Dr Cheryl Meier's Blog

Walk in Love

Category: elliott smith

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

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

Somebody Loves You: Releasing Old Wounds to Let Love In

I was reading the mystic, Julian of Norwich this week and I happened across her words:

The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.

Yes, of course we would and could live gladly when we are in our right mind and heart and have an experiential knowledge of His love.  If we knew that the Creator of the universe loved us, why would anything in this world really even bother us?

I could spout out theology until I am blue in the face but that does not give us the experience of this deep love that Julian of Norwich is describing!

She writes:

In his love he clothes us, enfolds us and embraces us;

that tender love completely surrounds us, never to leave us…

So what do we do with the part of ourselves that feels like Elliott’s song:

“God don’t make no junk but it’s plain to see, he still made me…” ~Elliott Smith

Surely our actions and choices in our lives cannot be based solely on how we feel in a moment.  There hast to be a way “out” of this pattern!

I just gotta get out of this prison cell
Someday I’m gonna be free, Lord!
Find me somebody to love…

~ Freddie Mercury / Queen

We pray to God for relief…”Please God, this pain is too much — what can I do to be free of it?  What can I do to genuinely be free of it, not run to something that will just mask my shame and make me feel good in the moment — I want a real solution that will last.”

You need a love that’s gonna last 

~ Prince

As a side note,  if you wonder why all of these artists, philosophers, musicians and poets of old have access to these kinds of deep truths and understandings of the complexities of our inner  psyche — here’s one writer (a priest) that I found a few weeks ago who described exactly why!

In creating a work of art, the psyche or soul of the artist ascends from the earthly realm into the heavenly; there, free of all images, the soul is fed in contemplation by the essences of the highest realm, knowing the permanent noumena of things; then, satiated with this knowing, it descends again to the earthly realm. And precisely at the boundary between the two worlds, the soul’s spiritual knowledge assumes the shape of symbolic imagery: and it is these images that make permanent the work of art. Art is thus materialized dream, separated from the ordinary consciousness of waking life.

~ Pavel Florensky 1882-1937

arthur rackham pic

The problem, however, that we run into (Florensky writes much on this) is that we can get “lost” in a certain place within our spiritual imagination and we think we are growing closer to God and doing all sorts of “spiritual things” to please God, when really– we are in a place that is akin to the dreaded sleep in Tolkien’s Mirkwood Forest, or listening to the Siren’s songs of old, or C.S. Lewis’s Dark Island — where our “dreams” are being played out — but truly, we have put ourselves in a kind of sleep.

It is too much to describe in one blog post, but I know myself well enough to know that I will not stop in my pursuit of giving people this warning and as much understanding of it as I can…The spiritual Fathers from long ago (400A.D.) call it “prelest” (Here is the wiki, but that often is edited. Here is an Orthodox site that describes it as well.)

It is actually a really painful subject for me to talk about — but I remember reading a certain Madeleine L’Engle book (Two Part Invention) where she said something about how her most painful books often turn out the “best”…not necessarily commercially, but because they cut to the quick…

My part here, in this blog, besides to assemble all of these thoughts that have helped me on this path we are contemplating together in this “weekly session” — is to say, that sometimes we have deep trauma or rejection from early experiences in life. We have the capacity to seal them off and bury them with tons of “numbing glue” and not even realize it.  As much as we try to just take a big stamp and stamp it over our face “God Loves you” “Jesus Loves you” etc.  It doesn’t work that way.  True healing does not work that way.

God did not create a static ocean that just stands still, in one place…the streams feed it, the rivers feed it, it is in motion.  Like the word “e-motion” it is in motion.  When our past is extricated away from us and our feelings are frozen solid and there are deep painful places we dare not go — we can’t just think a “Jesus Stamp” will make it all go away.  Jesus did not put a “Jesus Stamp” up upon the cross.  He lived a reality where he experienced the abuse –as an innocent man–, scorning its shame — he could have escaped at any moment, he didn’t. He didn’t face it to be a doormat or a pleaser either.  It is a mystery — like the quote I put on Facebook last week:

We see…it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question but to make us progressively aware of a mystery.
~Kallistos Ware

We must do the best work that we can, always,  to stay watchful and meaningful, and vigilant, to pursue truth in our innermost parts and to invite God to truly Love us, to clarify these great mysteries — and help us to heal these old, old glued over wounds.  We must begin to be honest…to not force ourself, but do not accept our old excuses either, because they are lies.

“If we don’t pray according to the needs of the heart, we repress our deepest longings. Our prayers may not be rational, and we may be quite aware of that, but if we repress our needs, then those unsaid prayers will fester.”

~ Madeleine L’Engle

and then Julian of Norwich writes:

…the goodness of God is the highest object of prayer and it reaches down to our lowest need.

and she writes this:

Grace transforms our failings full of dread into abundant, endless comfort…our failings full of shame into a noble, glorious rising…our dying full of sorrow into holy, blissful life. …. Just as our contrariness here on earth brings us pain, shame and sorrow, so grace brings us surpassing comfort, glory, and bliss in heaven…And that shall be a property of blessed love, that we shall know in God, which we might never have known without first experiencing woe…

It is so important that we do not use “spirituality” as a way to escape from the problems that we have.  We were given a human body and psyche — Soul, Spirit, Mind, Heart — I won’t differentiate all of those now, because I have run out of the time I allotted for this “session” — but when we turn to an “all mystic” approach and insist on “staying up in some kind of spiritual high” — we are not respecting the fact that we are living within a body.  We can get lost in our own imaginings…

When people do not know what to do with the pain of their past, we find ways to try to “get over it”… Sometimes the best way over — is through.

“The growth of love is not a straight line, but a series of hills and valleys.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

Here’s a 1 minute video…

a Blessing Poem of John O’Donohue’s before he passed from this world:

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

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

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

20120510-023013.jpg

(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!)