Acceptance is the Answer
This graphic is quote from my favorite story in the AA Big Book.
“This chapter - which used to be called "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict" - was written by a man named Dr. Paul. It was from his chapter that I got a lot of the basic foundation for my codependency recovery. His chapter was instrumental in my search for a Higher Power of my own understanding.” - Inspiration from the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous
When I reposted this on Facebook recently, someone asked how it was possible to accept really hard things.
"It is so much easier said than done. How does one accept that their whole family just got slaughtered in front of them? How does one accept that their wife went missing and can't be found? How does one accept that 2 thirds of the world live in dire poverty? Yes I practice acceptance each and every day but I can also completely understand those who fall apart and are complete messes emotionally due to simply being human on this Earth."
This question is a multi-level, complicated, complex question because acceptance is a multi-dimensional principle - not easily answered. I answered briefly - and said that I would email her later when I had some time to give her a longer answer.
_______, it is very hard - but the bottom line is that reality is what it is, and we don't have to the power to change it. We only have the power to change our attitude towards it. A key piece of it for me, was to own my right to be angry at God about reality. I used to rage and curse at god about realities that I found unacceptable. I didn't have a personal intimate relationship with a Higher Power until I owned my rage at god. I will email you later, don't have time to write more now - but it is very hard to accept so many things in life.
Then several other people asked to be included in the answer - so I decided to make it an article. Thus this article Acceptance is the Answer.
Life on Life's Terms
"One of the reasons for the human dilemma, for the confusion that humans have felt about the meaning and purpose of life, is that more than one level of reality comes into play in the experience of being human. Trying to apply the Truth of one level to the experience of another has caused humans to become very confused and twisted in our perspective of the human experience. It is kind of like the difference between playing the one-dimensional chess that we are familiar with, and the three-dimensional chess played by the characters of Star Trek - they are two completely different games.
That is the human dilemma - we have been playing the game with the wrong set of rules. With rules that do not work. With rules that are dysfunctional.” - Author's Foreword from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
(Trxt in this color are quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)
A big part of recovery is learning to live life by the rules that actually govern life, instead of what we got taught in childhood. The purpose - in my understanding - of learning to live life by the Spiritual Principles underlying the twelve step recovery process, is to learn to live in alignment with Metaphysical Law. And learning to live life by Metaphysical Law can be distilled down to learning to live the Serenity Prayer in our lives.
"We learned about life as children and it is necessary to change the way we intellectually view life in order to stop being the victim of the old tapes. By looking at, becoming conscious of, our attitudes, definitions, and perspectives, we can start discerning what works for us and what does not work. We can then start making choices about whether our intellectual view of life is serving us - or if it is setting us up to be victims because we are expecting life to be something which it is not."
"In order to stop giving our power away, to stop reacting out of our inner children, to stop setting ourselves up to be victims, so that we can start learning to trust and Love ourselves, we need to begin to practice discernment.
Discernment is having the eyes to see, and the ears to hear - and the ability to feel the emotional energy that is Truth.
We cannot become clear on what we are seeing or hearing if we are reacting to emotional wounds that we have not been willing/able to feel and subconscious attitudes that we have not been willing/able to look at.
We cannot learn to trust ourselves as long as we are still setting ourselves up to be victimized by untrustworthy people. We cannot learn to Love ourselves enough to meet our own needs until we start to release the attitudes and feelings that tell us that we are unworthy - that it is somehow shameful to be ourselves. We cannot learn to Love ourselves without learning discernment.
The black and white thinking of Codependence causes us to either keep the baby in the dirty bath water or throw out both. Discernment is picking the baby out of the dirty bath water."
(All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)
This is the first in a series of articles which are going to be focused on applying the Serenity Prayer in our lives so that it is possible to take responsibility for our lives and learn to be more Loving to our selves. For anyone who is not familiar with the Serenity Prayer, here is the commonly accepted version of it - followed by my own personal adapted version.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
(The Serenity Prayer is generally thought to have been written by Reinhold Niebuhr)
God / Goddess / Great Spirit, please help me to access:
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (life, other people),
the courage and willingness to change the things I can (me, my own attitudes and behaviors),
and the wisdom and clarity to know the difference.
This is such a powerful, simple, and functional formula for living life that references to it comes up in my writing quite often. I am probably going to be devoting a number of articles to sharing how I have learned to apply this prayer - this mystical guideline for spiritual integration and emotional balance - into my relationship with life in order to achieve some serenity, to find some happiness and peace in my human experience.
I think it is pretty obvious that the most important component in this prayer is "the wisdom to know the difference." Without the wisdom to know the difference between the things we cannot change and the things we can change, the prayer really has little application. The way that we learn to have wisdom is by learning to practice discernment." - Discernment - The Wisdom to Know the Difference in Serenity Prayer
And a major piece of this dysfunctional programming that it is vital to get conscious of so that we can change it - has to do with dying.
We were taught that death is a great tragedy and that we should spend our lives fearing and ignoring it. We were taught to fear death and to never live life. That's backwards.
Death is a transition, a transformation, death is a milestone in the longer journey. It is not a tragedy to be feared - it is an eventuality to be accepted. What is tragedy is not enjoying living while we are here.
The Truth is that we all die. No one is getting out of here alive.
"When I began my quest to understand how it was possible that there could be a Higher Power, a God-Force, that was Loving - one of the first limiting perspectives I needed to enlarge was my perspective of life and death.
As the quote from my book above states, death is a transition. The Soul / Spirit leaves the physical body at death - but the Soul does not die. The energy that is the Soul existed prior to birth and continues after death. The Soul has eternal life in my belief." - Spirituality - a broader perspective
As I say in The Dance of Wounded Souls, we are Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience. This is not home. We are in these human bodies temporarily.
"This is not a test we can fail. This is not prison, and we are not being punished. This is boarding school and we do get to go home when we graduate - when the curtain rings down on our part in this particular play.
This is the age of awakening, of raising our consciousness, of becoming aligned with Divine Truth. This age is the time of atoning, of tuning into the higher vibrational emotional energy of Love, Light, Truth, and Joy. This higher vibrational energy is the homing beacon that guides us back home.
There is a reason that we never felt at home here. It is because we have felt disconnected, and then when we made all those attempts to reconnect, we were dialing the wrong number. We were looking outside for the answers.
This is not home. This is also not a prison. This is boarding school and we are getting ready for graduation. And it is all a perfect part of the Divine Script.
We are here to experience this human evolutionary process. The more we awaken to the Truth of who we are (Spiritual beings) and why we are here (to experience being human), and stop giving power to the false gods of money, property and prestige; people, places and things; the more we can celebrate being here!" - The Individual Growth / Recovery Process
So, in my belief, when we die we graduate from boarding school - we transition out of this polarized, emotionally dishonest, patriarchal, Spiritually hostile, shame based environment. Spiritually hostile in my definition meaning: based upon belief in separation (from our Source, from other people, from nature) - instead of connection to everyone and everything. Shame based meaning: founded upon the belief that humans are inherently flawed and defective, shameful.
I will be mentioning and linking to writings about my beliefs in the course of this article. I am going to start off with a long excerpt from an online book that I wrote about the Terrorist Attack of September, 11th, 2001. I started publishing that book online on September 23rd 2001 in response to the unfolding events that I saw as a manifestation of codependency.
"The events of September 11th and the reactions that have been generated by that life event are all about codependence in my view. The act itself was a desperate codependent acting out - the act of wounded souls lashing out at an external manifestation they are blaming for their pain. The reaction from most people in the United States has been very much a codependent reaction. The genesis of the terrorist act was in fact - at least in part - the result of the codependent relationship that the United States of America has with the rest of the world."
I will probably be quoting that online book several times in this article. This first excerpt is about emotional honesty and our perspective of death.
And I would ask you to keep an open mind as you read this. I state here what I stated at the end of the Author's Foreword to Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls:
"So now I share this message with you, the reader of this book, in the hopes that it will help you to remember the Truth of who you are, and why you are here. This information is not meant to be absolute or the final word - it is meant as an alternative perspective for you to consider. A Cosmic Perspective that just might help to make life an easier, more enjoyable experience for you."
Emotional Healing - Owning our Grief
"For most of my life I couldn't cry for me. I could cry for you. I could cry over a sad movie or starving children in Africa - but I could not cry for me. That is a symptom of codependency. Because we feel toxic shame about our being, we can have compassion for other people but not for ourselves.
A very important part of recovery is owning our feelings. That means owning that the grief we are feeling is our personal grief, about the emotional traumas we have suffered in our lives. Telling ourselves we are crying for them is emotionally dishonest. When someone we love dies we do not grieve for them, we grieve for our loss, for our feelings of abandonment.
It is vital to the healing process to focus within, on our relationship with ourselves. Life events trigger unresolved grief. If you have been "falling apart" about the recent events, it is important to own that it is your unresolved grief that is causing the intensity of those emotional reactions. Ask yourself how old you are feeling. This is an opportunity to get more in touch with your wounds so that you can heal them.
It was very sad to me when Princess Diana died, to hear a healer and Spiritual teacher I knew talk about how she had cried for days for Diana. She wasn't crying for Diana - she were crying for her self, for her own wounds. Princess Diana was a very powerful symbol for many women. A symbol of the fairy tale come True. A symbol of the fairy tale being an illusion. If you told yourself you were crying for Diana, you were missing an opportunity to own your feelings, to release some of your grief. (Which of course is not something to judge yourself for - it is something to learn from.)
