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confident in my badassness: stripping my shadow for the love of my dreams

Unless we’re coming off an edge from a relationship gone wrong, none of us think about the darkness that can be connected to love. In fact, popular opinion often advises that if any darkness is associated with a love, that it’s not love – not a healthy one, at least – and that if we’re ever in a dark love, that we should run for the hills. How many loves have we discarded solely because shadows kept coming out – theirs or ours – and though we run, we cannot escape these shadows? When true love comes, isn’t it shadow-free???

No.

As I’ve written before, there is a specific quality about romantic love that pierces to the heart of the matters within our souls, matters that need to be revealed and healed. And if we are in divine partnerships, this specific quality is magnified hundreds of times, for divinely destined relationships have a particular goal in mind – to refine both persons, individually and collectively, as much as possible. This destiny requires that some pretty dark, ugly shit rise to the surface for acknowledgement, inspection, sometimes some cleansing, and always – integration.

So, this means that the love of our dreams is not all lovely and sweet or wonderfully fragrant. No one is coming, at least at first, to whisk us away into a horse-drawn carriage down a yellow brick road to live eternally, happily ever after. Therefore we need to expand our definitions and our perspectives of what is healthy and what is required. Everything becomes more grey than black and white. It all shifts and moves around more than it is solid and predictable. It’s all a rather adventurous invitation into vulnerable spaces – places where we’re naked – not because we’re going to fuck, but because we’re being stripped, beyond the bone.

stripping

Everything that we’ve ever known about ourselves is up for grabs to be peeled away, layer by layer, no matter how painful or how closely cemented they are to us. Our comfort and ease are not #goals. The only thing that the universe is after is the end, the end in which we ascend into our true power, in which we BE the very best versions of ourselves to serve the greater good, to help others along the Way. G~d requires that we are confident in our badassness. This requirement necessitates a stripping of our shadows, and for that, we get the loves of our dreams.

During one of our recent weekly oracle readings (view below, cued to the shadow part) on love, intimacy, sex, relationships, etc., i had the most a-mazing revelation by applying as metaphor Yeshua’s (Jesus) journey between his crucifixion and ascension. So, what really (completely) happened when Yeshua descended into the dead and spent some quality time in hell? Have we heard the whole story? Was there any stripping of Yeshua that occurred there before he was completely ready to arise from death and then to ascend? For we know not only did he appear so differently to his closest disciples that they did not recognize him immediately when he returned, but that upon his incarnation, he grew into the man he needed to become to live out G~d’s call on his life.

From these questions and what we know from the Greek writings, I assert and extend that ascension requires stripping, of every single thing that we have. Following Yeshua’s hero journey, stripping of:

  • his status in heaven to become human
  • his ego and other related qualities during his time of testing in the wilderness before launching his ministry
  • his will in order to agree freely to go the cross where his human life would end

Those are all the details that we have. There has to be more. What else had to go for him to rise to his next level?

In other aspects of our lives, we are familiar with this requirement of stripping:

  • bad habits to become more disciplined for a job that requires more multi-tasking
  • self-centered perspectives and behaviors to be available for an expanded family life
  • downsizing and tightening the financial belt to save money for larger investments like real estate

BEing in the love of our dreams is no different. It’s way bigger than the even great task of simply deciding that we’ve found a cool person to share life with for the rest of our days on earth. Dream love is a lofty ambition, literally. It’s a love that lives in the clouds, in the ether; it’s up there. And for us to get up there, we need to be lighter and lighter and lighter … dropping baggage, shedding layers, removing masks, disrobing – allowing all to be revealed and ogled, studied, analyzed, enjoyed, consumed, and relished.

Are you thinking that this is not what you signed up for? LOLOLOL – I get that. But then you also know that you’ll take nothing else for your journey now. 🙂

Here’s to high-flyin’ love!

Looking for clarity, confirmation, answers, guidance regarding love, career, family – or just life? Share your questions with candi for an oracle reading to help you on your way! She is here for you 🙂

(c) 2018 candi dugas, llc

your beauty is safe here

We’re celebrating our newest service, Sacred Readings with candi dugas!

sacred reading general reading 6.22 youtube cover

Weekly we publish free, general readings on YouTube, and you may also order your own personal readings as well. This week only (through Saturday, 30 June 2018), all readings are 50% off in honor of this celebration.

Watch our latest general reading, “Your Beauty Is Safe Here.”

