Posted in About Lauri, Being Human, God, introverts, Mystics, Oneness with God, Ponderings, Relationships, Spiritual Direction, Surrender

Only God

a personal reflection by Lauri Ann Lumby

This morning’s blog is coming from a deeply personal place and arising out of a place of fragmented vulnerability….so apologies ahead of time for momentary incoherence. 😉

image credit: www.checorreaphotography.com

2017 has been quite an interesting year so far. The most exciting things have been my soul-discovering trip to Ireland and the “new” things that are beginning to be birthed in my world including a promising business partnership and a burgeoning Magdalene Priestess Training program!

Playing a much more central role in 2017, however, has been the ever deepening and every widening journey of LETTING GO! It seems everywhere I turn I am being invited to let go of that which I used to turn to as a source of familiarity, routine, surety, security and support.  It seems I can’t take a single step without being confronted with something asking for release.  This release has included the need to redefine relationships (the nature of, my expectations or hopes around, boundaries, etc.), to let go of certain hopes and dreams; and more materially, facing the need to find new housing and buy a new car.  The whispering threat under all of this letting go is, “And HOW are you going to pay for that?????”  UGH!

As it all came to a head this past weekend with the resurfacing of my deepest core wound and its source, I knew that the letting go was not about letting go, but was in fact about letting in. Specifically – letting God in.

In this realization, I must give credit and gratitude to my experience as a Spiritual Director (and a mystic). If I did not have the awareness of what the Divine call looks like, I would have been in much more despair than I have been (believe me, I’ve spent many hours on the couch wallowing in my grief, despair and perceived helplessness) and not known where to turn or how to make sense of every rug being pulled out from beneath my feet.  God isn’t an asshole (though sometimes it feels like “He” is.).  When we are being invited to let go….it is always for the purpose of letting in.

So, what does it mean when life is inviting us to release EVERYTHING upon which we have previously based our lives and EVERYTHING we formerly turned to as a source of hope and support? It means that life is supporting us in knowing that in the end, there is ONLY God.  Everything that we know of in our human experience is fleeting and temporary – relationships, jobs, homes, cars, money, belongings, our health and wellbeing, life itself.  It is all temporary and in the end, it all passes away.  When all has passed away….what is left is God.  Me and God.  God and me.  And when Lauri Ann Lumby is no longer, there is only God.

I am also grateful for my spiritual director, Leanore, who supported me yesterday in verbalizing my awareness and affirming the invitation. The purpose of all this letting go is so that I can let God in – to let God in on an even deeper level than I have ever done before.  To let God in so that I might know a deeper experience of God’s love.  To know God as my source of support.  To surrender into God’s hands knowing and trusting that God is carrying me to exactly where I need to be.  Most importantly of all….to do what I tell everyone of my students to do – to make God the number one priority of my life, to give all my energy and attention to God, to be open to receiving and being compelled and empowered by God’s love.  It is not about the temporary and fleeting things of this world, it is about God…..and only about God.

In closing, I want to share these words from Stephanie Azaria’s daily post (quoting one of her writers, Marie DesRoches at www.thecosmicpath.com.  If this isn’t God speaking to me, I don’t know what is:

In 3D I used to “think” of surrender as giving up my way and “doing” what God wanted.  In 5D I Align WITH the God That I Am and allow myself to BE all that I AM – expressing, moving, choosing, loving, breathing, WITH and IN that Presence.” 

 

Posted in About Lauri, Beloved Partnership, codependency, happily ever after, Mary Magdalene, Relationships

My Secret Pain – the Call of Beloved Partnership

It is said that “the truth shall set you free.” I have continued to find this to be true.  But knowing that in expressing our truth we shall find freedom and actually expressing our truth are two different things, especially when expressing those truths leaves you naked and vulnerable in the face of an often cold and cruel world.  But, it is also said, “No pain, no gain.”  So……here goes.

I have a truth that I have carefully guarded and kept very close to my heart, revealing this secret to only a select few. The truth is that I am called to Beloved Partnership.

Click on the image above to read about Mary Magdalene and the call to Beloved Partnership.

What I have come to understand is that being called to Beloved Partnership is a Divine calling and one that cannot be fulfilled until we are reunited with our other half. Being a Beloved Partner differs from co-dependency in that it is not about looking for someone to complete us.  Instead, it is about a shared energy that compels both to seek after their own wholeness, spiritually igniting each other in mutual and shared growth until they reach the point when they are meant to come together in Divine and Holy Partnership – the kind of partnership that is Divinely ordained and which no one can tear asunder.

I am a Beloved Partner and on some level, I have known this my whole life. Since my earliest memory, I have known what my Beloved feels like.  I have felt/known his presence around me.  I have heard him calling me and have experienced the promise of our union.  I have looked for him and thought I had found him in others, only and always learning that “this is not him.”  (That is not to say there hasn’t been value in all the relationships that in the end proved not to be my Twin.)