All human beings share the same emotions, the same emotional process. The reason we feel empathy for others is because we have felt the same feeling. The details of what caused those feelings may be very different, someone else's circumstance may be much more dramatic - but the emotions are the same.
I went to Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings for many months before I spoke. The reason I didn't speak is because my wounding was not as dramatic as theirs. I did not come from an alcoholic home so it appeared that my childhood wasn't as traumatic as theirs. That was the disease lying to me - comparing the outside circumstances in order to minimize my wounding. My wounds are my wounds - and I need to own and honor them. If I don't own my right to my pain, I cannot own me - I cannot Love me. We were all emotionally traumatized in childhood. We had our hearts broken and our Spirits wounded - because our parents were wounded, because civilization is emotionally dysfunctional.
It is very important to own our personal pain. To grieve for our loses, our feelings of abandonment and betrayal. It is vital to grieve for the impact that codependence has had on our lives.
It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around.
It is also very important to take responsibility for our feelings. If we are allowing dysfunctional attitudes and beliefs to define our life experiences, then we are setting ourselves up to generate victim feelings. The intellectual paradigm we are empowering sets up our expectations and perspectives, which in turn dictate our relationships and emotional reactions to life.
Part of the defense system of codependence is disassociating from our own emotions. We had to do that as children - we had to find ways to not be present in our own skins because the emotional pain was too great. One of the primary ways we learned to do that was to be in our heads. Long before we found alcohol or food or work or relationships to distract us, we learn to be in our heads in fantasy.
"What if" and "if only" are fantasies. They are part of the disease thinking. "What if" I had been in that plane. "What if" my loved one was missing. "What if" I had to jump out of that building. To have a fantasy projecting ourselves into a situation and then get all emotional about something that is not real, is part of codependence.
I can remember when I was in College, and some kids were shot and killed by the National Guard at Kent State as part of an anti war protest. I freaked out. "What if" my girlfriend (who was my higher power at the time) had been shot by those National Guardsmen. I can remember crying and sobbing and yelling at my mother on the phone about something that was a fantasy - it wasn't real, it never happened to me.
We create emotions out of the attitudes and perspectives we are holding. It is very important to start taking responsibility for what we are creating emotionally. There is plenty of grief and sadness to go around about real things without having to fantasize. What really happened to me back then was my grief from childhood got triggered but I didn't know how to own it, so I created a fantasy to attach it to.
Empathy is feeling compassion for the pain of others because we can relate out of our common humanity. "Falling apart" or getting hysterical about something that did not happen to us, is a sign that our personal unresolved grief has been triggered.
Emotional honesty and emotional responsibility are very important if we are going to see clearly. See ourselves, other people, life events with any degree of honesty and clarity. This is why the inner child healing work is so important - because until we start having internal boundaries so we can own our grief and change the dysfunctional programming we are not capable of a very high degree of emotional honesty and responsibility.
Death as Transition
One of the dysfunctional attitudes that causes us to have insane expectations and therefore to set ourselves up to create negative emotional experiences is to be in denial about death.
Life is a journey, a process - it's not a destination. Life is continuous and constant change and growth. We were taught to fight and try to control the change, to resist the growth. We were taught to swim upstream, to go against the flow. No wonder we get tired sometimes.
We were taught that death is a great tragedy and that we should spend our lives fearing and ignoring it. We were taught to fear death and to never live life. That's backwards.
Death is a transition, a transformation, death is a milestone in the longer journey. It is not a tragedy to be feared - it is an eventuality to be accepted. What is tragedy is not enjoying living while we are here.
Life is temporary and transient. Ignoring that reality and denying its inevitability, sets us up to be traumatized when something happens to break through our denial. The Truth of existence is that safety and security are illusions that can be gone in an instant.
The reality of this human experience is that we are born alone, we die alone, and in between everyone in our life leaves us or we leave them one way or another. Loss is an inherent and unavoidable part of human life. That means that grief is also inevitable.
However, emotionally dysfunctional, patriarchal societies taught us that being emotional was weak and shameful (whereas violence was strong and necessary), that our worth was determined by external factors, and that life was a test that we might fail if we did it wrong. Since being wrong included being imperfect emotional humans, we were set up to live life dysfunctionally. That is why it is so important to have a Spiritual belief system that helps us make some sense of this human experience we are having.
When I first got into twelve step recovery in January of 1984, I had great resistance to even hearing the word spiritual because I associated it with religion and God. The concept of God that I had grown up with was a mean, vicious SOB - and I didn't want anything to do with that God or anything having to do with religion or spirituality because of the Spiritual abuse I had suffered at the hands of the shaming religion I grew up in.
But I was desperate. I was willing to try anything to stop living in the hell my life had become the last 5 or 6 years of my alcoholic drinking. I was told that spiritual was not the same as religious, and that I could choose a concept of a Higher Power of my own understanding. I was desperate enough to start trying out this 12 step thing - and to consider their idea that maybe there might be a Loving Higher Power.
So I started on a quest to figure out a concept of a Higher Power that could possibly be Loving.
One of the first things I needed to do was to change the context in which I viewed life. I realized that if I looked at this life experience as if it were a one time thing - that our existence began with birth and ended with death - there was no possible way that it could be fair and Loving. Not with billionaires on one hand and children starving to death on the other.
The only way I could see that it was possible that there was a Universal Force that could possibly be Loving, that could possibly Love me in my imperfect humanness, that could possibly have a Divine Plan that was somehow fair and equitable - was over the span of multiple lifetimes. Reincarnation is what made sense when I started searching for some Spiritual answers.
"All the worlds a stage and the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts."
- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act II Scene 1
We have all lived multiple lifetimes. We have all experienced every facet of being human.
We are now not just healing our wounds from this lifetime, we are doing Karmic settlement on a massive scale, at a very accelerated rate.
Karma is the Loving, wonderful law of energy interaction which governs human interaction. Like the other levels of Universal Law, it is about cause and effect. In this case, "what you sow, you reap."
Karmic Law dictates that every action of cause on the Physical Plane is paid for with a consequence of effect on the Physical Plane. In other words, no one can end up in the hole, or in some hell in an afterlife. (Hell is here on earth, and we have all experienced it already.)
Starting to see death as a transition, as a milestone in a longer journey, made life make more sense to me. It at least had the possibility of being fair and Loving, if the part of it I could see was only a small piece of a much larger puzzle.
The next leap was to realizing that if there were such a Force, then it would have to be so powerful that everything was unfolding perfectly. If there is a Loving Higher Power, then everything happens for a reason. There can be no accidents, coincidences or mistakes in such a plan.
If there is such a Higher Power then even the worst tragedies, the greatest injustices, must be part of the Divine Plan in some way, on some level. I realized that not only was it not important that I know why - it was impossible from my limited human perspective. So I needed to start choosing to have faith that such a thing as an All-Powerful, Loving Higher Power existed.
When I started to believe that maybe a Higher Power, a Universal Force, existed which was Truly All-Powerful and Unconditionally Loving then life started to become a lot easier and more enjoyable. Then I could start to see that the "accidents" and "coincidences" are really miracles. That the "mistakes" are really opportunities for growth.
I do not believe that it is possible for any human being to fully understand how it all works, for anyone to see the whole puzzle. What we can do though is to start having some faith, start remembering (what I am doing here is reminding you of what you already know on some level), that all of the pieces do fit together perfectly, that everything is unfolding perfectly according to the Divine purpose of a Loving Universal Force - and that we are Spiritual beings who are a perfect part of that Force who have come to Earth to have this human experience.
It felt to me as if I were remembering things that I couldn't remember ever having known. The feeling of Truth that resonated within me from such statements as "Everything happens for a reason" and "The Force is with you" was so powerful that I paid extra attention to those types of statements - and started integrating them into my emotional relationship with life.
I certainly had never felt like this place was my home. For as long as I can remember, I felt like someone had screwed up in the Transporter room and sent me to the wrong planet. It made sense to me (and brought a great deal of relief) to start believing that being here in human body was just a temporary visit, kind of a Cosmic boarding school - and that since I was part of the ONENESS of a Loving Universal Force, I would of course get to go home when I finished with this role and exited this particular stage.
I realized that I wasn't really figuring things out so much as I was paying attention to where I was led. I started to let myself be guided by my intuition, by the feeling of something resonating within me. One of the first things I was guided to, when I was only about 3 months sober, was a mind boggling, paradigm smashing book called Illusions by Richard Bach. It presented me with concepts that it took me years to understand intellectually. But I knew instantly that the book was full of Truth.
In order to become aligned with Truth so that we can stop the war within and change life into an easier, more enjoyable experience, it is vitally important to become clear in our emotional process and to change the reversed attitudes that we had to adopt to survive. Those reversed attitudes are what cause our dysfunctional perspectives - which in turn, have caused us to have a lousy relationship with life.
I am going to quote from a book now, and again a little later, that is my own personal favorite book of Truth. I feel a great deal of Truth in this book. It has guided me and helped me to remember my Truth and to become conscious of my path. It was a very important part of my personal process of enlarging my perspective - of being able to see this life business in a larger context.
It is a book called Illusions by Richard Bach. This is one of my favorite quotations from that book.
The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.
What a caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.
