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Interpreting the Runes ~ Wunjo ~ Joy ~ Light

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  — Adapted from the words of Reinhold Niebuhr

Wunjo is considered to be a positive rune and when drawn in the upright position will always represent joy and happiness coming into life. It is an excellent omen in a reading. A shift, that was due, has occurred and the blessings associated with Wunjo may freely be received and accepted. These blessings may relate to material gain, emotional life, or in a heightened sense of one’s own well-being. Be happy!

In combination with other runes, it indicates success in whatever areas they rule. For example, with travel runes such as Raidho or Ehwaz, it can show a fortunate and generally pleasing journey; with message runes such as Ansuz, it can mean good news; when Wunjo is drawn with love related runes, in can show deep affection and long-lasting emotional happiness.

Often, Wunjo will signify the object of one’s affections. In this case, it usually shows some activity undertaken with this person will end with a happy result.

Wunjo can also represent joy in one’s work, especially if that work is artistic or creative . Like the rune Kenaz, Wunjo appears in readings for people who are artists or craftsmen and shows that this creative element is very important to their personal happiness and wellbeing.

Reversed The meaning of Wunjo reversed is exactly the opposite of everything stated about its meaning in the upright position. Things are slow in coming and the person for whom the runes are being consulted may be undergoing a difficult, if not crisis time, filled with misery and unhappiness.

The runes drawn in addition to Wunjo should show the specific problem areas. Drawn with Raidho or Ehwaz, an unsafe or unsuccessful trip with breakdowns and delays are indicated and are likely.

If the question being asked relates to one’s employment, Wunjo reversed warns of dissatisfaction, either with the job itself or with one’s job performance.

In matters of love, this rune shows disappointment or a delay of some type in a present relationship, the intensity of which can be discerned from the other runes drawn.

In all questions about business, travel or love, Wunjo reversed shows a need for caution, perhaps even putting off an important decision until a seemingly better time.

The rune of Wunjo can also show trouble caused by a third-party in the form of friction and delays. One should be on the lookout for any possible double-dealing on the part of acquaintances, friends, business associates or opponents.


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The Gift of Forgiveness

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“Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”  — Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

 

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is forgiveness.  When we remember the past, we often find we were much harder on ourselves than we were on other people.  We may no longer even remember some of our misdeeds, but it’s not so easy to erase the effects of self-punishment on our identity and self-esteem. 

There is no need for us to punish ourselves.  We can apologize to ourselves, just as we do to others.  Then, we can forgive ourselves just as we do to others, and just as we are forgiven by them. 

When we find it hard to forgive ourselves and let go, there are actions we can take: Reach out to someone, or try to find the real feelings beneath the urge to be so hard on ourselves.  We can still be honest and choose gentleness.  We can also keep our perspective, seeing things realistically and not creating a catastrophe where there is none.  We can turn to the Universe, asking for a higher forgiveness and be assured of the Universe’s understanding and love.

Gemini ~ Naturally Bipolar and Anxious

 

I am bipolar and within the last year or so, have begun to experience severe anxiety and panic. In late December I had meltdown of incredible proportions. The extreme anxiety disorder is new for me; haunting me for a little more than a year now. Anxiety so strong, and triggered by the actions of my partner. For several years, he has promulgated a new behavior, “Babe, I’m just running up to the 7 Eleven to get some cigarettes; I’ll be back in twenty-five minutes.” As he walks out the door I always say, “Take your cell phone with you,” which he already has in hand.

That promised “twenty-five minutes” turns out to be days that he is away from home, not answering his cell phone or even calling. I refer to it as my partner “going missing.” My reaction begins with worry. Then I may happen upon something on the computer exposing the person he would be meeting and what they would be doing. A friend of mine has a husband who has nearly same behavior. She calls this type a “player” explaining that these types of men want to still run the streets, cheat on their partners or spouses. The “player” behavior is incongruent with the committed relationship my partner and I have. This friend’s advice to me was to be proud that it is me he eventually comes home to, giving me parts of himself his hookups never see. To this I say, “bullshit.”

