Dr Cheryl Meier's Blog

Walk in Love

Month: May, 2012

Shoulding Oneself

Dear Ones,
As we continue on this journey, I invite you to learn how to let go of “shoulds”! I just drew a picture of the progression to more freedom in your inner and outer life.

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Ok, so let’s work to understand this, because it changed EVERYthing for me, truly!! I learned it from Dr. Alan Surkis’ (my internship was at the Montreal General, and Surkis was Head Psychologist, so I didn’t include this in my book, cause it’s his work…I literally use these ideas every day in my office, so thank God he taught us this– I’m including it here.)

So, back to the chart– consider the way you operate on a daily basis. If you listen to how you speak to yourself and others and you hear lots of:

“you really should be doing this, and you shouldn’t be doing that….” or

“I really should get this done quickly!” or

“Sorry, I can’t go, I have to stay here!”

…then, guess what, you are about to have a major beautiful change in your life!! (if you choose to change)! It’s interesting because you can go through my blog or my unbreakable bonds book and see that I don’t have any “shoulds” as directives. (I saw some in the link to the 7 promises, but Daskalos speaks Greek primarily, so I’m just seeing that as a translation difference perhaps!!).

You can feel it in a person’s writing, when there aren’t shoulds. It is a refreshing and enlivening feeling!

Should is an irrational imperative:
“you must
because I said so….

Should is similar to shame and many other sh words…. If I motivate myself by shaming myself into doing things, then I am manipulating myself with shame. And why would I want to manipulate myself with shame? (sounds simple, right?).

We live in much closer alignment with our higher self and with God when we choose to give ourselves freedom . It’s best if we have a great respect and understanding of true freedom–which I am not going to cover extensively in one post, but the best example I was given was by Dr. Jerry Root (! I just love him, he’s dear!!) — he gave the example of Joe Theismann– when his leg bone popped out during an injury at a football game — you didn’t hear Joe jump up and say:

“This is great!! Now my leg is free!! It can move in all directions!!”

Our leg was designed to move forward and backward — not 360…. There are certainly many many many limitations we do place upon ourselves because we mistakenly think that humans can only do “this” with matter –when Joshua/Jesus walked on water, multiplied the fish and the bread, etc. So it’s important to not be stuck in limitations we have because of our forgetfulness or ignorance….

We do have the ability to choose to walk in love. We have the freedom to motivate ourselves by shame (which always leads ourselves to one form of addiction or another) — or we can learn how to offer ourselves free choice.

So let’s look at the scale again:
1) Should, irrational imperative:

shhhhh, be quiet, because mommy says so…”

Then 2) Ought –this implies thought, for example:

“I really ought to be quiet in here, this is a place people come to for serenity and I ought to respect that…”

Then there is 3) “I want” :

“I want to be quiet in here, I enjoy the quiet…I want others to be quiet, I’ve thought about this, and I want to respect their request for this to be a place of quiet…”

And lastly, 4) there is “I choose” /
“I like”

I choose to go to that place where they ask for quietness!! I’m so excited to refrain from talking there!! I like having a place I can count on where I can quietly collect my thoughts!

—– it’s something like that!!
Usually I use the example of helping an elderly lady across the street– you can go through the exercise again to “get it”:
“I should help her”
“I ought to help her”
“I want to help her”
“I choose to help her, I like helping her!”

Or consider this, what would you want your fiancé to be saying on your wedding day!!

“I really should marry her”
“I ought to be marrying this guy…” (right?!!)
“I want to marry her”
“I choose to marry this woman, I love her and I like that I get this choice to marry her!”

It makes a huge difference in your inner psyche when you shift from should up to ought, up to want, then up to “I choose” (then learn to live in that place of “I choose/ I like”)!

It makes an incredibly huge difference, after you change this within, because then you naturally change how you relate with others like your spouse and kids.

Should has lots more to do with being “polite” or pleasing someone’s temporary wishes. For example!!! We often teach our kids:

“you should listen to me, because I said so!!”

then we get sooo angry at them for doing drugs, sleeping around, or whatever teens are doing these days– when we taught them to operate based on shoulds/pleasing others!!!:

“do what I say, without your thought involved, without your will involved, just because I said so, and I expect it, and it pleases me…”

We are blind to the fact that we taught them how to please and indulge themselves and others by demanding that they please us.