The "depth of your belief" is about perspective. If we are reacting to life emotionally out of the belief systems we had imposed on us as children we will then see change as tragedy and feel that being forced to grow is shameful. As we change our attitudes toward this life experience, when we can start viewing it as a process, a journey, then we can begin to see that what we used to perceive as problems are really opportunities for growth. Then we can begin to realize that even though our experiences in childhood have caused to think of ourselves as, and feel like, lowly caterpillars - we are in Truth butterflies who are meant to fly.
We are all butterflies. We are all Spiritual Beings.
I used to use the caterpillar - butterfly quote a lot when I spoke. I would usually say something like "a measure of your Spiritual Awakening" instead of "mark of your ignorance" in order to soften it a bit. We codependents are such experts in beating ourselves up and shaming ourselves, that we tend to see the word ignorance as being something that is our fault. In fact, the word ignorance refers to a lack of knowledge, of not being informed. The reason we didn't know how to set boundaries, or have healthy relationships, was because of ignorance caused by not having anyone to teach us - no healthy role models, no resources for learning how to be healthy. We not only did not have resources to teach us how to relate to life and other people in a healthy way - we were taught the very opposite of healthy behavior in most cases.
There is no shame in having been programmed to react to life from unhealthy perspectives. That is what recovery is all about, learning to change our programming so that we can start seeing our self, our relationships, and life more clearly - instead of through a filter of false beliefs and mistaken attitudes. One of the most insidious aspects of the disease of codependence is that, as we awaken and become more conscious - start seeing that we have some part in how our lives have unfolded - the very disease that caused our dysfunctional patterns turns right around and causes us to judge ourselves for the things that are being revealed to us.
The Truth is that we were powerless over the programming adapted by our egos in response to being raised in dysfunctional, patriarchal, emotionally dishonest, shame based, Spiritually hostile environments - until something caused us to start awakening. In most cases, our Spiritual awakenings were caused by some life event that felt like tragedy to us at the time.
As I say in my book, the Universe works with the carrot and stick approach.
The way I think of it is that my Higher Power works with the carrot and stick approach: like a mule driver trying to get a mule moving, he can either dangle a carrot in front of the mule and get the mule moving after the carrot, or he can take a stick and beat him until he gets moving.
It is a lot easier on me to follow the carrots that my Higher Power dangles in front of me than to force the Universe to use a stick to get me moving. Either way I am going to get to where the Universe wants me - but the carrot method is a lot easier on me.
No matter what our personal stick is, whether it is Alcoholism or love addiction or overeating or whatever, it is the vehicle which has forced us to start awakening. It is the blessed gift that has started our awakening to consciousness of our path.
As long as we were living life out of the false belief systems imposed upon us in childhood, we were incapable of hearing the messages. We kept thinking that when we got the relationship, or the money, or the house, or the success, when we got to the destination - then we would get to experience happily ever after.
So, the Universe used the stick to wake us up. Whatever that stick was, whatever life events caused us to start waking up - relationship breakup, DUI, heart attack, emotional break down, whatever - it felt like a tragedy at the time, but was in fact also a gift that brought about a new beginning, a Spiritual awakening.
There is always a silver lining if we look for it. I am talking about having some faith here. We can choose to believe that everything happens for a reason. You know on some level that is the Truth. We cannot know the reasons right now. It may be years before we can see any silver lining at all with what seems a senseless tragedy. Get angry certainly. But if you channel your energy into hatred and bitterness it will hurt you more. Tune into the intuitive Truth within you - everything happens for a reason. It is my belief that even such a catastrophic event as the destruction of the World Trade Center is a perfect part of the Divine Plan of a Loving Higher Power.
Life events are wake up calls. They are opportunities for growth.
If you lost a loved one
If you lost a loved one last Tuesday, if someone who you care about is missing or dead - own your grief. Know that your grief is about you and your loss.
Try to not buy into the messages from the disease that are telling you that you could have done something that would have prevented this loss. Try not to buy into all the guilt and shame messages coming from the disease - that you shouldn't have had that argument with them, or that you should have told them how much you loved them the last time you saw them. The disease is always heaping guilt and shame on us - tell it to shut up. You were doing the best you knew how, there is nothing you can do now to change what has happened.
Be nurturing and Loving to the wounded inner children within you. Tell the wounded inner child that believes he/she is somehow responsible for what has happened, that feels that he/she is being punished by God for being unworthy, that those messages are a lie. Nurture the emotional places within you that feel abandoned and betrayed. Be as Loving to your self as possible one day at a time, and you will not only survive this - you will learn and grow from it.
Feel your feelings and release them. Give yourself permission to let it all out. Wail and scream and sob. Try not to let the messages of an emotionally dysfunctional society, or the discomfort of emotionally repressed people around you, keep you from owning the grief to the fullest. They want you to pull it together and get yourself under control so they will be comfortable. Let it out! Release it! Do not shame yourself for it, or apologize - it is marvelously healing to grieve. Owning our grief is part of being True to our self. In an emotionally honest society Dan Rather would have been crying and sobbing on his own program - serving as a role model for others - instead of keeping up appearances and stuffing his grief until some of it leaked out on the David Letterman Show.
Catch yourself when you stop breathing as a way of holding it in. Allow yourself to breath into the pain so that it can be released in sobs and tears and snot running out of your nose. The more you can let out now, the easier it will be to move through this grieving. Suppressing the emotional energy will not make it go away, it will just cause it to build up pressure within you.
Allow yourself to be angry at God for the pain that life entails. Scream and curse at God for the dysfunctional world we live in that causes wounded people to do things like this to other people. It is much healthier to be angry at God than to be angry at yourself or to focus blame and hatred on someone else. God can handle it - and he/she/it knows you are just releasing energy, and is happy for your healing.
Do not let yourself be distracted by fantasies. Don't torture yourself trying to imagine what they must have been feeling in the moments before death. You can't know what they were feeling - they may have been at peace at the very end. The details of how someone dies are not important to the grief process. We are grieving for our loss, not for how they died. We hate it when someone we love dies violently at the hand of another - but the effect is the same as if it would have been a car accident.
Death is a transition, a transformation. It makes no difference - except perhaps in positive terms of increased Karmic settlement - rather they suffered or were terrified before their death. If we torture ourselves trying to imagine the details of how they died, we are empowering a fantasy. When a loved one dies and we hope that they didn't suffer, that is about us wanting to protect ourselves from feelings - not about them. They are finished with this lifetime. They may be very grateful to have gone in a sudden death instead of enduring growing old and senile. Is it preferable to wait around and spend years incapacitated by a stroke or Alzheimer's?
They are free of this human experience now. They have broken out of the cocoon and are flying. They are no longer trapped in limited consciousness.
Know that it is natural to experience anger at them for leaving us. Anger and envy that they get to go and we have to stay. Anger at being abandoned and betrayed.
If you are experiencing survivors guilt, be nurturing to your self. Know that you are still here for a reason. Know that you cannot understand what that reason is right now. It may take years before you can look back and see that this ending was in fact a new beginning - that there was a silver lining.
One day at a time. One hour at a time. Five minutes at a time you can get through this. There is a Loving Force in the Universe. It is on your side - it just doesn't feel like it right now." - Attack on America - A Spiritual Healing Perspective
"Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict"
Here is an excerpt from the article about the page in the AA Big Book that is quoted in the image above, in which I focus on the really important and paradigm breaking parts of this chapter which had a major impact on my recovery. Number 1 was a key for me in starting to own that I have the power to choose where to focus my mind, and I started learning to focus on the part of the glass that was full instead of being focused on the part that was empty as I was programmed to do in childhood. The glass is always part full and part empty - it is very important to own our power to focus on the things in our life to be grateful for, instead of on the things we are lacking.
“There is a multitude of good stuff in this chapter but I will touch on three that were very important to me here.
1. He talks about being part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. Seeing the half of the glass that is full instead of focusing on the half that is empty. Out of this I came up with a little saying for myself: "I don't have any problems, I have opportunities for growth."
This was a little saying that had a huge impact on my recovery. It started shifting me out of the victim role I had been programmed to react out of in childhood. This saying was a paradigm buster for me. It caused me to change my perspective of how I viewed life and led to me changing my relationship with life. I stopped automatically seeing myself as the victim of life and other people and started looking for the silver lining, the opportunity for growth, attached to the events in my life.
Little sayings can have a huge impact on our healing paths.
2. He says something in his chapter that I interpreted to be "If God Loves me unconditionally, whom am I to not Love myself." It was a shocking concept to me. That God could actually love me - the shameful, sinful, weak creature of the flesh who was certainly going to be condemned to burn in hell forever - was shocking enough when I first started in the program. What was more shocking was to realize that if I put myself down I was saying that God made junk. I realized it was actually arrogance to believe God could love everyone else but I wasn't lovable. It was my dysfunctionally programmed ego that was giving me that message - it was negative grandiosity. It was another paradigm buster for me and a real catalyst in me changing my perspective on, and relationship with, both my self and a Higher Power of my understanding.
3. The other vitally important thing that I got out of this chapter was a new perspective on how I gave away power over my emotions. Dr. Paul talks about how his serenity was directly proportional to his level of acceptance - and inversely proportional to his expectations. Looking at how my expectations were setting me up to have emotional reactions to life - and learning to be honest with myself about those expectations - was one of the most important pieces of the puzzle for me. It was vital in the process of learning to be emotionally honest with my self - and in learning to take responsibility for my emotional reactions. I have an article on my web site in which I talk about how pivotal focusing on my expectations was for me in learning to stop buying into the belief that I was a victim. Serenity and Expectations - intimately interrelated I mention Dr. Paul's chapter in the Big Book in that article.
