Dr. Flo sat in the now familiar position of staring at the blinking cursor at the beginning of the freshly opened document on her laptop. So much has happened, and I have such a difficult time summarizing, she thought. I hope I get better at that soon, her mind added. “Practice makes perfect,” Someone Else piped up.
Dr. Flo had been having that experience more frequently lately: “That experience” referring to catching a sensory glimpse of what occurred to Flo as additional previously unknown or hiding or sleeping Characters or Parts. Flo wondered how she might approach these intriguing Beings such that they might consider allowing themselves to reveal and to be known. She felt a twisting in her gut and paused to consider what the sensation might be indicating. Closing her eyes and breathing deeply in order to concentrate with less distraction, she noticed the beginnings of what might be either lunchtime hunger AND/OR the gastrointestinal nature of a somatization process that Flo had experienced frequently during the ten days of Phillip’s recent visit. After another minute of contemplation, Dr. Flo decided that the most likely reality was that both were occurring, and she got up to quickly make a sandwich.
Having satiated the need for physical refueling, Flo returned to her musings and contemplation. With the exception of a bit more sleepiness than she would like (the result of self-indulgent bedtime revenge procrastination), Flo recognized feeling more calm and at peace than she could remember feeling in a long time, if ever. I wish I had an actual written down “road map” of this journey called Life Process so that I could locate myself somehow, she thought. The image depicting the stages of the hero’s journey that she and Hunter had been looking at and discussing during their last recorded podcast flashed through her mind. Rifling through the stacks of paper that had been hastily stashed out of sight in preparation for Phillip’s visit led to a eureka moment as Flo located the depiction she was searching for and brought it out into the light to peruse.
Dr. Flo searched the map, recognizing aspects of her current process as well as the processes she experienced in previous chapters of her life and iterations of herself. Probably better to stick to one day at a time right now, she concluded. Struck by the realization of identifying a need and allowing herself to meet that need, Dr. Flo became even more convinced of the likely presence of Additional Characters. This attitude of Mercy was unusual for Dr. Flo; Someone Else must be allowing that mercy through, she hypothesized. Dr. Flo contemplated the concepts of Authenticity, Reality, and the Mystery of Being. What’s most authentic for me today is to keep a few things to myself, Dr. Flo thought, encouraging herself to take instruction from the one credited with developing the notion of the hero’s journey - Joseph Campbell - and to “follow [her] bliss.”
One of Dr. Flo’s most recent moments of bliss caught Flo by surprise while doing service work by reading the Twelve Promises of Co-Dependents Anonymous at the beginning of this past Monday night’s step study meeting. Flo had been dutifully attending this particular step study meeting every Monday night since first learning about the meeting’s existence at the beginning of 2022. Already feeling energized as a result of having successfully allotted the necessary amount of Time needed to drop Phillip off at the airport and maintain her commitment to attending the meeting, Flo responded to the meeting host’s request for a volunteer to read the promises on page eight of the step study workbook:
“I can expect a miraculous change in my life by working the program of Co-Dependents Anonymous. As I make an honest effort to work the Twelve steps and follow the Twelve Traditions, I know a new sense of belonging. The feelings of emptiness and loneliness will disappear. I am no longer controlled by my fears. I overcome my fears and act with courage, integrity, and dignity. I know a new freedom. I release myself from worry, guilt, and regret about my past and present. I am aware enough not to repeat it. I know a new love and acceptance of myself and others. I feel genuinely lovable, loving, and loved. I learn to see myself as equal to others. My new and renewed relationships are all with equal partners. I am capable of developing and maintaining healthy and loving relationships. The need to control and manipulate others will disappear as I learn to trust those who are trustworthy. I learn that it is possible for me to mend - to become more loving, intimate, and supportive. I have the choice of communicating with my family in a way which is safe for me and respectful of them. I acknowledge that I am a unique and precious creation. I no longer need to rely solely on others to provide my sense of worth. I trust the guidance I receive from my Higher Power and come to believe in my own capabilities. I gradually experience serenity, strength, and spiritual growth in my daily life.”
As she read each one aloud in the meeting, Flo noticed feeling surprise and slight embarrassment as she experienced growing self-admiration (doused with a helping of intentional humility) as she found herself, probably for the first time, experiencing these particular promises as beginning to come true for her. Her body relaxed, and one of the poems that best captures Flo’s aspiration for herself came to mind. As the smile on her face widened, she thought to herself, Hot damn! I can finally say that I have experienced chapter four of this poem:
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