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|Saturday, October 20th, 2018|
“And here is where I’m humbled. I’m humbled by my feebleness in helping this person. Humbled that I had the arrogance to believe I’d seen and heard it all. You can never see and hear it all because, for all their sordid similarities, each story in the Downtown Eastside unfolded in the particular existence of a unique human being. Each one needs to be heard, witnessed, and acknowledged anew, every time it’s told. And I’m especially humbled because I dared to imagine that Serena was less than the complex and luminous person she is. Who am I to judge her for being driven to the belief that only through drugs will she find respite from her torments? Spiritual teachings of all traditions enjoin us to see the divine in each other. Namaste, the Sanskrit holy greeting, means, “The divine in me salutes the divine in you.” The divine? It’s so hard for us even to see the human. What have I to offer this young Native woman whose three decades of life bear the compressed torment of generations? An antidepressant capsule every morning, to be dispensed with her methadone, and half an hour of my time once or twice a month.”
― Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction
|Friday, October 19th, 2018|
Within the last few days, I’ve watched TV shows about a murder (several murders, actually), terrorism, multi-million dollar fraud and theft, companies which steal ideas worth billions of dollars, international drug cartels and kidnapping to mention just a few.
I wonder if we waste a lot of time struggling with guilt over tiny infractions like losing our temper or having fear or having sexual thoughts when we see a person who is exceptionally attractive or wasting some time on “selfish” things.
I wonder if we don’t waste a lot of time worrying about something we did when we were drunk and didn’t even know what we were doing.
I wonder if that isn’t time better spent being grateful or focusing on how good we really are.
|Thursday, October 18th, 2018|
|A Morsel of Hope
Jean Kerr said, "Hope is the feeling you have, that the feeling you
have, isn't permanent." It is what we have when we know that we WILL
eventually survive the night and bask in sunshine once again. It does
not deny the present darkness, but it reminds us that dawn is coming.
Brigadier General Robinson Risner ("Robbie") spent seven years as a
POW at the "Hanoi Hilton," as prisoners of war called their North Viet
Nam compound. There he discovered the power of hope. He spent four
and a half years of that time in isolation. He endured ten months of total
darkness. Those months were the longest of his life. When they boarded
up his little seven-by-seven foot cell, shutting out the light, he
wondered if he was going to make it. He had already been under intense
physical and mental duress after years of confinement. And now, not a
glimmer of light shone into his cell -- or into his soul.
Robbie spent hours a day exercising and praying. But at times he felt
he could nothing but scream. Not wanting to give his captors the
satisfaction of knowing they'd broken him, he stuffed clothing into
his mouth to muffle the noise as he screamed at the top of his lungs.
One day Robbie got down on the floor and crawled under his bunk. He
located a vent that let in outside air. As he pressed against the
vent, he saw a faint glimmer of light reflected on the inside wall of
the opening. Robbie put his eye next to the cement wall and discovered
a minute crack in the construction. It allowed him to glimpse outside,
but was so small that all he could see was one blade of grass. A
single blade of grass and a faint ray of light. But when he stared at
the sight, he felt a surge of joy, excitement and gratitude like he
hadn't known in years. "It represented life, growth, and freedom," he
later said, "and I knew God had not forgotten me." It was that tiny
glimmer of hope that sustained Robbie through an unbearable ordeal.
I am amazed at the strength of the human spirit. It seems to run
forever on nothing but a morsel of hope. But it still must be fed.
I find myself busy keeping my body going - but I know it is just as
important to feed my spirit. Even if all I have is a morsel of hope,
for today that just may be enough.
-- Steve Goodier
|Wednesday, October 17th, 2018|
1. Do one thing at a time. No multi-tasking.
2. Do it slowly and deliberately.
3. Do it completely.
4. Do less.
5. Put space between things.
6. Develop Rituals.
7. Designate time for certain things.
8. Devote time to sitting.
9. Smile and serve others.
10. Make cooking and cleaning become meditation.
11. Think about what is necessary.
12. Live simply.
|Tuesday, October 16th, 2018|
|I Am Not A Duck
I may look like a duck and walk like a duck and quack like a duck and drink like a duck - but I am not a duck. I’m an eagle in disguise.