So, I am very grateful for Dr. Paul's chapter of the Big Book - it was inspirational for me, and provided a great deal of fundamental insight into my relationship with myself and life. I am also very grateful to Alcoholics Anonymous because it saved my life. I find myself alternately sad and angry about the rigidity in AA caused by codependency - and the shaming messages that rigid members often give to anyone who is looking at other issues or doing emotional healing. Something that has been true in a lot of religions in world history is also true in AA to a certain extent. When human beings - reacting out of fear - place rigid interpretations on the words that carry the message, they often lose the spirit of the message.” - Inspiration from the Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous
Dr. Paul's chapter was a key for me in learning to start looking for the silver lining and for starting to get emotionally honest and to take responsibility for my emotions. Here is an excerpt from my article on Expectations.
“Self-honesty is the foundation of the Twelve Step Recovery program - the principle underling the first step. There are many different levels of honesty, including "cash register" honesty, emotional honesty, being honest in interactions with others, etc. All levels of honesty are important in various ways but early in my recovery process I learned a great deal about being honest with myself from Dr. Paul's chapter in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous - "Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict." That level of honesty had to do with being honest with myself about my expectations.
There is an old joke about the difference between a neurotic and a psychotic. The psychotic truly believes that 2 + 2 = 5. The neurotic knows that it is 4 but can't stand it. That was the way I lived most of my life, I could see how life was but I couldn't stand it. I was always feeling like a victim because people and life were not acting in the way I believed they "should" act.
I expected life to be different than it is. I thought if I was good and did it "right" then I would reach 'happily ever after.' I believed that if I was nice to people they would be nice to me. Because I grew up in a society where people were taught that other people could control their feelings, and vise versa, I had spent most of my life trying to control the feelings of others and blaming them for my feelings.
By having expectations I was giving power away. In order to become empowered I had to own that I had choices about how I viewed life, about my expectations. I realized that no one can make me feel hurt or angry - that it is my expectations that cause me to generate feelings of hurt or anger. In other words, the reason I feel hurt or anger is because other people, life, or God are not doing what I want them, expect them, to do.
I had to learn to be honest with myself about my expectations - so I could let go of the ones that were insane (like, everyone is going to drive the way I want them to), and own my choices - so I could take responsibility for how I was setting myself up to be a victim in order to change my patterns. Accept the things I cannot change - change the things I can. . . . .
. . . . Serenity is not Freedom from the Storm - it is Peace Amidst the Storm. (unknown)” - Serenity and Expectations - intimately interrelated
I realized that I couldn't stand how life is. It is not fair, it's not just, people aren't nice, we are destroying the planet we live on, we have all this war and violence - and it shouldn't be this way, in my perspective. So, I was set up to live life from a victim perspective. I had a major button around "It's not fair!" Where we ever got the idea life was going to be fair, I don't know. But it isn't fair from a human perspective - in my belief it can only be fair in a larger perspective governed by the Law of Karma.
As long as I was living life from a perspective that I was the victim of it not being fair, I was set up to be miserable. It was a great excuse to drink and use drugs - to try to escape from the injustice and unfairness of life. In order to stop trying to escape from the reality of life and learn to live sober - I had to learn to live life on life's terms. The terms that life actually works by, not the terms I learned in childhood.
“Recovery is a process of learning to accept reality. Empowerment is about accepting reality as it is and making the best of it. In order to accept reality, it is necessary for me to be honest enough with myself to realize that I am not in charge of this process. I cannot make life do what I want it to - so I need to continuously surrender to the plan of The Great Spirit rather than try to force my plan on the Universe (and feel sorry for myself, or blame others, when that doesn't work.) It is not bad or shameful for me to try to make things happen the way I want - it is just human, dysfunctional, and painful. The sooner I catch myself not accepting reality as it is, the sooner I can let go of my picture of how I think things need to be, the more serenity I have in my life.
Melody Beattie says "Learn the art of acceptance - it is a lot of grief." She is right. Many times the reason I am not accepting reality is because I do not want to own the feelings involved. The grief and anger over a loved one self-destructing. The grief over having to let go of something or someone that means a lot to me. The grief over accepting that life - from my perspective - is not fair or just. One of the reasons that I try to control life is to protect myself from having to see someone I Love in pain. I cannot protect others from the reality of life, or from themselves, - and if I think that I am trying to control someone else just for their sake I am lying to myself.” - The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process: 1, 2, 3, and a 1, 2, 3 - The first three steps
It took me several years in recovery to figure out that I don't have to like something to accept it as reality. And there is a lot of grief involved in accepting reality as it is - but it is vital to learn how to stop surviving and enduring life and to start learning how to turn it into an adventure that is an easier, more enjoyable experience. As I said above: "the bottom line is that reality is what it is, and we don't have to the power to change it. We only have the power to change our attitude towards it."
“This is a relative process. Progress not perfection. We can gradually increase the percentage of the time our conscious awareness, our attitudes and mental focus, are aligned with recovery instead of with the disease. We do not get to wipe out the old ways of thinking and emotional reactions completely - what we do is gradually disempower them.
I can remember a time in the spring of 1989 when I raged at God about how sick I was of the recovery process. I said something to the effect that I was sick of only being relatively happy - the great tool in recovery where we stop and force ourselves to focus on the part of the glass that is full and be grateful, instead of giving power to the disease's focus on the part that is empty and feeling like a victim - and that I wanted to be happy without having to compare where I am now to how bad it used to be.
It was about a year later, that one day I realized that I had crossed a line someplace along my path. That I had shifted my relationship with life enough that my life was now more aligned with Recovery than with the disease, that my life was more defined by Joy, Love, and peace than by anger, pain, and fear. That I was having moments where I was just happy to be alive period - without having to force myself to look at the relative improvement.
Forcing ourselves to own the power to change our attitudes from negative to positive, working at learning to align with Love instead of fear, are important parts of the process. The dysfunctional programming is deeply embedded in our relationship with life. It can be changed gradually. It will never be changed completely. Our wounds never go away - they gradually have less power to dictate how we live today.
We are works in progress - in process. We are evolving back to an awareness of who we really are. But there are levels and layers of gunk to be removed.” - Joy2MeU & Joy to You & Me Update Newsletter October 2000
I do not have the power to control much of anything in life. I do have the power to change my attitude towards that which I cannot control - and that is the key. Accepting reality doesn't mean I go along with anything that comes along. I will still stand up and fight for what I believe in. The day before the election - on November 2nd 2020 - I published this article: Standing up to evil - and Accepting the Divine Plan
The Empowerment of Choice
It is vital to not buy into the codependent lie that we are trapped and don't have any choices. We always have a choice of our attitude towards the things we cannot control.
“Setting boundaries is not a more sophisticated way of manipulation - although some people will say they are setting boundaries, when in fact they are attempting to manipulate. The difference between setting a boundary in a healthy way and manipulating is: when we set a boundary we let go of the outcome.
We want the other person to change their behavior. We hope they will. But we need to own all of our choices in order to empower ourselves to take responsibility for our lives and stop setting ourselves up to be a victim. One of our choices is to remove ourselves from relationship with the person. We can leave a marriage. We can end a friendship. We can leave a job. We do not have to have any contact with our family of origin. It is vitally important to own all of our choices.
If we do not own that we have a choice to leave an abusive relationship - then we are not making a choice to stay in the relationship. Any time we do not own our choices, we are empowering victimization. We will then blame the other person, and/or blame ourselves. It is a vital part of the process of learning to love ourselves, and taking responsibility for being a co-creator in our life, to own all of our choices.
It is essential to own that we have choices in order to escape the codependent suffering victim martyr role - or the other extreme, which is being abusive in order to try to make others do it "right" (that is, do what we want them to.) Both, the people who appear to be victims and the people that appear to be abusers, are coming from a victim place in terms of blaming others for their behavior. "I wouldn't have to hit you if you didn't talk to me that way" is a victim statement. Both victim and perpetrator are coming from a victim perspective, blaming their behaviors on others - or on themselves, "I can't help it, that is just how I am."
When we look outside for self-definition and self-worth, we are giving power away and setting ourselves up to be victims. We are trained to be victims. We are taught to give our power away.
As just one small example of how pervasively we are trained to be victims, consider how often you have said, or heard someone say, "I have to go to work tomorrow." When we say "I have to" we are making a victim statement. To say, "I have to get up, and I have to go to work," is a lie. No one forces an adult to get up and go to work. The Truth is "I choose to get up and I choose to go to work today, because I choose to not have the consequences of not working." To say, "I choose," is not only the Truth, it is empowering and acknowledges an act of self-Love. When we "have to" do something we feel like a victim. And because we feel victimized, we will then be angry, and want to punish, whomever we see as forcing us to do something we do not want to do such as our family, or our boss, or society."
"And we always have a choice. If someone sticks a gun in my face and says, "Your money or your life!" I have a choice. I may not like my choice but I have one. In life we often don't like our choices because we don't know what the outcome is going to be and we are terrified of doing it 'wrong.'
Even with life events that occur in a way that we seemingly don't have a choice over (being laid off work, the car breaking down, a flood, etc.) we still have a choice over how we respond to those events. We can choose to see things that feel like, and seem to be, tragic as opportunities for growth. We can choose to focus on the half of the glass that is full and be grateful for it or to focus on the half that is empty and be the victim of it. We have a choice about where we focus our minds.
