopping the shame of self and judgment of others to protect myself from that shame - then I could more easily see that we were more alike than different.  Then I could start to be open to believing that maybe I had worth and deserved Love - and that you did also.

Feeling shameful and reacting to life from fear, caused me to focus on how I was different (and better, or worse) than you.  The more I could start to see that I am not perfect and that it is OK - the more I could access the acceptance to allow you to not be perfect." - The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process - a formula for integration and balance

One of the parts I get to play in this recovery adventure I am on, is role modeling for other people that it is okay to be imperfect and human.  Much of my journal writing is about my imperfections and my struggle to change the things I can at the same time I am working on accepting the things I cannot change.  Writing this section of this Update has touched me so deeply because one of the challenges that I have dealt with for years in Loving myself and having patience with my path, is to accept that I was Lovable and worthy even though I was still engaging in certain behaviors - tools from my old survival tool box - that I was still powerless to change for some reason.

These old behaviors had to do with a bottom line issue for me - one I spoke of in that October 2000 Update (link below) I mentioned previously - that had to do in part with blaming my physical body for trapping me here and separating me from God.  Those old behaviors have given me a tremendous and often painful opportunity to keep working on accepting myself as a work in progress, accepting where I was at on my path - in spite of behavior that I knew were self destructive in some ways.  They also gave me the opportunity for more practice in not letting other people's judgments of me to have power - and to keep working on knowing and accepting that I am unconditionally Loved today and every day no matter what my behavior is.

It is perfect that I get to revisit the article from 1996 as I write this Update, because the day I am finishing this Update is the day that I believe that I have reached the milestone of being able to let go one of those old behaviors for good.  I hope and pray that my feeling about this being a major new beginning for me in relationship to the bottom line issue of how I treat myself physically, is the Truth.  I will probably let you know in my next Update.

Me and my writing continued (finally)

I do Love this process of writing - which makes it a little strange that I probably won't be doing more writing in the immediate future.  But that is the way my path is unfolding.  I spoke in my August Update last year, about how the transformational relationship experience I had last year had changed my relationship with my writing.

"Those insights also helped me see more clearly the other part of the reason - besides the deep grieving that I have been doing - that I have not been able to get into my focused writing space for so long.  They have helped to see more clearly how my relationship with my writing has changed because of the major transformation that has been unfolding in my life this year.
"I went through a transformation that brought me to critical mass in relationship to the issue of Loving and being Loved - and a paradigm shift manifested that changed my core ego programming.

This is a major transformational milestone in my recovery process that has changed my relationship with life and Love forever." - March 2004 Update Newsletter

My life has Truly been transformed here in 2004 - and I am just starting to explore what it is going to look like in the coming weeks and months, what my new routine is going to be.  This what I call a More Will Be Revealed time - a time of venturing into the unknown. . . . . .

. . . . . This web site, my writing and my work, are no longer the first priority in my life." - August 2004 Update

I did do more writing after that - the processing I posted in my journal in November.  Since then however, I have done very little writing.  I am not sure if I will ever do as much writing as I did from 98 to last year again.  One of the things I saw clearly last year, was that I have enough content on this web site to not feel as if I have to keep adding tons of new stuff.  I will be adding new stuff, but not nearly as prolifically as I did before.

When I got to this part in writing this Update, I realized that I had said much of what I was planning on saying here again, in my August Update last year.  So, I am going to use some long quotes from that Update to make the points I was leading up to, and getting clearer on for myself, in writing this Update.

In February 2004, I had the tremendous, miraculous gift of Truly opening my heart to another human being in an intimate relationship for the first time in my life.  The reason I was able to do that, was that I opened my heart to my self in a way I had never before been capable of.

"I have learned to be more Loving to myself and others in every year I have been in recovery in all areas - but romantic relationships were one area where I was still a relative novice because of the relationship phobia that I have had in my adult life.  I had learned, and knew, a great deal about relationship dynamics and how to be healthier in relationships on a theoretical level, but had not ever experienced an emotionally intimate relationship to the depths and with the authentic experiential reality of my Romantic Adventure here in 2004.

