Dr Cheryl Meier's Blog

Walk in Love

Category: Happiness

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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Gratitude & Thanksgiving

So I watched this short video today on the essential (spiritual) state of gratitude:

Gratitude: The Essential State

It reminded me so much of the Beastie Boys song!

What’d you think —
did you miss your calling?
It’s so free this kind of feeling
It’s like life It’s so appealing
when you’ve got so much to say
It’s called gratitude…

I just had to post it here for you all…

I had visions of writing a long blog for you today…but the kids are out of school so my creative, quiet time is here, after midnight…

I’ll have to return another time, I hope for this week!

Meanwhile, I wish you love! This school of Life is so important! Embrace Love and don’t let go! Hold on for dear life! Receive the Love that is at this moment being offered to you…

Oh! I’m hearing two other songs overlapping as I’m wrapping this up for you! And I don’t know this first song well– but I just looked up the lyrics– the part I heard in “my mind’s ear” 🙂

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in me…

And here’s a beautiful other, lovely part of this same song:

Well, I’ve been loving you for such a long time girl
Expecting nothing in return
Just for you to have a little faith in me
You see time, time is our friend
‘Cause for us there is no end
And all you gotta do is have a little faith in me…
~ John Hiatt

So beautiful, cause my older brother and I got to speak on the phone today– about taking a slow and steady path of faith (and psychological healing, health, rising consciousness, and spiritual growth!) — and how my personality is one that likes to move rapidly onward!

… but recognizing also, how important it is, to be balanced– or else one does not journey “further up and further in” as CS Lewis wrote about in his Narnia book ~ The Last Battle!

Balanced, meaning:
If I grow one sided, in Knowledge,
but have no Understanding,
then I do not have a map to direct my Knowledge.

And if I am not growing in my Being
(or awakened state/loving essence) — then I won’t arrive at a true Understanding either….

Lots more I’d like to describe for you but let these be seeds to further your own exploration!

Oh, and the other song I was hearing simultaneously!

If you’re lost and alone
Or you’re sinking like a stone
Carry on
May your past be the sound
of your feet upon the ground
Carry on, Carry on…
~ Fun

Have a lovely American Thanksgiving!
Wishing you love always,
Dr Cheryl

Awareness vs Pushing

A quick story/quote from this book I’m currently reading!

This book was recommended to me by someone with more years here on this earth than me, more experience, and she has a different perspective — but the book is like a breath of fresh air! It’s called Awareness, by Anthony DeMello, a Jesuit priest, born in India who also was a psychotherapist! (You wonder why it resonates with me so much!)

I wanted to briefly share with you these excerpts before I go back to “work”!*(I added the bold for emphasis)*

“You know, sometimes people want to imitate Christ, but when a monkey plays a saxophone, that doesn’t make him a musician. You can’t imitate Christ by imitating his external behavior.

You’ve got to be Christ.

Then you’ll know exactly what to do in a particular situation, given your temperament, your character, and the character and temperament of the person you’re dealing with. No one has to tell you. But to do that, you must be what Christ was. An external imitation will get you nowhere.

If you think that compassion implies softness, there’s no way I can describe compassion to you, absolutely no way, because compassion can be very hard. Compassion can be very rude, compassion can jolt you, compassion can roll up its sleeves and operate on you. Compassion is all kinds of things. Compassion can be very soft, but there’s no way of knowing that. It’s only when you become love – in other words, when you have dropped your illusions and attachments – that you will “know”.”
~ Anthony DeMello

And further on in the book, he gives us this brilliant story that so aptly conveys the concepts I’m always going on about regarding dropping the “should” in our lives… Dr. Surkis would teach us, “when you ‘push’, there’s always a push back…”

20160928-090409.jpg
**
DeMello writes:

“Meditating on and imitating externally the behavior of Jesus is no help. It’s not a question of imitating Christ, it’s a question of becoming what Jesus was. It’s a question of becoming Christ, becoming aware, understanding what’s going on within you. All the other methods we use for self change could be compared to pushing a car.

Let’s suppose you have to travel to a distant city. The car breaks down along the way. Well, too bad; the car’s broken down. So we roll up our sleeves and begin to push the car. And we push and push and push and push, till we get to the distant city. “Well”, we say, “we made it”. And then we push the car all the way to another city!

You say, “We got there, didn’t we”? But do you call this life? You know what you need? You need an expert, you need a mechanic to lift the hood and change the spark plug. Turn the ignition key and the car moves. You need the expert — you need understanding, insight, awareness you don’t need pushing. You don’t need effort.

That’s why people are so tired, so weary. You and I were trained to be dissatisfied with ourselves. That’s where the evil comes from psychologically. We’re always dissatisfied, we’re always discontented, we’re always pushing. Go on, put out more effort, more and more effort. But there’s always that conflict inside; there’s very little understanding.”

~ Anthony DeMello

From this book, Awareness
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0385249373/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475076263&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40&keywords=anthony+demello+awareness&dpPl=1&dpID=41hWzCFQ8BL&ref=plSrch

Much love to each of you who wander here and find these beautiful pearls! I’m so appreciative that these insights and thoughts have come my way! I wanted to share immediately with you!
~ Dr C

Extra:

Anthony de Mello – Awareness pt.1 on waking up

  • https://youtu.be/4Y3Q7H2urto
  • (**I found the picture online from a blogger named Darren Lang )

    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