It is not about them pleasing us (as I understand it). It’s my job to teach my kids (and myself) how to freely choose to walk in Love. Yes, I correct them and give them consequences –but they do not have to do the right thing in order to please me — but because, like Joe Theismann knows, because that is the best way a leg operates, from front to back… It’s my job to teach my kids how to be wise– how to awaken their thirst for truth, for what is kind, and for wisdom.

We get to discover, research and learn about what is truly Loving, if being Loving is even our goal?!?!

Lets look at one more example of how “should” is shame based, and therefore, it only works temporarily and it crushes the inner person!!

“you really shouldn’t eat that– you’ll get fat–and then you’ll be rejected…”

Or “you shouldn’t drink that…”
“you shouldn’t be looking at that….”

Vs. I choose to invite myself to let go of that behavior. I choose to explore and look into what I think that old behavior has been giving me,
in what way has that been feeding me(?) how can I give myself a more satisfying and lasting form of healing/filling that old emptiness??

Should is like being on a treadmill– with a carrot in front of us and a boot behind us. It is a very surface motivation that does not run deep. We do not/cannot have deep conviction if/when our actions are the outflowing of a bunch of shoulds. It’s basically based on whose boot is gonna come down the hardest on our head?! — with shoulds our choices aren’t based on:

“what is the true good?”
“what is the highest good?”
“what is treating myself and others with the highest amount of dignity and respect?”
“what would I want another to treat me like?”

Like all my posts, I choose to end them before I take up your whole day and mine reading/writing it– there’s much much more to this dynamic–but we can begin here to build this foundation for freedom & wisdom.

For some reason, this Bob Marley song is coming to mind, so I’m choosing to “go with it” :
I shot the sheriff, bob marley, live

(wow!! I just watched that, now I know why my intuition suggested it!!! Look at how Marley is present in that song, in each moment… And the song is revealing the different parts of yourself that are important to shoot/resist — in order to truly be free!! It’s like one Marley song conveys more than this whole post!! Love to Bob Marley!!! And LOVE to you.)

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Marriage/relationships, a refresher course

I had the radio on for 5 min the other day (am) and the host said:

“I used to love her, but I’m just not in love anymore….”

I seriously thought about calling in…but that’s what’s great about this blog, I can direct that energy and understanding here so people that want to learn and want to free themselves, can.

Marriage and relationships are a funny mystery…if we understand part of their purpose then we can appreciate this place of “being married” much more!

Imagine, for a moment, that you have all these old emotional wounds from childhood– but they may be “dormant” — you have “sufficient” space between yourself and most others –where very few people activate these old wounds….

Enter—> a spouse and kids!

A spouse is like a mirror, he or she brings out whatever “deficiencies” or wounds you have. Remember, we “go back” to where we were hurt in childhood, we find someone familiar to push into that old role of our parents. (Notice the word “family” in familiar…Our spouses often reactivate our old family drama.)

What we find out though, through our anger and disappointment, is that we found someone who was wounded in the same way as us—who reacted to those wounds, in an opposite way than us. (I’ll explain/describe, below). That person is just as “disabled” as us, but they can empathize well because he does know the same pain.

Here’s the example:

Let’s say that both partners were neglected in childhood. One child may react by becoming a performer, outgoing, seeking attention to try to fill the neglect….the other child totally shuts down and became introverted– trying to deny his felt needs for love and closeness. Both people “magically” find eachother –(the shy person wants to be more outgoing and “confident”…the outgoing one is exhausted from performing and doesn’t want to feel so needy)…. they think the other will heal them…when, really, they have both just reacted an opposite way to the same pain. (What they each need is the solution not a reaction.)

Regardless of how that example sounds marriage is still a sacred union that can truly be the catalyst we needed in order to SEE what was broken and take responsibility to heal it. (It CAN be healed, it’s just that we are now adults, our parents and spouses cannot heal us…only we can, with the help of the Creator, who is LOVE, who gives this LOVE freely….we just don’t yet experience it…if we still think it’s our spouse’s job, or that we’re meant to just be empty, resentful, performing, or begging the rest of our lives…etc).

This is why though, we have that phenomenon where we experienced falling in love and once we find out that person does not have the solution, but their own reaction
—and we find out they are not healing us
— and our inadequacies are all the more apparent,
—and we engage in a “power struggle” trying to push the other person into reading our mind and loving us in all the ways our parents didn’t…
—and it’s still not working…
—then people complicate everything cause they think that diving into a new pool (affair or divorce) will solve everything, when really, they just needed to learn how to swim! (it’s a CS Lewis quote, in his book “The Four Loves” …we like the sensation of diving/”falling in love” so much but we never learn to swim…).

