"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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Embracing the MYSTERY

Someone that I loved died suddenly this last week. He was a mentor, therapist, colleague and friend. He used to remind me that we were committed to the same thing; healing and transformation.

He was active in many organizations committed to healing and had a vibrant practice in which many people sought his wisdom and assistance. I will miss him on this physical plane and will be grateful for the ways he touched my life and the lives of my family members and friends.

I have a fantasy that I have had to confront. In my mind it goes something like, "if I do all the right things, eat all the right foods, deal with my trauma and do my best to live a life of service, I will live a long and vibrant life." Today, I am not sure this is true. My friend did all of those things and he died very young. I am rethinking this fantasy.

Embracing the Mystery of life and death is part of living a spiritual life. The word, "mystery" comes from "mystic" which speaks about an "initiated person" and "initiated" comes from the word "beginning." Embracing the mystery in life and being a mystic or initiated person is just the beginning really. There is so much we do not know or understand. All that we can do is go within, trust our own spiritual process and surrender to the mystery of it all.

I wish there was another way to live the spiritual life other than having to be shocked by so many uncertainties, but I believe that the way of the mystic is to life this way. In our addictions and challenges, there is mystery and unknowns and our healing from it all depends upon our trust and surrender to it.

Today, I honor the mystery of the spiritual life. I honor the unknowns, the shocks, the comings and goings of great ones in and out of the physical and spiritual realms. Dealing with our addictions, giving up our trauma, old beliefs and behaviors will guide us into an unknown and new way of living. Surrendering to the mystery of it all seems the only option to keep us on the edge, trusting and open.

Blessings to you on this great journey of mystery and new beginnings,


Monday, May 10, 2010

Secrets keep us sick....

John Bradshaw was one of the first pioneers in addictive family systems that spoke over and over again about how secrets keep us sick. In the mid eighties, there was more and more information available about dysfunctional family systems and how addiction of any kind creates patterns in a family that keep us all stuck in our trauma and roles of survival.

In 12 step recovery, one of the 12 steps guides us to admit to ourselves, our Higher Power and another human being the nature of our wrongs, but the real juice and gift, is admitting and sharing with someone else. Something very freeing happens deep within our emotional and spiritual self when we finally share a secret and allow another to witness our pain.

This is a gift of Step 5 in which we share with another person something that has been kept secret or hidden. In the light of our honest and humble vulnerability, we open the door for healing and connection with another person. In this connection, our hearts and minds learn a new way to be in relationship with ourselves and others. It is a very profound step in our own healing and emotional maturation.

Here are some guidelines for sharing our secrets:

1. Be intentional and choose someone to share with who has some time in recovery, is a professional that understands addictive family systems or another person who can hold your sharing with sacred kindness and an understanding of the disease of addiction.

2. Have Divinity Circles® of support set up in your life as well as a spiritual practice that you can nourish for yourself. These are groups and individuals that understand emotional healing and are able to witness your journey with detachment and love.

3. Bookending with self-care. Often it can be an emotional drain to break the family or societal code and come out of hiding. Be sure that you have great self-care in place such as massage, exercise, buying a gift for yourself, time in nature, et cetera. Whatever feeds your soul and spirit. This is a way to care for self after a difficult secret breaking session has happened; whether in a professional setting or a 5th step meeting with a sponsor.

4. Be aware that after speaking up about a secret you have been carrying, there may be shame, fear or guilt that emerges. We keep these secrets as a way to survive. Many individuals have been threatened (this happens often with sexual abuse survivors) that if they "tell" they or someone they love will get hurt. Know that fear and shame may arise after breaking the secret and speaking it out loud. Have good support set-up so that you are able to continue to talk about all of this. Eventually it will heal and be an empowering experience, but at first it may be frightening.

5. Remember, it is a spiritual program and a spiritual solution. One of the greatest actions of self-love and self-care is nurturing a spiritual practice. Be bold about this for yourself. It will reap such powerful blessings.

Support from knowledgeable individuals and a spiritual program are essential as we leave behind old patterns of behavior and thinking and begin to bring to the light that which requires healing. Dawn will follow the darkness, as will empowerment, clarity and wisdom.

Blessings and love on your journey,