"Pletcher and Bartolameolli are undisputed experts on the subject of co-sex addiction.  They know more about it than anyone I know and have presented  an expose that with great clarity supersedes anything I have read before."

– John Bradshaw

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Wisdom and Beauty of Gray

We are all wounded and in our woundedness, we learn ways to cope and adapt. The nuances of these coping mechanisms may differ from person to person, family to family, but we all have areas to grow and heal. There are some basic themes that most of us share.

1) Our thinking becomes distorted and we resort to black and white, right and wrong points of view. We do this because of our need for security. With the chaos that accompanies dysfunctional and low functioning family and societal systems, one coping mechanism is to attempt to 'make sense' of the lack of sense and order. We form strong opinions in our minds and try to find security in believing that we 'understand' what is happening. "This is wrong," we might say or "That is the right way." In categorizing our world, there is a sense of order. The sense of order that we have created, at least cognitively, gives us a sense of security and assists us in managing our own internal conflict inherent in the psyche of one whose emotional, physical, spiritual and/or social needs were not adequately and abundantly attended to.

2) Another common coping mechanism is to assign people as good and bad as well. We find blame with those who do not do what is 'right' and side with others who seem to be 'good' and share our views of the world. We may label our own behavior as good or bad as well and in our desire to 'rise above' those swayed by the evil of the world, we work really hard to be 'good' and 'do the right thing.' People can very easily fall out of our 'grace' as we have some clear notions of how they 'should' behave. Self righteousness is common, but we mostly view this as simply seeing the better way or knowing the better way to view a situation.

3) Disillusionment becomes the norm. Eventually, those held in the highest light will fall down from the pedestal. It is disconcerting for us, to say the least. The first time it happens, we may allay our shock and panic with the justification that we simply 'chose' the wrong person in which to place all of our trust. We will choose better next time. When another person held high on the pedestal of goodness and righteousness falls below our expectations or perhaps comes tumbling down, our sense of security may be temporarily shattered again. How do we now make sense of the world, create security for ourselves when we've put our trust in these most fallible people. Might we be fallible as well? Is it possible that all persons are fallible and wounded?

If we maintain a spiritual connection and a willingness for continued growth, this time of disillusionment can be pivotal. In coming face to face with our own distorted and faulty thinking, we are given the opportunity to view the world as gray rather than black and white. It is a time of maturity, of 'ripeness' in our own emotional and spiritual evolution if and only if, we have connection to a 'spiritual source' and become willing to surrender our own distorted thinking and beliefs. If this willingness to surrender happens, spiritual wisdom comes as the gift. In this gift, we learn the Wisdom and Beauty of Gray.

The definition of gray is 'the intermediate between black and white.' It's the place where we recognize or own imperfections and with great compassion and kindness also recognize it is not all of who we are. We are not the sum of our character defects or the sum of our gifts. More accurately, we are closer to the sum of both. Our weaknesses remind us we are not fully Divine and our gifts remind us we are partially Divine. We are all right and wrong, good and bad, human and divine. When we allow this truth to seep into our cells, we breathe a little easier in our own skin. We also have more kindness and tolerance for others. We welcome them with open hearts and mind, knowing they will someday disappoint us, for this is the way it is with gray. It is some where intermediating between our high ideals of the ways things should be and our real life experiences with others and ourselves where errors are made.

There is maturity and wisdom in gray. There is peace, gentleness and forgiveness in the gray as well. Here's to recognizing the beauty and wisdom of gray.

With love,


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Gifts of Tension

Struggle is something we are all familiar with although how we define it may differ. It is an uncomfortable tension and perceived difficulty that causes us to thrash around a bit, either physically, emotionally or intellectually. There is something of spiritual necessity in the tension that is provided if we are open. Nature becomes an important teacher and mirror of this.

Metamorphosis is the name given of the rapid transformation of larva into a butterfly. The process begins with the female butterfly laying her eggs on a plant. As women, we can see this as a mirror of our lives when a dream deep within us is being acknowledged and we germinate a seed in our lives, putting intention and consciousness to this passion within us.

The larva will emerge from the egg into a caterpillar and spends most of its time eating. As women, this would be the time when we find comfort and nourishment for ourselves and our dreams. We find communities that 'watch our back' and welcome our passions. These communities welcome our joy, our anger and our struggle without need to control or change us. These circles are open to our contribution, our growth and diverse perspective, knowing maturing communities grow in this tension as well. Hopefully, we mature together.

Next, the pupa or cocoon becomes the protective shield while the caterpillar finishes growing. The scientific word for 'cocoon' is chrysalis, which means gold. Most of the transformation takes place with this shield, within the gold.

Then comes a time of tension. For the caterpillar, there is pushing up against the sticky silken shield to develop strength and wing capacity. If the silken, sticky shield is cut prematurely and the caterpillar's process of pushing against the walls is interfered with, there are dire consequences and death. As women, perhaps this struggle and tension is our own pushing up against deeply held beliefs that no longer mirror the powerful women we have become. Perhaps it may include questioning those in power, individuating from the communities that have nurtured us and finding our voice in our relationships. It is the time we find our own ability to lead and serve.

Learning to hold the tension deep within, without 'acting it out' or avoiding its discomfort, provides us the strength to emerge free in our own beauty and fly.

Trust the tension and allow yourself to connect with your own spiritual resources within. The tension precedes grow and the emergence of strength and transformation.

May you be blessed with tension and allow it to teach you about the spiritual resources available to you, the magnificent process of mature transformation.

With love,