Beauty: A Blessing or a Curse?
Here, in North America, we live in a world where the conditioning of our girls is both subtle and blatantly overt.
We place great emphasis on outward appearance, so much so that many girls grow to be women who have little to no contact with their original face.
By “face”, I mean internal source of self knowledge.
The world in which a girl grows up is laced with messages about who she is to be in the inter exchange with others. Her value as a human being will rapidly be orientated
around how much of a gap is between her thighs, how her breasts look and how thin her waist. She will be rewarded more for her physical looks then what she thinks or can contribute to the developing of her world.
If a girl is unfortunate to grow up with an absent father, the prognosis for her sense of self assurance drops markedly. Girls who grow up with fathers who are emotionally or physically distant, or who lean on their young daughters for their own sense of pride and accomplishment, or advice on his relationship with her mother, or who’s primary relationship is with a substance of his addiction, she grows up with an insatiable yearning for the father figure in the adult men she dates or marries.
After years of not owning, nor watching T.V. I was unaware of how prevelant the message is to both men and women regarding the role women are assigned. Recently, my husband and I, have heard of programs our friends talk of as worth a watch. I have observed in these programs how women are assigned highly sexual parts to play. They are either the super endowed bionic human with powers unmatched in any women we will ever meet, or the sex slave of the man, who possess such power and wealth beyond what most of us come close to in our regular lives, or the primary servant of family and others. This, from my humble vantage point does not serve to support the self esteem of our girls and young women, not to mention the aging population of women who may think that their best years are behind them as their looks begin to fade. As the focus on looks is amplified, the relationship she has with her source of joy fades as the dismal pursuit of maintaining her external side takes all of her energy. The sad news is, as she lives with the loss of her self love and inner foundation of strength, she begins to act out in unhealthy ways and never really knows why.
It is my opinion, that we are born whole and complete, but early childhood imprinting socialize girls to deny their inner personhood and adopt what is deemed of more value, (and sell themselves short for something that seems of significant value), a sense of being accepted and cared for, but in truth, is based on superficial criteria. Her belief is, as long as I am attractive, I will be okay.
In a conversation today, I was reminded of a therapeutic approach to counselling called, The Imago Approach to Relationships Therapy. The underlaying theory of this method is: Within us, we have we have images of our parents, both positive and negative, imprinted upon our psyche. It is like an unconscious blueprint of an incomplete attachment relationship with one or both of our parents. we unconsciously seek out a partner to do some completion work with, so we project the father/mother image onto our partner, and act out in ways we might have had the opportunity to act when we were young, but didn’t because our parent was not skillful in raising us.
In future relationships, latent roles are acted out that represent interactions not between two equals, but a "parent/child" relationship is at play. When a young person did not complete a developmental stage at the time it was meant to be expressed, then that stage gets put on hold until the person is in a safe place to complete that stage. We see this in grown adults who still act in ways expected of teens.
The Imago match is with someone who represents some of the traits held by the mother or father of the individual needing to heal. The relationship has the urge to finish, unfinished business of childhood. Often the intimate partner of a person who has unfinished childhood issues, is cast into a role as a "stand-in" for the parent. The psyche has a trajectory for healing, and seeks out, albeit unconsciously, a person to do that work with.
I believe that all unhealthy behaviours are signals that an underlaying root cause began in the imprinting phase when the child was denied full expression of original self, and made to perform or look good “in order to” get attention. In the Imago Relationship, the two stages of relationship are: romantic love and the power struggle. This may show up in ways that appear extremely insecure of (in this discussion) her looks.
When unconscious roles are assigned to an intimate partner, the results usually are resentment. Being cast into a role of father, for example, likely will not feel healthy. It may be determined that the relationship is not working and that the match was mistaken. In the Imago approach the goal is to make conscious those unconscious patterns. This offers the greatest growth for both partners. The conscious mind wants happiness and good feelings, and the unconscious mind wants healing and growth. (website: Imago Relationship Therapy).
Once the light of awareness is brought to the patterns of the unconscious needs of early childhood, healing can take place and the relationship can be one of maturity between two adults, as friends and true partners. Many couples break up and seek the solution in finding “their match”. The new relationship , however, will always find the wounds of childhood soon after the romance has settled down, because the yearning to heal is still alive, and the cycle repeats.
In conclusion, my sense is that once the patterns of behaviour become problematic enough and life becomes almost unbearable, seeking help will hopefully bring us to healing work.
This involves waking up to the steady diet of Hollywood input and the influence on the mental field, and the patterns of projecting un-addressed childhood gaps onto a loved one.
My love and support are with you, I recommend you reach out to get the support you need. Follow the link to additional information about Imago Couple Therapy, and if possible being regular sessions with a therapist versed in these mindfulness methods to living in higher consciousness.