Even when we leave our spouse for the affair the broken patterns we have within us, do manifest in the new “affair” relationship anywhere between 2 hours and 2 years (Harville Hendrix’ book: Keeping the Love You Find is the best book I’ve found on this– except for he emphasizes that the other person can heal you, and they can’t, not in and of themselves, — but Hendrix has amazing insight as to how we are wounded in each stage of development and what it looks like as adults and that our partner does act as a mirror and shows us what needs healing…just look at the re-occurring arguments!  They point to exactly what you are wanting.)

One more point before wrapping up this post, that I’m sure to mention lots more– is Shakespeare’s quote:

Thou dost protest too loudly!

Look to wherever the energy is–and you will see what old pain keeps getting re-activated and then you can begin to take the steps to SEE it, take responsibility for your own pain, and begin to heal it!

It’s the pie/pizza rule…. If your spouse or child does something that really only warrants addressing with 1/8th piece of the pie, but you are throwing the WHOLE thing at them…then that 7/8ths is your own unconscious “baggage” not theirs– and the more you over react with them, the less chance you have of actually addressing the 1/8th that needs to be addressed at some point–and a MUCH less chance of ever seeing your own stuff because you’re so lost in rage at theirs.

Jesus was showing us they way to heal when he directed us to take the log out of our own eye then we will be able to remove the speck out of our brothers.

There’s lots more…but this will help you be more loving and compassionate to that kind person we’ve been engaging in all this madness for so many years! I know, they’ve been doing it too…but you can heal what is missing, and learn to forgive “all debts owed to you” from the past– and it REALLY cuts down on resentment….

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Independence Day, Separation, and No Coincidences

So, I felt the prompting to set my mp3 player to shuffle while doing “chores” today (I usually listen to lectures and teachings,etc.) …and this song started playing: Independence Day. (by Elliott Smith) … It was so profound and so poignant!

I immediately went to find it on YouTube (for you) to post the link here on this blog & I listened to it there and thought to myself:

” ‘this guy’ was tapping into the deep knowledge of the Spirit…” (or of our Creator, or however one describes this phenomenon– i.e., the Psalms of David).

I loved the song when he sang it back when I knew him, and I could feel it was deep, but now, after being a therapist and psychologist for 15+ years, I see much more psychological and Spiritual depth to it–and I was saying to myself “he must’ve just tapped into that, he didn’t consciously ‘know’ all that he was writing.?!” And guess what!? I happened to look down at the comment section on the YouTube vid and “Dressrehersalrags” had commented:

“Elliott didn’t write it. As with John Lennon, this came from the spirit world…”

I have the equivalent of a masters degree in theology and clearly, a deep interest, but I do not know the complexities of what we get to choose before we “show up” here! But I am perfectly serious when I say this — there are no coincidences! I don’t know how it all works, and believe me, that would be a very very long post for you to endure if I began to describe all my thoughts that I’ve gathered and worked through on this subject…so it’ll have to be in small bites and over time (and we each walk our own path and have our own way of understanding Truth, dear God correct me when I am wrong…).

But back to the psychological significance and how it can work to help us change in our every day life:

This subject of

s e p a r a t i n g

from the old ingrained ideas we have received from our sometimes-not-so-conscious parents –is a subject that comes up often in the “therapy room.” We hold on to that which is familiar (“family”). So even when these old ideas are destructive, we repeat them because that is what is known and familiar. They showed us, by their actions, that “THIS is what people do, and it’s impossible to change, or we would have, so don’t even try!”

Like I’ve already written, it’s not like most of our parents meant to teach us these things (even if they did, I’ll eventually do a post on that subject), but forgiveness is still a necessity.

If we just say:

“oh, they didn’t mean to

then we are excusing them.
And if we keep excusing them, it indicates we are in a “pleasing” /passive position. When we excuse them, we also repeat that same pattern internally and indulge/ EXCUSE ourselves.

Thus, the pattern is repeated!  Over and over and over and over….

What is necessary, if we wish to heal, is to consciously move out of the excusing pattern and choose to see that they were responsible then, but now we are adults, we are responsible to separate ourselves from those ideas and patterns. We are responsible to change, heal, bring LOVE to those areas.

I know Elliott would not mind at all if I use his art to help others, because he was so generous in that way— so, we can look at his lyrics to help us–because sometimes art, like the Tolstoy quote indicated, can get us beyond our ingrained defenses, and reveal the truth.

