June 20, 2014

Leona Evans, the minister at Unity, came to lunch this week, a first for us. I felt scared and a little desperate one day last week when I invited her. I have often thought that one reason I am in this area is to learn from her. She is able to see me and to get me in a way no one else does.

When she asks me how I am, I tell her everything. Immediately, she is totally present and attentive. She also has chronic conditions and lives with pain. (I am so grateful I don't have pain.) Leona is open with her vulnerability but is not overwhelmed by it. I told her I am committed to doing my own healing regardless of the diagnosis and the medical professionals' expectations. She encourages me in that as well as acknowledging the value of western medicine. She named several folks with my diagnosis who have healed themselves and are doing beautifully, very publicly.

When she mentions the service last Sunday (when I substituted for her) I tell her about my Critic's reaction and my two day depression. In her book, Spirituality and Self-Esteem, she offers a process to know and work with the Critic. Her Critic she named Aunt Rose. By naming the figure she gives it boundaries and anchors it in one place. I chose Mary to name my Critic. That's my first name although I tell no one.

The first part of my life was about control and Mary was dominant. I tried pleasing, biting my tongue, fitting into the mold presented to me. The consequences were devastating to my sense of myself. I didn't integrate my anger or learn to trust it and use it. Assertion was just a concept. I accepted chronic depression, the natural result of being hated by this huge Critic.

The second part of my life is about moving beyond the Critic. The three step process Leona teaches is O D E--Observing the Critic, practicing Discernment, and Embracing the Critic. In my meditations I am good at assuming a passive Observer stance. But this last time I just watched the out-of-control, condemning Critic for two days. Nothing resolved. The next step is realizing that this Critic is immature, irresponsible, and very afraid. She doesn't want me to be hurt in the world so she demands that I hide. That's the best strategy she can devise.

I have felt her abuse in her relentless criticism of me since childhood. Sometimes I have heard her words from another's mouth but now I can see that it's all me. I may unconsciously project this hateful figure but I'm very clear it originates inside. And I need to take the next step and take back the power I have given her. She is no one special. She isn't as mature as an eight year-old. I need to parent her. She is mine to raise. She obviously needs my attention so I stay in my Adult and provide the guidance she needs. Passivity in the face of her immature abuse doesn't address the imbalance. So I move into my powerful Adult and rise above the situation and redirect her ire.

In "real" life this is something I haven't done well. I have allowed myself to be victimized in groups and in one-to-one situations. These relationships reflected the abusive relationship inside. All the time I was longing for love and acceptance. Sometimes I settled for approval which never quite satisfied for very long. Frequently, I felt misunderstood, unseen, and not wanted. A sad and sometimes miserable way to go through life.

So could my need for self-acceptance and love somehow be intertwined with my debilitating physical symptoms?

The second part of my life is about moving beyond the Critic, about owning my power, and about moving out of Victim and into my Wise Adult.

It's becoming clearer to me that my Controller cannot choreograph my healing intellectually. (My Controller is another subpersonality. She thinks and plans and organizes.) Going to the gym, doing more and more and more isn't working. After so many days of swimming a mile in the morning and walking a mile in the afternoon, I felt weaker. So I stopped most of the walking for the last two weeks and rested more.

I can see how allowing is my only hope. Of course, that would be true. To heal I need to do the opposite of what I was doing when the situation arose. I also need to give my healing to God, not to try and force it through my Controller. I need to give God all the credit and to allow God to guide me.

Leona left me with this affirmation: Mighty currents of God's healing love flow through me now making me whole and free.

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