Until 2004-ish, my Beloved has only been known to me in the energy of promise and potential. I had an idea in my head and a sense of what should be, but nothing concrete to base it on.  Then came the vision that CHANGED MY LIFE.  In short – I SAW HIM!  I saw him and I felt him.  More importantly, I experienced what it feels like to be in his presence and to have him look into my eyes.  The experience was one of pure adoration and love – the likes of which I had never experienced before.

For 13 years, I have carried this experience with me, allowing it to guide and direct my life. It started with looking for this love outside of me.  When these efforts proved fruitless, I sought this love in God which then brought me into myself.  I have diligently tended to the unhealed wounds and unacknowledged fears within me that have been blocking my ability to know the love that I am as a child of the Divine – all the while feeling and knowing the presence of “My Beloved” in this journey with me.

Doesn’t that sound lovely? I see/feel the experience of being adored.  It compels me on a profound journey of personal growth.  It helps to lead me in the direction of my life purpose.  But….the truth is that the journey of Beloved Partnership SUCKS!  It sucks BAD….and here’s why.

Think of it this way. How many people do you know who are happy and content in a “just ok” relationship because it feels safe, secure, known, etc.  Alternatively, how many people do you know who are happy just dating and sleeping around – enjoying the play of a casual relationship without any of the responsibility?  Beloved Partners cannot do any of these thing!  None of these paths have been an option for me and when I have tried, I have gotten my ass handed to me.  With the calling of a Beloved Partnership, I have learned I can be content with nothing but this.

Here then is the rub: For one called to Beloved Partnership, until that partnership is realized, there will always be a feeling of discontent, a deep feeling that there is something very wrong with our lives, and our Divine calling will not be completely fulfilled.  When the Divine calling is not fulfilled, we are left with a nagging feeling of frustration, impatience, even anger and resentment of that something that is missing from our lives.

Here is the other rub: there is literally NOTHING we can do about what is “wrong” with our lives.  Oh yes, there are all kinds of books and courses on how to “call in the one,” but in my experience none of these work.  Yes, we can prepare a space for our Beloved.  Yes, we can do the critical work of healing our woundedness and becoming whole within ourselves.  We can go out there and try on different relationship experiences.  But at the end of the day, the arrival of our Beloved, as it is Divine ordained, is simply a matter of Divine timing.  In the meantime, we are left with an aching pain of vacancy in the center of our Soul where the knowledge of our calling to Beloved Partnership resides, along with the pain of knowing that until we are united there will be a critical part of our Soul’s purpose that cannot be fulfilled.

While there is nothing we can do to make reunion with our Beloved happen, we can create a space in our lives by working on our own journey toward wholeness. My book, Happily Ever After, is one resource to help support you in this task. 

Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com

 

 

Posted in Beloved Partnership, happily ever after, Relationships

Dark Night of the Relationship

The Dark Night of a Relationship is an important stage in any long-standing, committed relationship.  This is a stage that no one tells us about, neither would we believe it could happen to us as we stand doe-eyed awaiting the celebratory nuptials.  The Dark Night of the Relationship is real, it is necessary and when committed and aware, some relationships will survive it. Some will not have the knowledge, patience, trust or stamina to survive.  And some will find after the stage of the Dark Night that the relationship should not continue and termination or divorce is a necessary and supportive option.  The following is my current best understanding of this necessary stage in a committed relationship.

1)  We meet someone and fall in love.  We see the other party and the relationship through the eyes of idealization.  One or both parties are still carrying around with them the unhealed wounds of their past and are probably looking for the other party to be their source of fulfillment and satisfaction, ie:  “you complete me.”

 

2)  One or both parties begin to feel restless and the blinders of the early stage of the relationship begin to fall away.  We begin to see each others’ wounds, strange behaviors, etc.  We enter into a stage of disillusionment, frustration maybe even anger.

couplefightingpixabay

3)  If we are open, we might realize that part of the source of frustration is our own unhealed wounds and we might begin to do the work of healing our old wounds and work toward the realization of our own deeper truth.  If we are lucky, our partner has a similar realization and begins to do their own work as well.   This is the stage in which one or both parties does the work of shedding the ego and the false self (the person they brought into the marriage) so that their true self can emerge.  The old self has to die so that the new self can be born.

4) At some stage in the process (whether or not both parties are working toward their own healing), the realization is made that the marriage or relationship is not what it used to be.  Both, or one party has now changed and the relationship has to change as well.  This is the dark night of the marriage.  The marriage that was (or the illusion of the marriage) has to die so that a new marriage can emerge.  The marriage based on the ego-filled self cannot survive the newly born self-realized individuals.  This stage, like any other death, is a time of grief, sorrow, bargaining, denial and rage.    NOTE:  This is an especially difficult stage if only one of the parties in the relationship are doing their work of self-actualization, especially when it is revealed that for the self-actualizing party, divorce is a life-giving and supportive choice.  Divorce in this stage is often met by resistance, surprise and anger on the part of the un-realized individual.