A Future butterfly,
gonna spend the day higher than high
You’ll be beautiful confusion
Ooh, once I was you

It’s important to hold this idea, somewhere in our mind and imagination, that at some future time, God willing, we will be transformed (future butterfly), we will have changed from whatever we are now, here, to what the Creator designed us to become– we will “remember” what it is we are meant to do and BE, because, like Boethius says, everything learned is just remembering.

“Higher than high”, is very clear to me in my perspective now, that – as we ask God to purify our hearts — He can give us an understanding that is higher than our “flesh” or higher than the highest wisdom of this earth.  I recall St. Paul describing all of his achievements, knowledge, and religious training he had gained on this earth–that they are all like a dung hill now, in comparison to the knowledge of Christ:

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ…”

It’s taken me years, just to understand a little, and have experiences of Grace where I see (understand in my inner self) things that my own mind could have never comprehended by reading books.  When we are so caught up in this life, in our depression and pain or in running after things of this earth– or numbing ourselves to “shield” from pain — we get so lost we cannot “see” this place of “higher than high” — but it is like a ray of sunshine that shines through on a day where it was just raining…or I am reminded of Bilbo Baggins, when he is in the thick, dark Mirkwood forest and they (the dwarves) are so discouraged and have almost given up in despair — he climbs the highest tree and sees the sun — and I just remembered, butterflies!  hobbit-77-butterflies-of-mirkwood

Bilbo says: “There are moments which can change a person for all time” (J. R.R. Tolkien)…

I saw you caught between all the people out making the scene
And a bright ideal, tomorrow
Ooh, don’t go too far
Stay who you are

Imagine that the “you” in these lyrics is another part of “you” –So, part of you is your Soul/spirit and another part of you is caught up in your present-day-personality, your ego-self, the person you see in the mirror– caught in the traps of materiality and temptations of building up your false-self (which doesn’t last).

“Don’t go too far, stay who YOU are”…

Who are You?  What if we are all like the prodigal son, we leave the Father and go out “here” on our life’s journey, to experience 3-d time and space, and we are meant to return back to God, in whose likeness and image we were once created?  In a way, this return is returning back to who we truly ARE, or were already, in some sense, beyond time. (It’s really difficult to try to summarize or describe this, because it is a deep mystery that is just unfolding to me in my own life, and I do not wish to mislead you in any way–ever, so sometimes it’s better to stay silent!).  Tolkien’s Hobbit book was called “a Hobbit’s Journey–there and back again”…Tolkien knew this idea well — much better than I do!

Everybody knows
Everybody knows
Everybody knows
You only live a day
But it’s brilliant anyway

When something is repeated three times in the scriptures in means it is very important, pay attention, there is deeper meaning here! (See C.S. Lewis’ “The Horse and His Boy” — when asked who he is, Aslan replies:

“Myself,” said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again “Myself,” loud and clear and gay: and then the third time “Myself,” whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all around you as if the leaves rustled with it…”

You are invited to “know” in a deeper way than you ever thought possible.

Everybody “knows” on one level– such as the surface level, and then on another level, and yet there is a deeper level of knowing beyond that.

I saw you at the perfect place
It’s gonna happen soon, but not today
So go to sleep, and make the change
I’ll meet you here tomorrow
Independence Day
Independence Day
Independence Day

“go to sleep” is not about becoming unconscious or numb, but think of the silk worm or the caterpillar, who willingly lets their outer person “die” or fall away (“sleep”), so that they can change into their true self and fly.

We’ll have to continue this on another blog….
too long already!
“I’ll meet you here tomorrow” (ha!)

Here’s the wonderful book by Boethius, written in 580 AD!

xoxo

I do this because….(part 2, moving out of passivity)

So, I know this post shows up at the top, before the previous one (part 1 of this post is here ) so if you are just now showing up, I still think the best way is to start at the first post I posted, because I’m building on each. But you choose!

Feel free to stop for a second and breathe slowly. I’m definitely going to have to write some posts about meditation…or the Lectio Divina.

Ok, so we left off mid-session 😉 last post, exploring this idea of :

“Yes, I was a child then, and yes my right brain is not connected with time and space so that part of me doesn’t realize I have a choice! I am an adult now, I did have to wait for my parents to protect and teach me then, but I no longer have to be in that passive, childlike, waiting position!!”

I’m too scared to change because (bc)….

Ans.: I learned really well how to follow this pattern in the broken environment I grew up in… Change was “dangerous” ….