If you could prove to me that it’s respectable to be a duck, I might consider being one. But don’t waste your time - my mind is made up. I think it’s shameful to be a duck. I won’t be a duck.
It’s so lonely here among all these ducks. I’m so out of place here. But, for some reason, none of the other eagles will have anything to do with me. Why are eagles so cruel? Some of the ducks are quite nice. It’s too bad I’m an eagle.
No, it isn’t. I’m glad I’m an eagle. Even if I were a duck, I wouldn’t stay a duck. I’d become an eagle. I can be anything I want to be, I owe it to myself to be an eagle. Ducks are terrible. I hate ducks. (I got myself into this mess, I’ll get myself out.)
I keep trying to swoop down and grab a rabbit in my claws. But. I can’t do it. I have these webbed feet. It’s all God’s fault. Why would He make an eagle with webbed feet? If I starve to death, God will have only himself to blame. I do my part - why doesn’t He do His?
The ducks all want to help me. But how can they? What does a duck know about an eagle’s problems? Why can’t they mind their own business? Why don’t the eagles offer to help? Someday I’ll get even with those eagles. I hate them. I’m beginning to like ducks better than I do eagles.
Being an eagle is killing me. - Not being a duck is killing me. - I don’t know what is killing me. I just know I’m dying - Help me, God. - God, help me.
Guess what, God. - I am a duck... Whether I like it or not - I’m a duck. (Why didn't you tell me?) I’ve forgotten how to act. Show me, God, how to be a duck. Help me. Help me to be a good duck...
Ducks are the best people in the world. - I love ducks. - I’m grateful to be a duck.
© by John Foster, USA
|Monday, October 15th, 2018|
|Built Of Something Different
Some of us are built of something different. Some of us need to be uprooted in order to grow. We have to deliberately let go of everything that grounds us, that shelters us, that defines and confines what’s real. Some of us have to burn, to break, to jump, to implode – because in that moment of disorientation, disintegration, disconcertion we completely rediscover ourselves. Freed from the shackles of what we claim for comfort and from the perceptions that keep things safely the same, we can restructure ourselves in new and unforeseen ways. From scattered dust, we are reborn as the creators of ourselves, tackling lifetimes of learning and transmuting ages of pain in a few short spins of the sun.
Some of us are born to seek, to find the truth, to become lucid dreamers, to know our strength; and so we are also built to withstand the pressure of being shaken, thrown, humbled, and undone. We are often born into adversity, into challenging places and times, or to circumstances that place us outside of the box so we can learn courage and develop the strength we’ll need for the unravelings to come.
We are the outcasts and the loners, the awkward, eccentric, and nonconformists. We question the norm, challenge the status quo, look for the underlying reasons, and seek the truth; and so we find it hard to settle in to standard roles or to accept antiquated beliefs. Often, we are mocked, ridiculed, judged, and abandoned by our society as we work behind the scenes to heal the very types of pain we have attracted. Other times, we act as human catalysts, shocking and mesmerizing our peers with new worlds and foreign ideas from the start.
To the innocent observer, we may appear to be broken, adrift, without structure or purpose, lonely, or lost – but we know our personal irony is that our wholeness, our purpose, our direction, and our connections come from accepting all of the above. It is our wildness that makes us grounded, our freedom that gives us purpose, and our brokenness that gives us strength. We seek and we find the truth of our souls, accepting both the shadow and the light; and we tease that truth from others simply by embracing it within ourselves.
It might seem unfair to those we must leave behind each time our hearts break open, minds rewire, and worlds turn, but deep inside we know that it’s all a part of the plan. In our hearts we know that our own courage, struggle, and growth frees others to question, seek, and grow.
We are made of something different, and so we are hard to hold on to. We expect more, we dig deeper, we expose all, and we answer only to our own souls. We may be difficult to catalogue, to discipline, to contain – but if we choose to dance with you for even a short while, it’s almost certain that we will dance with a sort of sincerity, passion, and purpose that will leave us both completely changed.
© 2018 Cristen Rodgers
|Sunday, October 14th, 2018|
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the process of clearing our minds of distraction so that we might integrate our consciousness, realize our connectedness, and embrace our completeness.
In meditation, we cultivate inner silence until we reveal within us a symphony of subtler sounds - the soft sound of our whispering spirit, the quiet hum of our heart’s healing power, and the sacred song of our communion with the Divine. Masked within their melody is the secret to endless love, peace, and personal bliss; and it waits only for us to quiet the roar of our minds and emotions long enough that we might hear it.