5) Now….here is the delicate part of this process.  If the couple steps into this stage of the process with open communication, patience, courage and faith, and enter into it with no attachment to outcome….the new life of the relationship may emerge.  Unfortunately, most people bail before even trying to take this step.  Now, the trickiest part to this stage is to accept the possibility that continuing in a committed relationship may no longer be in the highest good of the individual parties.  After the dark night of the marriage, after honest renegotiation of who we are as individuals and who we want to be as a couple, we might realize that staying in a committed relationship is no longer mutually supportive and life-giving.  At this point, the couple ends their commitment and move on as individuals from a place of loving acceptance and compassionate support of each other as they go along their individual journeys.  In this place, divorce can be a beautiful ritual of supportive release.

6) Some marriages, after completing the process of the dark night, may discover that it is in the highest good of both parties to remain as a committed couple and enter into the process of allowing a new marriage to emerge.  The old marriage has died and the couple allows themselves to be open to a new marriage.  In this stage, an attitude of openness and detachment are necessary.  We are not creating this new marriage on our own, but allowing the universe to present to us the kind of marriage that will be mutually supportive and life-giving.  We allow ourselves to be free of ego in allowing this new relationship to emerge.

 

If you are looking for support through the Dark Night of a Relationship, or looking to build a happier and healthier relationship after a breakup or divorce, check out my new book, Happily Ever After – the Transformational Journey from “you complete me” to Beloved Partnership, available in print and Kindle versions at Amazon.com.  (Click on image below to learn more).

Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com
Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com
Posted in codependency, happily ever after, Relationships

The Number One Reason Relationships Fail

In the twenty-plus years I have been counseling individuals and couples, I have identified the number one reason relationships fail:

Looking for the other person to complete us.

 

Co-Dependency

In the recovery world, co-dependency is limited to addictive/compulsive patterns of enabling.  Here, co-dependency is expanded to include any behaviors, attitudes and relationship dynamics which are rooted in the search for another person to complete us.  Co-dependency arises out of a deep inner longing that says, “I am not enough,” making us feel incomplete, fractured and fragmented.  In an effort to quell this longing, we look for “the other” who will complete us.  We find someone who we believe might complete us, and for a time (as long as we are in the infatuation stage of the relationship), they might.  Eventually, however, the longing returns (because we never healed the true source of the longing), the fantasies we have created about our partner fall and we begin to see them for who they really are – fractured and imperfect just like we are.  Resentment sets in and trouble begins.

 

Search for the Other vs. Search for Ourselves

When we are searching outside of ourselves for someone to complete us, it is because we do not know ourselves.  The longing that drives this search for “the other” in reality, has nothing to do with “the other.” Instead, this longing is really the longing to know ourselves.  Until we know otherwise, or until the bottom falls out (whichever comes first), the longing to know ourselves disguises itself in the longing for another to complete us.  We are never fulfilled in our relationships, however, until we turn this longing for “the other” inward and start doing the work of coming to know ourselves.  In coming to know ourselves, we discover our own unique gifts, our passions, what gives us joy and makes us feel complete – WITHIN OURSELVES.  When we know ourselves, we no longer look for someone to complete us, instead, we wait for another complete person with whom we can enjoy the journey of life in a mutually supportive, interdependent relationship where both are honored as sacred and holy and where the two work together to support the needs of each other in service to the betterment of the world.

For support in moving away from patterns of co-dependency, looking for another to complete you, check out my new book:

Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com
Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com

 

 

Posted in codependency, happily ever after, Relationships

Happily Ever After: my latest book available now!

Buy it Now! 

Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com
Click on image above to purchase on Amazon.com

Happily Ever After – the Transformational Journey from “You Complete Me” to Beloved Partnership presents a new model for intimate partnership along with the process for getting there. Happily Ever After recognizes that as long as we are looking outside of ourselves for completion our relationships are doomed to fail – supporting the belief that the healthy, fulfilling and enduring love we all long for is built upon the foundation of two individuals who are complete within themselves and who have chosen to come together as equals in mutual love and support.  Interdependence, rather than co-dependency is the goal of this book and the outcome of this process.

Through personal narrative, informative dialogue, poetry, mindfulness practices, and creativity exercises; you will be invited to deconstruct existing and former patterns of co-dependency while building the foundation upon which you can find happiness and fulfillment within while preparing for the possibility of healthy interdependency with another – what is here called beloved partnership.  Once you are complete within yourself, you will settle for nothing less.