And I assume I will always continuously be in that same broken environment bc….

Ans: bc I always was…

And if it is true that I manifest that which I still imagine, then I have continued to manifest this old-reality-environment into my present life….

I’ll put it this way– if I always saw my parents struggling then I absorb this idea that life is a constant struggle.

(I’m not saying that it’s not, in a way, but if I never learn how to care well for and respect myself plus I keep finding other people that walk on me–like I insist I “deserve” —- then I just created lots more struggle in my life….)

Look at it this way (and I might have mentioned this briefly on my post with the wagon wheel) — our life here, somehow, is like the movie “the Matrix” –a hologram, and whatever unresolved brokenness and patterns we have inside, continue to “magically” cycle “outside”, manifesting in our lives over and over and over again, until they are healed in a REAL way!

I sort of look at it as God’s gift to us. (The Creator has an amazing sense of humor, eh?!) — it is truly of great benefit that we get to see it so clearly though, if we make the conscious choice to take a step back, and look!

We always go back to where things broke down, find new people or the environment to play the parts, and we try to create the happily ever after!

For example, when we keep fighting with our spouse about taking out the trash, or whatever the re-occurring argument is about — guess what?! It’s not about the trash! 🙂

We will work, here, to get to a place where you can see clearly what that is! And see clearly how to move out of this passive, waiting, afraid, child-like state….

We have the ability to move into a place of making a deliberate choice, creating a new path (blazing a new trail– it’s cliche’, but I like the idea of burning in a new path!), of letting go of fear and seeing there is no need to hold onto it…and of seeing that I can create a healthy environment for myself and then I’ll SEE that I don’t have to react in those old ways!

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I do this because….

It’s important, on this path of bringing the subconscious things we do into the conscious, that we are not demanding and judgmental towards ourselves. I’m not saying: “everything goes.” …but when a person keeps doing the same thing over and over –the whole:

“you’re an idiot and why the ____ are you doing that!!?!!!”

doesn’t work to bring change into our lives.

One thing I was taught by Dr. Alan Surkis, was that if I ask my clients direct questions like “why?” it puts them in the defensive position and it also indicates that I need the answer. I don’t need any answers. They are there to give the answers to themselves, not to me.

Instead of asking yourself who?, what?, why?, when?— it’s important to learn the path of exploration. I describe it as shining a light into the darkness to see. — Yes, we do discover what is going on and why and when it started, etc. But we are not demanding answers of ourselves either.

The example I gave in my now out of print book: Unbreakable Bonds: Practicing the Art of Loving and Being Loved (which I see is 2$ used!! Perfect!! I’ll try to get it on a free PDF sometime if possible!! ) –anyways, the example was just a simple one– if I (metaphorically) hit myself over the head every morning with a red frying pan… I can start the exploration of seeing:

“I do this because….”

Ans: “…because I wanted to be my own person…. My parents always did it with a blue frying pan– and I chose the red one!!”

Isn’t this like what we do though?? I don’t mind using silly sounding examples if they work– I could just as easily say

“I often drink excessively to the point of drunkenness because….”

Ans.: “….because my parents were drug addicts and I never wanted to touch drugs, they’re horrible!!! So instead I numb myself with alcohol….”

—-
Let’s follow the example of drinking excessively (believe me, there are many many other more subtle forms of addiction we can follow without even realizing how similar the pattern is to “an alcoholic” or “drug addict”, etc)

Ok, so without judgment, let’s continue this example:

“I often drink to the point of drunkenness because….”

Ans: “I just want to numb myself”

And I want to numb myself because…

Ans: “No one taught me how to deal with/connect with feelings…”

And I wait for someone to show up and teach me how to connect with feelings (mine and others) because….

Ans: because (“bc”) ….bc they never did, they are my parents it is their job.

And I can sit here and wait forever for “them” to “get it” but they may never “get it” …so let’s see why I want to put my life on hold and wait for them to SEE that they never showed me how to accept and connect with feelings, how to be present, how to build true intimacy …. I refuse to see the possibility that God/Source/Creator equipped me with this capacity but my parents didn’t “water” or activate this capacity within me.

It was their job then, but you cannot give away what you don’t have–(they innately did have it, but they were most likely waiting for their parents to “get it” and activate this ability in them). So Joshua Immanuel (Jesus) showed us how to free ourselves from this pattern– He taught us to pray “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
This is a debt that they owed us (of deep love, as a parent is meant to give)– but they didn’t pay it–how long are we going to sit here and re-send (resent) the bill to them???? We can wait forever, or we can instead find our way out of this by exploring now:
I wait here instead of learning how to activate this knowledge from deep within because…..