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best,

candi (claircognizant, clairsentient, empath)

relationship intimacy: building longer term connections, pt. 3

relationship intimacy: building longer term connections, pt. 3

[Read Part 1 and Part 2.]

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings,infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up – if they succeed in loving the distance between them, which makes it possible for each to see the other Whole against the sky.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

When I paused my story in Part 2, I was at home experiencing the most severe pain I’d ever known …

The next day, Saturday, after rolling out of the bed onto the floor for the seemingly 100th time, I pray, “Lord, I need your help. I’ve been down here on my knees more times in past 24 hours than I have in past five years!” I was at home all day alone since Stacy was attending our son’s father-in-law’s funeral. Then finally the third day, Sunday, I begin to find some relief. While watching a movie, with a sense of amazement, of complete surprise, I realize that I’d uttered the same words to both my wife and to God, “I need your help.” I realize that I have two persons to whom I could say those words. I weep.

 The following week, we decide to go see the movie, The Butler.  While riding, my wife asks me, “Do you want me to get you something for our anniversary?” To this I reply, “If you need to you can, but there is something that you need to know, and that is whatever you purchase, it will pale in comparison to what you have already given to me.” There is silence between us. We just look into each other eyes, and then we smile.

In Part 2 we also listed two of three steps toward developing intimate relationships:

  • Understanding that achieving relational intimacy is messy.
  • Intentionally seeking a deeper level of intimacy with another.

Now, the third step is the process of becoming a more differentiated individual. As such, we must be aware of the fact that we will discover how utterly alone we truly are. For depth – for physical and sexual intimacy to happen – it seems that self-healing of our early life’s (i.e., childhood) relational injuries is necessary. Further, this work may require us to nurture a relationship where we can be and become our true selves; committing ourselves to looking at our earliest physical/sexual encounters with honesty and openness.

Physical and sexual intimacy evolves, but not without conversation between the partners. It seems to me that the ultimate aim in this aspect of the intimate relationship is for both partners to feel mutually accepted as individuals; and, to have mutual respect for each other’s uniqueness, along with learning to respect that uniqueness within oneself and the other. Unfortunately, this process is not for the faint of heart and may only be possible in a therapeutic relationship and space of safety.

part 3 lovers

Image: iloveblackart.net

Similarly, relational intimacy experienced during times of crises creates additional longings. When we encounter difficult personal situations, (e.g.; deaths of parents, children, spouses; the loss of a job, a change in physical health, etc.), we long for our familiar other, to provide a place of safety, so that our painful emotions/feelings are free from judgment. These areas require having an understanding individual when we are experiencing periods of extreme vulnerabilities in our lives. During these moments significant others, without realizing it, can often abandon the persons in our key relationships because we do not know how to hold the existential pain of those close to us in moments of crisis.

Finally, deep relationship intimacy occurs when our defenses are relaxed enough to allow our significant others to develop a capacity for emotional openness. Further, this level of openness therefore enables our loved ones to risk being vulnerable long enough to share aspects of their psychological and spiritual pain. What is relaxed is the unsupported fear of those others who will judge us for expressing our authentic selves.

When a significant other (i.e., spouse, parent, sibling, friend, etc.) for example, is able to observe me and to be with me in my moments of temporary anguish, I am healing within my innermost being. Still again, when I have a sudden epiphany about a long-lost childhood experience that is rooted in pain and trauma, and my loving other responds with affirmation, compassion, confirmation and empathy, then I am experiencing depth of intimacy—healing. My appointed and significant other is providing for me a holding space as I work through my anguish and my tears! The following example illustrates my point:

A mother hears her son’s painful memory of not being touched or physically held by her as he expresses this memory to his significant other. His mother is present during this open conversation. His mother, in turn, offers her recollection of her son’s account of their early life relationship. She affirms that his memory is accurate and true as her son had recalled and then offers a self-disclosing fact about herself. [She admits,] “He is right; it [her inability to touch or experience physical closeness] was about me. I couldn’t be available to the touchy-feely [because I didn’t know how] because I was afraid.” To this, the son replies, “That’s right.”

In that moment, the mother openly, without becoming defensive or attempting to protect herself from potentially hurt feelings, provides a longing hunger for her son. She receives the affection that her son has for his mother. This act is a deeply healing and transformative moment for both; in short, it is relational intimacy in living color. This moment is a non-judgmental and non-anxious response. His mother is able provide, as both are now adults, an important holding space for both to heal. Every child, from infancy throughout adulthood, hungers to know her or his parent is willing to receive her or his deeply abiding affection for that parent, mother first and then father.

