Dr Cheryl Meier's Blog

Walk in Love

Category: art and therapy

Vulnerability and Shame

So I’m sure I’ve said this in other blog posts…but it’s worth repeating:

shame is the substance that fuels addictions.

Or a C.S. Lewis quote I remember copying out back in my college notebooks:

“…to love at all is to be vulnerable…”

Last week one of my dear friends sent me a link to this Ted talk video—->

The power of vulnerability |
Brené Brown

It seems I’m a little late to the Brené Brown party! The talk was fabulous and worth watching! I suppose I’ve been so busy reading books from the 600’s and the 1300’s that I wasn’t aware of what was going on in popular psychology culture right at this moment!

I’m glad people are still speaking about this and bringing awareness and healing to those of us who are asking ourselves:

“am I the only one feeling this way?”

I use this example with my clients:

Imagine if you were locked in a basement for 18 years and you finally got to come out and be free– you experience the feeling of sunlight on your skin– you see the world around you…you have the freedom, finally, to run around in the open air….

It’s absolutely amazing — but part of us feels like:

~ am I really allowed to experience this much sunlight?!
~ this feels indulgent
~ what do I do in this new place?
~ what if I make a mistake?
~ is someone going to lock me back in the darkness again?
~ this is so beautiful, it’s painful
~ why do I feel like crying?
~ I feel so alive here!

I remember my mentor and teacher in Montreal, Dr. Surkis, saying to us:

“When you get in touch with yourself, you get in touch with the touch you never had…”

It’s bittersweet at first…to finally feel belonging, tenderness, kindness…

Reminds me of the U2 lyrics:

I want to feel, sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear, without a trace
I want to take shelter,
from the poison rain,
where the streets have no name…

So it may be sad, or overwhelming, or new at first… but we simply must have courage to “go there!” …

To leave the familiar is to leave the
family we always knew, experienced, and internalized!

People can tell us: “you are worth loving, you were always worth loving…” but we internalized the experiential message from early childhood that communicated to us “you are not worth the love, the effort, the awareness, the kindness, the protection, the cherishing …”

If we experienced rejection, getting shut down and silenced– we, some of us, internalized the shame of that rejection.

All people are given free will, in hopes that they will freely choose the “good” and choose the most loving response— but they can misuse that freedom and choose to perpetuate their own unhealed shame, by rejecting us from their own inner rejection.

If we continue to believe their lie, however, how will this cycle ever end?!

Someone has to blaze a new trail!
Someone has to take the road less travelled– find the courage to seek out the truth and live in it!

–So what– if it may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar at first…

Real Love is worth getting used to!

You once talked to me about love,
You painted pictures of
A never never land
And I could’ve gone to that place
But I didn’t understand
I didn’t understand.
~ Elliott Smith

There has to be a way to heal our old shame and not be bound by it, not be trapped in it, not return to it over and over each time someone pushes one of those old buttons…

Our life is all grounded and rooted in love, and without love we may not live. ~ Julian of Norwich

You are not alone on this path back to Love…

We are invited, in the Holy Scriptures, to love. We would not be invited if we didn’t have the capacity within us to choose it.

No matter how dark or difficult you may find this, persevere! Continue! Ask for courage — those who seek will find, to those who knock, the door will be opened unto them.

We are loyal to those old, internalized, experiential messages and we have no need to be loyal to them any longer. They are lies.

I hear Christ, in my deepest self saying:

“This is the way of love…follow me, I reveal this love, I lived this love, I am living this love now, calling you to it, I have always loved you…choose to follow this path of love…”

No matter how hard I try to listen to my doubts — and the people that say “that is all made up…”

I hear love.
When I enter into the stillness and just let whatever is, just be…

That gentle but persistent invitation to let go of the lies, die to them, and come take this higher path — stop internalizing the broken messages — come and follow me…

When you look at the Greek in that passage it is really more like:

Come here beside me, choose, if you wish, to walk this path with me.

I am with you always.
I will not leave you destitute…

Christ modeled to us the courage we ourselves need. We will not be left without this grace if we ask God to walk with us, help us heal this old wound.

I wish you love, always.
~ Dr.Cheryl

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On the Mystics and Psychological Growth

I found the most beautiful writings today from the 1920’s, Evelyn Underhill! I had to share!

She writes:

The great man is rooted in history, plaited up in the life of his own time: absorbs from the human as well as from the spiritual. His feet are in Time, though his head is in Eternity…

~Evelyn Underhill

If you’d like to read the whole book, The Essentials of Mysticism, here’s a link to a free PDF of it:

http://christianmystics.com/Ebooks/The_Essentials_Mysticism/teom.pdf

It struck me, as I was reading (listening to) this book, I heard the line:

His feet are in Time
though his head is in Eternity
~Evelyn Underhill

And it immediately reminded me of one of Elliott (Smith)’s lyrics:

With a giant fantasy life
Running round on feet of clay
~ Elliott Smith

Evelyn writes of the importance of the Mystics — to the whole spiritual body (of the “church”) — and how they are like the artist, or the creative genius, who quiets their mind enough to enter into the heavenly realms and translates back to us, in some kind of words, or symbol or song — some conveyance of these beautiful truths of God — or the feeling they got from that place.