 

From the book’s introduction:

If you asked me to describe in one phrase what this book is about, I would say, “Jerry Maguire lies.” This movie has provided the single most damaging phrase to our hope for intimate partnership – “You complete me.”  When we are looking outside of ourselves for someone else to complete us, we are indulging the compulsion of co-dependency. Co-dependency arises out of the false perception that love, satisfaction and fulfillment exist outside of us, causing us to seek in another that which we falsely believe we do not possess within ourselves.  Co-dependency tells us that love has to be earned or can be taken away resulting in behaviors that cause us either to be manipulative in our search for love or vulnerable to the manipulations of another. I would argue that co-dependency, along with unmanaged anxiety, are the two most common destroyers of intimate human relationships.

Jerry Maguire is not alone, however, in supporting the long-standing culture of co-dependency predominating the West. Traditional fairytales with their happily ever after endings are another common culprit.  While all too many have learned that happily ever after isn’t always so happy, traditional fairytales are still the foundational myths upon which we establish our hopes and dreams of intimate partnership.  The difficult truth is that as long as we are looking outside of ourselves for completion, or basing our hopes on fairytale dreams, our relationships are doomed to fail.  When we are looking outside of ourselves for someone to complete us, we will never truly be satisfied and will fail in our search for a fulfilling and enduring love.  The true source of fulfillment can only come from within.

Happily Ever After – the Transformational Journey from “You Complete Me” to Beloved Partnership is based on this premise and therefore presents a different model of intimate partnership. The healthy, fulfilling and enduring love we all long for is built upon the foundation of two individuals who are complete within themselves and who have chosen to come together as equals in mutual support.  Interdependence, rather than co-dependency is the goal of this book and of the process into which you will be invited.

couple-690765_1280

 

Testimonials from Course Participants:

I embarked on the journey of the “Happily Ever After” course, with the gifted and inspirational tour guide; Lauri Ann Lumby. This process of reflections, creative exercises and self discovery revealed the power we have within to discover our own true source of happiness, fulfillment and peace so that then we can create a foundation for a healthy, mutually loving and supportive partnership.  R. M. Oshkosh, WI

Lauri’s Happily Ever After course is an essential tool for emotional well-being. I’ve benefitted greatly by learning who I am, what my needs are, and how to prevent myself from falling back into unhealthy codependent relationships. Everyone can benefit from Lauri’s guidance. You’re going to learn so much about yourself along the way!”   K.B. Appleton, WI

I feel this course allowed me to bring even more awareness to the benefit of really being your own beloved first and foremost. With the thoughtful questions and exercises- building on chapter to chapter – it allowed patterns to be brought to the surface for awareness and healing. I also gained insight into what I am really looking for in a relationship and what I am about as a woman. This course also complimented a wonderful relationship I have with the utmost Beloved-God which only looks for what is in the best for my highest good. .No more settling!   L. J. Larsen, WI

lauricurtsie2Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS has been known as mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, lover, student, teacher, counselor, minister, healer, writer, poet, heretic, witch, professional shit-disturber, heretic, and blasphemer. After more than fifty years of asking the question, “Who am I?” Lauri has come to the realization that she is just plain Lauri, and that on any given day, she can be whomever she wants to be.  Lauri is the author of the Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene, Returning – A Woman’s Midlife Journey to Herself, Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy and Christouch – a Christ-centered Approach to Energy Medicine through Hands-on Healing.   She is also the owner of Authentic Freedom Academy in Oshkosh, Wisconsin where she lives with her two amazing children.  You can learn more about Lauri, her professional services and workshops at www.authenticfreedomacademy.com.

Posted in Beloved Partnership, codependency, men, Relationships, women

The Plight of the Modern Woman in Search for the Modern Man

To all my magnificent single sisters: This one’s for you! 

womanalonelookingoverlakepexels

The Plight of the Modern Woman in Search for the Modern Man

Intelligent, independent, courageous and strong,

Beautiful, generous, thoughtful and kind.

Laughing with you over the Holy Grail.

Speaking your language of Tarantino, fantasy, adventure and sci-fi.

Tossing down pints and whiskey shots.

Cursing like a sailor.

And beneath it all, a quiet and tender heart

Where your fears can come home.

She’ll cook you dinner, rub your shoulders,

And make mad, passionate love to you,

freeing your mind from the worries of the day.

She’s the one you can come home to –

The one you can trust.

Satisfied in her own pursuits,

Seeking only to love and to know love in return.

How could you want for more?

And yet, she strikes fear in the hearts of many a man,

Because while she wants you more than anything in this world,

She’s not seeking completion from one who feels empty inside.

She’s looking for a true partner.