Player my ass. My worry then turns to anger. I can’t sleep. I start calling my partner’s phone over and over. He calls it “psycho dialing.” The anger then turns to tears. I cry as I wander through the house, “What did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong.” My speech becomes so slurred and difficult to understand that it has been described as though I had a stroke. Lately, I noticed a pain in my chest along with a rapid and what I describe as “fluttering” heart. Irritability for me is a sign that I am swinging toward the maniacal part of bipolar. Then deep depression, laced with that wicked anxiety and panic. I began taking a prescribed anti-anxiety medication called Ativan. I was eating it like candy.

This most recent December meltdown grew so out of control I felt as though the only way to be free of it would come through ending my life. I have been in this cold place before and placed a call to the behavioral health crisis line associated with my health insurance. I was referred to the Maricopa County Hospital. There I was checked out and cleared medically and it was suggested I sign myself in to St. Luke’s Behavioral Health. I’ve been there before too. St. Luke’s worked for me before. Back in 2005 I nearly ended my life with a mantra in my head, “I hate my life, I hate my life.” After two months they helped me see the world differently and I left there with a new mantra, “I love my life, I love my life!” I felt safe returning there.

I worked hard over the next three weeks, finding that each time I told my story, I felt more at ease and could see the flaws in my relationship. I realize the degree of my co-dependency and made a commitment to attend CODA (a twelve step group for co-dependents). I was placed under the care of the psychiatrist who followed me last admission. He wanted to take my treatment further than I agreed to last time. In my first admission, he suggested ECT (Electro Convulsive Treatment.) I refused it then because of the loss of one’s short-term memory as a side effect of the treatment. But this time felt different to me and I agreed to begin the treatment.

Beware of What Lurks in the Shadows

As an addict and when I have been actively using, I grasp only at the shadow of things.  I neither relate to people as if they are real, nor do I communicate as a mature, loving person.  Instead, I have pursued phantoms and a few dragons, and in the end, have found only dissatisfaction.

Addictions diminish and demean us as much as they allow us to see things only as extensions of ourselves.  We become afraid of individuality and differences.  We allow ourselves to see other people only as reflections of ourselves.

Through my efforts to grow personally and in my recovery, I have come to need substance in my life.  It is when I am working at real problems, connecting with people as they are that I truly feel alive.  In my relationships, if I am to see growth, I need to give and receive genuine and authentic love and affection.

In my healthy relationships with family and friends, and in my recovery groups and network, I find substance and particularity. I find authentic people who are learning not to be afraid to extend themselves and who come to meet and greet me in life.  Together, we can all learn to live and to love as vital, whole individuals in a real world.

I am learning to get out of the shadows and darkness of my addictions and wanted to share my experience with my readers so that we can all live in a world of substance, reality and love.

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.”  — Aesop

Who is it? Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde?

 

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” — Shakespeare

Only recently, have I begun the long, slow process of reconnecting with family and friends whom I abandoned when I chose a life of addiction and lies.  Are they running toward me with outstretched arms, embracing this new and improved me?  No.  I didn’t expect them to either.

You see, I spent much of my life living a lie.  I was split into two people, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and one of the two could never speak out, tell the truth or own up. Mr. Hyde gradually took over until everything was fraud, deception and betrayal.  And finally, I came to see my life in ruins.

So began my path toward sobriety, clean living and personal growth.  This meant Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – the two sides of me, had to find a way to work together.  I knew I had to win the trust and confidence of both fellows before one tore the other to pieces.

There is one way in: honesty.  I came to know that Mr. Hyde works in the darkness of deceit and opens up to the light that steams in when I speak openly and honestly.  And this light endures: honesty doesn’t only give momentary insight; it leaves a legacy that lasts a lifetime.

My Life’s Lessons, Not Yours Please!

 

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“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us…” – Marcel Proust

Haven’t we all known some people new to recovery who enter a Twelve Step program only to encounter an enormous crisis or difficulty? I know I was one of “them.” It’s tempting at that point to question the mercurial nature of life, which sometimes inflicts blows when someone is already down. Difficulties do serve a purpose, however. It’s often in such moments of struggle that people become aware of the reality of their life and begin to make difficult choices. It’s also then that the fellowship of our recovery group shines, offering its collective experience, strength and hope to the addict in need.

