"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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Follow the Energy the Honors and Blesses

In my prayer and meditation practice over the last three years, there is a consistent theme that comes to me again and again. It is to...

 Follow the energy that blesses and honors.

This has been challenging for me at times, since I did not always know what it meant to "be blessed" nor did I know what it meant to "honor." These things I have had to learn for myself in recovery from my own dysfunction and dis-ease. 

First I learned how to bless and honor myself. What do I really want? How do I take care of my physical body, my emotional self and my spirituality? I learned boundaries; when to say "yes" and when to say "no." Eventually, I began to be able to discern energy that honors and blesses in my relationships with other people. Here are some of the questions that I asked in my relationships with others that allow me to discern whether it is a connection that honors and blesses.

1. Am I receiving as much from this relationship as I am giving? I find that I will develop resentments when I am giving out of a desire to manipulate or control another person or a situation or if I am giving more than I am receiving. I have also found myself involved in relationships with others in which I am giving of my time and energy with little given back from the other. This was a core behavior in my co-sex addiction. I thought giving and caring for others meant they would love me. Often, there is even a sense of entitlement from the other person that it is my "responsibility" to give to them. This is not an energy that blesses and honors all involved. An authentic connection with another is characterized by mutual support and appreciation.This, of course, has some consideration when we are parenting, volunteering in service or care-giving in some way for someone who is dependent upon us as in a sick person, elderly parent, etc. But even here we must be clear about our intention and our choice in giving of ourselves. Learning to receive is a large part of my recovery from co-sex addiction as is learning to give from fullness within.

2. Is there appreciation, trust and respect in our interactions with one another?  Are both persons in the relationship keeping their word? Can I count on the other person to do what they say they are going to do and to be available when I reach out? Is there shared appreciation for each others' contributions or am I giving consistently without receiving from the other person? One sided relationships are not empowered relationships and in my opinion, this is not energy that honors and blesses all involved.

3. Is the relationship and the interactions in the relationship primarily joyful and kind or is there an underlying drama and difficulty that permeates the relationship?  Dysfunctional and immature relationships are often characterized by gossip, drama, lots of emotionality and conflicts arising frequently. Women who are in competition with one another will often display these behaviors and not know how to be authentically intimate with each other. There is conflict and disagreement that occurs in any relationship, but if this is the overall energy of the relationship, then I choose to honestly question whether it is a relationship that honors and blesses and take action accordingly.

4. Lastly, it is my opinion that a relationship that honors and blesses has a primary focus on supporting one another in pursuing their visions and dreams for their life. Does the relationship support the manifestation of divine purpose of the individuals involved?  Again, there are always situations that are difficult and challenges that occur within any relationship, but the question remains pertinent to the overall functioning of the relationship. Is most of the energy being used in the relationship to support and encourage one another in the pursuit of that which matters most or is the energy around drama, blaming, gossiping and difficulty? 

Learning to follow the energy that blesses and honors begins with blessing and honoring self and then extends outward to others and the world around us. As I continue to recover from my own co-sex addiction and behaviors related to this dis-ease, I learn more about this. I've sadly chosen to set certain boundaries in relationships with others and leave certain relationships when I noticed the giving was one sided on my part. I've also seen myself attracted to individuals and then spend a good deal of my time and energy trying to get their approval and acknowledgment. This was my own wounded patterns emerging and I realized some internal work needed to be done as well. 

Today I pay attention to what feels good inside when I meet people and in my current relationships. My heart is generous and open, offering blessing to many who wish to receive it. Yet, I am responsible for honoring this part of me and being sure that my heart and gifts are offered to those who are able to receive and appreciate the giving. 

I do a good deal of volunteer and service work. I find that I want relationships that I can go to where I can be nourished and supported as well to balance out the giving. Having mutually supportive and mature relationships allows for our own replenishment and fulfillment which allows us to go out in the world in service.

Following the energy the honors and blesses allows me to experience the abundant resources available to me on a spiritual, physical and emotional level. I am grateful that I have done the self-esteem work that enables me to receive and attract energy that blesses and honors. 

I wish you courage in doing the same.

In love, 


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Apologies and Sweet Amends

One of the ways that I maintain my emotional sobriety and healthy connection to those I love is through taking responsibility for my behavior and making amends when appropriate. Of course,when appropriate, is a subjective call. Someone else might think I owe an amends or apology when I do not and I may want someone to apologize to me when they do not see reason or cause. All I can really do for myself and to maintain my own emotional sobriety, is to rely on my own values to help me determine the when appropriate is present. Making amends within the concept of my own value system and when I act outside of it, is my own measurement for maintaining emotional sobriety.