Lovingly, River Marilou Penner LCSW
We had our orientation for the chemo therapy yesterday, today the infusions begin. The schedule will be every Friday for three weeks, then four straight days of injections, this goes till Feb 11/16. What a year this has been!
I am fortunate to be in a loving relationship with a spiritually evolved man. Streams offered perspective that is fresh and uncommon.
"What about turning the whole thing into a spiritual journey"!
Early in July I lay in the sacrificial rock, and the surgery Gods, removed some of the old dead aspect of my body.
In September, again I rode the silver bird to a larger island where the Shaman mixed potions and liquids and dripped it into a small hole in my arm, causing me to forget myself for a time. To forget the pain of the sharper knife inserted by Magicians who could make them disappear in a short time. These Magicians disappeared the pain, the negativity, the disease and the obstacles. I forgot so deeply that I was unafraid of that which, without the medicine I would have been terrified.
Today, I will take medicine to get well. This medicine will make me wash my hands and avoid all germs, carefully flush away every thought or held grudge from every cell in my being. The medicine will drip into my body for half a day, every week, for 5 months along with four straight day intervals bi-monthly.
I must avoid people with sickness, I must cleanse myself of toxins, and shed dead hair, attachments to identity, and ideas of who I am.
Getting well will be a unique experience, as the medicine works it's powerful force through me.
Meditation, stillness, clean thinking and good company will assist the journey, like companions on a grand voyage.
Day 1 after Chemo Therapy : The Purification Ceremony.
I write this as a blog/journal as my offering to you; if you might find yourself or any one you know who is going throughout this experience.
The choices I am making are simple and are making a big difference in my general ease through it. Think of this as a recipe.
Surround yourself with loving friends. Allow them to be of service, that means accept what is offered with humility and gratitude. Observe your feelings and thoughts of being a burden on others and gently release that along with what ever cells are being removed from your body. It is a cleansing time to let go of all of the (and I quote from Rafael Osuna, Philosopher and Acupuncturist and Friend) The Three Wicked Sisters: Doubt, Fear and Self-pity. Doubt is like a hole in your purse. Fear is like a frozen fastener on your purse. And self-pity can freeze a pretty face.
2) Exercise: walk every day. I aim for 10,000 steps, most cell phones have an app to count steps, but 3000 - 5000 is good too. This helps the endorphins keep manufacturing at levels that keep emotions balanced. Also the body needs to circulate blood in order to move toxins out.
3). Drink water constantly throughout this process. This moves the medicine through and out of the body fast which helps avoid negative side effects.
4). Oil pulls. Cold pressed sesame seed oil before your morning coffee or whatever, 1 tablespoon in the mouth swish around and through the teeth for 10-20 minutes will pull toxins out of your body and cleanse your mouth allowing enzymes to be better absorbed. People, like me, who are going through purification from cancer cells have a tendency to get sores in the mouth, this will prevent that. I will let you know since today is only day one, but it is my sense for the moment that it will prevent sores.
5). Wash your hands constantly, and don't kiss goats or cats or people. In this process germs are to be avoided. Wash counter tops with some sort of antibacterial, now is not the time to ask the immune system to amp up more then it is already doing.
6). Wash greens and foods that will be eaten raw very well. Avoid foods that have folds that can not be washed, like raspberries. Only eat organic, likely GMO has something to do with being in this situation in the first place, so changing food choices is a long term approach to a life of vitality going forward.
I do a smoothie in the mornings with kale, cilantro, parsley, turmeric, ginger, fresh spiraling, (you can use dried powder too) organic frozen berries and coconut water with a package of stevia. Blend that up in the vita mix or blender and let that be a first going into the body.
Healthy fats, like avocado, olives, Brazilian nuts and walnuts suppliments the meal as does chia seeds and hemp seeds.
Avoid simple carbs, like white bread, avoid sugar (like the plague) and yes alcohol. See it as a cleanse and a time of re assigning attention to your higher good till the process is complete. When we restrict ourselves from something we love, or dare I ay are attached to (read , addicted to) we wake up to something else. Often certain foods put us to sleep, numb us out and yes speed up the death process. Better to live while alive, you only get one chance.
7). Rest. Do what you need to to get some good rest. Mindfulness meditation are scientifically proven to increase the healing process and calm the mind. Anxiety and stress do the worst damage so learning to be, rather then do, is good medicine.
8) Acupuncture: I had a treatment today,, by Raphael Osuna, acupuncture is known to improve the immune system, reduce pain, help sleep, improve a healthy appetite, lose weight and much more.