They are ever so necessary to wake us up from our slumber! A sleep we do not realize we are within — until they show up in our lives, like a breath of fresh air or a cool mountain spring in the midst of our desert!

If you don’t read all of this book, at least skip ahead to the chapter called “The Mystic as Creative Artist”, in this chapter she writes:

“Ultimately, we owe to the mystics all the symbols, ideas and images of which our spiritual world, as it is thought of by the bulk of men, is constructed. We take its topography from them, at second-hand; and often forget the sublime adventures immortalized in those phrases which we take so lightly on our lips — the Divine Dark, the Beatific Vision, the Eternal Beauty, Ecstasy, Union, Spiritual Marriage, and the rest. The mystics have actually created, from that language which we have evolved to describe and deal with the time-world, another artistic world; a self-consistent and spiritually expressive world of imaginative concepts, like the world of music or the world of colour and form.

They are always trying to give us the key to it, to induct us into its mysterious delights. It is by means of this world,
and the symbols which furnish it, that human consciousness is enabled to actualize its most elusive experiences; and hence it is wholly due to the unselfish labours of those mystics who
have struggled to body forth the realities by which they were possessed, that we are able, to some extent, to enter into the special experiences of the mystical saints; and that they are
able to snatch us up to a brief sharing of their vision, to make us live for a moment “Eternal Life in the midst of Time.””

It was all such beautiful, full, inspiring words… I had to stop by here and leave you a taste!

I was out of the country (Paris!) for a couple weeks and other things (in “life”) have come up — but I usually tweet regularly @DrCherylM and still post some on Facebook — but again, I love to offer more depth of understanding here!

A friend of mine posted on Facebook tonight, his distress of trying to love one dear to him in the midst of an addiction that that person may or may not be willing to part with… He expressed what he saw as the end results of addiction are:

1) recovery
2) jail
3) or death …

I put these things here, and I continue to work as a psychologist, because I hold onto this idea, perhaps in faith or in knowing that we are all redeemable, and re-covery is for us all, if we choose it! Re-membering ourselves and re-covering our “nakedness” — not in the shame we so readily have known, but in Love, with forgiveness and reconciliation. In remembering a truth that was perhaps vastly crushed out of us in childhood– that we are Loved, dear to our Creator, worth Loving, worth cherishing, worth protecting– worth taking the high road for, worth forgiving and worth giving recovery to. Worth, not from anything we have accomplished and achieved– but because we were created by our Creator whose whole WAY is to Love, who IS Love– who formed us out of Love and calls us back to Love.

I just found this prayer (from the book of common prayer, 1928) — for my friend and for each of us:

For Guidance.

O GOD, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

As I used to do, so long ago(!)
Here’s a song from a (*Christian) mystic to remind us:

Bob Marley – Could you be Loved

*Marley converted to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity more than 6 months before his death– it’s a beautiful, but lesser known story! I just found someone’s retelling of it here: ( http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/06/bob-marley-orthodox-christian/ )

Much love to you all! You are DEAR Souls, I invite you NOT to forget that Dear Ones! ❤️
Sincerely, Dr Cheryl

Truth Theory Article on “Why Diets Fail”

The guys at Truth Theory emailed me and asked me to write an article for them! They published it last month but I wanted to post it here in case you missed it!

Why Diets Fail ~ Dr. Cheryl article
It’s really about shame, addictions and how to keep bringing love to the cut-off, hurting parts of yourself!

Much love, always,

Dr. Cheryl

Love is the Answer Seminar 

I uploaded this seminar on YouTube this evening!

… It’s newly recorded, updated from one I made before!

Love is the Answer is the title and link!

I teach about how to get more love and healing into your life! Also:

  • Why we “depress” ourselves, or stay in anger or anxiety–
  • Why we get so mad when people push certain buttons.
  • What blocks us from intimacy
  • How to be more self-compassionate and kind.
  • Where we developed these patterns of behavior from and how to be more conscious in regards to healing our specific patterns!
  • Aligning ourselves with and connecting more to the love of God

Much love to each of you!

I’ll keep you updated with quotes, encouragement, and resources here on my @DrCherylM Twitter page too!

In the Arms of an Angel: Releasing the Addiction that Haunts You

Remember, my goal here is to help you learn how to traverse through your own difficulties, pains, addictions, and problems– and get yourself OUT– and into a place of LOVE. I could write blog after blog on specific problems and teach you how to heal each one, or I can help you learn the pattern, the path, the Way to keep seeing what the essence of your problem is/the core, so that you can heal the root and stop repeating the same pain.

I have been contemplating the idea of “the thorn in our side”! I just looked it up to find a definition for you here:

“(idiom): Something that greatly annoys the subject.”

Yes, indeed, something that greatly annoys us — about our own self.  I am not focusing, in this particular blog, on any outer circumstances or people that continue to annoy us, but on our own person, because this is where we have the power to change.  

And truly, — when we change what is going on inside of us, it will change everything around us and our reactions to them.

First, choose to imagine yourself surrounded by unconditional LOVE right now.  I want to bring understanding and enlightenment — not negativity. Looking at what we define as “annoying” can be negative in itself– because by definition, we are already in judgment about that part of ourselves.

This post is about growing in our ability to see clearly, the things we would like to change, while at the same time not utterly rejecting ourselves in critical judgment!  When we move to attacking, critical mode we react with a freeze, fight, or flight response, and do not get to address or release the “addiction” underneath that we are judging.