In order to become empowered, to become the co-creator in our lives, and to stop giving power to the belief that we are the victim, it is absolutely necessary to own that we have choices. As in the quotation above: if we believe that we "have" to do something then we are buying into the belief that we are the victim and don't have the power to make choices. To say "I have to go to work" is a lie. "I have to go to work if I want to eat" may be the truth but then you are making a choice to eat. The more conscious we get about our choices, the more empowered we become.
We need to take the "have to"s out of our vocabulary. As long as we reacting to life unconsciously we do not have choices. In consciousness we always have a choice. We do not "have to" do anything.
Until we own that we have a choice, we haven't made one. In other words, if you do not believe that you have a choice to leave your job, or relationship, then you have not made a choice to stay in it. You can only Truly commit yourself to something if you are consciously choosing to do it. This includes the area that is probably the single hardest job in our society today, the area that it is almost impossible not to feel trapped in some of the time - being a single parent. A single parent has the choice of giving their children up for adoption, or abandoning them. That is a choice! If a single parent believes that he/she has no choice, then they will feel trapped and resentful and will end up taking it out on their children!" - Empowerment and Victimization - the power of choice
We always have a choice. The choices may seem to be awful - but in reality, allowing ourselves to buy into the illusion that we are trapped will have worse consequences in the long run. It may seem ridiculous to suggest that a parent can abandon or give a child up for adoption - but owning our choices no matter how outrageous is a step in owning responsibility for being co-creators in our life. If we are blaming and being the victim we will never be happy.” - Setting Personal Boundaries - protecting self
The saying that I got from Dr. Paul's chapter in the Big Book - "I don't have any problems, I have opportunities for growth" - was a key in helping me own that I had the power of choice, the power to choose where to focus my mind. I had always reacted to life events - car breakdown, relationship breakup, losing a job, whatever - as personal punishment aimed at me personally because I was defective and unlovable, a sinful, shameful loser. That saying helped me to start changing my relationship with life - to start looking for the silver lining instead of letting the dark cloud define me. The first time I really saw how much I had changed my relationship with life, was a time when my car did break down - and my first response was to be grateful it broke down in town instead of on the hilly road in the fog that I had been on earlier that day. The reality is that wherever one's car breaks down, it could have broken down at a worse place and worse time.
When we look at reality from a different perspective, on a higher level, in a larger context, then we can start seeing how what we perceive as tragedy on one level, can fit into the plan perfectly on a higher level. How it is a perfect part of the larger picture, of a longer journey. Then we can begin to understand how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
The Twelve Step Recovery process is so successful because it provides a formula for integrating different levels. It is by recognizing that we are powerless to control our life experiences out of ego-self that we can access the power out of True Self, Spiritual Self. By surrendering the illusion of ego control we can reconnect with our Higher Selves. Selfishness out of ego-self is destroying the planet. Selfishness out of Spiritual Self is what will save the planet.
It is because there is more than one level of reality that life is paradoxical in nature. What is True and positive on one level - selfishness out of Spiritual Self, can be negative on another level - selfishness out of ego-self. What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, God calls a butterfly.
Humans have always had expressions that describe the paradoxical nature of the life experience. Every ending is a beginning. Every cloud does have a silver lining. For every door that closes, another door does open. It is always darkest before the dawn. Every obstacle is a gift, every problem is an opportunity for growth.
It was vital in my recovery to start taking action to change my intellectual programming and to change my relationship with my emotions and emotional wounds. I reposted a meme on Facebook the other day that said something to the effect that "When God gives you a shovel, he doesn't expect you to stand around praying for a hole." God helps those who help themselves.
"A turning point in my recovery came when I realized that the third step is a step of action.
The third step (CoDA version) says: "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God." What I learned is that making a decision is not a passive process. I need to make the decision and then take action based on the decision. Turning my will and life over to God does not mean saying "You got it God. I'll hang out here and wait for you to tell me what to do." What it does mean is that I turn that "problem/question" over to The Goddess - and then I let go of focusing time and energy on that one. I keep letting go of the outcome of that situation, and take some positive action on some other things in my life - like taking a walk or cleaning house or whatever.
Working the third step is about taking action. Once I decide to try this new way of life in which I believe there is a Higher Power that Loves me - then I need to start taking action based on that belief. I need to align my will with the will of a Loving Universal Force. There is nothing wrong with will power, or self-will. It is self-will pointed in the wrong direction that is destructive. Once we admit powerlessness out of ego-self then we start accessing power out of Spiritual Self. Spiritual Self is the part of us that knows we are connected to everyone and everything.
I have to use my will power to get myself to meetings, to pray, to take inventory and be honest with myself, to ask for help, to not pick up the next drink, etc., etc. It takes an act of will on my part to get me in motion. Once energy is placed in motion then the Universe responds.
One of the principles behind the third step is taking action. I need to take action that is positive and Loving for myself. That can mean making my bed in the morning or washing the dishes - as well as going to meetings or Spiritual gatherings. Any action that I take that is Loving towards myself is working the third step and aligning my will with the will of a Higher Power, a God-Force, Goddess Energy, Great Spirit that Loves me Unconditionally and always has.
Another principle involved in the first three steps is acceptance. Accepting reality as it is and then surrendering to aligning myself with taking action based on trusting that there is a Universal Force that is in charge of this life business. Any time I take action aligned with recovery - rather that be saying the Serenity Prayer, going to a meeting, looking up a web page about healing, reading a Spiritual book, whatever - I am working the first three steps.
I am not in control of this process and need some help. I choose to believe there is a Spiritual Force at work that is going to support me in learning to Love myself. I am going to take some action that shows that I have faith that I am worthy and Loved by that Force. 1, 2, 3
We work the first three steps anytime we pray / talk to our Higher Power, meditate / listen for messages, or take any action that supports our healing and recovery. Sometimes the action we need to take is to not judge ourselves for eating the cookies because we need some nurturing. We are unconditionally Loved - no matter what we do. Working the steps is about learning to own that in the way we treat our self. That includes accepting that we are human and can not do it perfect.
The Spirit does not come from judgment and shame. By working the steps we are learning how to align ourselves with / become allies with a God/Goddess that is Love and to quit being partners / allies with the disease with it's fear, negativity, and shame,” - The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process: The first three steps
Another thing that it was vital for me to start learning to accept, is that sometimes I need to ask for help. That is an action that I had a very hard time accepting.
"When I was in treatment getting sober I was in a city I hadn't lived in for 20 years. I had no car and was going to be living with my brother who lived on the outskirts of the city when I got out of treatment. I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to make it to meetings and went in to talk to my counselor about it. He said, "You ask for rides." "Oh no," I said. "You don't understand I never ask anybody for anything." "Well," he said, "that is what working the third step is all about." "Asking for rides?!?!" I said incredulously.
I thought he was crazy. How can asking for a ride be working the third step?
Well, it is. I needed to learn to ask not only a God I didn't trust for help - but also to ask other people to help me. That was horrible for me. It seemed like such a huge risk. If I asked people for help that would give them a chance to reject me - and I had had enough rejection in my life, thank you very much!
There was a story that I heard around that time. It was about 2 guys who were arguing about rather there was a God or not.
The first one said, "Of course, there is a God. How can you say there is no God."
The second said, "I not only can say it - I can prove it."
"You can prove it?"
"Yes. Years ago I was in a small plane crash in the wilds of Alaska. I was the only survivor and I had a broken leg. There was nothing around for hundreds of miles, so it was only a question of rather I would freeze to death before something ate me. I prayed to God and said 'If there is a God please save me.' And God didn't do anything."
"What do you mean," the first man exclaimed. "You're here and alive aren't you."
"Oh, well some Eskimo came along and saved me. God didn't do anything."
The point: God works through people. We all have had Eskimos in our lives, angels disguised as people. We are not alone in this process - we can't do it alone.
So, I learned to ask for rides. What I know now is that the Universe always responds - just not very often in the way, or at the time I think it is necessary. I need to ask for help and then let go of rather the person I am asking can in fact help me. I need to take the risk and let go of the outcome. What I need will come from someplace. There is a verse in the bible that says: (paraphrased??)
Ask and ye shall receive.
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and the door shall be opened.
ASK. By asking - either God or another person - I am setting energy in motion in the Universe. Once the energy is in motion it comes back to me at some time from some place. I have to put it out before it will come back. What I sow I reap. The Universes works on the principle of cause and effect. It is very important for me to get proactive in my own life by taking the risk of asking for help - and it is much easier when I can let go of my picture of how, and when, that help is going to manifest." - The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process: The first three steps
Asking for help is part of Metaphysical Law. We need to put it out there and then the Universe will respond - some time, some way - but it will respond.
Discernment in Victimization
It was vital for me to start learning to have discernment internally. As long as I didn't know that I had a critical parent voice - I was powerless over it. Once I started to get aware of the critical parent voice, then I started to realize that I had the power to choose where to focus my mind - and I can choose to focus on the part of the glass that is full instead of the part that is empty. But I don't deny, or judge and shame myself, for the part that is empty because life does feel like shit sometimes.