This was only day one, I may keep this up so that others can benefit from my experience. Following is a poem written by my dearly beloved husband Streams
Today is the day
My wife begins
Her ritual of purification
An infusion of confusion
To quell the insurrection of
Cells gone awry
To evict the uninvited
Before further incursion
To flush forever the deadly
Blooms from her body
The shaman’s brew is readied
distilled from the bark and leaves and
Berries of yew pine periwinkle
And of course the asian happy tree
the healing lodge
“The molokini wing”
once upon a time
the keiki psych ward
now repurposed for
Its walls are plastered
with pastel rainbows
And smiling dragons
A purple squiggling squid
Everything is bolted to the floor
Or screwed to the walls
Nothing here flies off the handle
To this she bears an offering
Of disinfecting wipes
A smudge for the smudges
of dark spirits unseen
She sports a new outfit
Befitting the occasion
A loose turtleneck
With ½ sleeves to keep
Pulsing veins available
A woolen serape of tribal designs
For protection and warmth
A pair of lace-up designer boots
For walking tall
And a pair of jeans that fit her
Oh so well
The chemo-ware ensemble
Highlighted with painted face
(pink lipstick) and a bikini beneath
To bathe in mother ocean on the way home
A new cooler bag covered in yellow bicycles
To carry vegan wraps and organic galas
(because language matters)
sweet grass sage and cedar for the spirits
Fresh flowers from the garden for the eyes
Essential oils for the nose
And a good new friend
bearing a book for the ears
Be well I tell
my love and be brave
The medicine is strong
As are you
True to the intentions
Through which you were born
True to the magic
Through which you are being reborn
We are what we think, with our thoughts we make the world Buddha
In this time of reflection, on life thus far lived, by me at the helm, hands on the wheel, making efforts or no efforts, being the cause and also an effect. This very day I sit in deep sobriety on who I am not when the chips are down.
As a therapist, my endeavor is to support people in peaceful relationship to one and other. And then the pacifist in me, raised to be that, doesn't make her stand, doesn't stand up in anger with love present. This has left me in the dark earth to germinate.
The slightest incident makes possible the potentiality of people to rise to higher levels of consciousness, keeping in mind fore front, the higher good for all involved. Can it be, that we wish our own way, one man down, means a step up? Or when a life's inner work is evident and good neighbors are made from conflicting circumstances.
"Not to know yourself is dangerous, to that self and to others. Those who destroy, who cause great suffering, kill off some portion of themselves first, or hide from the knowledge of their acts and from their own emotion, and their internal landscape fills with partitions, caves, minefields, blank spots, pit traps, and more, a landscape turned against itself, a landscape that does not know itself, a landscape through which they may not travel. You see the not - knowing in wars in which the reality of death, the warm, messy, excruciating dismemberment of bodies, the blood, and the screams, and the unbearable bereavement of survivors, is abstracted into collateral damage or statistics or overlooked altogether, or in which the enemy is recategorized as nonhuman.
You see it too in small acts of everyday life, of the person who feels perfectly justified, of the person who doesn't know he's just committed harm, of the person who says something whose motives are clear to everyone but her, of the person we have all been one time or another. Taken to an extreme, it's s mind set of murder; enlarged in scale it's war. Elaborate are the means to hide from yourself, the dissociations, projections, deceptions, forgetting, justifications, and other tools to devour around the obstruction of unbearable reality, the labyrinths in which we hide the minotaurs who have our faces....
The self is also a creation, the principal work of your life, the crafting of which makes everyone an artist. This unfinished work of becoming ends only when you do, if then, and the consequences live on. We make ourselves and in so doing are the gods of the small universe of self and large world of repercussions". Rebecca Solnit
To walk a path on this earth with a true friend is a rare thing.
When I met Streams, coming into five years ago, I had prayers that this would be that relationship, that non traditional connection between a man and a woman, a union of equals an opportunity to evolve with another as mirror within which to see each other's reflection. And in that seeing, to gently shift, adjust behaviors or ideas that are no longer needed.
The relationship we share is beyond what I was capable of conceiving in my mind of possibilities.
This is what love looks like: seeing the other, that deeply impassioned "I/Thou" maka to maka soul revealing seeing and knowing.
Serving one another is the highest honor. And with compassion, empathy and gentleness showing one another areas of personality that might now be ready to dissolve.
Streams has a gentleness and eloquence in his approach to me, that never leaves me shamed, and opens no doors for guilt. That illuminated smile and poetic deeply ethereal wording, expands my heart in seeing my own behaviors which lights my oath to change.
Never has a word been said that either of us wish to retract.
The Diagnosis: A pre-op blog
It is my commitment to support people in co-creating healthy relationships that are unique to traditional role based paradigms. River