Ok, so lets say you feel ashamed about/annoyed with:

your “failures” at work or at home
your looks (outer appearance),
your drinking,
your anxiety,
your smoking,
your depression,
your obsessions,
your perfectionism,
your constant busyness,
your addictions…

Whatever it is that you would like to shove into a closet before your friends come over to visit you at your “house”…

I have looked at the thing/pattern that annoys me a million different ways — and this week I was so “done with it!” So, out of my desperation and determination to move out of this pattern, permanently, I really think I got to one of the deepest-deepest places.

I had just read something about “choose to go into your own shadow self.” And then another friend of mine said to me “jump into that ocean of the subconscious, into the pain, and you will find your answer.” She didn’t exactly say “into the pain”– but that’s what diving into that ocean meant to me!

Once we each get there though, to this deep-deep place, then we find that part of us that is missing the Love — The annoyance soon loses its power, it cannot continue to torture us. We dis-empower it, by healing the core pain/fear.

I know you want desperately to get rid of this annoyance of yours– so let’s figure out how!

Let’s just use “excessive drinking” as the example here–

What if, one of the main reasons we actually go to the “addiction” is so that
we can continuously stay in judgment over ourselves?!

This “addiction persona” is not even our “real” self anyways. But, lets say there is this judging side of yourself that temporarily feels super-important while it stays in continuous judgement over yourself. This is another addiction/quick-fix in itself–where I am feeding a self-righteous part of myself that wants to suck up all of its worth by putting another part of me down (like an inner bully).

Jesus said: “judge not, lest ye be judged” — The answer is right here–when we sincerely apply this teaching to ourselves in this way:

“stop judging yourself lest you be judged — by yourself!”

This doesn’t mean that we are to throw away all wisdom and stop seeking this highest path of REAL LOVE and right action. There are definitely lots of parts of me that I wish God would just burn away right now– but each of these parts of ourself must be willingly released. Shaming, condemning and judging those parts of ourselves will not get rid of them. They are there from an old wound, missing love…The shame and judgment are exactly what keeps love from getting to those places!

But here– is the deepest part I discovered:

What if, yes, I (subconsciously) keep around _________(insert “thorn in side”)– in order to 1) secretly feed that self-righteous judgmental part of myself —
but also, and more importantly, 2) what if I keep my “excessive drinking persona” around because I am afraid to actually know the REAL ME?

Remember: Intimacy, “into -me -see” …that’s vulnerability and possible closeness or rejection.

Let’s say we were: rejected, abused, abandoned, ignored, unloved, or “pushed to being perfect” as a child. “Pushed to perfection” communicates: “YOU are not worth loving as you are, so you better perform!” When this happens to us in childhood then a deep insecurity develops over that part of ourselves and we want to hide our “Self” away — far – far away.

What if we develop and keep the “addicted persona” around– in order to create a fiction exterior — so that she is the one that keeps getting rejected by others? 

i.e. “they hate me because ‘I’m such a failure.’ or ‘I’m a drunk.’ or “I’m out of control.”

When we stay in this vicious and continuous cycle (above)–this works as a built-in barrier — it keeps us from ever actually getting to know our REAL self! She is hidden deep down below this “annoying problem” we cling onto for dear life.

I am amazed, constantly when truly, every time, the solution within myself and with my clients has to do with some kind of fear of intimacy.

Imagine, God is Love — and we keep saying:
“No! No! Not the Love” …. “I” may be rejected, so I don’t want to give myself an opportunity to be known and LOVED.”

We unconsciously taught ourself: it’s easier to be rejected if we keep this “drunk exterior” — because this fictitious character takes the “bullet” for us. I mean, really, what if I was carrying 200 extra pounds on top of my regular size body– and I keep saying:

“They must not like me because I am overweight.”

I literally created a fat-barrier. Or if I am constantly overwhelmed by worry and anxiety — I say to myself:

“You are always worrying, something is definitely wrong with you! No wonder people are annoyed by you!”

Addiction cycleIt is a sad thing that you or I weren’t initially loved unconditionally — but how long are we going to keep this fictitious persona around –and create all this drama around the addiction and about judging the addiction– instead of letting all of that go and running to that little girl inside and picking her up in a huge embrace of sincere LOVE?! Really and truly– if we allow the deepest part of ourselves to receive this Love that is RIGHT HERE– waiting for us to receive — then whatever we thought was the real problem will begin to lose its hold. We won’t need it anymore — because we stopped insisting:

“you will be rejected!”

You are LOVED. You are truly and dearly loved. The problem is not your “constant failing.” The inner you is hidden deep down and she is not experiencing the Love of our Creator. Choose to stop judging yourself for judging yourself! All of that is what it is— let it just be neutral– no matter how ugly it looks to you. Tell yourself:

“I refuse to let you be a barrier anymore– that little girl needs REAL unconditional Love and I am bringing it to her, NOW! Before she has changed!”

Much Love to You…

In the Arms of An Angel

There’s always some reason to feel not good enough…
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees
In the arms of an Angel, far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here
~sarah mclachlan

arthur rackham rainbow woman

I Gotta Find Peace of Mind ~ The Prayer of a Modern Day Saint

I was listening, again, to: Lauryn Hill – I Gotta Find Peace of Mind (Unplugged)

… And it is equal to the prayers of saints and mystics….