Ans.: “….bc that’s what they did….they acted like it was an impossibility not to sit here in this passive position?!?!!!…I must keep waiting like a child, right?”

—–
I’ll continue with this in the next post, most likely, unless something more important reveals itself! (but I will return to it!)

I hope this pattern of self exploration was beneficial for you in your life at this moment!
Much love dear friends!

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First Session, Depression

So, I’m working to keep these brief, without losing depth. (Depth usually wins if I have to choose!!)

Now that we’ve established: 1) how important it is to ask the questions regarding why we are here; what our purpose is; and which ideas/goals ought we to put first, in order to get the second things too. (First things First blog ) 2) I addressed how to go about finding a GOOD psychologist or, if you choose to begin working on yourself, it is important to begin by inviting yourself to stop indulging your old defenses–as if they are great and do NOT get distracted by the piles you have created they are real, and need to be addressed, but as long as you get lost in the “spokes” you’ll never heal the core–and THAT is what we need to heal!! 3) I wrote a short blog about the importance of doing this work on the canvas of your life– with a little introduction to where your own intuition can lead you.
Ok, so now– in my first session with clients we usually get to this picture:

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There’s a Proverb that says:

Above every charge keep thy heart, For out of it are the outgoings of life.

In the above drawing, that I just scribbled down at the gas station– is a picture of a heart that is not guarded, on the left. If we follow the Proverb, then– above everything–, we are to keep watch over, observe, and guard our heart– like a shepherd over his sheep, or a kind mother and father over their little children. It doesn’t mean put a brick wall around our heart–just like we wouldn’t be protecting the sheep or our children if they were just put up in a castle tower and left there.

Out of the heart flows the outgoings of life. If our heart has been stepped on, ignored, neglected, un-protected, etc. then we will have learned (by their actions) that “that heart is not worth protecting” –hence, the drawing on the bottom of the picture (with the boot) is one, among many, of our coping mechanisms/defenses.

To depress means “to press down.” If you were taught NOT to protect your heart (by the purposeful or –most likely– unconscious actions of the people who raised you)–then when all the arrows of life get through those holes (in the drawing) –that heart is left full of them & bleeding!!

We can’t live that way, and yet we insist on holding onto the old idea we learned from our parents and they learned from theirs, etc. So, we find a quick-fix solution—-> we use our energy to press down or numb our hearts. We use anxiety, drugs, alcohol, workaholism, tv, or many other things– to serve the same purpose. (We don’t have to if we really learned how to protect ourselves in a real and meaningful way.).

It’s important that I wrap this post up, but I want to mention the other part of the drawing. If you look at the protected heart on the right–it is also full— I filled it in because LOVE truly is the substance of LIFE. We could (and the majority of people do) temporarily fill our hearts with false-importance, titles, money and the things money can buy, temporary relationships, etc. etc. etc. But those things won’t last– only REAL LOVE is what will satisfy and keep us filled!!

The good news is that there is an infinite supply of LOVE readily available to us right now, in this moment. The bad news is: we keep insisting on filling it with the stuff-of-nothing…. It’s like that saying “Mr. Right!?! I’ll take ‘Mr. Right Now’ “!! As simple as all of this sounds, and as cliche as “Mr. Right Now” is–as long as we’re choosing the temporary solution then we aren’t building up the muscles & perseverance we need to find and keep the true solution.

I write this with love in my heart.
I wish you much love on this path–wherever you are on it at this moment.

This was kind of heavy so I’m linking to a song here…I prefer this version of the Todd Rundgren song:
Love is the Answer
(there’s even English and Portuguese lyrics in the comment section of the vid.)

The Canvas of Your Life

Dear Ones– Yeah, You!!

In the late 90’s I followed this “weird” call of my intuition one night and ended up befriending a certain musician, fellow “Texan,” also a child of a psychiatrist (like me),…his name was Elliott Smith. His beautiful songs were in the movie Goodwill Hunting… So anyways, we were talking one evening and I told him how lucky he was, to be able to live the life as an ARTIST– and he said:

—Cheryl, you are an artist and the canvas is a person’s life …you get to work with them to create something beautiful… —

I was always drawn to music, art, and writing– but had never considered myself an “artist” before he so kindly catalyzed that idea to the surface.