As I have said in other places in my writing about romantic relationships - the only way to really learn how to do a romantic relationship is to be in one.  And as I also say often - I believe that romantic relationships are the greatest arena for spiritual and emotional growth available to us because those are the relationships that involve every level of our being.  Which also means that I believe that anyone who is trying to attain higher consciousness and enlightenment in a way that includes celibacy is taking the easier, softer way - and is denying a fundamental, vital element of their humanity.  It takes a great deal of courage to consciously - as opposed to addictively - take the risk of Loving and losing in a romantic relationship.  Being serene and happy and tuned into Joy a great deal of the time is relatively much easier when alone - when one does not have a personal heart investment in an actual imperfect wounded person who is present to push one's buttons / trigger the fear of intimacy defenses.

The way to Truly grow spiritually and emotionally in a substantial manner is to be willing to go through the messy emotional stuff.

"If you have ever wondered why it is so much easier to feel Spiritual in relationship to nature or animals, here is your answer.  It was people who wounded us in childhood.  It is people who our egos developed defense systems to protect us from.

I have told people for years, that the only reason to do inner child healing work is if we are going to interact with other people.  If one is going to live in isolation on a mountain top meditating, it will be fairly easy to feel Spiritually connected.  It is relating to other human beings that is messy." - Reprogramming our dysfunctional ego defenses

It seems much easier in the short run to live in isolation.  It is possible for someone to fool themselves into believing that their pet(s) can meet their emotional intimacy needs, and nature can help them meet their spiritual connection needs - and that they are better off without a messy intimate relationship with another person.  But there is a price to pay for not being willing to take the risk of opening one's heart.  We are here to learn to open our hearts, to reconnect with Love - and there is no arena that serves as a better catalyst for learning to open our hearts than a romantic relationship with another human being.  It is a gift to have someone who is willing to help us learn how to be emotionally intimate with a romantic partner. . . . . .

. . . . . What I realized today however, is that part of the reason is that I was not very emotionally invested in life was that I was living alone in isolation.  Rather I lived or died was not that big a deal because it was just going to be a transition to a better place when I exited this Illusion.

It was when I opened my heart to Loving another human being that I made an emotional investment in being alive that made life precious enough to me to desperately want to keep living.  If we are not taking the risk of Loving and losing, then we are not being Truly Alive.  It was because I was taking the risk of opening my heart that it sometimes felt that life would not be worth living if I lost that Love.

This is part of the paradox of this temporary illusion of being human that I have come to understand this year more clearly and deeply than ever before - one of the gifts of this experience for me.  If we are not taking the risk of Loving and losing, then we are not really embracing all that life has to offer.  Part of the reason we are here in body is to Touch each other.  That brings to mind a quote from a book about Native American beliefs that I use in my Trilogy

"The Sun Dancer believes that each person is a unique Living Medicine Wheel, powerful beyond imagination, that has been limited and placed upon this earth to Touch, Experience, and Learn...........They had no understanding of limitation, no experience of substance. These beings were total energy of the Mind, without Body or Heart. They were placed upon this earth that they might Learn the things of the Heart through Touching." - Hyemeyohsts Storm, Seven Arrows  (My apologies to Mr. Storm because I use this without permission - since I haven't published it in book form yet - in The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy  Book 1 - "In The Beginning . . ." History of the Universe Part I  The Creation dream)
We are here to Learn things of the Heart through Touching!

The gift of touch is an incredibly wonderful gift.  One of the reasons we are here is to touch each other physically as well as Spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  Touch is not bad or shameful.  Our creator did not give us sensual and sexual sensations that feel so wonderful just to set us up to fail some perverted, sadistic life test.  Any concept of god that includes the belief that the flesh and the Spirit cannot be integrated, that we will be punished for honoring our powerful human desires and needs, is - in my belief - a sadly twisted, distorted, and false concept that is reversed to the Truth of a Loving God-Force.

We need to strive for balance and integration in our relationships.  We need to touch in healthy, appropriate, emotionally honest ways - so that we can honor our human bodies and the gift that is physical touch.

Making Love is a celebration and a way of honoring the Masculine and Feminine Energy of the Universe (and the masculine and feminine energy within no matter what genders are involved), a way of honoring its perfect interaction and harmony.  It is a blessed way of honoring the Creative Source.

