Articles by Mary

FREEDOM
By MARY COOK, M.A., R.A.S.

We can enslave ourselves to addictions, compulsions, codependency, power, money and materialism, thereby blocking our hearts.  We can become slaves to worry, fear, hate, anger and depression and thus forfeit our faith.  We can become slaves to pride, prejudice, arrogance, self-righteousness, greed, entitlement and violence, and we sacrifice conscious awareness of our soul.


When we treat ourselves and others as commodities to use, abuse, exploit, neglect or endanger, we dishonor and deny divine heritage.  When we feel empty, broken, damaged and demeaned, we have forgotten the spirit within us.  The tyranny of cravings and excessive willfulness dehumanize and despiritualize life, leaving us without satisfaction or serenity.      READ MORE.............

FALSE SELF AND SOUL
BY MARY COOK, M.A., R.A.S.

The flowers’ face turns easily and effortlessly to the sun, thereby receiving warmth, nourishment and strength.  God sends love and light to all of us, saintly and sick, ignorant and wise, without discrimination.  Just as there are barriers to the sun, which prevent plants from receiving its rays, we have obstacles in ourselves and in our lives, which disturb conscious awareness of God’s gifts to us.  Problems and pain arise when the flow of divine love is blocked.  Significant interactions, especially in childhood, which fail to actively demonstrate spirituality, trigger self-doubt and unworthiness.  Defenses and adaptations to painful experiences create a false sense of self, which continues to attract similar stressful themes.  These reinforcing experiences can lead us further away from our heavenly heritage and toward a search for fulfillment in areas that will ultimately betray us and leave us feeling empty.    
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HAPPINESS OF THE HEART
BY MARY COOK, M.A., R.A.S.

True happiness comes from the heart, not the mind.  Our mind typically judges, compares and places conditions on happiness, pointing out what’s wrong or missing even in the best of circumstances.  In the midst of a wondrous experience, for example, the mind may remind us that a certain person is not present to share the wonder, and thus happiness is diminished.  Yet the mind tells us that when we receive abundant gratification of a desire, we’ll be happy.  It might be success, sex, money, power, leisure time, a mate, alcohol or other drugs.  When we’re chasing after happiness, we’re also running away from problems, trauma, shame, loss and pain.  And the mind tells us that these troubles will continue or reoccur at any moment.  So we’d better capture and control the objects of our happiness.  Addictions and compulsions are practiced with the intent to distract us from pain and stress and artificially induce euphoria or relief.  This keeps the false self dominant rather than the spiritual self.  
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THE MEANING OF OUR SYMPTOMS
BY MARY COOK, M.A., R.A.S.

Symptoms for substance abuse addictions typically symbolize numbing of pain, releasing or acting out repressed emotion, and artificially creating external distractions from either internal chaos or feelings of emptiness.  Additionally the chemicals provide false feelings of confidence, energy, power, pleasure and peace.  We want drugs to do for us what we feel we can’t, because our life experiences and role models did not provide a sufficient reflection of these feelings.  So we look outside of ourselves for a solution.

Eating disorder symptoms commonly attempt to comfort, control, protect and punish self, and can be symbolic re-enactments of prior sexual abuse.  Our need to control what goes into and leaves our body indicates that we couldn’t trust others to comfort, nurture and protect us, and we didn’t experience healthy models of control and punishment.      
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THE MEMORY OF PAIN
BY MARY COOK, M.A., R.A.S.

Remembering our losses can trigger a tidal wave of despair.  Sadness sometimes turns into self  destructiveness, shame, anger or blame.  We may close our hearts to cease investing in what we cannot possess.  We might distract ourselves in endeavors that require no vulnerability, or seek solace and escape in compulsions and addictions.

Recalling trauma may bring the vision of a child’s trembling terror, of not knowing what unspeakable things might happen.  We may relive the razors’ edge of pain or the battle cries of the criminally insane, who imagined that we were their enemy.      
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  ©  Mary Cook, M.A., S.U.D.C.C.                                                                                                                                         Call for Appointment



  Photos by Mary Cook                                                                                                                                                           1-310-517-0825