"I can Know intuitively that I am never alone Spiritually - but I will feel alone often. It is normal to feel that God has abandoned and betrayed us at times in this life journey we are on - when we experience the inevitable endings and loses that occur. What is vital to maintaining some balance is learning how to honor the feelings without buying into the belief that we have been abandoned. It is when I am feeling abandoned by God, and listening to the critical parent voice tell me how it is my fault because of my "mistakes" and imperfections, that I can crash and burn emotionally - go into despair and depression. Loving my self involves having internal boundaries so that I can be compassionate and nurturing in relationship to my emotional reality, at the same time I am intellectually telling my self Spiritual Truth - this too shall pass, there is a silver lining, it is okay to feel the feelings, etc.
Learning to separate - to draw a boundary - between the emotional and mental components of our being is vital in learning to change our relationship with life and self into one that is more Loving, balanced, and enJoyable.
Feeling and releasing the emotional energy without giving power to the false beliefs is a vital component of achieving balance between the emotional and the mental. The more we align ourselves attitudinally, and clear out our inner channel, the easier it is for us to pick out the Truth from amid the dysfunctional attitudes - so that we can set an internal boundary between the emotional and mental.
Feelings are real but they are not necessarily fact or Truth.
We can feel like a victim and still know that the fact is we set ourselves up. We can feel like we made a mistake and still know that every mistake is an opportunity for growth, a perfect part of the learning process. We can feel betrayed or abandoned or shamed, and still know that we have just been given an opportunity to become aware of an area that needs some light shined on it, an issue that needs some healing.
We can have moments where we feel like God/life is punishing us and still know that "This, too, shall pass" and "More will be revealed," - that later on, down the path a ways, we will be able to look back and see that what we perceived in the moment to be tragedy and injustice is really just another opportunity for growth, another gift of fertilizer to help us grow.
I needed to learn how to set boundaries within, both emotionally and mentally by integrating Spiritual Truth into my process. Because "I feel feel like a failure" does not mean that is the Truth. The Spiritual Truth is that "failure" is an opportunity for growth. I can set a boundary with my emotions by not buying into the illusion that what I am feeling is who I am. I can set a boundary intellectually by telling that part of my mind that is judging and shaming me to shut up, because that is my disease lying to me. I can feel and release the emotional pain energy at the same time I am telling myself the Truth by not buying into the shame and judgment.
If I am feeling like a "failure" and giving power to the "critical parent" voice within that is telling me that I am a failure - then I can get stuck in a very painful place where I am shaming myself for being me. In this dynamic I am being the victim of myself and also being my own perpetrator - and the next step is to rescue myself by using one of the old tools to go unconscious (food, alcohol, sex, etc.) Thus the disease has me running around in a squirrel cage of suffering and shame, a dance of pain, blame, and self-abuse.
By learning to set a boundary with and between our emotional truth, what we feel, and our mental perspective, what we believe - in alignment with the Spiritual Truth we have integrated into the process - we can honor and release the feelings without buying into the false beliefs.
The more we can learn intellectual discernment within, so that we are not giving power to false beliefs, the clearer we can become in seeing and accepting our own personal path. The more honest and balanced we become in our emotional process, the clearer we can become in following our own personal Truth.
Learning to have discernment mentally and emotionally, while also integrating the Spiritual Truth we have discerned into our inner process, is the key to having a more functional relationship with life - and opening up to Love. We need to develop a more functional relationship with our own emotions, because if we don't we will continue to be at war within ourselves. Fear, grief, pain, anger, are all emotions that are part of being human. Emotions are a vital component in this experience of being human that we are having - and changing our relationship with them is vital in learning to Love.” - Joy2MeU Update Newsletter June 2003
By recognizing that what I am feeling when I am reacting out of an age of the wounded inner child was not telling me the Truth about what was happening - really understanding that when I am reacting I am not being present in the moment but rather am reacting to what I experienced many years ago - was fundamental in starting to see myself, life, and other people more clearly. Of seeing reality clearly.
As little kids we were victims and we need to heal those wounds. But as adults we are volunteers - victims only of our disease. The people in our lives are actors and actresses whom we cast in the roles that would recreate the childhood dynamics of abuse and abandonment, betrayal and deprivation.
We are/have been just as much perpetrators in our adult relationships as victims. Every victim is a perpetrator because when we are buying into being the victim, when we are giving power to our disease, we are perpetrating on the people around us and on ourselves.
We need to heal the wounds without blaming others. And we need to own the responsibility without blaming ourselves. As was stated earlier - there is no blame here, there are no bad guys. The only villain here is the disease and it is within us.
I want to make it clear that when I say "without blaming others," I do not mean to deny our anger. We need to own and release the anger and rage at our parents, our teachers or ministers or other authority figures, including the concept of God that was forced on us while we were growing up. We do not necessarily need to vent that anger directly to them but we need to release the energy. We need to let that child inside of us scream, "I hate you, I hate you," while we beat on pillows or some such thing, because that is how a child expresses anger.
That does not mean that we have to buy into the attitude that they are to blame for everything. We are talking about balance between the emotional and mental here again. Blame has to do with attitudes, with buying into the false beliefs - it does not really have anything to do with the process of releasing the emotional energy.
We also need to own and release the anger against those whom we feel victimized us as adults - and we need to take responsibility for our side of the street, own our part in whatever dysfunctional dance we did with them.
We need to own, honor, and release the feelings, and take responsibility for them - without blaming ourselves.
On the level of our perspective of the process it is very important to stop buying into the false beliefs that as adults we are victims and someone else is to blame - or that we are to blame because there is something wrong with us.
I am going to sometimes feel like a victim - but it was very important for me to stop buying into the belief that I was a victim.
"I had gotten very clear by that time in my recovery that a bottom line for me in staying clear with myself and on my path was to stop buying into the illusion of victimization.
And before I go on with this April Fools story, I want to make clear what I mean by the illusion of victimization.
Here is a quote from my book.
“On the level of our perspective of the process it is very important to stop buying into the false beliefs that as adults we are victims and someone else is to blame – or that we are to blame because there is something wrong with us.
[One of the things which makes it difficult to discuss this phenomena of Codependence is that there are multiple levels – multiple perspectives – which are involved in this life experience. Viewing life from a perspective, on the level, of individuals who have experienced racial, cultural, religious, or sexual discrimination or abuse, there are many instances in which there has been Truth in the belief of victimization. On the level of the historical human experience, all human beings have been victims of the conditions which caused Codependence. Almost any statement can be shown to be false on some levels and True on other levels, so it is important to realize that the use of discernment is vital to start perceiving the boundaries between different levels.
In the next section, Part Five, when I discuss the Cosmic Perspective and the Cosmic Perfection of this life experience, I will be discussing the paradox, and confusion to human beings, that has been the result of these multiple levels of reality – but I have devoted Part Two and Part Four to discussing the Spiritual growth process and our perspective on that process because the Cosmic Perfection does not mean crap unless we can start integrating it into our day to day life experience.
In order to start changing life into an easier, more enjoyable experience by attaining some integration and balance in our relationships it is necessary to focus on, and clear up, our relationship with this Spiritual Evolutionary process that we are involved in. On the level of that Spiritual growth process it is vital to let go of the belief in victimization and blaming.]
As I said, the goal of healing is not to become perfect, it is not to “get healed.” Healing is a process, not a destination – we are not going to arrive at a place in this lifetime where we are completely healed.
The goal here is to make life an easier and more enjoyable experience while we are healing. The goal is to LIVE. To be able to feel happy, Joyous, and free in the moment, the majority of the time.
To get to a place where we are free to be happy in the moment most of the time, we need to change our perspectives enough to start recognizing Truth when we see or hear it. And the Truth is that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience that is unfolding perfectly and always has been, there are no accidents, coincidences, or mistakes – so there is no blame to be assessed.
The goal here is to be and enjoy! We can’t do that if we are judging and shaming ourselves. We can’t do that if we are blaming ourselves or others.” – quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
In other words – in relationship to my Spiritual Path everything that is happening is perfect part of the lesson plan (including temporary homelessness.) Even though it may look like someone is victimizing me on this level – on a Cosmic level that person is a teacher who is helping me in my studies. I have always much preferred the nice teachers but the asshole teachers are the ones that were necessary to force me to start learning how to set boundaries and protect myself. It is important for me to bless and be grateful for those teachers that were acting like jerks at the same time that I was eliminating them from my life.
There are times that I will feel like a victim – of other people as well as of God’s Divine Perfect Plan (which often seems stupid and very slow working to me.) That is why it is so important for me to have a boundary internally between the emotional and intellectual levels of my being – and within the emotional level, in what I am feeling.
Within the emotional level I need to have consciousness of my inner child wounds so that I can tell when it is an inner child place within, my wounded soul, that is reacting – and when what I am feeling is an intuitive message from my Soul. The only way to get clarity in terms of being able to discern which emotional messages are telling me the Truth and which are reacting out of the emotional truth of my childhood was to do the inner child healing work – which involves doing the grieving, the emotional energy release work.
And in order to be clear on the emotional level it was necessary for me to learn to set the boundaries intellectually. I had to pay attention to my thoughts in order to start changing the way I think. I had to get aware of the thoughts that were coming from the disease so I could tell the Critical Parent/disease voice to shut up – and learn to listen to the messages from what used to be the “small quiet voice” of my intuition. The more I healed the more I turned down the volume on the negative, fear based messages of the disease and tuned into the intuitive channel.
