Spirituality is like swimming I explained to my sister Brenda. You dip your soul, spirit, and body into the presence of God and you swim in joyous distractions from every negative reality that once brought you low. You feel good. For me a burden was lifted and black cloud on my soul, removed. After my spiritual experience the joy and peace that only the supernatural can provide blanketed me. My choices are different than they used to be. I have never been the same…thank God! I love humans again or…maybe for the first time I love other women. I was unaffected by negativity because my perception was one of spiritual insight. I saw the good in all things.
I knew that every death is a life reborn and that every illness is for a deep spiritual lesson or higher purpose. I accepted that personal growth and awareness played into any hard time. I know that faith and hope are true spiritual gems which shine higher and brighter than any temporary slice of carnality. My flesh is a house that my Spirit occupies. The Spirit doesn’t generally die. Different body different realm. If you have had an out of body experience which for me was induced around the same time as my white light experience, well the truth in your heart screams; “my body is just a vessel” and your heart believes that truth. Bathing in the sea of spirituality we are rich in the river of “Everything is going to be fine” God’s got this and you know it. Your life will be about following God’s plan rather than your own or at least following a higher plan. The word God and labels are not what spirituality is based in. SPIRITUALITY IS NOT GUIDED BY INTELLECT IT’S GUIDED BY OUR HEART.
We mortal humans are riding on an elevator held up by keyrings. It’s not a matter of “if” we will drop to the ground floor but a matter of “when”. Meeting God before the big event of death is a plus. Remember what Jesus said; “Who are you? I don’t know you nor does my Father in Heaven know who you are.” But God! Surely you can make an exception…let me get to know you now, now that I am dead. Do you want to risk that the Bible prophecies about salvation are actually true without making an effort to meet the creator of all humans? Pray the basic prayer and see what happens. “If you exist God, please let me know you’re out there” I believe innocent prayers of faith are some of the most answered prayers in the universe.
And suppose we do get a dose of higher learning from spirituality 101? What then? Do we forever stay Loving and Giving? Fat chance. Spirituality is like swimming and even though I remember how to swim and I recall the way it feels to be in the waters of Love…at this time I am not wet.
Pink clouds do wear off but enlightenment that comes with them doesn’t go away so easily. Once you know how to swim you seldom forget what the water is like. What am I saying? I am not as Loving as I have been in the past. I am not who I want to be BUT I am not who I used to be either and won’t go back to the times of spiritual ignorance. Our spiritual condition grows and changes. And just because I had a spiritual experience it doesn’t mean I live up to every standard I put forth in writing. People who know what to do don’t necessarily do it all the time. There are ebbs and flows in life. I can see the water is blue, and I remember the cool wet refreshing effects but it’s not the same as getting wet and swimming in the pool.
I write because it’s one of my solutions for repressed emotions and to share my truth. Sharing my truth is best when I can go back and read and remember what I have learned or when someone relates to it and tells me so. Writing is an emotional nutrient. Pushing away and starving our feelings by invalidation and minimizing what our heart is saying to us will bite us in the ass.
What I am suggesting is quite different than allowing my emotions to paralyze me and rule over me. That is not what I am suggesting at all. There’s too much of minimizing emotions and feelings going on in AA. If an emotional issue or feeling we are having in recovery is strong and repetitive take notice if any old memories coincide with the emotional bubbling over. The issue could be something we need to start writing about. After we write down our feelings they are easier to share. Addicts by nature lack emotional nurturing skills; period. We must learn to emotionally nurture ourselves to get and stay well. Meetings are not emotional nurturing as a rule. Some meetings are quite the opposite. If you want to learn healing skills and exercises that worked for me read my book, Paradise for the Hellbound.
If a person is truly healed and recovered from addiction they don’t need meetings to stay sober but rather they will need emotional exercises to keep a heart healthy, these most people do need. Spiritual food I do need. I need fed spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Did I miss any important aspects of self?