It’s so beautiful and “raw” — pleading with the Creator to help us find our true peace.

I think perhaps one of the artist’s “jobs” is to show us the way, when we are discouraged, — to remind us of truth and beauty,  when we are momentarily blind to its presence…

You love me despite myself, sometimes I fight myself
I just can’t believe that you, would have anything to do
With someone so insecure, someone so immature
Oh you inspire me, to be the higher me
You make my desire pure…
~Lauryn Hill

Love to each of you as you search for True Peace of Mind!!

Sincerely, 

Dr. Cheryl

*Note: I’m re-posting some of my old posts that got erased! This is one of them!

Panic Attacks, Part 2

I am sitting here, quieting my mind, open to what surfaces regarding how to teach and inspire you even more, in this one hour I have to write this, on the subject of Panic Attacks.

I trust what comes to surface, I am thinking of the amazing singer and lyricist, Freddie Mercury.  His song, “Play the Game” is what I “hear”:

Open up your mind and let me step inside
Rest your weary head and let your heart decide
It’s so easy, when you know the rules
It’s so easy, all you have to do
Is fall in love
Play the game,
Everybody play the game of love…

The idea of letting someone into our intimate space can provoke anxiety for some.  We were created with this longing to love, to be loved, to know, and to be known…to have a purpose, a destiny and fulfill it.  I like how Freddie Mercury brings up this idea of a game– because there is a risk in a game, of losing.  One of the elements of love is that it involves free-will.  A person can always invest and then step out, move away, hurt us, etc.  We can choose “not to play” and then miss out all together and freeze our hearts, or cover them with plastic fakeness, or bitterness and sarcasm, or harden them with a wall of stone.

We are often so used to our heart in one of those hardened conditions that we don’t even realize it!  We can have sadness, broken beliefs, bad experiences from early childhood and we stuffed down our confusion, anger, rage, grief, guilt, etc– and it is like you put dry-wall plaster over it all and hope that it just goes away.  It is a way of disassociating with it or dis-identifying with it.  We do not like all of that… so we “bury it,”

like Elliott’s song so aptly describes:

his body’d been buried below
Way back in the day
Oh my, nothing else could have been done
He made his life a lie so
He might never have to know anyone
Made his life a lie you know…

~ Elliott Smith

Why wouldn’t we want to act like everything is perfect and fine now?  We really really do not wish to repeat the trauma or chaos or rejection and pain we felt from the past, so we think if we just bury it below then we can move on and build a happy life and learn to love again.  Unfortunately, that is like building a house on sinking sand.  It’s not as if we even “think” this out, as a child.  If we experience pain and no one is there to teach us what to do with it or how to walk through it and release it…or if no one is there to comfort us and love us — what else are we going to do?

I need a sound bite of Henry Rollin’s song, where he screams out ….”rage…I love you and hate you both at the same time…” His solution is to crush the rage somehow and turn it into a diamond.

There is something to that… in a way.  I met with this professor a couple weeks ago, he had been a pastor in Santa Barbara for many years, Dr. Jerry Root.  He said “pain that isn’t transformed, is transferred…”

I could honestly write 1,000 pages right now on what that means, looks like, etc.  We have this limitation of time.  There’s no way I would sit and read a 1,000 page blog post! I know myself better than that, so I won’t write one for you!

So, lets understand, like the alchemists of the past– they wanted to transform lead into gold.  It is no “coincidence” or accident that Christ’s first miracle was to turn water into wine.  He was turning one liquid substance, water, used for cleansing, into another, rich, and beautifully tasting substance– wine.  The master of the ceremonies of the wedding said “you have saved the best for last…”  Of course, if you know me, you know I wish to talk about all of the amazing spiritual insights and depths we could go into with just this first miracle as recorded in the Gospels… but let’s stay, today, on this topic — of why we get these “anxiety attacks” seemingly out of nowhere.

So, imagine, if the theory that I laid out so far is correct — first, we are innocent children, we “let someone inside our mind/heart” and we play the game of love…we get hurt or crushed in some way…”we bury the ‘body'” and live a lie, so that we never have to “know” anyone.  How can we know anyone or anyone really know us when we have our child self that has been cut off and ostracized from ourselves like a pariah carrying our shame– we want nothing to do with that pain.  Yet, some part of our subconscious selves KNOWS that we have buried someone.  It feels the guilt and weight of that.

The other part of “never have to know anyone” is that we have created a wall around our heart (with the plaster, etc.) and now we have a built-in barrier between ourselves and other people.

Before we go on to see the “cure” — Look for a second at how you can “tell” your heart has been plastered over.  I know some people– that insist “I had a great childhood, nothing was ever wrong…”  and yet the father was an alcoholic, or both spouses were cheating on each other or one of them was, etc.  (The cheating is an indication that something is broken down and not working in that family.)  But, how a person like that could “test” their own hearts — is to examine:

“Am I always looking down on other people? judging them, gossiping about them, telling their “wrong doings” to others, making slighting comments and putting them down?”

This is a person who is not living in meekness and humility.  When we are that way, our actions are telling us that we have this dark, broken part of ourselves buried below, disconnected from ourselves and we have no desire to be reconciled to that part of ourselves and love, transform, heal and forgive/integrate the child we cut off, back into our own person.