One who can stand on his own

And who in spite of his wholeness,

Chooses to be with her

Because together

They can change the world.

copyright 2016  Lauri Ann Lumby

From "you complete me" to Beloved Partnership (within ourselves and in preparation for with another).
From “you complete me” to Beloved Partnership (within ourselves and in preparation for with another).
Posted in Being Human, Relationships, self-actualization, women

Woman on Fire – The Poetry of Wendy E. Slater

I don’t remember what initially caused our lives to intersect, but since coming to know Wendy E. Slater, I have found in her a soul-sister, fellow shit-disturber, priestess, goddess and healer.  When I was flat on my back with a raging ear infection last fall, Wendy showed up with her Shamanic gifts and helped support my healing.  For this, I will be ever, eternally grateful.  Wendy’s poetry rocks me to the core and sings to my soul – songs of the feminine angst, sexual tension, the ecstasies and agonies of love and just plain REALNESS.  More than anything, Wendy exposes the fullness of what it means to be human and what it means to be fully female in a masculine-dominated world.  I love her work, but more than this, I love her Soul and the gifts she brings to humanity in its transition from ignorance into true seeing, fear into love.  Thank you Wendy!  

BUY IT ON AMAZON HERE.

Of the Flame, Poems-Volume 15 by Wendy E. Slater is the second in the series of her spiritual poetry or “vision quest poetry” to be published. The poetry continues to chronicle the inner journey of self-discovery and the Divine, awakening us to our own Truth as we travel the path, the personal journey, and awaken from the illusory separation of self and Divinity. Subsequently, self-forgiveness allows us to surrender to our wholeness without false perfection. When we cast blame and self-judgment aside, we transform, heal, and reawaken from “the mythos” of separation and become One.

Buy it Now!
Buy it Now!

1503

As the flame comes in,

     It comes forth

       Like a volcano

       With rage kept under

            The sea

                Of devotion

                Of being apart

                And not touched,

                The grace

                    Of love gone

                    For too long ,

                    Like amnesia.

 

When water hits vents with force

       From movement below

                It all spews forth

       Without hiding

               From God’s eye

       I have been discovered

                In the lingering dormancy

       And creating now

                By amplitude

       Our continent.

(c) 2016 Wendy E. Slater

Reader Reviews for Of the Flame:

“Wendy E. Slater’s new volume of poetry, Of the Flame, reads like a smoking bowl of hot chilis right off the griddle. Consider this, ‘Who is omniscient / Lies in wait / On the porch / To eat your ego alive,’ and further, ‘The unfolding / Is in the forest of my love, / Mysterious unchartered territory.’ Profound, gutsy, full of life and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Full of passion and flame, indeed. Highly recommended.”

—John A. Perks, author of The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant Ven. Seonaidh Perks, Celtic Buddhist Lineage

“Once again Wendy E. Slater turns her unique poetic talents, her gritty voice and her lyrical intensity to an exploration of the self, in contexts that demand a cunning navigation between the longing for companionship and the need for independence, between contemporary society’s false glitter with its plastic wrapped apparent perfection and the true beauty that the mind demands but also fears. Hers is a world of shopping malls and tigers, AstroTurf and mountains, mud puddles and flame, contrasts that fuse into a powerfully rewarding poetic whole.”

—Rosemary Lloyd, Litt.D (Cambridge), scholar and translator, and author of Baudelaire’s World

“Wendy E. Slater revels in all aspects of love. Love between people—love’s longings—the bittersweet aspects of loving—even the forgiving parts of love. Using short choppy lines in forceful poetics, she explains her feelings, her wishes and the boundaries of love. She describes the ‘Coral majesty of fishes / In ecstatic hues / Of tropical vibration’ and ‘A bouquet / Of spring flowers / All ways / Unfolding in the Breath’s / Sacred exhale’ in terms of life itself. Ms. Slater successfully writes with intelligence and knowledge about the feelings and interactions between people and their effects on one another. She reaches the core and uncovers the basis. Each reader will relate to her words based on their own lives. We will all benefit from her poems providing this insight. To sum up this latest book of poems, Wendy E. Slater writes about humanity with a ceaseless and challenging purpose.”

—D.R. Deutsch, Poet-In-Residence, Port Chester, Rye Brook Public Library

Wendy E. Slater:

Wendy E.SlaterMy life experience continues to be a personal healing journey of self knowledge, gained by participating in and or observing all facets of my own life story. I seek the meaning of life by giving my own life meaning. Originally a liberal arts student in the 1980’s, I gravitated toward science (i.e., the genetics of small captive societies) during my years of academic study and increasingly became aware, and an advocate, of the interconnectedness of all living things.
This understanding was refined through the years with the help of a holistic medical doctor who introduced me to his world of alternative, nontraditional medicine, beginning with ortho molecular medicine and vitamin therapy, and culminating, among other things, with acupuncture, homeopathy, intuitive healing, radionics, psychic healing, shamanistic healing, herbs, essences, and Chi Gong.
Like Diogenes searching the world for an honest man, I searched traditional and nontraditional medicine for healing. My journey made me increasingly aware that all human societies, throughout the Ages, in each era or geographic location, recognize healers, regardless of the nature of the treatments offered, who communicate with life force energy, external to the individual but at the same time resident within the self.
 My realization that balance between these forms of life force energies is key to well-being led me to study and gain experience in radionics, homeopathy, iridology, and meditation; as a Reiki Master Teacher, a certified Jin Shin Jyutsu® practitioner and self-help instructor, and as a student of Tibetan Yoga teacher training; and in Chi Gong, the healing properties of herbs, flower and gem essences, healing crystals and gems, and quantum healing.
Learn more about Wendy and her work at https://traduka.com/
Posted in Authentic Freedom, Being Human, Relationships

How the “Unholy Masculine” is Killing Us.