Unlike many other activities and practices that we engage in, meditation doesn’t accomplish its objective through the use of force but through flexibility and flow. When we meditate, we simply sit with our thoughts, feelings, and energy and observe their transient nature. We allow them to arise naturally without following or engaging them. In doing this, we begin to see that whatever flows in will also flow back out. We come to understand that our thoughts and feelings are like fleeting inner breezes that aren’t meant to be held – when we stop trying to grasp them, they have a beautiful way of gently touching our consciousness just long enough to inspire us before quickly passing away again.
This realization acts as a catalyst for spiritual development and personal peace – it shows us that our internal chatter is only as important as we believe it to be. In our everyday lives, our minds and emotions tend to adorn themselves in a false sense of significance and we respond by following at their heels as if they were royalty, heeding their every command. In meditation, we strip away their grandiose garbs and declare our independence, taking back control from these false masters.
In the space that’s left behind after clearing away that mental clutter, we find the essence of who and what we really are. While we are wrapped up in our thoughts and the hustle of our daily lives, we tend to divide ourselves into these little bits and pieces by thinking of ourselves as bodies with minds that contain souls. In meditation, as we allow our thoughts to naturally dissolve, so also do those dividing lines. And without those lines of separation, the truth reveals itself – the truth that we are but individual waves rising up out of the infinite ocean of the Divine. We are in no way separate from God or from one another; nor is there any real division between the various aspects of ourselves.
As we reacquaint ourselves with this important truth, our awareness begins to expand farther and farther outwards until it escapes even the confines of our body and moves into and through every stone of the earth and every star in the galaxy – we begin to see the whole picture of who we truly are beyond the tiny frame that our minds keep us focused on. In this way, meditation is like stepping through the doorway between the flesh and the spirit only to discover that the door was never real to begin with.
This awareness acts as a warm light that dissipates the fog of our deepest fears. It liberates us from the inside out, giving us the courage to give and receive love and to fully embrace our most authentic nature, thus unlocking our highest potential.
Though at first invisible, the benefits of meditation quickly begin to manifest both in our physical bodies and throughout our material lives. Rather than being lost in the memories of yesterday and our plans for tomorrow, meditation brings our focus back to the present moment. By being fully present in the moment at hand, we can hear and respond to the messages that our bodies are sending us and we can more readily identify and correct habits of thought and emotion. Through these changes, we experience reduced levels of stress, we are inspired towards healthier choices, and we remain more centered in our own energy, giving us an overall sense of greater wellbeing physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
How to Meditate
In many ways, meditation is a lot like learning how to walk. We have to work at it and be patient with ourselves as our muscles and flexibility slowly start to match our devotion and desire. Though we’re often eager to get from here to there, we can’t just decide one day that we want to walk and suddenly we are completely mobile.
In this modern world of speed, convenience, and competition, we can easily thwart our early attempts at meditating by expecting it to happen at a certain pace or by focusing on some end goal or level of mastery. Like spiritual development in general, each person’s journey is unique and every step along the way is particularly suited to them alone. For this reason, there is no universal standard for how we each should progress – and the learning happens in stages, so even after achieving what one might consider mastery, we will cycle back around to each stage again and again, each time reaching some new and deeper understanding.
With consideration for these insights, you may find the following brief introduction to the practice a useful reference if you are a beginner.
- The first step is to find a place where you will be alone and undisturbed. Once you have found this place and are settled, begin with some light stretches to loosen up your muscles. As your body begins to relax, move into a position that is comfortable but that also keeps oxygen and blood flowing freely and maintains a healthy posture.
- Many people suggest grounding yourself before beginning, though this is entirely up to you and how you wish to proceed. Grounding is a way of re-centering yourself, of ensuring that you are present in the moment and in your own energy, and strengthening your ties to this state. One of the simplest ways to ground yourself is to focus your attention on two experiences from each of your senses – two smells, two sights, two tastes, etc.
- Once in position (and grounded if you choose), begin by focusing exclusively on your breath. As you do this, allow your mind to release its build up. Don’t fight against your thoughts; just stop following them. Let them come and go without giving them any energy or attention.