The phrase, spiritual malady is a contradiction of terms. It was coined by Bill W. in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Bill W. explicitly states that alcoholics are “sick” in a threefold manner (mentally, physically, spiritually) and in the most important area of that triumvirate (spiritually) they are suffering from “disease”( done with AA) so he wrote.
But Bill! What about the emotional? How could you leave out the frickin emotional? Unbelievable! He missed the boat on that one. Bill was from a time when emotional meant weak, “over the top”, and that you’re acting like a weak and beggarly woman. Real men don’t cry! Right?
My biggest problem that got me the sickest and caused me more pain than I can express was thinking that my heart’s voice was wrong and stuffing down everything that it told me. I called my own heart a liar because that’s what I was taught. I quit crying. My healthy emotional fawcett dried up. Sure Dad wouldn’t want to make you uncomfortable with me WRONG FEELINGS THAT NEVER MATTERED TO ANYONE, THAT YOU INVALIDATED SO I SHUT MYSELF DOWN. My healthy emotional processes were stunted by the shame my oppressor covered me in.
Whatever your reason for hating yourself believe that it started at a very young age. Children do not hate themselves by nature, they are taught who they are at a young and innocent age by adults who are sickened to see themselves in their own children. And so they fuck with our self identity until it is lost. Followed by our own wrong choices and self deluded solutions to pain which puts the icing on the cake of our self loathing.
Self worth CAN be regained but it takes work. Spirituality is one way of healing. Emotional core-issue work in empathic group therapy is another way of getting better. This would require lots of opening up to childhood shame, pain, and resentments. Thirdly, the 12 steps with an emphasis on ten through twelve. Doing the next right thing and making right choices builds new self worth.
Is addiction curable? You’re damn right it is. Do I need meetings the rest of my life? Not if I am healed. But AA dogma speaks otherwise. The emotional scars don’t go away. And the thing is, most addicts don’t know what their wounds are. Children don’t know what abuse and emotional neglect looks like. At least I didn’t until my mind became enlightened by the light of awareness. I had no idea why I was in so much pain and why I was so ashamed of who I was. Finally I connected the dots. Finally.
I can remember thinking while I was in therapy and I sat with the women so tortured and abused, why were my emotional symptoms just like theirs? I had a great childhood by God! I shuttered to think that the man I struggled to impress, please, and worship could ever do me wrong. My relationship with my father was the final core issue to surface in my process of regaining my identity. It took seven years of sobriety for me to even consider looking at that broken hearted struggle. I was blind.
My father literally stunted and nearly killed my innocent and loving spirit. He trashed my self love and self appraisal. He spiked my self confidence with poison darts. And he crushed my youthful hopes and dreams of being someone who achieved. And all without realizing what he was doing.To this day I have no idea why he hated who me and my sister were.
You may say “it’s in the past, don’t drudge it up, it’s morbid reflection, blame and negativity you’re playing the victim writer!.” Hmmm but when we discover the cause of our pain that we tried so hard to numb we can go back, feel it, and process it in the way it should have been let out years ago. That is why I value addressing core issues in recovery. Plus improves and validates self worth to understand who and why we were who we were.
My oppressor will soon pass on. I haven’t confronted him and I have almost forgiven him. For some reason I don’t blame my mother. Maybe because I know what she went through with her own parents. I suppose my father was also a victim. It’s not healthy to repress the pain that he brought me. AA teaches us to basically ignore wrongs done to us and only address wrongs done by us. That is a big mistake. Oftentimes A.A. teaches us to repress the very core issues that made us sick in the first place. These issues need processed, shared, cried over, journaled, acknowledged and validated. Then and only then can we really move past them.
AA teaches the opposite of core issue healing. “Ignore it, they didn’t know any better, stay out of blame…sure but what about the wound? The wound needs dressing and attention. When someone tells us they know what we feel and they have felt it too that is empathy. Empathy can heal the very wounds that made us sick. We are as sick as our shameful secrets.
Again: If you want to learn those healing skills and exercises that worked for me read my book, Paradise for the Hellbound.