I was reading the scriptures the other day (in the daily prayer readings) and the Prophet Ezekiel had written this re: God:

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
The New Living translation says:

“I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” (Eze 36:26)

For me, regardless of what any skeptics say about God– I am so amazed, still, all the time, that we have these writings in Holy Scriptures, and in the life that Christ lived out in his own body —we have access to the Father, God– Creator of all things, and that this same God, is interested in restoring us and healing us.  In one sense, all of the scriptures, if you read the whole Bible in one long sitting, you would just see this pattern of God offering His constant love, and people turning to block Him off — and make idols, and form hearts of stones, then God keeps accepting them back, providing a means of forgiveness while not excusing their wrong doing— we wreck it again, there He is offering love again….

I have to wrap this blog post up because I leave in about 5 min.

Here was the commentary at that verse about how God wants to reveal to us the path to make our hearts tender again & not leave us there, lost in the pain and trauma of our childhood.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
“36:25-38 Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God’s grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavor to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.”

I honestly think this age old tradition of praying “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me” aka “kyrie eleison” can and will transform all of our deep psychological wounds… but it is a mystical and contemplative practice.  I don’t mean just substituting our anxiety and obsessive “pushing down” with reciting a prayer mindlessly — but mindful, and sincere — When we sincerely ask God, He can help us see what is disconnected in us and enlighten us and fill us with His Spirit and Truth to cleanse and re-join these cut off parts.

Much love to you always

You are Here For a Reason…

Consider a song — or singers singing in harmony…The two harmonies make a third sound — this sound could not be accomplished without both people singing in harmony with each other.  Music is so rich and beautiful, it can teach us about the deeper things of life where words fail to describe.

This is what art can do.

My art is to convey to you some of this, in words and images, so that you can heal.  I find that there are deep deep cut off parts of ourselves that weigh us down — or they freak out and provoke us to react to the smallest grievance.  I know you do not wish to hurt the people you love or push them away and remain isolated.  I am sure you are aware that it is not the highest path to tear yourself down.  For the love of our Dear God — put in the effort, let’s learn to align ourselves with truth — align ourselves with the highest octave available to us in heaven and earth — so that we can serve others with this beautiful love we have found.  We serve by singing in beautiful harmony with the truest Love.

Another way I can think of to convey what I am saying in my limited words — is to encourage you, invite you — stop blocking the Holy Spirit of God from transforming you.  Love brings Love and healing to the deepest, saddest, loneliest part of you.

You do not have to understand what I am saying in those terms — I can really only use the terms that have deep meaning for me, if they do not have the deep meaning for you, then look beyond my mere words and feel what I am conveying to you in my earnestness.  My passion and earnestness comes from somewhere– it cannot be feigned.  You can tell at once, when you are listening to a musician or watching an actor or actress — if he or she is being sincere — if what they are conveying is coming from a truly deep sincere place at the core of their being.

I encourage you, live from this place.  Regardless of how people look at you — live from this place.  Quiet your mind and look deep deep beyond the surface of the busy people running to and fro around you — beyond the bills, the debts, the highs, the lows, the quarrels, the “updates” and “statuses”, beyond what everyone around you is constantly talking about:

who are you? Who are You?

What is a piano if we just take all the keys and drop them on the floor?

If we just take guitar strings and throw them all over a floor — they make no music that way.

If they are taut and in tune and plucked in a masterful way then they can make music that transposes us to a higher realm.

Look at a rainbow, sunlight reflecting on raindrops at just the right angle, in just the right way — to reveal to us, the beautiful colors that are already there but our eyes do not see them without this specific combination.

arthur rackham rainbow woman

What makes a masterful artist?  Consider a ballerina — practicing her craft 8 hours a day for weeks, months, and years on end…until her toes are bleeding and beyond.  What makes her dance beautiful? Technique? Certainly excellent technique is breathtaking — but her life, her essence, her capacity to genuinely connect with the dance she is performing is what moves the deepest part of us.

How do we live in such a way?  Perhaps we cannot live in the serious state I am speaking from — but pure joy and happiness expresses our essence as well.  If we could “dwell in the secret place of the most high” — if we find some secret pocket of pure Love, if we live there — in that place or state of being “in God” we feel loved and loving.  We feel protected from anything and everything that has ever harmed us — we are welcomed as we are, forgiven.  From this place we can act calmly and confidently. We can dance beautifully, express our deepest longings and  highest understandings of this world.

If I play my musical scales on the piano 3 hours a day for months and years in the beginning — or find beautiful pieces of music to practice and practice so that my fingers know the path they walk by muscle memory…as I listen to the notes speak to each other and respond within the written song manifested on a keyboard — I grow in my craft.  If then, after all that work, you could approach me with Mozart — then I could sit at the piano and play it.

If I have never touched a keyboard, how could I play it?

If I do not contemplate: “Who am I and what is Life?” then how can I live this life with purpose? What is my purpose?

If I only knew that the notes on the paper correspond with the notes on a piano and I could mechanically play it — you will hear me “play” that piece.  My playing in that way may inspire you to actually learn a craft better than I have revealed by my mechanical playing.  If you watch a person who can hear the music and play the subtleties with passion and love — you could see the contrast between me and her.

This is our life.