One of the most blessed and beautiful gifts of being in body is the ability to feel on a sensual level.  Because we have been doing human backwards, we have been deprived of the pleasure of enjoying our bodies in a guilt-free, shame-free, manner.  By striving for integration and balance we can start to enjoy our human experience - on a sensual level as well as on the emotional, mental, and Spiritual levels. - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

If we can't get past our fear of intimacy enough to take the risk of exploring a romantic relationship with another being - then we are not Truly embracing this human experience.  If we are not willing to do the messy emotional work to heal our wounds enough to take the risk of Loving and losing, then we are just enduring being human - keeping our self distracted and busy until we die.  If we aren't here to learn to Love, then why the fuck are we here?!?!

Boy, I didn't see this coming when I started writing today!   I AM SO ANGRY RIGHT NOW!   So angry that it is so hard to Love another human being in a romantic relationship.  We have been so wounded emotionally - and had our relationships with our sexuality so screwed up by shame based cultures - that it makes it phenomenally difficult not just to have a relatively healthy romantic relationship, but even to find someone who is remotely capable of exploring the possibility with us." - August 2004 Update

A major goal for me in 2005 is to be more involved in life.  I have taken steps to be more Alive and involved with other human beings this year.  My time of living in isolation in a beautiful place I Love, focused on my writing, was a wonderful, wonderful chapter in my life.  But I entered this year knowing that I wanted to be more involved in the experience of living from now on than in writing about it from an intellectual, theoretical perspective.
"As I said earlier, it had never even occurred to me that anything but my work would be the first priority in my life.  I was quite content with living in isolation with my writing in a place I love - living Joy-fully relating to nature without any messy emotional intimacy in my life.  The transformation I went through in February of this year, after breaking up the relationship I had with the woman whom I believe is my Twin Soul, led to me opening my heart to her and changed my life - "changed my relationship with life and Love forever" as I said in the quote from my March Update that I used above.

I was writing furiously for my journal during this transformation time - trying to sort out and get clear on what is happening.  I was going through a rapid and intense transformation that was revealing new facets of the "new me" almost daily in March of this year.  On the morning of March 18th I realized that the relationship was now the first priority in my life.  This is what I said in an e-mail to her that day.

"In doing that however another shift occurred in my perspective.  My number 1 priority has always got to be myself, taking care of myself, doing what I need to do for my recovery and healing.  And part of the commitment to myself is to my mission, which is an inseparable part of my recovery and Spiritual Path - an internal thing not an external thing.  My mission isn't some external thing I have to be committed to - it is part of being committed to myself, it is part of me.  I think maybe this new level of compassion for myself has made me more whole - more integrated than ever before.

What I realized the thoughts about wanting to be there for you this morning meant - what on one level I called wanting to be your sanctuary - is that Loving you has become my number 1 priority externally,  That you have first call on my time and energy any time you need it." - Joy2MeU Journal My Unfolding Dance 32 March 2004

One of the things I realized then was that I have plenty of material written already - more than most of you will probably ever read.  That doesn't mean that I won't keep writing - I have enough writing projects in the works to keep me busy for the rest of the year - but I will never again allow my writing to be an excuse to short change someone I am in relationship with.  I did that when I was actually in a romantic relationship with my Twin Soul from December until the beginning of February when I broke up with her.  I will never again let my work damage a relationship!  . . . .

. . . . . I will no longer accept that I can't have a romantic relationship in my life.  On August 18th, as I was getting ready to go to one of the CoDA meetings here locally that I started and continue to serve as secretary for, I had an insight.  It was one of those slight shifts in perspective that suddenly shine a new Light on some issue, situation, event, whatever.  This insight brought me great Joy - and some of that sobbing and crying again.

The insight had to do with realizing what the adjective is that most describes my experience of 2004 thus far.  That it has been a very difficult and painful time - perhaps the most painful time - in my recovery is something I have been writing and talking about for some time.  But, as I noted above in the writing I did a couple of weeks ago, it has not been the most difficult time.  I also could not say that it was the most Joyous - although there has been a lot of Joy mixed in with the pain.  And then yesterday the adjective came to me.

