The River of Healing

Change starts when someone sees the next step.

    William Drayton

Ignore the Crabs!

One time a man was walking long the beach and saw another man fishing in the surf with a bait bucket beside him. As he drew closer, he saw that the bait bucket had no lid and had live crabs inside.

"Why don't you cover your bait bucket so the crabs won't escape?", he said.

"You don't understand", the man replied, "If there is one crab in the bucket it would surely crawl out very quickly. However, when there are many crabs in the bucket, if one tries to crawl up the side, the others grab hold of it and pull it back down so that it will share the same fate as the rest of them."

So it is with people.

If one tries to do something different, get better grades, improve herself, escape her environment, or dream big dreams, other people will try to drag her back down to share their fate. No matter how much you are committed to change, others are going to do their best to keep you from making changes.

We all enter relationships and agree to unspoken contracts. One of the most important being that I will not change in anyway that will make you have to change. I will try to maintain the status quo so that we can live happily ever after. Well, as most of you know, fairy tales are for books and there isn't any "happily every after" without change.

Change scares us all. What will the unknown bring. If you change, will you still love me? If you change, will I still love you? Change threatens our certainty of life and love.

Usually when we are involved with others, we come to a relationship with an acceptance of all the dysfunctional behavior of the other person and agree in a non-verbal contract to accept this behavior because the relationship gives us something that we feel that we need - usually love and a pattern of behavior that is predictable if not always pleasant. We may color it with the fantasy of happily ever after but what we really mean is that tolerate the pain so I can continue with behaviors that I am addicted to or need to make me feel comfortable - even if my comfortable includes pain. We agree to stay in the bucket that is our manifest reality because it is an agreement that we made and when the other person starts to change and manifest a new reality we try to stop them. And, they try to stop us. It is a two way street.

Typically, the behavior continues as both parties have struck a kind of "bargain" in which each gets something they need, and overlook what they are not getting for the sake of convenience.

However when the pain of one's manifest reality becomes too painful or not fulfilling one may choose to make changes and climb up to a new level of functioning - a new level of self and soul expression. The person that one is with is then faced with a real problem. They must make some choices:

    Agree to try to change also and manifest a healthier more functional reality.

    Disagree and try to keep the partner from changing.

    Disagree and the relationship ends.

Many of us get stuck in the change process in manifesting our more perfect reality because we know intuitively that one of the above three choices are going to have to be made. So while it is true that we cannot control another person, we do have impact on another person when we are in a relationship with them. The progress of our healing of our dysfunctional behaviors will have a direct effect on self and others. Sometimes in order to manifest the reality that we desire we have to come to the conclusion that: We are going to change and our significant others can agree to support and accept our change or we will choose to end a relationship.

This choice is not just with marriage partners, but family members, adult children, friends, associates and co-workers. No wonder change is so difficult to achieve. Change can shake up our whole world - our complete stability structure and support structure can go out the window if we decide to make sweeping changes.

This is the reason that support groups are so important in making changes. When one is going to risk change and the possibility of giving up dysfunctional social systems, we need to put in place a new social structure. This is why good support groups work and it is why some support groups appear to fail. Some of us go into support groups not to change but to have support to maintain our dysfunctional behavior.

The reality check is this: One will continue to maintain dysfunctional behaviors until the pain is so strong that the fear of change is less painful the fear of staying in a way of life that is not working.

Some thoughts for today:

    Are you trying to make changes and others are resisting your change?

    Is someone in your world trying to make changes and you are resisting his/her process of change?

    Is the pain of your current situation strong enough that you are willing to risk change?

    If you don't make some decisions to manifest a new reality what will your life be like a year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now?

    Are you pulling your fellow crab back in the bucket or are the other crabs keeping you from crawling out?

Moral of the story: Ignore the crabs. Charge ahead and do what is right for you. It may not be easy and you may not succeed as much as you like, but you will NEVER share the same fate as those who never try. Crawl up to your new reality.

- Myriam Maytorena

Myriam Maytorena, This week's Guest AuthorAbout the Author

Myriam Maytorena M.Ed. is an astrologer with over thirty years experience interpreting astrological charts and doing psychic readings. A writer and publisher of Manifest Reality, Myriam specializes in life changing events and the patterns and energies that direct our relationship to this reality. As the executive editor and co-founder of Manifest Reality, she provides both short-term astrological services and long-term personal and spiritual counseling. Myriam received her degrees from Ohio University in psychology, counseling and administration. She has maintained a private astrological and counseling practice since the early 1970's, and has worked as a psychotherapist and counselor. For the past five years, Myriam has been serving clients on the World Wide Web with a diversity of services aimed to make the spiritual and development process a private and supportive experience.

In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature's way of forcing change--breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place.

    Susan Taylor


Here I Come, World!

I received the following from an online recovery and healing group to which I belong. This message was so very thought provoking that I wanted to share it with you.

I decided I didn't want to define myself by my wounds anymore. It was my therapy homework. Dr. D asked me - if I'm not defined by my wounds, then who am I? How do I think of myself, describe myself? Write it down. Who am I right now, and who am I becoming? When I get off the therapy boat on the other side of the River of Healing, what am I going to look like?

BLEUAGH! This was not easy! Even with no restrictions - I can be as egocentric as I like... still, it ain't easy.

I'm not used to talking myself up. Thinking of myself as a great person. All the negative voices come much MUCH easier. I'm not used to hearing people speak well of themselves. I also have this fear that if I talk myself up, someone else will surely rip me back down.

But... here's what I have come up with. First the easier stuff - the "resume words" - those weren't as hard.

I AM: detail oriented, organized, reliable, self-motivated.

Then the harder stuff to say:

I AM: intelligent, creative, intuitive, compassionate, honest, empowered. (My husband told me I left out: kind, thoughtful and generous)

WHO I AM BECOMING: (oh... what the hell...) A CELTIC WARRIOR GODDESS!!! A person who: takes the ups and downs of life as individual experiences - not as experiences linked with a lot of baggage from the past, not as punishment - but simply as life experiences that help me to continue to grow and develop emotionally and spiritually.

Basically, I live Step 15 - "We accept the ups & downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth." (Ed. note: this is an excerpt from 16 Steps to Discovery and Empowerment by Dr. Charlotte D. Kasl, Ph.D.)

A person who: meets experiences head-on, with courage, with faith in the support from family, friends and spirituality. A person who: is flexible and accepting of changes. A person who: carries forward the positive and lets go of the negative. A person who: is passionate about life and learning new things and sharing them with others.

So there it is. There I am. Or will be. Work in process. Get ready world, here I come. Slowly but surely.

So, okay. I throw it out to y'all. What are your positive aspects? Who are you? Who do you want to become? Who is your healed/healing self? What does that person look like? I'd love to hear!

- Hugs & healing- "ZK" @>--}-- (Name withheld by request)

Thank you, dear friend, for sharing this with us. One of the most difficult parts of healing is the changes that are required.



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