Who are You and what is your life about?  What is Life?  What does it mean to have an in tune guitar within our being?  What does it look like to play the notes that are most beautiful in this moment — to play with gentleness, meekness, confidence, vigor, strength, seriousness, gaiety, humility?  How could we “play” in such a way that is equal to whips clearing out a temple that needs clearing out?  Or play with such tenderness that the most hardened heart is inclined to welcome love?

Pain and trauma from the past can try to block our path.  We think we got away and then find ourselves repeating the same pattern that was so familiar to us then.  It’s horrible.  I know.  Some days can be really painful.  It’s so important that we keep on.  Others can see in our face that we have experienced deep grief and pain but we are still here.  Our sincere faces inspire them to continue.  We long to play in harmony with Love.  Accept nothing less than the highest path.

One of my favorite passages about Jesus is the one that says: “Even if I testify about Myself…My testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I’m going. But you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going…”  He knew who He was, what his Life was about — where he came from and where he was going.

We can get so caught up in how everyone else describes life that we don’t even think of “Life”.  Remember that quote I often write on twitter — because I am reminded of it so often:

“Never tell a child,” said George MacDonald, ‘you have a soul. Teach him, you are a soul; you have a body.'”

Or remember these lyrics of Miss. Lauryn Hill’s:

Come on baby, light my fire
Everything you drop is so tired
Music is supposed to inspire
How come we ain’t getting no higher?

…Now tell me your philosophy
On exactly what an artist should be
Should they be someone with prosperity
And no concept of reality?
Now, who you know without any flaws
That lives above the spiritual laws
And does anything they feel just because
There’s always someone there who’ll applaud…

(from her song “Superstar”)

I cannot tell you everything in one blog post… you know how I try to do that if you have been here (I’m still working to re-post the 12+ posts I took down from the last two years.)  — I know that as we try to run from our past pain, or escape it –without going through it and allowing love to come in and heal us– then we just repeat it!  I know that much, from my own experience and in working with others as a psychologist.  We do not have to keep creating unnecessary pain — but we must muster up the courage, with the help of God, to face the pain we have been so frightened to walk through.

If we never think about “Life” and the essence of who we are and why we are here — then we continuously just walk through in a kind of numbed state — unawakened to any higher purpose we may have for being here on this earth and having the experience we are experiencing.

I trust what Jesus said when he said “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness….”  it would take me about a year of blog posts to begin to describe and explore the mystery and depth of those words — but his words are not said aimlessly and without purpose.  I know that much.  I put them here because I do not wish to mislead anyone — ever — I pray to God to give me wisdom so that I do not teach anyone to go onto a path that will bring you more disconnection from our Creator.

Also, you are a beautiful Soul –with choices in this world.  I must live and write in a way that respects that you have these choices to make.

You are not alone.

I wish you so much love on this journey.

I’ll do my best to keep writing here to remind you that you are not alone, to encourage you on this path of yours, and to honestly explore these psychological — soul-ideas so that — if there is a way to know and experience a deeper love, then we can keep learning how to do so.  Jesus expressed: “I am the way”…  I sincerely pray that the truest sense of those words is unfolded in our lives.

Listen to the lone piano notes…walking this path…in the midst of everything else… this song– without the lyrics was so profound to me as I heard it this evening on my way home from work —  I just went to wikipedia to find out what the title means in English — and of course, it’s about longing (the story of my life)!

“The title can be translated roughly as “enough longing,” though the Portuguese word, saudade, carries with it a far more complex meaning. The word implies an intensity of heartfelt connection that is yearned for passionately, not unlike feeling withdrawal symptoms from a drug that makes one feel good. Another good analogy might be an intense homesickness. Chega, in this case, means no more, enough...”

Much love dear ones — as we encourage each other in our intense homesickness here!

The Cause and Cure for Any Addiction

I’m going to direct us back to some of the basics here, but do NOT let the simplicity of what I am about to say fool you! My experience over the last 20 years has led me to see reoccurring patterns. This is my art/skill/craft/expertise!

If and when you understand these patterns then you can set yourself free, for the rest of your life.

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

So, addictions, or any kind of self-betraying (or other-betraying) behavior occurs because of shame. Another way to describe this fuel of addiction is:

I am cut off from the True Source of LOVE.

—> This “disconnect” creates SHAME.

—> Shame is what fuels addictions.

Why else would I keep going back to alcohol, drugs, cheating on my spouse, workaholism, eating disorders, faking-perfection, obsessions, video-games, tv, or other addictions? These kinds of behaviors are NOT in alignment with how I would like to treat someone that I love. 

We cannot make these behaviors go away, no matter how much we “try”– we have to see what the root cause is, and heal that.  Once we identify the cause then we can find a true cure!

This disconnect from the True Source of Love occurs out of some form of ignorance/ not-knowing, in fullness.  ( I.e.: “Forgive them Father for they know not what they are doing.)

Ignorance:  I was never taught and/or never experienced a real depth of love and intimacy. I wasn’t shown the truth of what this means! In addition to that, I was taught, by my parent’s behavior or the environment around me, that Love is not available to me — for whatever reason, they showed me that I was not worth the effort to love in that immense capacity.

If you do not “have it” you cannot give it away — so my parent’s “not having” this love– communicated to me that I cannot have it either, but that is not the truth — it may be the truth of what we experienced, but it is not the truth of the fullness of Love we are meant to have and live within.