Truly, we are all artists, creative-creators. (Elliott also told me not to be afraid of cliche’s!!)

In the Scriptures there is a verse that says we are God’s ~poema~ (in the Greek)…poem, or masterpiece…

C.S. Lewis has a wonderful quote about how oftentimes we’d rather be a simple scribbled-drawing done in a day– instead of a masterpiece that God continues, unceasingly, to work on.

This post is about the importance of taking this canvas of your life seriously; consciously doing something beautiful with it– because this work effects the whole world!!

This work is not about staring at this false-self (present-day-personality) of ours in the mirror –to prop her up more, no, indeed, this is quite the opposite of that… That part of us is to be let go of, or consciously worked with, as a vehicle, when we find we are able!! As Elliott wrote in his lyrics, it is a type of clown part of us:

–The hero kills the clown…
The slow motion moves me
The monologue means nothing to me
Bored in a role, but he can’t stop
Standing up to sit back down
Or lose the one thing found–
~ Elliott Smith

I really mean this: the clearing out of (or making conscious) your subconscious patterns–changes the world!  If God is the “light of the world” and you are covered in smudges that are in need of light, healing, transformation –then, you, taking responsibility to undertake such a cleaning and transformation –are then cleared– so that the individual being that is truly YOU can shine the Light of the Creator more brightly!  This effects EVERYone!

This work is not done “magically” or just by reciting words in prayer– prayer can certainly help (I heard someone teaching the other day that prayer has a distinct vibration from anything else, a sincere prayer from your heart is always heard/received, creates something…). But this work requires your will, your feelings, and your reasoning- all 3 engaged.

We will journey on this adventure together in this blog –as we discover more of what the true and deep meaning is, to respect this Canvas that the Creator gave us to work with –and work, engage with LOVE, to create that which is truly beautiful!!

As Dostoevsky says:
“The world will be saved by beauty”

Elliott loved the Russian writers, like Dostoevsky and Tolstoy (and Kierkegaard, though he’s not Russian, but he writes beyond my depth, like them!!)

Here are some quotes of Tolstoy’s that I found, directly before I started writing this post:
LEO TOLSTOY, What Is Art?

“Real art, like the wife of an affectionate husband, needs no ornaments. But counterfeit art, like a prostitute, must always be decked out. The cause of production of real art is the artist’s inner need to express a feeling that has accumulated….The cause of counterfeit art, as of prostitution, is gain. The consequence of true art is the introduction of a new feeling into the intercourse of life, as the consequence of a wife’s love is the birth of a new man into life. The consequences of counterfeit art are the perversion of man, pleasure which never satisfies, and the weakening of man’s spiritual strength.”

“Art is the uniting of the subjective with the objective, of nature with reason, of the unconscious with the conscious, and therefore art is the highest means of knowledge.” ~Tolstoy

Here’s a short story by Tolkien about a man, Niggle, who was working on his life’s canvas actually… It’s called:
“A Leaf by Niggle

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(this is a picture I found in a book, by Autumn De Wilde–there I was, in the picture…that was the first night I met him too….listening to our intuition is a wild ride!)

Finding a Psychologist

When looking for a psychologist or therapist there are many things to look for!! (Because this is “my” blog –I am just going to be frank– I’m certainly not saying I am “right” or that this is as comprehensive as I’d like to be– but hopefully my informed views can spur you on to consider things for yourself on another level in this search for a psychologist.)

1) We are where we are because we created this situation. Whatever pattern we keep repeating over and over again in disguised or not-so-disguised ways –is because we have long-held internal dynamics/patterns.

We have, in certain ways, continued to feed defenses or reactions we formed early in childhood — now what I SEE– over and over, is that people finally seek “help” because the consequences of these continued actions has manifested enough PAIN that they are (often temporarily) motivated to change their ways.
None of us are that invested in changing, usually, or we would have:

“You show what you want by what you do” Dr. Alan Surkis

We aren’t invested because we don’t realize that we can find much much much better ways of offering ourselves REAL protection and REAL LOVE. We stick ourselves to our old patterns and remain stuck.

I’ll have to create another blog post for all of this, back to the subject—->
What happens, more often than I wish, is we will go and find a therapist or psychologist that INDULGES our defenses!! He or she will sit for an hour (or two) a week & listen to us complain about how our pain is manifesting here (at work), here (at home), here (with the kids– who learn these same patterns!), here (with my way of relating with the Creator/my spiritual life) and HERE (with my spouse & within myself psychologically and physically!)!

