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 newsletter on this page include: Abundance, old tapes, planting seeds, God’s time, fertilizer, burning at the stake, web site, Happy Joyous & Free, The Glorious Exciting Adventure, Twelve Steps and Principles, opening to receive, tithing, this too shall pass, More Will Be Revealed. 

Welcome to a page of  Joy to You & Me

The Web Site of Robert Burney and Joy to You & 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 fifth update sent out on November-22-98.

(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.) :-)

Joy to You & Me Update/Newsletter 

11-22-98

To all of the Magnificent Spiritual Beings on my e-mailing list,

I have been putting in a lot of hours on the Web Site the last few weeks in order to make some pretty major additions and get this newsletter out before Thanksgiving.  The plan is that this will be the last changes I make the Web Site until after the Holidays (As I have mentioned in previous newsletters my plans and my Higher Power’s plans are not always the same - so More Will Be Revealed about that.)
 

Happy Holidays, Sad Holidays

The Holidays can be a very difficult time emotionally for many of us and for that reason my new online column is actually two columns.   I share in them some of the insights and tools that have helped me to make my experience of the Holidays a much less painful time than it used to be for me.  I hope that some of you will find them helpful in the coming days and weeks.  The page they are on is called Happy Holidays, Sad Holidays - the columns are entitled Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays.  Here is a short quote from each:

Thanksgiving

"Ninety-eight per cent of the time when I am in fear it means that I am in the future.  Pulling myself back into the now, turning the future over to my Higher Power, and focusing on gratitude, frees me to have some happy moments today."

Happy Holidays

"Whatever your celebration: Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Years, etc. let it be about the new beginning; the rededication to: the recommitment to: the rebirth of; life.  But most of all, let it be about Love by first of all Loving yourself enough to tell the critical parent voice in your head to shut up with all the comparisons and shame and judgment."

Now for the major additions.
 

Joy to You & Me Bookstore

I have added an online bookstore with links to both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk (a recently opened subsidiary for Great Britain.)  I am often asked what books I recommend and have been considering the bookstore idea for awhile.  As I mention on the bookstore page there are so many books out there on codependence, inner child healing, and Spirituality now that it is both the Good News and the Bad News.  It is a sure sign of the Healing Movement that is going on the planet at the same time that it must be very confusing for anyone new to the healing/recovery path.  So I have listed books (and some Spiritual tools) that were important to me personally in my journey, as well as books and authors whose work I respect and trust and know to have impacted the lives of others in a positive way. 

With the Holiday Season coming up maybe a few of you will take this opportunity to give yourself and others the kind of gift that, to me, can Truly keep on giving - a book.  And no, it is not necessarily codependent to send someone a book - as long as you then let go of whether or not they ever read it.  We cannot change others - but we can plant seeds.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say “I’ve had that book for years and then for some reason picked it up the other day.”  That is, of course, how the process works - the Spirit will guide us to what we need when the time is right.

And yes, I do get a percentage of the sale price - this is one of my ways of planting some seeds in the financial abundance realm.  And even though ABUNDANCE IS FLOWING INTO MY LIFE EASILY AND EFFORTLESSLY, FREELY AND ABUNDANTLY (sorry about the yelling but sometimes I add emphasis to my positive affirmations to show the Universe how much I believe them) - my idea of abundance and my Higher Power’s don’t seem to match up very often.  CancelCancel   Actually that is an old tape that just popped out and is not really true any more - as long as I practice the principles that I talk about in my Thanksgiving column I am quite grateful for all the abundance that is in my life - which brings me to something I wanted to talk about in this newsletter - but I want to finish telling you about the changes first so instead I will share a passage from my book about how my process works in relationship to God’s time vs my time.
 

I spent most of my life trying to become - perfect, loved, accepted, respected, etc., etc.  It did not work because I was looking outside for something that can only be found within.

Now I know that I am not in control of this process and that what I am becoming is in the hands of a Loving (although somewhat slow-working) Great Spirit.  I do not have to worry anymore about becoming - all I have to do is be.  I just have to suit up and show up for life today and do what is in front of me.  And everything will work out better than I could ever have planned it.

There are no accidents, no coincidences - everything is unfolding perfectly.
It is no accident that two days before I first gave this talk in June of 1991, when I didn’t know exactly what I was going to say and how I was going to say it, when I was frustrated and angry with God because things were not working out the way I thought they should, when I was terrified of getting up in front of people and owning my Truth, when I was just in the part of the process that feels like crap - a friend, a messenger from God, told me a joke.