This disconnect from REAL LOVE, that we often “feel” but never recognized or put words to, may look like one of these:

  1. “Not measuring up” :  No matter what I did, it never felt like it was quite enough for me to feel truly secure and loved.
  2. “Too Busy to recognize my need for Love”:  I’m so “busy” all the time, working, I have no need of “Love”– I pushed that aside long ago. I’d rather stay busy and numb myself to those tender feelings and experiences.
  3. I’m just gonna wait here“:   They told me it was coming…I “know” I am worth loving…I’m just going to keep taking this substitute (_________) until the Real thing shows up…it’s “just around the corner.” “Maybe if I run faster?”
  4. “It must be my fault”, I’m just a horrible, unlovable person…that’s just the way it is.  I have hurt too many people to deserve love.

——————

Look, it is vital that each of us learns how to walk in integrity, with dignity, and self-respect. This is what it means to “Walk in Love!” To Walk in Love = to Walk in Truth — in the most loving way possible..and even into the seemingly impossible

When we cut ourselves off, or are cut off, from the true path of Love, then we experience the feeling of shame and emptiness.  That shame and emptiness is way too painful of a place to “live” in, so we create defenses (really early in life!).

Some of these defenses are:

  1. Depression: We numb our need for Love, press it down and squish our heart so that we don’t constantly feel the pain…we get so used to deadening it all that we don’t even realize what we are actually “actively” doing — de-pressing.
  2. Pleasing: this is much like busyness, we do what we can to achieve, please, perform, or otherwise “fill up” a broken “other” (like a fragile parent) –with the hopes that they will somehow see our worth and fill us up with real Love. Note: “pleasing” is always paired with “waiting”, your life is constantly on hold, while you wait for the other person to “get it“, that you are worth loving.
  3. Apathy: we act like we don’t need this Love, and get used to living on scraps…(this is like depression, but seemingly more resigned to “I just don’t care!” –where depression is more like a continual loss and sadness.)
  4. Anxiety: We surround ourselves with drama and attack ourselves with anxiety, it is like a fog that works to distract us from the deeper pain and loneliness of being cut off from Real LOVE.  We can get so “lost” in the terror and anxiety that we burn out our adrenal glands (I am not a medical doctor so research more on that if you wish!) — all for the “service” of running from experiencing the real feelings underneath and finding the cure/the balm they are asking for.

There are many others, but it is the same basic pattern, showing up in a myriad of ways. When we learn this new Formula–then we are equipped to take a step back and SEE what is going on– and free ourselves!

Here is a quick drawing of one of the patterns of addiction — that I often write out in a therapy session so that my client can visually see what he or she is doing: 

20130908-125602.jpg

I often call this “The Boot and the Carrot”. You have this giant boot behind you, threatening you; and this carrot (or some mostly-empty-temporary-reward) in front of you– and you constantly put yourself back on this “treadmill”– and THAT is where you are choosing to live!

When we are drowning in shame, that is when we “use” whatever addiction we have on hand, in efforts to try to fill up the emptiness that our disconnect from REAL LOVE has created.  Then, I feel more shame, because of my secret addiction, and run to more addiction or back on the treadmill to try to “prove” my worth…which is impossible to prove.

Accepting Real Love is about choosing to receive what is already here.  We are afraid of it and have forgotten it is available to each of us, in an infinite amount.  I am reminded of Christ’s words: “for I have come, not to judge the world, but to give life to the world.” or in the same book of St. John, Jesus says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd…”

You are free to choose the life of the endless boot and empty carrot for yourself, but then you are missing the deeper experience and reality of REAL LOVE!  This REAL LOVE is what I am constantly making the effort to put into words in all of my posts here.  The real love involves having the courage to step off the treadmill.  

Look at this beautiful invitation to a different kind of Life–that my dear friend Elliott Smith wrote into his lyrics for us:

I have become a silent movie
The hero killed the clown
Can’t make a sound

Nobody knows what he’s doing
–Still–hanging around
Can’t make a sound

The slow motion moves me
The monologue means nothing to me
Bored in the role, but he can’t stop
Standing up to sit back down
Or lose the one thing found

Eyes locked and shining
Can’t you tell me what’s happening?
Why should you want any other
When you’re a world within a world?

—-
Now, knowing Elliott, I’m sure he had 100 different layers of meaning for this song as well as “no meaning”– and I have touched on some in previous posts, but, for now, let’s just see it as another description of how to get off the repetitive, destructive or monotonous cycle– and begin to know real Love.  We can then let go of this disingenuous, yet familiar pattern we’ve been offering ourselves!

The Way to let go of addictions is to recognize your disconnect from the real Source of Love, and then heal that— and pray to the Creator, God, to help you on this path.  You would have no NEED to get back on the “treadmill” over and over if you were connected to, and living within, the real source of Love…if you knew the real essence of who You are and the depth of Love that God continuously offers us.

Elliott’s song as a description of this process:

I have become a silent movie— transformed into this quiet place, where you are observing what is going on, from outside yourself, like watching a movie and not being caught up in lots of dialogue — the constant drama of your competing desires, that each claim to be “you.”

