What happens when you have to psychologically "kill off" your old friends? Metaphorically, of course. What happens when you have to let them die in order for you to be born? What happens when you have no other choice but to pay attention to the company you keep, if you are codependent and have very bad traits in picking companions? There is a period of extreme confusion, anger, grief and hopelessness. A very frightening thing happens when we empower ourselves. We stop choosing perpetrators. We begin to take care of ourselves and the very scared inner-child that is still terrified and trembling. I can tell you what fear comes up first: the fear of being alone and unable to take care of myself. This is the very essence of getting well. How terribly unattractive is that? The level of faith one has to bring to the table, when self-abuse is no longer an option, is nothing short of biblical. The reliance on a god of my understanding becomes THE central locus of my entire existence. To sit with this terror, feel it, invite it in and ultimately to see through it, is among the most courageous acts we can perform. Assertiveness is not imposing your will on anyone else, attempting to change anyone else at all. It is the recognition of the right to be the ultimate judge of my own life. When I cross this threshold, the universe will mutate and opportunities will open up that are congruent with this metamorphosis. The old skin of dependence and fear begin to shed and we walk quite naked, but embossed in gold, on a new plane of existence. With a new kind of perception and peace. Totally alone yet one with all that is eternal and sustaining. This is an act of love that is sacrificial. The old ways fall, the new ways pick up the pieces of the old entrails, and you consume the afterbirth of the newborn infant that you, indeed, are. Nothing can stay the same after that. All relationships then become an extension of your new sight. Expectations vanish and pain becomes a companion. Such freedom is why we are here. There are others coming.