"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

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Humility comes from the Latin root "humilis" which means "from the earth." To me, this means being "grounded" with our feet planted. It is a way of being in reality and keeping oneself in the truth of a situation, whatever that might mean.

Years ago during some spiritual counseling that I received, I described myself as "not being very humble." The woman counseling me was able to read between the lines given the details that I had given her about a relationship I had been talking about with her. She told me that humility did not mean being a doormat. It actually meant standing in the truth of a situation. Sometimes this meant that I might be at fault in a situation and other times it meant that I was not at fault. Her definition added a component of maturity and simplicity to my own thinking about humility and today I have a better sense of what humility means in practical terms for myself and for my relationships with others.

I want to live from a place of humility on a day to day basis and I continue to learn what this means. Some situations seem easier to see from a place of humility than others.

Having had a spiritual awakening in the 12 step program that I have worked consistently for over 20 years, I find that my intuition is highly developed. I do not use addictive substances or behaviors to medicate and distract me from my emotional sobriety and intelligence. I am fully present in my own body, heart and mind. I see, hear and sense with a highly sensitive vibrancy. With this "knowing" and "sensing" I am often overwhelmed with my own energetic vibrations and what I "pick up" on a daily basis.

I also find this high sensitivity is welcomed by many and threatening to others. This clarity of vibration, thought, seeing and sensing mirrors to others who they are and often who they are not. This can be seen as threatening when one is lacking in emotional maturity and sobriety or with one who has not yet accepted responsibility for their own reactivity and triggers. Often, I am blamed, albeit unconsciously, for something that someone sees of themselves when they look into my eyes or the mirror of our relationship.

In humility, I want to learn how to see these dynamics clearly and with compassion. Often I find myself defensive with people's projections and I attempt to control their anger or reactivity. It is an ongoing prayer and intention that I trust what I am able to see, be open to a new perspective and not to engage energetically with someone else's woundedness, blame, criticism and projections. I want to "stand with my feet on the earth" and humbly see what I see with detachment and compassion, rather than engaging my own defensiveness with others. My desire is to see people's hurt and pain with care and understanding, rather than call forth my own protective behaviors.

In Co-Sex addiction, as with any addictive behavior, we must seek the intervention of a power greater than ourselves. We must be willing to see ourselves with our automatic behaviors and defensive patterns and ask for help, knowing that on our own, we are not able to change or alter the reactivity. In seeing what I see, knowing what I know, sensing what I sense in others, I become a mirror for them. I must be willing to be with this gift humbly, without allowing my own fear or reactions to their projections to interfere. If they are not willing to see their own wounds and defensive postures honestly, then I can hold them with compassion and neutrality and not feed the dynamic with defensive energy. They also mirror to me my own reactivity and defensiveness. Today I choose to see these reflections of myself as an opportunity to practice humility, detachment, compassion and neutrality.

Being grounded and with my feet firmly planted, I can source the power of Mother Earth and other Spiritual Resources. In this way, I allow myself to be centered in service and care for the highest good of all involved.

My co-sex addiction and all the hurts, wounds and defensive patterns that go along with it can actually become connection with humility. In my dis-ease, I remember my want and need for Spiritual Connection and a Power Greater than myself. I can choose for the highest good of all involved and surrender my own self-will in any given situation or relationship. My dis-ease and addictive behaviors as are a place of humility and spiritual connection in which transformation and healing come only through my choice to surrender and the grace of spiritual intervention.

Humility means knowing who I am in all my glory. I believe it also means knowing who I am in all my woundedness and seeking spiritual intervention when needed.

In service,


Monday, August 3, 2009

Boundaries and Spiritual Nourishment

Boundaries are always a challenge for those of us learning to live in our power and in our love and service for others. Sometimes being detached feels like not caring. And sometimes caring for others feels like there is only room for them and I get lost in the shuffle.

When I am with my family of origin and the community of my childhood, having good boundaries and self care is especially challenging. These are the people that gave me life and gave to me the perspective and values through which I see the world. This is the system in which I learned my behaviors, some that I am grateful for and others I have chosen to unlearn.

There are many values that remain with me that I choose to honor in my life today that came from my growing up. There are some new values that I have developed and matured within that I choose to honor in my life today as well. These are a bit more challenging since the pull to do it the original way that was modeled and taught is still so strong. Sometimes I am not even aware that I am reverting to old behaviors until I start to see some old consequences, and then I must adjust and remember to choose another way.

Years ago when I entered recovery and began to do personal healing and empowerment work, I had a fantasy that people in recovery and personal growth circles would know everything there was to know about boundaries and about healthy behavior and communication. What I discovered is that we are all wounded and act out of our original hurts and poor behaviors with one another from time to time.

Even in 12 step recovery, there are many individuals who do not honor the values of the program and what it teaches. Often, individuals engage in gossip and triangulation. There are times 12 step goers engage in harsh judgments and criticisms of others. I've also seen blame and inappropriate anger being passed from one to another in the 12 step community.

Today I am aware that there is not a single person in my life that does all things healthy, perfectly or even how I might want them to do it. Each person that I love and have a relationship with is flawed in some way. I still have a fantasy that some day, I will find the perfect partner, or friend or relative or colleague who is able to do it as I would and without betrayal, disappointment or inappropriate anger and blame. They will have the perfect boundaries.

This is why my spiritual nourishment and nurturing is so essential in my life.

When I do not take time to care for my spirit and soul, I begin to feel the disappointment of my unrealistic expectations of others and my unrealistic expectations of myself.

When I forget to sit quietly and allow myself to connect with Divine Energy and Source, I begin to feel like I am Divine Energy and Source and start to feel the overwhelming weight of the world.

When I do not take time for my own prayer and meditation practice and being reminded of a Power greater than myself, I begin to engage in controlling behaviors that do not leave space for spiritual solutions or perspectives. My behaviors become automatic, not chosen out of my values and belief system.

In the first step of our 12 step spiritual program we own our powerlessness over others. In doing this step with humility, knowing who I am and who I am not, I open the door to the freedom of choosing self care and self nourishment. When my self care and spiritual health come first above all else, then I am able to choose to give to others from a place of fullness within. I can take care of myself, say no when I want and yes when I want as well. My perspective is realistic and balanced, as are my relationships with others.

Our Spiritual health is as essential as our physical health. In our spiritual connection with the divine, we quiet our minds and settle into listening to the silence. In the silence, there is great wisdom and intuitive nudgings that we learn to follow.

It is a selfish act and one that allows us to give us most generously to others.

Today I will take time to breathe deeply and allow myself to be filled with Divine Energy. From this place, all care and service to others from the place of fullness within will flow without.