I want to be clear, right from the start, this blog is NOT about men and it is not against men. This blog is about a characteristic and behavior pattern of Western culture that I have come to call “the unholy masculine.” Both women and men are guilty of embodying characteristics and engaging in behaviors consistent with the “unholy masculine,” and THIS is the cause of all that is wrong with Western culture and IT is killing us.

The unholy masculine can be defined as:

Behaviors and characteristics of power and control, ultimately motivated by fear.

The unholy masculine are all the ways in which we attempt to have power over ourselves and/or others through acts of coercion, bullying, manipulating through fear and insecurity (think advertising and the media), trying to “make things happen,” forcing outcomes, agendas, our own will, etc.

angrywomanpixabay

The unholy masculine ultimately arises in response to our wholesale rejection of all that we perceive in ourselves as weakness, vulnerability, imperfection, helplessness, powerlessness, etc. Often this rejection of self isn’t even known, but is instead projected onto others, resulting in behavior patterns where we reject “them” (think “the poor,” “the jobless and unemployed,” “homeless,” “disabled,” “sick,” etc.)  because of their “weakness” or “powerlessness”.  The irony is that when we are rejecting others for their “weakness” what we are really rejecting is the weak and vulnerable parts of ourselves, which we then mask with behaviors of power and control.

Let me tell you a little story to help illustrate the subtle and insidious nature of the unholy masculine, as I have experienced it within myself.

As a Type One on the Enneagram, the Perfectionist/Reformer, imperfection is not allowed – specifically, imperfection as I define it. Imperfection in my mind has been anything that has to do with my definition of weakness and includes such things as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, helplessness, neediness, illness.  Sadness, loneliness, and anger have also been included in the soup of what I had/have rejected in myself, and what I therefore rejected in others because I could not accept them in myself. In contrast to the weakness that was not allowed, what was allowed was my definition of perfect….which meant independent (self-sufficient), courageous, smart, strong, and accomplished – specifically accomplished.

If I was accomplishing tasks, achieving my goals, I was perfect and strong. Especially if I was accomplishing these goals in spite of my fears, my insecurities, my sadness, loneliness….and later…anxiety, depression, panic attacks and SHEER EXHAUSTION. For most of my life, I rejected these parts of myself so much that I didn’t even know they existed.  (My Chi Qong master once observed, “Lauri, I sometimes think the only way you are making it from day to day is simply by force of your own will.”  Yep…she had me pegged!)

Accomplishing arose out of Doing, therefore “doing” was “good” and “not doing” was bad. Enjoyment, for the simple sake of enjoyment was also not allowed – because enjoyment did not equal “doing.”  Besides, enjoyment is only allowed after the doing is done, and the “doing” is never done – there is always something else I could/should be doing to accomplish my goals and complete my tasks.

THIS is the UNHOLY MASCULINE – suppressing the parts of myself I had rejected by means of power and control, forcing myself to DO and ACCOMPLISH because this is what I perceived to be of value and what I believed it meant to be perfect.

angrymanpixabay

As it turns out, all of this “DOING” for the sake of “ACCOMPLISHING” was mostly done in opposition to what my Soul actually needed and wanted. On occasion, my Soul would let me know this by casting me into a pit of profound “weakness.”  In high school it was two bouts with mono, in college it was chronic migraines, in midlife, anxiety, depression and panic attacks.  Most recently, it started with a MASSIVE virus that turned into an ear infection leading to vertigo, which then led to anxiety and depression, even panic attacks– the effects of which I am still struggling with today (hint….”struggling” is another manifestation of the unholy masculine).

THIS is the UNHOLY MASCULINE….and I am not the only one guilty of this behavior. In fact, the Unholy Masculine is what is wrong with our culture and it is the Unholy Masculine that is killing us.

