Getting real; staying clear

Progress Not Perfection

My PC operating system was a mess this week, and my computer kept shutting down. Mercury Retrograde or not, it got my attention. I’ve been known to refer to the healing of recovery as an operating system change and not a behavior change plan. I had to eat my words and do some inner work this week. And it’s all good. It’s so true that I am not upset for the reasons that I think I am. Something else is running in the background; some nasty virus or other program running that is slowing me down or shutting me down.

And this is what I mean when I say that sobriety is not about time. It is about emotional well-being, maturity and balance. It’s a process, and sometimes the nasty pain comes back around. For a survey and liberation, not punishment. Do I want to keep that running in my head? The issues that have come up for me over time show deeper layers of wounding. It’s humbling to admit I’m not all better now.

My friend Pam is a life saver and the most relentlessly positive person I’ve ever known. She keeps inviting me North for a week on the lake. She’s rented a beautiful Lighthouse in a spectacular place in Northern Michigan. It’s tempted me, but I kept declining. It’s been terribly hot in Kansas City, and I’ve felt that pressure in everything else too. I used to run from pain; I left analysis before I could feel my way through some stuff that would have liberated me. Recovery, and the grace of God is so much cheaper, and likely faster too. It amazes me every time I have another discovery, which I did this morning. Something had attached to my start-up on the PC operating system, that was slowing it down. I finally figured out how to remove it. We’re good to go again, until the next removal becomes necessary.

I’ve had a year of feeling invisible, rejections and long waits on the professional arena. It mirrored a feeling I had from a very long time ago, when I started up as a human on this Earth. I can finally see that what was coming up for me around it and what it was attached to was an opportunity for healing, and another big letting go. God only wants my good, and I finally believe that, even when I forget it, or things feel unbearable.

I’m glad I stayed in the game this time, and I do want a vacation soon. Not an escape, a rest.

This letter from Freud to Carl Jung captured the grace of a process that happened to me too this week. To be seen, acknowledged and held; that is love. I know what that feels like too. Finally.

“In a letter to Carl Jung, Freud said: ‘… psychoanalysis in essence is a cure through love.” It hurts so much when those around us are suffering, when those we care about are struggling. What do we do? How can we help? What are the most effective ways to lessen the grief, the sadness, the anxiety, the shame, the fear, the depression? We hear that to truly love another is the most powerful form of healing, but what does this mean? At the deepest level all any of us really want is to be validated, to be seen, to be met fully, to have our experience held and contained by another. It sounds so simple, but in practice is a revolution. When were we ever taught to be so open? So exposed? So raw? So vulnerable?

We long to be given permission to be what we are, for another to understand how we organize our experience – how we make sense of things, what inspires us and also what scares us. We want more than anything for another to somehow be willing to love us that much, without needing us to be different, to be “cured,” or even to be healed. If we’re willing to open just a bit, we can begin to feel this yearning deep within ourselves – and in those around us. It is so precious, so sweet, to tender; so utterly, unbearably alive.’

When we allow ourselves to enter deeply into the subjective experience of another in this way, willing to take the risk that love always requires – and when our friend feels us with them all the way inside the cracks and crevices of each and every cell of their heart – love takes over, grace begins to whisper its secrets, and we turn toward home, together. And then from this field of togetherness, the flow of a natural healing is released, flooding the very heart of our Universe with gifts of presence, holding, empathy, attunement, kindness, and compassion.

It seems unlikely that we’ll ever know exactly what Freud meant by this letter to Jung, but we all know in the deepest parts of ourselves the power of love to change and reorganize everything.”

Excerpted from A Healing Space blog

This awesome song by Joe Bonamassa moved my soul this week. Blues does that for me sometimes; this week was one of them. Here’s the link to Sloe Gin.


7 responses

  1. That is so true: Just because feelings don’t let you fly, it doesn’t mean the’re sinking you: Recognition of state can only aid, it is like the floating log, on which you can hang on while moving ashore!

    July 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    • Yes George. I almost lost you there my friend; what a metaphor. Your comment went to spam! Glad to see you here.

      July 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      • MaryAnn, thanks for “unspamming” (new word, meaning more or less being brought back from Purgatory, where you did not belong in the first place 🙂 ) I comb (closely ) through the spam cache and find sometimes, friends stranded their, temporarily, And so we teach Akismet what is: Spam! I’m glad I read your post, and enjoyed the blues! Thanks for commenting and the feedback! 🙂

        July 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      • That’s funny George. Thank you. I just discovered Joe’s music. What a find! I should have heard him before; I live in Kansas City!

        July 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm

  2. I found John’s Bradshaw’s series on PBS, very important as a individual developmental education, very thoughtful, and responsible, including “The Inner Child”! This song is quintessential!

    July 30, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    • John Bradshaw’s work is simply amazing. I haven’t read it in years though. Thanks for raising it here. It might help others too.

      July 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      • Always helping!

        July 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

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