Codependency therapist/Spiritual teacher/author of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls informally discusses his own process in relationship to his web site in newsletters to his e-mailing list.  Topics of the newsletters on this page include: making plans, letting go of the plans, birth of the question and answer pages, integrating my Spiritual belief system into my emotional responses to life, Opportunity for growth disguised as car break down, Positive Affirmations, emotional balance, Unconditionally Loved in every moment.

Welcome to a page of  Joy to You and Me

The Web Site of Robert Burney and Joy to You and Me Enterprises.

Robert Burney is a codependence therapist, Spiritual teacher, and the author of the Joyously inspirational book

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

This is the Update - Joy to You & Me Page where you can read the 'newsletter' that has evolved as Robert was informing people on his electronic-mailing list of the changes he was making to the web site.  This page originally was meant only for the individuals who had signed up for that list.  If you have reached this page without coming through the web site, you might want to first explore the web site by going to the Joy to You & Me Home Page so that you can understand the context within which these 'newsletters' were sent.   This page contains the third and fourth updates that were sent out on 8-23-98 and 10-25-98.

(Beware: if you are an editor or grammar teacher please be forewarned that I have been writing these newsletters very casually with little or no thought given to punctuation and grammar (my excuse is that it is hard to write in html - but in truth I am enjoying the chance just to be casual) - this page will be a wonderful opportunity for you to practice letting go and acceptance.) :-)

Digest of Update 8-23-98 

To all of you Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list: 
Those of you who read the update that I sent out a week ago probably remember how I was saying that sometimes it seems as if I make plans just so that I can get more practice in letting go and acceptance.  Well, it happened again.  When I sent off the last update I thought that I wouldn’t be adding anything to the web site for at least a month - wrong! 

It became real clear within just a few days that the Universe had other plans.  And since I have found it less frustrating just to go along with my Higher Power’s plans when they are clearly shown to me - here I already with some more news. 

It is a little different this time however.  This time I have posted some pages just for the people on this mailing list. I am getting people requesting to join this list so frequently now that instead of sending out another copy of the latest newsletter/update to the new people I have posted the two newsletter/updates that I have sent out so far on their own page.  You can check them out by clicking on this link  update newsletters - or for those of you who don't have html enabled e-mail the address is: 

(Beware: if you are an editor or grammar teacher please be forewarned that I have been writing these newsletters very casually with little or no thought given to punctuation and grammar (my excuse is that it is hard to write in html - but in truth I am enjoying the chance just to be casual) - this page will be a wonderful opportunity for you to practice letting go and acceptance.)

The other pages that I posted are some Question and Answer pages.  I have been getting e-mails with some very good questions about the nuts and bolts, nitty gritty, of how to do the internal boundaries work - among other good questions.  As I was answering some of these it became apparent to me 1. that the information should be shared with others trying to figure out how to do the work, and  2. that I needed to have some boundaries for myself about how much time I would put into answering individual e-mails.  The solution that I came up with is to post the questions and my responses.  This is done anonymously (I have questions on this page from "Scared and lost" in Vermont, "Where to start" in Alaska, and "With thanks" in England.) - so that no one will know who is asking other than I would like to be able to cite a geographical area.  I also will be quoting only those parts of any e-mail that are necessary to making the question clear. 

There are a number of reasons that I decided to do this - which I talk about in the first set of answers.  You can get to the page by clicking on this link  Questions and Answers  or by going to 

Feel free to send me any questions, challenge any of my stuff you have problem with, what ever.  All I ask is that you include your geographical area - state, province, country, what ever. 


(Update 10-25-98)

To all the folks on my e-mailing list , 

I made some changes to my Web Site as of October 25th.  I changed the online column to one about Positive Affirmations.  This turned out to be more than a column because I started playing around with some graphics about setting boundaries with the disease/critical parent voice.  This ended up taking a lot more time than it was probably worth especially because the way I design a web page to look doesn’t mean that it will look that way in your browser (as I explained in my Newsletter/Update for 8-15.)  Getting caught up in the challenge of something like this designing thing is something that some stubborn age of my inner child gets very involved in   and that I allowed because it seemed like the thing to do. The important thing was that I defended that inner child from the critical parent by not allowing it to call him stupid. Silly, maybe but not stupid. 