  • Every time we act in opposition to our Soul,.
  • Every time we FORCE ourselves or others to do something, through coercion, bullying, manipulating through fear or by triggering insecurities.
  • Every time we JUDGE parts of ourselves as weak, worthless, unworthy, imperfect, bad, and then reject these in ourselves.
  • When we project our judgment of ourselves or our rejection of ourselves onto others.
  • When we bully, intimidate, try to “make something happen,” force ourselves or others into situations that are in opposition to their Soul.
  • When life feels like a struggle, a fight, a war.
  • When our relationships feel like a struggle.
  • Every time we treat ourselves or others in ways that are non-loving or unkind…

We are engaging in the Unholy Masculine.

lovingchildrenpixabay

The key to healing ourselves and therefore our culture of the Unholy Masculine begins with identifying and learning to love all the parts of ourselves we had previously rejected:

  • Our perceived weakness (which often turn out to be our greatest gifts).
  • Our vulnerabilities.
  • Our needs, wants, desires.
  • Our past hurts and unhealed wounds.
  • Our losses, our sorrows and our grief.
  • Our aging, changing bodies.
  • The ways in which our looks don’t measure up to what Victoria’s Secret or GQ Magazine tells us is the ideal.
  • Our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual “illnesses”.
  • Our past traumas, and broken hearts.
  • Our emotions.
  • Our thoughts.
  • The unique way in which our Soul NEEDS to move about this world.

As we come to accept these in ourselves, we come to accept them in others, the result of which is loving behavior toward ourselves and loving behaviors toward others.

In this we transform the unholy masculine to the HOLY MASCULINE – providing, protecting and supporting through kind and loving acts, which is exactly what I am off to do for myself this day. Game of Thrones, Season 3, here I come!

 

 

Posted in codependency, Relationships

Help for the Dark Night of the Relationship

The Dark Night of a Relationship is an important stage in any long-standing, committed relationship.  This is a stage that no one tells us about, neither would we believe it could happen to us as we stand doe-eyed awaiting the celebratory nuptials.  The Dark Night of the Relationship is real, it is necessary and when committed and aware, some relationships will survive it. Some will not have the knowledge, patience, trust or stamina to survive.  And some will find after the stage of the Dark Night that the relationship should not continue and termination or divorce is a necessary and supportive option.  The following is my current best understanding of this necessary stage in a committed relationship.

1)  We meet someone and fall in love.  We see the other party and the relationship through the eyes of idealization.  One or both parties are still carrying around with them the unhealed wounds of their past and are probably looking for the other party to be their source of fulfillment and satisfaction, ie:  “you complete me.”

2)  One or both parties begin to feel restless and the blinders of the early stage of the relationship begin to fall away.  We begin to see each others’ wounds, strange behaviors, etc.  We enter into a stage of disillusionment, frustration maybe even anger.

3)  If we are open, we might realize that part of the source of frustration is our own unhealed wounds and we might begin to do the work of healing our old wounds and work toward the realization of our own deeper truth.  If we are lucky, our partner has a similar realization and begins to do their own work as well.   This is the stage in which one or both parties does the work of shedding the ego and the false self (the person they brought into the marriage) so that their true self can emerge.  The old self has to die so that the new self can be born.

4) At some stage in the process (whether or not both parties are working toward their own healing), the realization is made that the marriage or relationship is not what it used to be.  Both, or one party has now changed and the relationship has to change as well.  This is the dark night of the marriage.  The marriage that was (or the illusion of the marriage) has to die so that a new marriage can emerge.  The marriage based on the ego-filled self cannot survive the newly born self-realized individuals.  This stage, like any other death, is a time of grief, sorrow, bargaining, denial and rage.    NOTE:  This is an especially difficult stage if only one of the parties in the relationship are doing their work of self-actualization, especially when it is revealed that for the self-actualizing party, divorce is a life-giving and supportive choice.  Divorce in this stage is often met by resistance, surprise and anger on the part of the un-realized individual.

5) Now….here is the delicate part of this process.  If the couple steps into this stage of the process with open communication, patience, courage and faith, and enter into it with no attachment to outcome….the new life of the relationship may emerge.  Unfortunately, most people bail before even trying to take this step.  Now, the trickiest part to this stage is to accept the possibility that continuing in a committed relationship may no longer be in the highest good of the individual parties.  After the dark night of the marriage, after honest renegotiation of who we are as individuals and who we want to be as a couple, we might realize that staying in a committed relationship is no longer mutually supportive and life-giving.  At this point, the couple ends their commitment and move on as individuals from a place of loving acceptance and compassionate support of each other as they go along their individual journeys.  In this place, divorce can be a beautiful ritual of supportive release.

6) Some marriages, after completing the process of the dark night, may discover that it is in the highest good of both parties to remain as a committed couple and enter into the process of allowing a new marriage to emerge.  The old marriage has died and the couple allows themselves to be open to a new marriage.  In this stage, an attitude of openness and detachment are necessary.  We are not creating this new marriage on our own, but allowing the universe to present to us the kind of marriage that will be mutually supportive and life-giving.  We allow ourselves to be free of ego in allowing this new relationship to emerge.