- Instead of thinking about the moment that you are in; try to feel it. Feel your body; feel the earth beneath your body. Feel the sky and the stars above your head. Use your true awareness; step into the space behind your thoughts. The more that you allow yourself to let go of the parameters of the mind, the farther your attention may span and the more connected you will begin to feel. This place of connection is the heart of God. Allow yourself to fall into the arms of its peace. Notice how it is still and yet also brimming with energy; this is the field of possibility. Allow yourself to become comfortable in this place of potential because it is the birthplace of all things.
Just like learning to walk, the first steps can be shaky and we may even fall flat on our faces a few times; but the learning experience itself is an exciting adventure to be enjoyed, not just endured. Try not to put expectations or standards on yourself; remember that the purpose is the experience itself.
Though this and many other similar articles list particular steps to take while meditating, it’s important to understand that meditation isn’t a set of actions; it’s a personal practice. Meditation is something that can take place while we are sitting, standing, walking, laying down, on the job, or in a quiet retreat. To meditate is to reach a place of inner stillness, to center ourselves in spirit, and to direct our awareness to the Ultimate Source, the Divine, or God. The steps that are listed here and are so frequently depicted in media are meant to aid in this process and are not necessary in and of themselves. Meditation isn’t about the maneuvers but about the magic. It’s not about the position as much as the promise; and it’s less about the context than the sense of connection.
The rules for meditating are few and they are flexible, as with any spiritual practice, though I do have one reminder that I hope you carry with you: you will never know what reality actually looks like until you shift your focus from inside to outside of the frame - and the more often you look beyond it, the more awe, wonder, magic, and pure passion you will find that you can carry with you through your daily life.
© 2015 Cristen Rodgers
|Saturday, October 13th, 2018|
|The 10 "Demandments"
(Ten rules to guarantee unhappiness in a relationship.)
Dr. Richard Lucas
1. Thou shalt make me happy and meet all of my needs.
2. Thou shalt not have any interests other than me.
3. Thou shalt know what I want and what I feel without me telling you.
4. Thou shalt return every sacrifice of mine with an equal or greater sacrifice.
5. Thou shalt protect me and shield me from any anxiety, fear, worry, hurt, discomfort or any pain.
6. Thou shalt give me my sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
7. Thou shalt be grateful for everything I do.
8. Thou shalt not be critical of me, show anger toward me, or otherwise disapprove of anything I do.
9. Thou shalt be so loving and caring that I shall never need to take risks or be vulnerable in any way.
10. Thou shalt love me with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and thy whole mind - even if I don't love myself.
|Thursday, October 11th, 2018|
|The Paradox of the Alcoholic
By Austin Ripley
The alcoholic, of course, is many things, as we all know. He is the world’s supreme paradox. He drinks, not because he would, but because he must. He does not drink for pleasure, he drinks for pain, yet he drinks. He will mortgage the wealth of the future to pay off the debts of the past so that he may drink up the non-existent present.
He is the only one in nature, I think, who seeks stimulation in a sedative, only to find that it acts upon his nerves as excited misery. He seeks to inflate his puny little ego in the provocative wine of Bacchus and succeeds in shriveling his soul in the bitter gall of remorse.
He escapes desperately to free himself from the facts of reality and runs headlong into the prison of fantasy. Success is just as fatal as failure to the alcoholic. He will drink with exhilaration to success and to sadness and misfortune. He drinks to get high in the evening, knowing how low he will be in the morning.
When the alcoholic smilingly gets to the first drink, he can get, he is transported to heaven and when he is unable to get the last drink he can pour, he is transported to hell. The alcoholic, like most people, thrills to the beauty of life, and then how frequently he seeks the ugliness of existence. When he is sober he craves to be drunk. When he is drunk, he prays to be sober. Such is the weird paradox of the alcoholic, that the only way in which he can feel better is to drink that which makes him feel worse.
He starts out on his drinking, no matter who he is, with all the dignity of a king, and winds up his drinking like a clown. So he goes his incredible, incomprehensible, paradoxical way, leaving in his wake his human wreckage, that which he does cherish most. Down the road of alcoholic oblivion he stumbles and staggers, until he wither finds himself at the door of AA or death intervenes.
|Wednesday, October 10th, 2018|
|In Defense of Mystery
God, by definition, is ineffable. Right off the top, that already tells us that everything we can imaginatively picture or rationally say about God is inadequate.