The quote I used to open the final post in this series is a favorite poem of mine by Rainer Maria Rilke. It sums up the level of relational intimacy to which I’ve been reflecting. Again, I share it:

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings,infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up – if they succeed in loving the distance between them, which makes it possible for each to see the other Whole against the sky.”

Thank you for taking the time to reflect with me on relational intimacy. I look forward to being with you again soon via one of candi dugas & associates’ publications. Until then, take good care.

NOTE: In my narratives, I change the names of others than my own to protect individual privacy.

© 2016, James Bernard Kynes, Sr.

The Rev. James Bernard Kynes, Sr., M.Div., LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) practices at Crossings Counseling Center, Inc., in Decatur, GA. To read more about him and/or to connect with him, visit his website (http://www.jamesbernardkynessr.com/index.html), email (bkynesr@gmail.com) or call (404.378.2232).

Featured Image: iamaliminalbeing.blogspot.com

relationship intimacy: building longer term connections

relationship intimacy: building longer term connections

Seldom or never does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly without crisis. There is no birth of consciousness without pain.” ~ Carl G. Jung

It is Friday, August 9, 2013 (two days before my 38th wedding anniversary). I am in my office conducting sessions, when around 8:30 a.m., I began experiencing a subtle and dull pain in my lower abdomen. I thought, while listening to my client, “Do I need to go again to the bathroom?” I did not. Yet, the pain continued and gradually increased with intensity and discomfort. It is now 12:30 p.m. and I am sitting with another client, adjusting my sitting position from left to right – then left again – and then right again, in greater and greater pain.

“Are you okay?” asks my client. “I don’t think so, but I’m okay for now,” I replied.

This painful crisis is about to turn into a birth of consciousness regarding emotional intimacy. Of course, I don’t know it at the time. All that is consuming me is my physical pain and my attempts to complete my day’s calendar of clients. In the following posts of this 3-part series, I will share more of my story that day. For now, let’s begin to consider what it means to be intimate in our relationships, a quality that is not a given part of them, simply because we participate in each other’s lives.

Secure attachment in an intimate relationship is essential for our individual healthy senses of self-esteem and worth! This reality is especially true in moments of emotional, existential, psychological and spiritual crises.

lovers lower

Intimacy refers to “a close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person; a close association with, detailed knowledge, or deep understanding of; the quality of being comfortable, warm, or a token of familiarity, affection, or the like.” (Dictionary.com) Relational intimacy begins during the second trimester between the mother and the developing fetus and later, her newborn infant. Neuroscience now informs us that significant communications from the mother’s emotional life passes on into the fetus’ developing neurons. It is important that the emotional relationship between mother and child is protected by those close to her, helping her with the caring of and tending to this developing bond. When this protection happens, the emotional health of both mother and child can create a secure attachment. The emotional support for the mother is essential, enabling the newborn to experience her (or any significant caretaker, e.g., the father) as an emotionally available and safe other. We then hope that the infant is able to take in the non-anxious presence from the mother’s sense of self into its developing identity.

In the absence of a secure and emotionally available caretaker, psychological disorders (which will vary in degrees from individual to individual) have a greater chance for affecting our relational development from infancy to/through adolescence and well into our adult life for years to come. Anxiety and depressive disorders, bi-polar (a brain chemical disorder that unless diagnosed and treated by a professional, can be exacerbated by environmental stress) and others can play a major influencing factor on how well relational intimacy develops. Yet, if mother has a good enough emotional support system, one that can provide a nurturing environment for her and her baby, then she has a greater chance of being emotionally available to help her child develop and grow with less anxiety and other potential disorders. And if that happens, we are able better to create and nurture for ourselves fulfilling, intimate relationships with our significant others.

Return to sexNspirit next week to discover the source of the pain I experienced a few days before my 38th wedding anniversary and to read my take on the key that prevents us from developing relational intimacy.

NOTE: In my narratives, I change the names of others than my own to protect individual privacy.

© 2016, James Bernard Kynes, Sr.

The Rev. James Bernard Kynes, Sr., M.Div., LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) practices at Crossings Counseling Center, Inc., in Decatur, GA. To read more about him and/or to connect with him, visit his website (http://www.jamesbernardkynessr.com/index.html), email (bkynesr@gmail.com) or call (404.378.2232).

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