Again, I am no expert on this subject, and I hope that shedding light on the Dark Night of the Relationship as a necessary and important stage in the spiritual journey has provided comfort, support and affirmation for those who have experienced or may be facing this stage in their own committed relationship.  While the Dark Night of the Relationship is a painful part of our spiritual journey, the promise for those who survive it is a new life that is nurturing, supportive and free.

If you are looking for support through the Dark Night of a Relationship, or looking to build a happier and healthier relationship after a breakup or divorce, check out my online course, “Happily Ever After.”  Click on the image below to learn more.   (P.S. It’s cheaper than counseling or a dating service!)

Register HERE
Register HERE
Posted in Beloved Partnership, Boundaries, codependency, Relationships

You Don’t Complete Me!

Damn, You Don’t Complete Me!

Many relationships entered into in our youth are established upon the illusion that the other person will complete us.  We look to the other to fill the emptiness and longing we feel inside.  Eventually, we realize that the other person is not completing us as disappointment and resentment rush in.   Now we have entered the dark night of the relationship.  We then begin to harbor blame, resentment and hatred against the other person for not being the fantasy we created in our mind.  It is this resentment that will eventually destroy our relationships unless we do something about it.

The Only Person Who Can Complete You is YOU!

Doing something about the resentment, many discover all the ways in which they have been socialized to seek outside of themselves for love and completion, along with all the ways in which they believe that love is something that has to be earned or that can be denied them.  What often arises out of these false perceptions is co-dependency.   If you are the one who has given away your power, hoping in return for completion and love, the invitation is to take your power back.  This means identifying all the ways in which you have remained silent, ignored or suppressed your needs or your truth, stayed in the background, forsaken your needs and tended to the needs of others at the expense of your own needs.

Welcome Perimenopause and Menopause

For women, compounding, hastening and perhaps even catalyzing this invitation to tend to ones own needs is the advent of menopause.  When women become aware (consciously or unconsciously) that their time for childbearing has come to an end, they begin to see their lives through a dramatically different lens.  During the vulnerable years of childbearing, and while the children are still tender, vulnerable little beings, a veil stands between a woman’s sight and truth.  All of the woman’s energy and attention is directed at the survival of the children.  Once the children become viable, and the woman knows she is done bearing children, the veil collapses.  Every personal need, creative drive, personal desire, wish, hope and dream that was placed on the shelf for the sake of the needs of the children and family come tumbling down.  And now, the woman’s inner drive is directed toward the rediscovery of her own truth, her own needs and the discovery of the vocation which will provide her fulfillment in the second half of her life.  Wife/Mom suddenly becomes a different person and the husband/children are left to wonder, “What the heck just happened?”  This is often when the threads of co-dependency begin to unravel and the rules of the household begin to change.  (please note that men have their own version of this midlife transition – as I understand it, it is a departure from the role of provider to the role of enjoyer…sadly our culture and our current expectations of gender roles does not do a good job of supporting this transition either!)

Undoing Co-Dependency

Whether it is the man or the woman who has been the partner bargaining their own needs for the illusion of completion and love, the process is the same.  Co-dependent behaviors are identified, and we begin the process of changing how we act and respond in our relationships.  We begin by identifying our own truth, our own needs, our own dreams, hopes and desires.  Then we begin to exercise these truths.  We name and claim our needs to those around us.  We set boundaries around our need for “ME” time.  We learn to say no to those things not supportive of our needs and we begin to make time for those things that are life-giving for us.  We stop rushing to the side of those around us every time they seem to be in distress, and we empower them to learn how to tend to their own needs.  We stop doing for others what they are capable of doing for themselves.

A Rude Awakening

For those who have been trained by our co-dependency to expect us to take care of them or to forsake our own needs for theirs, this is a time of RUDE AWAKENING!  We have trained our loved ones well, and now we are changing the rules.  The first response is often bewilderment which then turns into rebellion and often outright war!  “What do you mean you’re not going to make my breakfast?”  “But you’ve always picked out my clothes for me.”  “What good are art classes at your age?”  “You want to go back to school….for what!?”  “Why would you want time for yourself…don’t you love us?”  For those who have been trained to forsake their own needs for the needs of those they love, this can be a difficult transition as the demons of guilt whisper, and sometimes scream in our ears, “You are abandoning your family….they need you….this is your job…..”  In response to this, I will share with you a mantra that was once given to me by a great teacher:

The most loving thing you can do for those you love is to do what is most loving for yourself.

Every time you claim your own need, every time you set boundaries around your own time, every time you stop doing something for someone that they are capable of doing for themselves, you are teaching them how NOT to be co-dependent.  You are modeling for them healthy, interdependent behavior. And you are empowering them to be GROWN UPS!

If you are interested in unraveling from past patterns of co-dependency check out our relationship course, Happily Ever After.  Click on image below to learn more.

Register HERE
Register HERE