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Confession and Communion


"Deep in my heart, I'm concealing. 

Things that I'm longing to say. 

Scared to confess, what I'm feeling.

Frightened you'll slip away."

-Madonna, Evita


Intimacy is a quality you possess and project out into the world. It is attractive to others. It is an invitation to connection. But more, it is that you are connected. You become a window to connection. 



"I honor the place in you where Spirit lives

I honor the place in you which is

of Love, of Truth, of Light, of Peace,

when you are in that place in you,

and I am in that place in me, 

then we are One."


Namaste or Namaskar is more briefly said to mean "I bow to the divine in you."  Or  "I bow to the God within you" When we are connected, that divinity is palpable. We spend so much of our lives projecting persona, identifying with it, being our protective façade. It separates us from our Self. Our unique and genuine self. That self is very close to the divine. Yet it is separate. The divine is the totality of everything. Yet each of us is a specific manifestation of the divine, a set of gifts, a presence. We are each a holographic splinter of the divine. When we shed persona, when we live courageously from our Self, we step into the flow of divine power. When we connect with others from that genuine place, they know it to be real. This is Communion.


This ability has been called Charisma. “Charisma” through modern usage has come to mean ‘a special charm or appeal that causes people to feel attracted and excited by someone.’ Yet from the Greek, it means “Gift of Grace.” It is mentioned frequently by Paul in the New Testament as a quality conferred by the Holy Spirit. Included in the gifts of grace embodied by charisma, is the ability to penetrate to another’s essence “the bottom of his heart and spirit,” to recognize whether that essence is dominated by a good or evil intention, as well as the ability to free the person from an evil intention. 


Intimacy then, is being a conduit for divine energy: a very specific conduit. We know charisma to also mean a uniqueness. One possessed of charisma is not in some general way attractive or grace-filled. There is also a one-of-a-kind quality to them. This is the unique manifestation of the Self, standing forth, unashamed in the bold light of day. It is a willingness to be vulnerable, to be seen. This connection is communion.


Lest there be any misunderstanding, this is not the same as confession. Confession and Communion are separate but related concepts. In the Catholic faith, they are separate sacraments. Confession precedes Communion. This is because our shame prevents connection. Confession is a release of shame. Confession is done in private. Communion, in front of the entire congregation. 


What is confession, then? Confession is the realization that there are things about us; thoughts, words and deeds that we do not accept. Rogue traits that we have not yet incorporated into our self. In Shadow work, which is a phase in the process of in-divid-uation, or the realization of the self, described by Carl Jung, it is a recognition and acceptance of characteristics we have that we have been ashamed of, or otherwise unable to realize. While it may seem like “taking out the trash” –a concept we may associate with penitently confessing our misdeeds to a priest- it is in truth more like “unwrapping our gifts.” Most of the characteristics we hold shameful, are powers, capacities, strengths and beauty that we dare not assume. When we release our shame and embrace the nature of these gifts and their role in our Self, we diffuse their harmful nature, which arises from our denial, resistance and lack of consciousness about them. 


So confession is a clearing and an ordering of the self, not a litany of misdeeds we heap upon our significant partners, deepening our shame and undermining their trust. It is not past oriented. It is prospective, it is the clearing away of all that unconsciousness keeping us from shining forth as our true self. It is continual and courageous self-examination. 


"To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." 

- Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3


Confession is a precursor to communion. To whom then do we confess? 


To examine honestly and thoroughly, we should have a confessor. This is someone with whom we have no need to maintain a persona, someone with whom we can explore our psyche without risk of judgment or harm, either to ourselves, or to them. In Traumatic Incident Reduction, we lay bare the traumatic events of our lives, the things that have happened or been done to us, those we have witnessed being done to others, and the things we ourselves have done, both to harm others and to harm ourselves. We do so to someone who is committed to not judging us or reacting, to someone who will not interfere, who won’t offer advice. In 12 step work, we do this with a sponsor, again, ideally the same circumstances apply: non-judgment, absolute confidentiality, no advice, no interference. One person this confessor should not be is our significant other, our intimate partner. It is too much to demand of them.





This is one of the topics we explore in the Intimacy, Connection Healing Series, a workshop for all those in the healing professions. Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Yogis, Counselors, Social Workers, Nurses, Breath workers, Energy workers and anyone with an interest in connecting more powerfully to heal.


We explore the powerful connection that sources healing and arises naturally in all healing work. Florida CEs for LTMs, LCSW, LMFT, & LMHC. New York CEs for LMTs.


Join me for my first workshop in Costa Rica, at Living Forest Retreat Center November 11-17


Follow this link for more information, cost, lodging, meal and transportation options!



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