The year of 2004 has been for me, the single most EXCITING period of time in my life.  It was exciting because I was given the opportunity and gift of developing some deep emotional intimacy with another human being.  I opened my heart to another human being for the first time in my adult life - and though I got my heart broken, it was a glorious adventure.  It was exciting because I was Alive in a way that can only come with involvement in an emotionally intimate relationship with another being - with a True vibrational Love connection between souls in body." - August 2004 Update

My focus in my recovery has more and more become about being willing to face my fears and take the risk of experiencing, instead of just writing about the theory of the experience of living and Loving.  Now I don't believe it is Truly possible to fully experience living without Loving.  What I got in touch with last year, was my own capacity to Love.  It still today as I write this, causes me to tear up with Joy and Gratitude that I have gotten in touch with an awesome capacity to Love on a personal intimate level.  I have for years expressed Love in my writing, but actually experiencing Loving another human being in a personal intimate relationship is a Truly amazing gift.
"I believe what I said in my March Update - that I quoted above:
"What I believe has been revealed in recent days and weeks is that - though the mission of spreading the message will continue on some level as long as I am in my present body - the primary focus of my life in the future has shifted to Loving and experiencing being Loved in an the intimate union with my Twin Soul (or soul mate if that is to be - hopefully the Universe has not helped me open my heart without having someone in the wings waiting for me to Love.)  I believe, I feel very strongly, that I am finally ready for the life partner I have been seeking forever - and that my days of wandering in the wilderness in isolation on a personal level are about to end." - Joy2MeU Newsletter March 2004 - Opening to Love
It appears that my focus now is going to be finding the Soul Mate that I believe is out there.  I am going to do what it takes to find the woman who is going to be willing to explore emotional intimacy with me.  That is of course easier said that done because it cannot happen with just any woman.  It has to be someone that I have some physical attraction to for one thing - but even more important it has to be someone who I feel a strong vibrational connection to, an energetic attraction to/relationship with.  I don't believe that my Higher Power has arranged for me to learn to open my heart without having a plan to allow me to have the type of relationship that I have always wanted.  I want to be with someone who Loves me and cherishes being in relationship with me - who will give me the chance to be a "receptacle for Love to flow into" - and who has done enough healing that she will be open to allowing me to Love her.  I believe that one of my Soul Mates - (see The True Nature of Love - part 6, Twin Souls, Souls Mates, and Kindred Spirits) whom I have not yet settled all my Karma with - is in body at this time, and hopefully has been preparing to be reunited with me.  Finding her is going to be a priority in my life now." - August 2004 Update
The women from last year, that I believed was my Twin Soul is no longer in the picture in any way.  I don't know if she is in fact my twin soul or not.  I can't really know that with certainty.  What I know is that she was a catalyst for the greatest single period of growth I have ever experienced.  I will be forever grateful to her for that.

In writing the last article on Suite 101 in the sub series about that relationship experience that I published at the end of December, I talked of how far I had come in the process of letting go of her - of letting go of my dream of what she and I could be together.  I shared how she had run away from our relationship 6 times - and had come back 5 times.

"I am glad that she came back 5 times, because that gave me the opportunity to clean up my side of the street.  I am very sorry that she is still powerless to stop her ego defenses from causing her to go into reaction to the extremes.  I am very sad that she is not at the point in her recovery / Spiritual path where she is willing to do the healing to make amends to her self and to me for her reactions.  I have accepted that she is not going to be in my life again

As I finish up this series of articles, as I come to the end of the incredibly transformational year that 2004 has been for me, I remember something that I was told in probably the first 48 hours of being in treatment 21 years ago next week.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

It was not insane to allow her - to welcome her - back into my life 5 times, because there were more layers of my issues to peal, more to be learned from this particular teacher.  Letting her back in a 6th time would most likely be insanity.  She probably has a long ways to go before she can overcome her powerlessness over her codependency - and she will do it at a perfect time and in a perfect way for her Spiritual Path.  I accept now - and it is very sad to me - that her path and mine are probably not going to cross again in this lifetime.  I am profoundly grateful for the lessons I learned from interacting with her.  I will always treasure the special moments we shared.  But I am moving on.  I deserve to have someone in my life who is capable of Loving and allowing themselves to be Loved.  I deserve to have someone in my life who is willing to keep communicating and to make a commitment to working through issues instead of reacting by running away from them and stopping all communication.