This joke is about a man who is talking to God, trying to understand God’s perspective on things. 

The man says to God, “What is a billion years like to you?”

God says, “A second.” 

And the man says, “Oh, that’s interesting.  Well, what is a billion dollars like to you?”

And God says,  “A penny.”

And the man, being human, of course starts calculating to himself,  “Well, if a billion dollars is like a penny to God then a million must really be nothing.  I’ll  bet I could get God to give me a million.”

So the man says to God,  “Can I have a million dollars?”

God says, “Sure . . . in a second.”

God’s time is perfect - it just doesn’t feel like it to us all of the time.  The more we can align our perspective with Truth the less we will feel like we are being punished.

By the way, the hardest part of unconditional Love is accepting wherever we are at in the moment no matter how uncomfortable.  The hardest part of acceptance is not the difficulty of allowing others their process (although Lord knows that can be very hard); it is allowing ourselves our own process without shame and judgment.

I can do that now most of the time.  I know now that when it feels like crap it is not punishment, it is not because I am bad or wrong or defective (although there is still a little part of me, that critical parent/disease voice that wants me to buy into that - and probably there always will be). 

What I know now is that when it feels like shit that means that I am being fertilized to help me grow.  I am so very grateful to God for all the wonderful fertilizer that has been poured on me over the years.

(Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney)

Index for question and answer pages

The next major change is that I have put a link to my question and answer pages on my Home Page for the first time.  When I first started doing the question and answer pages a few months ago I only gave the address out to you all on my mailing list.  I was a little leery about making them available to the general public for several reasons:

1.  I talk about some pretty controversial stuff from a perspective that can be upsetting to some people.  I was working on the page about Jesus and Mary Magdalene at that time and was not sure I wanted to put it out there for everyone to see.  As it turns out I am very proud of that page - I personally think it is quite Masterful - and I feel sorry for anyone who reads it with such a closed mind or rigid belief system that they would feel the need to react negatively.  (By the way, I never got a reply from the person who asked the question - but when I sent out the next update the one to that person got returned as barred from that address - sad.)  Also, though in the past I have found myself showing great resistance to being out there in front as a target - I have now come to a level of acceptance such that it would even be ok if they burned me at the stake again - I want all of the Karma settled, whatever that takes. 

2.  I have been scared to death that my book editor Heidi who lives in Taos New Mexico would discover them and what she would do would probably be worse than burning at the stake.   In explanation of what I am talking about - here is the disclaimer that I just placed at the top of my indexQA page: 

(For any of you that have not read my update/newsletters, the one for 8-23-98 explains that I am enjoying the freedom of approaching these Q & A pages and updates in a very casual fashion when it comes to grammar and punctuation - including allowing myself to end sentences with prepositions - so if it bothers you, it can be a wonderful opportunity to practice letting go and not throwing the baby out with the bath water. :-) )

So now I have so much courage and faith that I am not only willing to face the mob again - but also to face Heidi if I have to.  (One of those prepositions-oh well.) The index page for the question and answer pages is now out there for the world to see - so More Will Be Revealed.

Q & A 8

The latest page is Q & A 8 in which I had a really wonderful opportunity to respond to a question about Buddha and Buddhism.  Other topics that came up in my answer (which as most of you know tend to cover a lot of ground - a phrase I like better than getting off on tangents)  include: suffering alcoholics, the humility to receive, dysfunction in Japanese culture, sexual abused and overweight, the horribly shameful secret for incest survivors.

Links page and Search Engine

On that index page for the Q & A I have also included a links page - with links to some Joy to You & Me recommended web sites - a search box so that you can now search the internet using Alta Vista/LookSmart search engine from the bottom of that page - and tables with links to three web rings which I have joined - these are rings of interconnected sites that provide access to multiple sites on a general topic (recovery for example.)

I am also in the process of redesigning the whole web site.  I am still using a primitive web design program so that the redesign isn't that radical - mostly a matter of restructuring for the purposes of faster download time and to try to get higher in the search engines with certain keywords.  I have ranked high in most of the search engines for quite a while (I finally got onto Webcrawler after 6 months and Excite keeps fluctuating between indexing 20 some pages and 2 or 3 - and I still haven’t gotten on Yahoo! - I talk about the process of getting on search engines and the web experience in general in my Newsletter for 8-15-98) in keywords like codependence and inner child healing, and in some Spiritual categories (I even came up first in someone’s search for John Bradshaw Recovery Center the other day - thanks John) but it turns out that a lot more people use codependency than codependence - so where I might be found in the top 5 in codependence - I was ranking up above 50 someplace in codependency. 