I could spend absolutely FOREVER listening to each of my clients complain about any one or all of these “piles” — and they may temporarily feel better because someone is LISTENING– but I tell you, unequivocally, it is a complete DISSERVICE!!

Imagine an old wagon wheel with all the spokes going out–the spokes represent all the piles of problems we’ve inadvertently created by not seeing that we could take responsibility for our patterns, and change them/ really heal. Ok, so, if a person goes into the CORE, or the center of the wagon wheel and heals THAT then all the spokes will begin to change as well.
Some of my clients get really angry at first because they say “I am paying you to listen!” and believe me, I am listening, but I won’t let them just sit and waste their time, energy and will — complaining about the piles they have created!! That is PLEASING/ indulging and it is a cruel practice. (One can see the documentary movie called Buck–and see what happens to the lady that kept indulging her horse and it literally almost charged and killed her…I know this seems unrelated, but it is not— I’m telling you plainly, when we indulge these old and broken parts of ourselves we torture not only ourselves but others– all while having the best of intentions!).

So 1) Do not go to a therapist who will just indulge you in this “I am a victim, please feel sorry for me” place.
(When you dig up –all-of-everything bad— from the past you can activate old elementals that were dormant and now you have actually re-activated/animated them!)

(you will not get better this way and you will remain blind to the destructive defenses you have been employing & “befriending” for years!)

2) re-read 1!! Haha!! That’s basically “it” — the word therapy in Greek is “healing” the word psyche= soul — psychotherapy is MEANT to help you heal you so that you are re-aligned to the deepest part of yourself (not this exterior ego/present-day-personality self we become so invested in).

2) do not find a “new parent” for a therapist– my job, as I see it, is not to BE my client’s parents– but to TEACH them, reveal to them–the abilities they already have, that the Creator bestowed to each of us– to be truly LOVING. Not to sound cliche’– but the client gets to learn how to parent themselves in a kind way so that they can then integrate their healed (formerly arrested-development-child-self) with the new kind-(not indulgent)-parent that we “activated” or manifested from the raw materials God gave us.

Believe me, I know how nice it SEEMS to have someone say:
“it’s all them, none of it is you, you are a poor victim & I am going to be your new parent.” …for 100-200$ a week or whatever people charge these days!!

I’ll wrap this post up here– and, as “always”, when I make the time, I plan to leave links within and at the bottom for you to do more of an in-depth practice/growing/learning from your own initiative, if you’d like to!

Here is a good page on Dr. William Callahan’s web site on “preparing for therapy”– an EXCELLENT resource in itself!  Skip down to “preparing for a session with me” section:
Dr. Callahan’s perspective

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First things First

For my first blog post– I’m writing one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes about putting first things first:

“Apparently the world is made that way…You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first.”

I look to Joshua Immanuel the Christ (Jesus), to understand what he revealed on this subject:

“Seek first the Kingdom of God,*
and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Besides wanting to know the depth of the Aramaic meaning of the above teaching… I ask:

“What is the Kingdom of God?”
“What is his righteousness?”

We are told:

The Kingdom of God is within us
But what does this mean?

Bob Marley reiterates:
Man is a universe within himself.”

Elliott Smith sings:
“Why should you want any other — when you’re a world within a world?”

And what is “righteousness“? :

It certainly isn’t any external veneer of trying to play a role –of an idea of what one thinks a righteous person looks like– in his particular culture.

Plato reminds us:
The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.”

I’m exploring this idea of –first things first-because it seems very important, first, to seek to know WHY we are here on this earth, in this material body and to know what is beyond our material body (such as a Creator & our Soul-Self).

Thus, it is important to learn how to clear out whatever is blocking our path from knowing the above. We truly need to know how to find this kingdom of God that is within us, and how to re-align ourselves with LOVE.
(God is LOVE….so I’m speculating that aligning ourselves with pure LOVE has something to do with “righteousness”).

As my “about” page indirectly indicates: I welcome anyone who finds this blog here– no matter what label of –faith or no faith– you currently assign to yourself. Truth is a many sided diamond. I realize that I see things through the filter I have and I am constantly looking to understand and grasp a greater dimension of the truth. A friend once told me: whenever you climb out of one box, you’re climbing into another one.

Here’s a link to a (PDF) book that will blow your mind, as it relates to the alchemy of change possible within. Maurice Nicoll’s: The New Man

Much Love

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This drawing is my rendition of Van Gogh’s called “At Eternity’s Gate