What is dysfunctional for me is when I am feeling like a victim out of an inner child wound and listening to the Critical Parent tell me that I am a failure, loser, unlovable, etc. That is when I start spiraling downward real fast, that is when I crash and burn. When I am allowing that to happen (which is the natural and normal dynamics of the disease and not something to feel ashamed of – the disease gets us to trash ourselves and then turns around and tells us to beat our self up for trashing ourselves – Truly insidious and powerful) I am in the disease. When I am caught in this disease dynamic (being my own perpetrator and victim) is when I create negative emotional states that I can get caught in for periods of time. Depression, despair, self pity, resentment, etc. are not emotions but emotional states that are created by negative attitudes that I am buying into. In each of those emotional states I am buying into the belief that I am the victim. In order not to create negative emotional states I have to catch myself anytime I am buying into the belief that I am the victim (of myself for being flawed or defective – or others – including the Divine Plan) – and again not beat myself up for it.
When I am buying into the belief in victimization I am lying to myself (letting the disease’s lies have power.) Anytime I catch myself coming from a victim perspective I am not telling myself my Highest Truth.
Learning how to take my power back from the disease by not buying into victim illusions was probably the single most important facet of my recovery." - My April Fools Day lesson about falling in Love
Healing and recovery are an inside job. And it was very important for me to learn to see life as a Spiritual growth process instead of as punishment.
"A very important part of my process of finding some balance in my life - of learning how to see myself and how I relate to others and life more clearly - was to get clear that everything in my process relates back to me and my growth process. I had to get past my codependent belief that I was doing something for you - or you were doing something to me." - The Recovery Process for inner child healing, Part 1
Expectations of Romantic Relationships
It was vital for me to start changing my perspective and expectations so that I wasn't setting myself up to feel victimized because of my dysfunctional programming from childhood. One of the areas in which we were all set up, was in relationship to romantic relationships.
"One of the first steps to opening up to the possibility of have a healthy relationship is to start changing the dysfunctional attitudes and beliefs we learned in childhood. Our attitudes, beliefs, and definitions set up our expectations and perspectives which in turn dictate our emotional relationships. In order to change our relationship patterns we need to change the attitudes and beliefs so that we will stop expecting the magic of fairy tales in our romantic relationships.
You are not going to live happily-ever-after once you find your prince or princess. There is no happily-ever-after on this plane of existence. You may find your prince or princess but they will have issues to deal with. Relationships are something that needs to be worked on - not some magic wand that makes everybody happy.
A healthy romantic relationship is based on interdependence. Codependence and interdependence are two very different dynamics.
Codependence is about giving away power over our self-esteem. Taking our self-definition and self-worth from outside or external sources is dysfunctional because it causes us to give power over how we feel about ourselves to people and forces which we cannot control.
If my self-esteem is based on people, places, and things; money, property, and prestige; looks, talent, intelligence; then I am set up to be a victim. People will not always do what I want them too; property can be destroyed by an earthquake or flood or fire; money can disappear in a stock market crash or bad investment; looks change as I get older. Everything changes. All outside or external conditions are temporary.
That is why it is so important to get in touch with our Spiritual connection. To start realizing that we have worth because we are children of God. That we are all part of the Eternal ONENESS that is the God Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit. We are Spiritual beings having a human experience - our worth as beings is not dependent upon any outer or external condition. We are Unconditionally Loved and we always have been.
The more we can start owning the Truth of who we really are and integrating it into our relationship with ourselves, the more we can enjoy this human experience that we are having. Then we can start learning how to be interdependent - how to give power away in conscious, healthy ways - because our self-worth is no longer dependent on outside sources.
Interdependence is about making allies, forming partnerships. It is about forming connections with other beings. Interdependence means that we give someone else some power over our welfare and our feelings.
Anytime we care about somebody or something we give away some power over our feelings. It is impossible to Love without giving away some power. When we choose to Love someone (or thing - a pet, a car, anything) we are giving them the power to make us happy - we cannot do that without also giving them the power to hurt us or cause us to feel angry or scared.
In order to live we need to be interdependent. We cannot participate in life without giving away some power over our feelings and our welfare. I am not talking here just about people. If we put money in a bank we are giving some power over our feelings and welfare to that bank. If we have a car we have a dependence on it and will have feelings if it something happens to it. If we live in society we have to be interdependent to some extent and give some power away. The key is to be conscious in our choices and own responsibility for the consequences.
The way to healthy interdependence is to be able to see things clearly - to see people, situations, life dynamics and most of all ourselves clearly. If we are not working on healing our childhood wounds and changing our childhood programming then we cannot begin to see ourselves clearly let alone anything else in life.” - Healthy Romantic Relationships - Interdependent, not codependent
It was so important for me to learn that in order to take responsibility for my self and my emotional reactions, I had to see and accept reality as it is - so that I could clearly see what my choices were. If I am reacting to old tapes and old wounds, then I cannot see myself, life, or other people with any clarity. Then I am set up to live life out of insane expectations.
When I first started going to CoDA meetings, I would talk about the frog - princess syndrome. I felt like I was an ugly frog and that I needed a princess to turn me into a prince. Thinking I had to have the other person act in certain ways for me to be okay, caused me to try to control the other person. Making the other person my higher power, my drug of choice was not loving - and doomed any attempts for me to be able to have a loving relationship. I need to change my definition of what a romantic relationship was to start seeing it as an opportunity for growth - and stop feeling like I was being victimized, by the other person or my own inherent unworthiness.
"Love is a verb - it needs to be manifested in action not just contemplated intellectually. You can not learn to Love yourself - or be capable of having healthier relationships - without taking action to change your core / foundation relationship with self and life into one that is more aligned with Love. This inner child healing work is an effective and powerful formula that allows you to learn: to be more Loving to self; to gain some freedom from the past; to develop inner peace and serenity; to own your response-ability as co-creator of your life so that you can become a positive co-creator instead of negative (learn to be your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy); to start relaxing and being present for your life in a way that creates a more balanced and enjoyable experience. I highly recommend it." - Inner Child Healing = a path to freedom, serenity, and empowerment
Spiritual, Healing Perspective
It was vital in my life, in my recovery, to own that I have the power to choose to believe that there is a Loving Higher Power / Force / Great Spirit / God / Goddess that I am connected to and is on my side. My basic positive affirmations that I do on a daily basis include these affirm that belief.
I am a Magnificent and Powerful Spiritual Being full of Light and Love!
I am Unconditionally Loved right in this very moment, I always have been, I always will be!
I am perfectly where I am supposed to be on my Spiritual Path, and I am being guided Home!
Choosing to believe in a Loving Force has made my life easier and more enjoyable. Has allowed me to experience Joy and Love and an inner Peace beyond understanding. I am so grateful for the guidance that helped me to learn to be more Loving to my self - and to teach others to be more Loving to them selves.
"I believe that it is important not to get too caught up in past lives or Metaphysical intellectualizing. That stuff is kind of fun, but it can be used to distract ourselves from dealing with here and now - with doing our emotional healing and recovery work today. . . . . . . The bottom line is finding a way to live life that works to help us be more Loving to ourselves. That works to help us open up to happiness and Joy and freedom from living in reaction to the past. I am sharing my relative Truth with you as an alternate perspective for you to consider. It has helped me to Lighten up and enjoy life. (We are moving from dark to Light and from heavy / serious to light and not so attached to the illusion - learning to relate to life more as a sitcom and less as a tragedy.) A quote from that personal journal I write for my Joy2MeU Journal states it quite nicely I think.
"I was explaining to someone in a phone counseling session the other day, about how important I believe a Loving Spiritual belief system is in recovery. She said, but that is just a crutch, you are just playing a mind trick on yourself.
I said, so what. It works. Who can know what the Ultimate Truth really is? Not me. I choose a belief system that helps make my life easier and more enjoyable today. That works for me. That is the bottom line - it is functional.
I also happen to believe it is the Truth. What I have discovered as I kept surrendering and enlarging my paradigm - is that each new level I arrived at made perfect logical sense. I have to surrender to the intuitive, emotional side in order to reach a higher perspective, that I can then see makes perfect sense in a rational logical way.
That is how I have arrived at a more balanced way of living life, at a way that makes life a lot more enjoyable. If god really is judgmental and punishing, I will find out soon enough - that doesn't mean I have to let it mess up my life today. ;-)" - Joy2MeU Journal: My Unfolding Process - Transition, June -July 2001 - posted 7-01
I really like that: why let it mess up my life today. ;-)
So, this is what this chapter ended up looking like. Interesting. . . . . . In the meantime, I am going to end this with a capsule summary of my Cosmic belief system. This is the understanding of Truth that works for me.
Spiritual Beings having a human experience
The True meaning and purpose of life is Spiritual evolution. Life is not about money, property and prestige. Life is not about success and failure, sin and punishment, right and wrong. We are not limited, shameful human beings who have to earn some spiritual afterlife. This life experience is not a test we can fail.
We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. We are a perfect part of the ONENESS of the Universal Source Energy / God / Goddess / Great Spirit. We are all extensions of, manifestations of, The Universal Source Energy. We have always been a part of the ONENESS - and always will be.
A small part of who we Truly are has extended downward vibrationally into a space/time Illusion of reality. Linear time exists only within this Illusion. Within this Illusion our consciousness is experiencing separation and evolving back to consciousness of ONENESS. This Spiritual evolutionary process is experienced as a journey through multiple realities, and multiple lifetimes within these illusions of reality.
The lifetime which you are experiencing at this moment is leg of that Spiritual evolutionary journey. We are here for a short time going to boarding school. This lifetime is only a small segment of a much longer journey. When we leave here, we go to the next segment of the journey. It is as if when we die, we are going off to college. Eventually we get to experience going Home to LOVE. In Truth we have never left, we are just experiencing a dream.
