We all have addictive tendencies. Human beings are addictive by nature. When issues or problems surface we seek resolution, relief or escape. Personal traumas can be the occasion for setting destructive patterns of response for a lifetime. Whether starting with our personal ways of thinking and behaving or attached to a substance, person or behavior… we can get trapped. The pursuit of MORE in the face of negative physical, emotional, spiritual, financial or legal consequences surely confirms we have landed in the swirling pool of addiction. The pursuit of “MORE” often creates a flood of adrenaline that we become seriously attached to.
“Dysfunctional thinking” is the human condition. Substance addictions like alcohol, drugs, and sugar are merely the most visible platforms for dysfunctional thinking. However even those not impacted by physical substances can be addicted to their own habitual often ego driven ways of processing everyday reality. “My way of thinking is the RIGHT way of thinking!”
All cultures and institutions are addicted to themselves. They create deep codependency on their agreed-upon addictions. These are often the hardest to heal because they do not look like addictions because we have all agreed to be compulsive about the same things. We develop a common blindness to the same problems and same answers. Some of the lies imbedded in a our culture include: our country’s addiction to oil, war, work and sense of empire; the church’s addiction to its own absolute exceptionalism; the poor person’s addiction to powerlessness and victimhood; the white person’s addiction to superiority; the wealthy person’s addiction to entitlement.
Developing an alternative consciousness can create a critical path to freedom! In our culture there are many developments that impact our consciousness. A current phenomena emerging today is called “screen addiction”. Our cell phones, computers and tvs often take inordinate amounts of time and focus out of our day. Attachments to gaming and entertainment impact connections within families and relationships that lead to isolation, social immaturity, anxiety, “nature deficit syndrome’, and loneliness. How do you feel when you have forgot your cell at home or there is no service? In addition our western way of thinking, is invariably dualistic, that is binary in nature! Things need “to be either or” (i.e. good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, right or wrong, perfect or imperfect etc.). If we are to break out of this binary form of thinking… we need to step back from the constant pressure of “doing” and increase our experience of “being”. This shift can allow the development of an alternative state of consciousness that supports breaking away from our attachment to “MORE”. Contemplation, meditation and prayer can actually change our operating system! An important observation from Bill Wilson, the founder of AA… holds especially true. Addiction at its core is a dis-ease of the soul. Its journey of healing thus needs a strong spiritual dimension.
Here are a series of paradoxical statements that come from the Twelve Steps of AA.
We suffer to get well. We surrender to win. We die to live. We give it away to keep it.
This counterintuitive wisdom will forever be resisted as true, denied, and avoided, until it is forced upon us—by some reality over which we are powerless—and if we are honest, we are all powerless in the presence of full Reality.
Reflections of Rev. Jim Francek, Coach – TUCW – Addiction Recovery Ministry (ARM)
stimulated by Rohr, Richard. Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, (12/9/18)
For individuals or families of our congregation seeking confidential support or information about addiction issues… please contact our Addiction Recovery Ministry by calling 203-227-7205 ext. 19 or send an email.