 

Many of us have known someone who refused or was unable to hear the message being offered at our meetings. It takes wisdom, patience, and detachment to know when to reach out to someone, and how far to go. The respect we feel for that person’s recovery process as well as the faith we have in our Higher Power and the Twelve Step program can help us do our part and then let go…

 

Life is a learning experience. I can learn the lesson of my life, but not someone else’s.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction. It can be an easy way to hide from other people. We can delude ourselves that, since no one knows what we’re doing, our actions aren’t that bad. It’s possible to live a double life: a healthy person some of the time, and a rtunately, it is often necessary to find ourselves in great pain or facing horrible consequences before we confront our behavior. Otherwise, the complex defense system we erect to “protect’ our addiction also keeps us from learning the honesty we need to recover.

Sex addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Rigorous honesty is important, especially in telling other people what we would rather keep hidden. It is usually the things we try to ignore that we are yearning to share and let go. We owe it to ourselves to be as honest as the program teaches us to be.

Looking for an alternative to 12 Step programs? Heard about SMART Recovery?

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) is an international non-profit organization which provides assistance to individuals seeking abstinence from addictive behaviors. The approach used is secular and science-based using non-confrontational motivational, behavioral and cognitive methods. Substance/activity dependence is viewed by the organization as a dysfunctional habit (rather than a disease), while allowing that it is possible that certain people have a predisposition towards addictive behavior.

The meetings are free for all wishing to attend, and are intended to be informational as well as supportive. Approximately 365 weekly group meetings led by volunteer facilitators are held worldwide. In addition, the organization provides online resources and support to the volunteers and those attending the groups and one or more daily online meetings.

Meetings are held in many states including: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.


The Risks I Took and the Risks I Take

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The Risks I Took

“One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar.” —Helen Keller

The risks I took in my two previous relationships were profound. I look back at my behavior in each of those relationships, and I am absolutely horrified; ashamed even. I took the chance in those relationships that my partner or any other loved one would discover the truth about my promiscuity. I juggled multiple relationships; multiple lives even.

I gambled that I wouldn’t pick up a sexually transmitted disease (STD). I gambled that I wouldn’t pass on an STD to my partner.My life in those relationships was built like a house of cards. Without either of my partner’s actively investigating me, my schedules, computer histories or personal items, still found out about my activities. The data would somehow present itself to them. It would appear to them through some freak action it seemed. I may not have gone so far as to label myself as a compulsive gambler, but in retrospect, I was. I risked our very own lives for the thrill of living dangerously.

Both relationships ended similarly; the expectation they had of honesty was not respected and my behavior presented them with risks they did not choose to take.

By the time I had finally hit my own “rock bottom”, I could claim two failed suicide attempts and a hospitalization of more than a month and a half for recovery of an addiction to crystal meth. During that hospitalization I was diagnosed as being HIV+. The deadly STD had silently infected me, thrived even, within me. A viral load of close to 2 million and a CD4 count in the double digits began to make me aware that my body felt differently than it had in the past.Infections and malaise became the norm for me.Eventually, I was classified as being in “full blown AIDS” and was told by one doctor that I would be lucky to be able to live out my life for another two to four more years.

The Risks I Take Now

In my life as it is now, I am part of a relationship that allows me to channel my willingness to risk into constructive change. For the first time, I am experiencing true love and respect – both as a receiver and active giver of these feelings. I am, for the first time in my life, mastering the attainment of rigorous honesty with my present partner and loved ones; something that eluded me in the past. I can trust that what I am able to do now will help me grow; I can act and then let go of the outcome.

I try to make choices that result in the healthiest outcome possible. However, I am human and imperfect.Overall, I wake each day grateful to be happy and alive.Although in the past, it was my willingness to take risks that got me into trouble; it is this same willingness that has given me the platform from which I can grow. I am still taking risks, but these risks are now risks of love which keep me in this healthier form of life and relationship each and every day. The ghosts from my past still drift through relationships, hurting their loved ones and fooled into a shallow, misguided sense of happiness by their risky behavior. Those images are held in my mind as a touchstone to remind me of how I choose not to be. Today, I feel proud to take risks in order to enlarge my life.



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