Working on the positive affirmations page was also a perfect part of my process as usual.  While I was doing it I got a perfect example of how wonderful and powerful positive affirmations are  and how dramatically they have changed the quality of my life. 

My car broke down. 

It was a wonderful opportunity to be reminded of how much work I have done over the years in integrating my Spiritual belief system into my emotional responses to life - when some seeming tragedy occurs like my car breaking down, my very first reaction is gratitude that it happened when and where it did instead of when and where it could have.  I used to react to life events (like car break downs) and other people’s behavior out of my childhood programming that told me that if something “bad” happened it was because I was bad.  I had gotten the message in childhood (in a variety of ways) that there was something wrong with me, that I was unworthy and unlovable, and that God was going to punish me for it.  So life events felt like punishment. 

Due to all the work that I have done in changing my subconscious programming (including at several different times making recordings of positive affirmations and messages of Love in my own voice to myself that I would play as I was going to sleep at night) my first reaction to life events now, and for the last 4 or 5 years, has been acceptance followed by gratitude because whatever it was could have happened at a worse time and place than it did. 

It is amazing to me to see my capacity to let go of things that used to drive me crazy with worry and feel like punishment.  The key for me has definitely been integrating the belief that everything is unfolding perfectly into my emotional process - it makes life so much easier. 

Of course, that does not mean to ignore the feelings.  Unfortunately, a lot of people use tools like affirmations, meditation, gratitude lists, etc. as another way of denying the feelings.  These tools are meant to be used to balance the feelings not negate them.  After my initial reaction of gratitude, then I let my adult take charge in terms of doing the footwork   finding a mechanic, calling a friend, calling a tow truck.  As the car was being towed and I was following with my friend then I relaxed into the feelings and let myself cry with the pain of how hard life can feel sometimes.  And when I say cry I mean cry   with heaving sobs.  I can access those feelings and release them because of the energy/breath techniques that I have learned on the way (I describe these on the Grief Process page). 

Just using the affirmations to keep from feeling my feelings would be out of balance, just staying in the adult to keep from feeling my feelings would be out of balance, just feeling the feelings and letting myself feel like a victim is also out of balance - we need to be able to use all of the tools and own all of the parts of ourselves. 

What we are working toward is to find balance.  That means using tools like the positive affirmations to integrate a supportive Spiritual belief system into our inner process, as well as using them to balance the feelings that come up.  It does not matter what happens in my life   I start immediately to tell my self and my inner children that it is all perfect somehow, that everything is going to work out in the long run   that way I can keep from buying into the shame and doom messages that are coming from the disease so that I can maintain some emotional balance. 

You can go to Positive Affirmations if you have html enabled e-mail or you can type in the address

In the address for many of my pages there is joy_ and then a number.  Because the html underlines links, some of you have had a problem with reaching the index page for the Question and Answer pages because the "_" is not obvious.  For this reason I have changed the address of the index page.  The new address is

All of the Q & A pages can be reached from the indexQA page
The page that used to be the index page joy_44 is now a question and answer page. 

So, I am going to keep things pretty short this time because I am way overdue in sending this out.  Two more things below are something new I am trying out, and a link to a site with some good info for inner child healing.  I hope you are all being kind to your self and enjoying the adventure more of the time than hating it.  It is possible to change the quality of our lives dramatically but it is a process that seems to unfold awfully slowly at times.  Remember to keep reminding your self that you are Unconditionally Loved in every moment. 

Wishing you all Love, Joy, and Peace in your lives,

Go to Newsletter for November 22 1998

Go to Joy to You & Me Home Page
Logo of Joy to You & Me Web Site.

Go to Q & A index - Index for Question & Answer pages

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This material is copyright by Robert Burney 1998.  Quotations from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney is Copyright 1995. The quotations from columns & articles are Copyright 1996, 97, 98 by Mr. Burney.