"Once upon a time, in a place where there is no time, in a place where there is no place, God was alone.
God is a great sea of living energy that has always been, and always will be. This energy field, the great sea of living energy, is ALL THAT IS in Reality. Nothing has ever existed, or ever will exist, outside of, or separate from, the energy field of ALL THAT IS. . . . . . .
God is, was, and ever will be, ALL-ONE.
And God was alone.
Now it came to pass that God, being the Mental energy of living intelligence and therefore ALL-Knowing, had a brilliant idea.
This idea is so brilliant that it has allowed God to remain ALL-ONE without being alone. In other words, this ingenious concept has allowed the Eternal I AM to share consciousness of the blessing of Infinite Bliss in ONENESS without changing the Reality of ALL THAT IS. Through this idea The Holy Mother Source Energy has created children composed of the energy of ALL THAT IS for the purpose of sharing LOVE.
(This Goddess is one smart cookie.)
For God's idea was to dream of creating a reality different from the Reality of All THAT IS. Such a dream is properly called a Creation Dream. The story you are about to read is about the Creation Dream which you are experiencing at this moment.
For you are one of the children of God/Goddess." - The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 History of the Universe Prologue
(An excerpt from Chapter 7 Attack on America - A Spiritual Healing Perspective)
“”Bohm (physicist David Bohm) concludes that the correlations between subatomic particles indicate that a revolutionary new understanding of order is at hand, one in which the universe should no longer be viewed as a machine but more properly as a stupendous multi-dimensional hologram." - Michael Talbot, Beyond The Quantum
"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
“The Cosmic Director has written His own plays and summoned the tremendous cast for the pageant of the centuries. From the dark booth of eternity He sends His beams of light through the films of successive ages, and the pictures are thrown on the backdrop of space. Just as cinematic images appear to be real but are only combinations of light and shade, so is the universal variety a delusive seeming. The planetary spheres, with their countless forms of life, are naught but figures in a cosmic motion picture. Temporarily true to man's five sense perceptions, the transitory scenes are cast on the screen of human consciousness by the infinite creative beam."- Paramhansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi” -
The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 - "In The Beginning . . ."
Some times I don't know the answer to a question until someone asks it. I was very pleased with what I heard come out of my mouth in response to the cynical person who said that I was just playing mind games with myself. "So what, it works . . . . why let it mess up my life today. ;-)
It was very important for me to learn the programming from early childhood was deeply engrained and very powerful. In order to start overcoming it and changing it, I had to "act as if" and "fake it till I make it." I had to act as if, I was lovable and worthy even though it didn't feel like it. I needed to act as if there was a Loving Higher Power on my side, even though it felt like god was a sadistic asshole who was punishing me.
There is an old curse that I heard, "may you live in interesting times." We are certainly living in interesting times right now. What a strange experience life has been in recent years. The mass shootings and the hate crimes are - as I said about the 9/11 hyjackers - "desperate codependent acting out - the act of wounded souls lashing out at an external manifestation they are blaming for their pain." So many people are in pain and lashing out. And I believe that it is actually a perfect part of the Divine Plan.
"And what is happening now is a planetary cleansing. When going through a cleansing, often the poison has to come to the surface. That is what happening in the world in the crazy year of 2020 - polarity has been forced to the surface. It has been manifesting all over the planet. . . . . .
. . . . . So what is happening in the world today is a planetary cleansing. It is a perfect part of the Diving Plan. I don't know what the Divine Plan could possibly be at this point. God works in mysterious ways. I often think that my Higher Power is messing with me, but this whole 2020 thing is way beyond some amusing twists and turns. I have no idea what is to come." - Standing up to evil - and Accepting the Divine Plan
What I stated in the Attach on America book above is very good advice for living in these interesting times that we are experiencing now.
"Allow yourself to be angry at God for the pain that life entails. Scream and curse at God for the dysfunctional world we live in that causes wounded people to do things like this to other people. It is much healthier to be angry at God than to be angry at yourself or to focus blame and hatred on someone else. God can handle it - and he/she/it knows you are just releasing energy, and is happy for your healing."
It takes courage and faith to face life. Twelve Step Recovery is actually training in an approach to living life in this interesting time we are in. As I said at the end of the Attack chapter: "One day at a time. One hour at a time. Five minutes at a time you can get through this. There is a Loving Force in the Universe. It is on your side - it just doesn't feel like it right now."
"Most people have a misunderstanding about courage. They think that courage is something that feels strong and powerful and confident. That is not true at all. Courage is when we are scared to death and we move forward anyway. A example I have used over the years to help people understand this is: that a person who charges a machine gun nest and does not feel fear is not courageous - they are insane.
What courage feels like in actual experience is: "Oh crap, I have to do this." Courage is a soul compulsion. It is when our soul, our Spirit, is telling us that we need to do something no matter how scared we are - no matter how terrifying it appears to be.
Courage isn't necessarily about doing something we want to do, it is definitely about doing something we need to do. We become willing to move through our fear of the unknown because our intuition guides us, our soul compels us, to move forward - to take the plunge.
I did not want to get sober. I did not want to start doing codependency recovery. I did not want to open up to feeling the feelings and doing the deep grief work. I did those things to save my life. I did them because my intuition told me I had to do them to be True to my Self. I did them despite incredible resistance and fierce guerrilla warfare waged by my ego attempting to sabotage my recovery. The number one tool of the ego is the magnified mutant codependent fear of making a mistake. It bombards us with messages that we can't trust ourselves and presents the "evidence" from the past that I mentioned in the first paragraph of this Update.
We do not have to trust our self. This is not self help. This is a Spiritual process and we will be guided - we can trust our Spiritual guidance, our Higher Power. There are no mistakes or failures - just things that feel that way because our codependent programming is defining our experience of life from a black and white shame based perspective. Developing a detached, objective observer perspective - a recovery control center, as I describe in explaining my approach to inner child healing - allows us to learn to define our experience of life from a perspective aligned with the Spiritual Truth of Unconditional Love instead of fear and shame.
We need to start taking the risk of having faith in the process. We need to start taking action based upon faith instead of fear. I learned to "act as if" I had faith in a Loving Higher Power in order to access the courage to start moving though my fears. I started to "fake it til you make it" - that is, to take leaps of faith in order to allow the Universe the opportunity to demonstrate to me that there was Truly good reason to have faith.
I am talking about FAITH here.
The more we remember that everything is unfolding perfectly, the more we can have faith that there is a very good reason for even what appears to be the greatest tragedy, the most profound injustice.
We need to accept and honor - that is, not shame and judge ourselves for - not only our feelings and our past behaviors, our human needs and desires, but also our longings, our resistance, and our fears.
We have those longings for a reason.
We have those fears and that resistance for a reason.
The more we start remembering that "the Force is with us," the easier it becomes to accept and Love ourselves." - March 2004 Update Newsletter
So accepting reality as it is - while also owning our anger and pain - is what works best in the long term. We need to accept reality as it is in order to see our choices clearly - and own the courage and willingness to change the things we have the power to change within our self, and in our external relationships.
One of the ironies of this whole business is something that physicists have learned from quantum physics. They have learned that the physical world is made up of energy fields that are temporary manifestations of energy interactions. All of the energy fields of the physical world are temporary. Some last for fractions of a second, some last for billions of years - but they are all temporary illusions.
This means that the Truest reality in the physical world is in the interaction. It is in our interactions that we can access Truth and Joy and Love. In other words it is in our relationships.
The most real thing here, the place where the highest Truth exists, is in the interactions: in our relationships.
Spirituality is about relationships. God exists in the quality of our relationships.
When I look at a beautiful sunset - I am a temporary illusion and the sunset is also a temporary illusion - the most real, God-like quality is the energy of Beauty and Joy that I allow myself to access by being open and willing to experience the sunset. If I am caught up in one of my ego's "trauma dramas," then I will not be conscious of the sunset or open to experiencing the Joy and Beauty of the moment.
So be kind to your self by applying the Serenity Prayer in your life. By accepting that you need to take the actions of doing Positive Affirmations and Positive Self Talk. When you are Loving and having compassion for your self, then you can be Loving and compassionate with other people. Be kind - to your self, and others. Learn to have the wisdom and clarity to tell the difference between the things you have some control over and the ones you don't. This is boarding school and we are going to get to go home - we in fact, have never left the ONENESS of ALL THAT IS.
We can experience Joy in the moment when we are not caught up in trying to figure out how to control things we can't control. When we aren't sucked into one of our ego's trauma drama / horror movie fantasies about what could happen in the future. Take some deep breaths. Get consciously present in your body in moment - and choose to focus on the part of the glass that is full and what you have to be grateful for today while letting go of thinking that you have to know about the future today.- Love & Joy 2 Me & U! ~ Robert 4/29/21
New Zoom Workshops every month
~ a Life Changing Experience in how to live the Serenity Prayer in your life.
Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to quote from: Illusions "The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah" by Richard Bach. Copyright 1977 by Creature Enterprises, Inc. Reprinted in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney by permission of Bantam Doubleday Dell, New York, NY.
Although my book and articles make reference to Alcoholics Anonymous, the principles and Twelve Step program of A.A., this does not mean that A.A. has reviewed or approved the contents of this writing, nor that A.A. agrees with the views expressed herein. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of this material in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but address other problems, or in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.