What is important to me in my relationships with others? And, when I do not live within these values, how do I handle this lack of integrity? What can I do on my end, to handle my part or my own incongruence since this is really all I have control over in the end?

When I have treated someone else disrespectfully, this contradicts the way I want to live my life. While I know that this will occur on occasion, I also know that when I take responsibility for these mistakes and apologize to the person I hurt, this will restore my emotional integrity and balance. It will often take a swallowing of pride and giving up of an ego driven desire to be right, but I find this a small price to pay to restore inner peace and a sense of wholeness.

I also notice that this tool of making amends, deepens authentic intimacy in my relationships. There is no relationship of any value or substance that will not, on occasion, come into conflict and disagreement in which individuals may behave, well, shall we say, not as they might have wanted to behave. This occurs in our closest relationships, most often, as it is in these close connections that we have the most opportunity for our wounded selves to emerge and hopefully, learn and heal. But this, really, is another blog topic. 

For now, healthy conflict resolution and emotional sobriety must include responsible self reflection and ownership of behavior and an ability to make amends when appropriate. 

Recently, I owned my behavior with a friend/professional contact. She thanked me for my ownership and then she owned what she believed was her part in the difficulty we had. After a few conversations, we both came to a deep appreciation of one another for our willingness to look to see what our responsibility was in the upset. We both have the experience that there are not many people willing to look so thoroughly and honestly at their own side of the street, so to speak. Our connection has been restored, but more than that, our connection to our own selves has deepened. We both learned from the interaction and believe we have matured and grown as well. 

Take a deep breath, look inside and see where there is a resentment or hurt about a relationship or someone you know. 

Focus on what you brought to the difficulty and where you may have contradicted your own value system in your own behavior.

Think about apologizing and making an amends to this person and see what happens from here. If contacting them directly is not an option, own your part and share with another person so you are witnessed. Then, hold the person that you owe an apology with great care and love in your own heart and mind. This, in itself, is a powerful amends. 

Making amends and being fully responsible for our part in our relationships is not easy, some of the time, but in my experience, the value for doing so is immense. 

Blessings on your journey to emotional sobriety, 


Thursday, April 9, 2009


In our 12 step work,  there is a step that asks us to do a searching and fearless moral inventory. Wow. In word alone it's rather daunting. I can understand searching fairly easily. It means extensive and to look carefully. But the idea of doing so fearlessly doesn't sit right with me. I think it is actually difficult and even improbable that one can do anything of great value and requiring courage fearlessly. I think that's what makes it great and effortful. It requires us to take on the task at hand in spite of the fear we may have. It is walking through the fear of it that offers us the greatest reward. It is the fear we must act in spite of that calls from within us our most extraordinary self.

When you explore the origin of the word fear, it is connected to the Old English word revere. To revere something is to admire it and hold deep respect. Perhaps it is, therefore, appropriate to hold in respect the things that we fear. In our patriarchal culture which sometimes calls us to divide and conquer, we've not given fear the place in our lives that it deserves. In our divide and conquer mentality, fear has been avoided and plowed through without consideration for the knowledge it has for us. There is something to be respected about the things that we fear. Fear can be a message of wisdom for us. It can teach us and guide us in knowing where there may be danger, how to avoid and avert it and perhaps, even, when to walk right through it and receive the gifts of getting to the other side. 

There is much to learn and explore in the area of fear. One thing is for sure. We can learn much from the places that fear shows up. We can find our own courage from within when asked to confront our fears. We can assess what our commitments and values are when fear is present. And we can also learn about discernment. This will guide us in how to hold the fear within and when to avoid a situation or walk, with courage and heart, right on through.

I know so many who believe that fear is bad and to be avoided. They belief it keeps us from living powerfully and freely. 

I say that fear is a gift, one that teaches us respect and discernment. Fear offers us the opportunity to choose which direction to take and how to evoke spiritual resources to assist us. Fear is the bestower of wisdom and distinguishes what our senses are offering to us. It is to be respected and honored for the information it provides. 

Doing an inventory, looking within, uncovering hidden places inside of ourselves that keep us bound up takes great courage. Not because we do so fearlessly but because we do so with the fear and in spite of it. 

Blessings on your journey to befriend your fear,