As I recently read - putting up a web page without getting high ranking in the search engines is a little like getting a phone and not giving anyone the number - so just putting the information out there is not the end of the job.  I feel very blessed with the success the web site has had up to now - which verges on the miraculous since I am basically a computer illiterate and I have done everything myself.

So anyway, (there I go covering a lot of ground again) I am doing some redesign on all of the pages - which includes toning the colors and textures down to just a few basic ones.  I was actually kind of embarrassed to go back and look at some of the pages that I hadn’t paid any attention to for the last 4 months - some pretty weird colors and textures on some of them.  Of course then I have to laugh because if you could have seen what it look like back at the end of February when I first posted it you would laugh too. (Cynthia in Vermont would agree I am sure.)  The Joy to You & Me Web Site has come a long ways let me tell you - and I am quite proud of it and of myself for all the work I have put into it.

Happy, Joyous, & Free

Which brings me to what I wanted to talk about.  I am so incredibly grateful for this path I am on.  The miracle of the Twelve Step Recovery Program Spiritual Principles first saved my life when I was trying to kill myself - then saved my life again when my Codependence was close to killing me.  My Codependence Recovery then turned living from something which was miserable and unbearable for me into a Glorious Exciting Adventure.  I am so glad to be alive today - and have a life work that I passionately believe in, Love doing - and which brings me great Joy.  I am not sure how I am going to pay my rent next month, haven’t had anything close to a Love relationship for several years, and have some health problems - but those don’t matter today.  I am free to be Happy and Joyous in the moment for the majority of the moments of every day. 

What I can see now is that my response to my car breaking down last month (Newsletter 10-25-98 below) broke me through to a whole new dimension of existence.  I have for years had a bumper sticker on my car that says Happy Joyous and Free - and I have had increasing tastes of what that means over the years - but now I am Truly living in a space where that is my reality most of the time.  I am Free to be Happy and Joyous in the moment most of the time because I am also free to be angry or sad or scared or hurt in the moment.  I am Free because I have let go of the “What ifs” and “If onlys” which are just my disease wanting me to feel deprived and victimized.  I am Free because I know in my heart and in my gut that I am Unconditionally Loved and I don’t have to earn it.  I am Free because I know the future is not in my control - and I know that I am doing all of the seed planting and footwork that the Universe is prompting me to do.  I am Free to relax and enjoy life because the Spirit is guiding me.

Years ago I ran across a saying that I really liked and wanted to set as a goal - “Serenity is not Freedom from the Storm - Serenity is Peace Amidst the Storm.”  I always thought that I had to stop the storm.  Now I can be serene and peaceful no matter what the storm brings - life events like car breakdowns, other peoples behavior which is just them dancing with their own wounds, apparent financial insecurity, that I am still doing some unhealthy behavior health wise, whatever - I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to have money, I don’t have to be in a relationship, to be happy.  I am Truly Free in this moment and in most of the moments of my life for the last few weeks - this too will pass into something different at some point, but I know that once I have attained a new level, I will return to it often.  There is still going to be pain and fear and anger and hurt sometimes (a part of me just got real scared because the last time I felt something close to this good for a long period of time I got into a relationship - which was wonderful and very, very painful and a incredible gift package full of opportunities for growth - I guess if I can face burning at the stake and Heidi that I must be ready to deal with the old fear of intimacy issues again.)  Oh well, the adventure continues and keeps getting different.  I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

I guess it is pretty weird to be processing here on my computer and then sending it out for the world to read - but that is what I do.  The Truth is so powerful and wonderful and by doing the process work we get to start being allies with the Spirit where Love lives instead of with the disease where fear rules.  Fuck the fear I say - full speed ahead in the direction of Love.

I am doing the service at a Metaphysical New Thought church tomorrow and my topic is going to be Happy Joyous and Free.  The minister there is a friend who sponsored the talk that became my book some years ago - and she is going to the East Coast for Thanksgiving.  She comes up with some real gems sometimes and at a service several weeks ago said “That to say giving is more Blessed than receiving is like saying exhaling is more Blessed than inhaling.” 

I have done a great deal of work over the years of my recovery on learning how to receive.  I spent a couple of years just practicing saying “Thank You.” - without making a joke or minimizing or deflecting the compliment back to the other person.  I carried so much shame about my being, thought I was so flawed, so unworthy and unlovable that if anyone could see the real me they would run away screaming in horror.  You can’t get to where I am now from where I was then - not without help.  Not without a Loving Higher Power in my life to guide me in my healing.  Not without interacting with other people working on their recovery/healing/Spiritual path.  Not without me being Willing and Open to do what it takes to get Honest with myself - especially and most vitally emotionally honest.  Here is a quote from my page on Twelve Step Recovery about the ancient Spiritual Principles underlining the Twelve Step program.