The hero killed the clown— The hero is your better half, the courageous side of you with high thoughts and aspirations of love — I imagine the breath of God in Adam– like when Aslan breathes on Lucy in the Narnia books — the awakening of the deepest part of our Soul; the “clown”, in my understanding, is your present day personality, or warring desires that always claim to be “you” —  you are on a path to find out how to NOT let the clown part of you dominate over the True Hero.  (I do not want to confuse anyone at this point, but it is important to point out that our warring desires can mimic the hero and act like they are the hero — doing such a “good job” to kill off the joyous child-like part of yourself which can be clown-like.  For example, the super-ego coming in and “like a boss” trampling over the tender child-like parts of ourselves that are beautiful and free. 

I’ve heard it said, time and again, that every virtue has the propensity to turn into a vice.  Jesus said “my children know my voice” — you can ask God for discernment regarding the part of your Soul to align with and which parts to “repent”/ turn away completely from.  The scriptures remind us we are at war against the ‘world’, the flesh, and the devil: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”  

It is our job, with the help of God, to transform and see, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God– and to recognize who the True HERO is. It’s not the one desperately running on the treadmill– because, in this new formula:  “The slow-motion moves me” 

You would have no need to “prove” yourself if and when you are connected to the True Source of Love:

The monologue means nothing to meOur outer (present day personality) self, is just a role, that we cannot stop (like a costume that is ours for a certain time). It is NOT our real Self. It stands up and acts like it is “us” …We have been given a body and are embodied within it– but the reflection of me in the mirror is not the sum-total of “me” inside this body.  My body will die and be buried and yet my Soul carries on.

Or lose the ONE THING found” –is LOVE, it is the “Pearl of Great Price” — our Soul saved –by and in God.  This is a great mystery,  yet we must consciously choose to allow and petition God to keep revealing it to us and in us.  We have forgotten who we are and we are just now remembering…Jesus invited us: “You, come and follow me…let the dead bury their own dead.”

Eyes locked and shining…can you tell me what’s happening?

Yes! You are an initiate. You are connecting yourself, if you choose, to the Love of God– you are being transformed, and transforming into something of much more depth and beauty than the boringness and the slavery of our pettiness and addictions!

What “right” do I have to cut myself off from the Source of all Love? If we are all connected, then as I cut myself off from Love, I am also cutting you off from Love. (This goes into quantum physics – which I certainly like to study, but cannot yet explain…)

Clearly, I could go on and on to describe this is deeper and different ways– but, most people these days don’t have the time or attention span, etc. I’ll write more blogs and I have others available here and my YouTube channel! (www.youtube.com/user/drcherylmeier ).

Please share a link to my blog with like-minded people who you think would enjoy looking at life from these perspectives! I know what I have to say is valuable –because I see so many lives, and my own, so deeply healed and transformed; this is why I put the time in here, to offer this insight freely.

I wish you much Love! You are not alone.

Tiago Iorc – My Girl [Acoustic]

Wow! I just found the (above) song! I quieted my mind to see what would “fit” and I thought: “I’ve got Sunshine…” So I searched on YouTube and this is the first one I was “drawn” to… In this beautiful acoustic version, Tiago Iorc, who I do not know of, slows the song down, and –captures the beauty and essence– the FEELING of what Real Love feels like, vs. the “quick fix” of “rotating relationships” and addictions we often run to. The true “Sunshine” is the Source of all Love– “my girl” is “real” but also a signpost to the Real- REAL….(I describe all of this here in my “Girl Longing” songs/playlist on Youtube!) Enjoy!

Dancing on the Highway, Elliott Smith, Esoteric

This Unreleased Elliott Smith song, “Dancing on the HighWay”  is what I used this time to make this video.  Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 3.06.57 PM

Instead of doing a seminar for an hour, describing all of the amazing hidden Spiritual and Psychological meanings– I made the choice to only use pictures this time!

Just before Elliott wrote Dancing on the Highway (1999) I had given him a copy of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy (it was written around 520AD). In the book Lady Wisdom consoles Boethius who was falsely charged, imprisoned, and condemned to death. Lady Wisdom/Philosophy shows him that nothing has been taken from him that he doesn’t already -still- possess. –It’s like what Elliott says in
“Can’t Make a Sound”:

Why would you want any other, when you’re a world within a world?” ~Elliott Smith

Bob Marley conveys the same idea:

“Man is a Universe within himself” ~ Bob Marley

and Jesus reminds us:

and “The Kingdom of God is within you” ~ Jesus

This song “Dancing on the High-Way” follows the same pattern as Boethius. To me, Elliott is describing what happens when you listen to Lady Wisdom, as mentioned in the Proverbs… Even more so, the wisdom and truth of God — as revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ Himself.  Christ is, indeed, our lost love.  We are the bride of Christ and he is our groom.  

Elliott describes the transformation of letting go of your flesh/physical self and seeking to follow the narrow path that Christ calls us to follow, in Him.  To me, Elliott’s songs about  “death” are about the –necessary death– the death of your ego, your fleshly desires, impulses, and the “mask” of yourself–which isn’t YOU…but it pretends to be you!

Much Love to you!! XoXo

Here’s a link to Boethius- free pdf:
http://www.exclassics.com/consol/consol.pdf

and all of George MacDonald’s books are free here:
(I gave Elliott The Princess and the Curdie (in 1998) but
The Princess and the Goblin is the first of these two books!)

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/127