"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

Friday, October 16, 2009

Heritage and Community.....

I believe in the power of love, connection and heritage. I have spent many years looking at my family of origin issues and taking what I've liked and leaving the rest in terms of behaviors that were modeled in this system. It was an important stage of my own emotional maturation in which I looked at the dynamics in my family and the role that I played in this large system. It has been disturbing in some ways to have to come to an authentic reality regarding the dynamics in my family. I have looked at members of my family set up as heros, scapegoats, abusers and come to see honestly the roles that I have played as a way for the system to survive.

In my own commitment to emotional and spiritual maturity, I then have to view what has been accepted in the system with some skepticism and willingness to see from other perspectives. In grieving what were simply ways to survive in my family and seeing more honestly the wounds and dysfunctional dynamics of the system, I was able to view from the perspective of authentic understanding and compassion.

Today, I love my family heritage and can see many shadows, wounds and dysfunctions clearly. This allows for me to also see the gifts of my relations and how I take this inheritance into the world and bless others. One of the gifts of my large Italian family, is the ability to create community and connection. Our home was always open to family and friends. We had pizzelle and biscotti ready to share. There were many conversations at my mother's kitchen table that I remember witnessing as a young child and participating in as a young woman.

Our family gathered every Sunday to share a meal and on birthdays, graduations, weddings and funerals. We danced and ate until we were tired and full. I have learned how to enjoy the company of many different people and to share the joy of events in a celebratory spirit. I always had a sense of belonging and connection and have created community wherever I have been.

While I have created connections with others from some ways I learned in my family that do not work, I have also learned that a generous and open heart is a gift that I have and share easily. This is something I learned from my family. I have also found myself as the central spoke of many connections over the years and brought several individuals together so that they were able to create their own connections.

I believe that I have not been fully able to appreciate the gifts of my heritage without fully acknowledging its imperfections. In honestly seeing the painful dynamics passed through my own generations of survivors, I have been able to accept and forgive. In my acceptance and forgiveness, I've been able to also see honestly the unique gifts of my culture and heritage and can bless others well these gifts.

Authentic reality, seeing our histories clearly and grieving the fantasies we have attached to it, allows for authentic gratitude for the gifts given in our heritage and unique family systems.

May we all find the courage to see the painful dynamics in our families with honesty and compassion. Only in this way, can we take the gifts from our families and bless ourselves and others.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Authentic compassion, love and forgiveness.....

One of the greatest gifts of co-sex addiction recovery, or any authentic self-healing and empowerment journey, is learning self-love and compassion. In 12 step recovery, we begin to identify old addictive behaviors and learn new, boundaried behaviors with ourselves and others.

There will be setbacks and mistakes that we make along the way. Step 10 allows for us to acknowledge our errors and hurtful behaviors and to make amends to ourselves and others. Often, we make the same mistakes again and again as we learn our wounds take time to fully identify, embrace and heal.

In our courageous journey to emotional and spiritual maturity, we walk through our own shame, fear and perfectionism over and over again. In this learning, we are able to distinguish that while we make mistakes, we are NOT a mistake. There is a deepened understanding of humility and our own self-acceptance, with all of our warts, defects, shadows, etc., and we are able to receive mercy and acceptance from our Divine Source and from ourselves.

This deep level of self-love, self-forgiveness, self-compassion allows for a deep reserve of compassion, forgiveness and love that we are able to give to others as we have come to know and feel it in our own cells.

So, today....I celebrate my mistakes, my imperfections and my own shadows. As I seek the showering of compassion and forgiveness for my own imperfections, I learn how to provide this care to others. The awareness of these characteristics within myself and the experience of self-love, acceptance and forgiveness will allow me to give from the most authentic pool of compassion and forgiveness to others. I give this with authentic humility and joy.

With love,


Thursday, October 1, 2009


I hate being disciplined. In my fantasy of what it means to be guided in the spiritual life, to be an artist, a creator, "one who goes with the flow" living a disciplined life seems boring and rigid. There is also some fantasy about being "free" which means that there are no constraints on my self-expression and no structure in my day. In this fantasy way of thinking, discipline impedes this free expression. I wonder how to honor this organic style of expression and still keep harmony and order alive and well in my personal and professional life?

The word "discipline" comes from Old Latin meaning to learn and knowledge. In its origin of meaning, it does not imply rigidity. The beliefs that I have attached to what the word "discipline" mean are mine. I think part of healing from addictive behavior and being of service to others means being open to continue to learn and grow in knowledge and wisdom. To be a disciple of knowledge, of growth and continued learning is a value of mine. When I become rigid in my own beliefs, then it is easy to be "right" and make someone else "wrong" and lose my commitment to be of service in love and compassion. Rigid thoughts can lead to rigid behaviors and the disciplined action that feeds and nourishes me are lost as well.

Discipline is required in the spiritual life. Daily, I am called to quiet. Daily, I must choose to sit in prayer and meditation to be filled up and guided for my day. Daily, I am intentional about my time and energy and choose to engage in behaviors and practices that feed and nourish my body and spirit.

Being as sensitive as I am, daily exercise and movement keeps energy flowing as well as releases old energies that do not serve. Being as strong willed as I can be, I choose daily prayer and meditation as a way to connect with my Spirit Guides and Divine Resource for inspiration and to learn humble action.

My intention for service and healthy living becomes the foundation for discipline that honors learning and knowing. When my intention is to surrender to my higher self and be of service by honoring my passions and purpose, disciplined actions to align with that intention will follow.

When I resist the disciplined actions that most nourishes me in spirit and body, I lose this focus and inspiration. There is something holy that occurs when I choose to engage in the physical, spiritual and relational behaviors that honor my intention and divine purpose in life and when I am disciplined and do so consistently.

Discipline may not always be fun and exciting but I know in my heart and soul that when I engage in healthy and nourishing behaviors, on a consistent basis, that I know bring empowerment and vibrancy to my life, it is in service to all. Honoring those actions to care and nourish myself create the structure for my full self-expression and the ability to surrender to the flow of each and every moment.

Discipline is about learning and knowledge and the discipline of a prayer and meditation time daily is the greatest gift for Spiritual connection that I am able to give myself and others.

With love,