Dr Cheryl Meier's Blog

Walk in Love

Category: Therapy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ans: bc I always was…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I do this because….

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

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

doesn’t work to bring change into our lives.

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

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

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

“I do this because….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ans: “I just want to numb myself”

And I want to numb myself because…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First Session, Depression

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

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

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There’s a Proverb that says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Canvas of Your Life

Dear Ones– Yeah, You!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finding a Psychologist

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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