One way that I can prove to myself that I deserve to be in a relationship that is nurturing and growing and Loving is to say no to a relationship that isn't.   It is time for me to take responsibility for protecting myself against her codependency by Knowing that I am not willing to do the same thing over again with the same result.  I am moving on, and looking for the soul mate that has been preparing herself for our reunion.  It is time for me to meet her again so that I can learn more about Loving and being Loved.  I have reached the point where I have bid goodbye in my heart to the woman who was my teacher in 2004." - Codependence Recovery - Taking Responsibility  Part 2

I had gone most of the way to letting go of her when I wrote that article.  And then something happened that I have never experienced so powerfully previously.  A communication from her about that article - and an e-mail that she sent me on January 2nd (my e-mail response to that one was the last communication between us) - opened my eyes to some facets of the relationship experience I had not seen clearly before.  I read that e-mail through one time - and I was completely done with the relationship.  Instantaneously it was over for me absolutely.  In writing this today - because of the digression above - I realize that what happened in the moment of my reading that e-mail, was that any ties / chords of energy that were still in place from me to her were completely severed.  Never before have I experienced such a clear and clean and complete closure of anything in my recovery process.  It was a blessed gift and a miracle.

And of course, it was perfect timing in the Cosmic Scheme of things.  Because 10 days later I was contacted for the first time by someone who just might be that soul mate I stated that I was going to be looking for in the August Update and December Suite 101 article.

I am now in a new chapter of the healing of my fear of intimacy issues.  My Higher Power has once again answered the challenge that I have thrown out in previous Updates, and wrote about in my Update for last August.  For those of you who haven't read that Update, this is the challenge I threw out to the Universe in it:

"I declare here today, August 30th, 2004, that I am ready to meet any challenge the Universe wants to throw at me that will serve my quest to reconnect with Love.  I believe that the greatest service I can do to my own healing and recovery process - and to the Planetary Healing process - is to explore emotional intimacy in a Loving romantic relationship.  If it is part of the Divine Plan for my Twin Soul to awaken to our connection and decide that she wants to be my partner in this journey that would be wonderful and a True gift of Grace.  If however, it is not possible in the Divine Scheme of things for us to be reunited until our next lifetime, then guide me to the Soul Mate that is to be my next teacher and partner in this quest for Love.  Full sped ahead in the direction of Love is the theme and the direction!!!
Once again I reaffirm and declare my commitment to being an ally with the Spirit where Love lives instead of with the disease where fear rules.
Bring it on Universe!!!!  Whatever it takes!!!!
Screw the fear - I Demand to be Guided to Love!!!"

The Universe answered my prayer / affirmation / challenge by bringing a new teacher into my life to help me do some more work on healing my relationship with myself - healing my fear of intimacy issues.  And my Higher Power arranged that I would be completely through with the last experience before this one appeared in my life.  Very cool.

Rather this person is someone / the soul mate, that is going to be in my life long term or not I do not know at this time.  It is possible that she is a brilliant flaming shooting star who is flashing through my world to illuminate some things / issues that I needed to see with more clarity - a catalyst of growth and awakening.  Perhaps I will get to once more experience a broken heart and the grief that goes with it.  I don't get to know that right now.  What is important is that I am willing to take the risk - and the Universe has brought a very special lady into my life to help me learn.  I am hoping that she is the special woman who will be willing and able to surrender to opening her heart to me, to surrender to the experience of Loving me - while I surrender completely to the experience of Loving her, to opening my heart to her.  More will be revealed about how this newest adventure is going to unfold.

So anyway, I thought this was going to be a pretty short Update - but as usual, I got a bit wordy.  Oh well.  It has helped me get some more clarity.  If it proved of value to you, that is very cool.  2005 is going to be another interesting and exciting year.  Hopefully it won't be nearly as painful as last year - but whatever it takes, wherever I am led, that is where I am willing to go in my Quest to experience Love.

Wish Wishes of Great Joy and Love to You and Me,
Go to June 2005 Update

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

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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 thru 2009 by Robert Burney PO Box 235401 Encinitas CA 92023.

The Medicine Card (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.  Although I don't have permission to quote this specific quote from the Medicine card book here -  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)