Dr Cheryl Meier's Blog

Walk in Love

Tag: Intimacy

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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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

Love is the Answer — Seminar

 

This video is 1 hour 20 min.long:

Love is the Answer seminar

…It is a one hour seminar I presented recently, then I recorded a longer, more in depth version for YouTube.  It is on Psychological and Spiritual growth.  Although I have authored 3 books, this is my first Video, so it is not as polished as I would like– but what I say is purposeful and there are deep concepts that have changed my life and my client’s lives.

It’s all about learning to remove the barriers between ourselves and LOVE.  If you would like me to expand on any area– comment at the video or here.
Much Love to you!

Marriage/relationships, a refresher course

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

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

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

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

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

Enter—> a spouse and kids!

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

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

Here’s the example:

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

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

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

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

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

Thou dost protest too loudly!

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

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

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

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

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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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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!)