The Twelve Steps are a formula for integrating the Spiritual into the physical so that powerlessness can lead to True empowerment.

Twelve Step Principles & tools include:

Self-Honesty, willingness, Acceptance, letting go, surrender, 
Faith, trust, honesty, Humility, Patience, openness, Courage, 
Responsibility, action, Forgiveness, compassion, Love.

There are two points of powerlessness with Codependence. 

The first is intellectual - when we first realize that there is something that's not working and that maybe we have to change, to learn a different way. 

The second comes after we have intellectually learned what boundaries and healthy behavior are but we cannot stop acting out the old patterns in our closest relationships - we watch ourselves saying things we don't want to say, and doing things we don't want to do. 

This is when it is necessary to do the emotional healing.

Here is my version of the initial steps from these two different levels.


Intellectual Steps

Step 1. I acknowledge and accept that I am powerless out of ego-self to control my human life experience, and that the delusion that I should be in control has caused pain and suffering in my life.
Step 2. Came to remember that I am a Spiritual Being who is part of the ONENESS that is the Unconditionally Loving, ALL-Powerful Universal Force, and that believing in that Force can help to bring balance, harmony, and sanity to my life.

Step 3. Made a decision to ask the Force to help me align my will, my actions, and my life with the Universal Power.

Emotional Steps
Step 1. Admitted that I am powerless to substantially change the learned behavioral defenses and dysfunctional attitudes from childhood until I deal with the emotional wounds of my childhood experience.
Step 2. Came to remember that I am a Spiritual Being who is part of the ONENESS that is the Unconditionally Loving, ALL-Powerful Universal Force, and that believing in that Force can help to bring balance, harmony, and sanity to my life.
Step 3. Made a decision to ask the Force to help me face the terror of healing my emotional wounds.


Made a decision to ask . . . .  The third step is about asking for help - about reaching out.  What I know now is that the Universe responds when we reach out.  What was so hard for me was learning to ask for help from people who might reject me.  What I know now is that it doesn’t matter if the person who I ask can help me or not - what matters is that I reach out.  When I take a risk, make myself vulnerable by admitting that I can’t do it alone - I am aligning with the Universal Laws of Cause and Effect - inhale and exhale.  I just need to put it out there and then let go of when or how the help comes (“In a second”) - by giving I receive, by asking I get the answers - in a perfect way at a perfect time (and in the meantime it often feels like fertilizer.)

So, I am going to take this opportunity to put out to the Universe that I really really want (I talk about wants and needs in the Thanksgiving article) to get my next two books published in 1999.  However the Universe wants to manifest the financial means to do that is fine with me - God’s will be done.  I would Love to get an investor or investors who would put up the money as I did for the first book. (Investment Opportunity Page)  I would be open to winning the lottery (I never buy more than one ticket - that is all the Universe requires of me)  I can even suspend all rational belief enough to visualize winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes (Well, thank you Ed McMahon.)

In the meantime if any of you out there can support the cause by buying some books that would be great.  I am even open to gifts or tithes if the Spirit so moves you.  (My mailing address is on the bottom of most every page.) 

I just thought of something else - Amazon.com allows visitors to any book page to submit a review of that book to be placed on the page.  Every time I go there my inner children are a little disappointed that no one has written one for my book yet.  So that is another way you can support the cause - if you so choose.  Just think of all the good Karma associated with spreading the message.

whoooo,  I was going to keep this Newsletter short - probably the longest one yet.  Oh well, I sure covered a lot of ground.  I hope that you out there in cyberspace find some value in these ramblings of mine - although it doesn’t really matter, since I am just doing what I need to do for me and am powerless over whether anyone hears me.  On my new Q & A page I have a quote from my book about the difference between care-taking and care-giving.  And I am so Happy Joyous and Free at this moment of my journey that I just want to give what I have to everyone - this Web Site is my way of tithing.

Another thought just occurred - this too shall pass, meaning this time of processing in cyberspace - one of these days I am going to get so Free I won’t be spending most of my time on my computer.  More Will Be Revealed!
 


With great Love and Wishes of Joy to You & Me
Robert 

Go to Newsletter for January  1999

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

Go to Site Map page

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.