There’s a Christian dogma to that effect. In 1215, the church defined dogmatically that all our concepts and language about God are more inaccurate than accurate, more inadequate than adequate, and speak more about how God is different from us than similar.
In the light that, what’s to be said about those things within our faith that we can’t picture or explain rationally? Happily, we should state precisely that they are beyond us, mysteries, wondrous realities that make God worth believing in.
We need to be humble about language. All talk of the sacred is limited by our imaginations and our language. We are finite creatures trying to picture and talk about the infinite; an impossible task, by definition. We have no way of picturing the infinite or of adequately speaking about it. The finite mind runs out of room at a certain point; for example, “What’s the highest number that can be thought of?” The infinite can’t be conceived, and God is infinite.
Knowing that, doesn’t weaken my faith: I believe deeply in the reality behind our religious language, namely, the existence of a Trinitarian God, the goodness of that God, the divinity of Christ, the need for salvation through divine sacrifice, the fact of the resurrection, and the promise of God as the only real basis for hope, among many other things.
But I’m under no illusion that our language about those realities (including the language of scripture, the creeds, and the dogmas of the church) is meant to be taken literally. Rather that language puts me in touch with those realities, it lays out some boundaries within which I should stay if I don’t want to stray from the truth, and it stretches my intellect and heart beyond their normal resting places; but it doesn’t give me video-taped images or rational pictures of the reality of God or of spirit.
I’m well advised not to take that language too literally, even as I’m equally well advised not to ever throw it away. It’s inadequate, but it’s all we have.
Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI
|Tuesday, October 9th, 2018|
Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand,
Blessed, who know my ears today
Must strain to catch the things they say,
Blessed are they who seem to know
My eyes are dim and my mind is slow,
Blessed are they who looked away,
I spilled my tea on the cloth that day!
Blessed are they who, with cheery smile,
Stopped to chat for a little while,
Blessed are they who know the way
To bring back memories of yesterday,
Blessed are they who never say,
"You've told that story twice today!"
Blessed are they who make it known
That I'm loved, respected and not alone,
And blessed are they who will ease the days
Of my journey home, in loving ways
By Elizabeth Clark and Inspiration Daily
|Monday, October 8th, 2018|
A man was exploring caves by the Seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!
Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person. There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.
|Sunday, October 7th, 2018|
|Prayer in Time of Need
Every day I need you, Lord, but today especially. I need some extra strength to face whatever is to come. This day more than any other day I need to feel you near me to strengthen me and give me courage and to help me to overcome my fear. I cannot meet the challenge of the hour alone. I need you to sustain me in all that life may bring. Dear Lord, I open my hands to your receive your grace. Help me to be aware of your hand at work in me today and to feel your presence in me and around me always.
|Saturday, October 6th, 2018|
|Helping One Another
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ahhh. Words of wisdom. I recently had the privilege to lead a group of walkers to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes, a cause very dear to my heart as my 12-year old son battles it daily. Our team was made of mostly of people I did not even know.
Over the course of two months, our team grew and raised money. We got publicity and we made an impact. I began to receive donations in the mail to further our cause. There were some from people I have never met and probably never will. There were checks that were generous beyond my wildest expectations from people I did know. The momentum we gained was substantial and what began as 'something good to do' (a SHOULD -- 'I should do this,') ended up becoming a powerful mission for me.
There is an explosive leap of growth that occurs when one gives -- whether it be in time, energy or money.
My daughter's 5th grade class has begun to share their time once a month with some elderly folks at a nearby assisted living home. They load up on the bus and go spend time with their 'buddy' -- each resident there is paired with a child. My daughter interviews Ruby each time and learns about her life -- her favorite food being chocolate, how she has no children, where she grew up, what she believes, etc. A really beautiful bond is forming and both parties are blessed from this small gift of kindness. I am grateful my daughter is learning to freely give at an early age.
Recently, the minister at the church where I am a member, challenged the congregation to tithe for at least one month. He asked us to do this on faith. Just give. He gave us (with permission from his board) a 'money-back guarantee' if we did not see more of God's blessings in our life by the end of the month.
It was pretty bold. Pretty unheard of, actually. I was definitely impressed and, of course, had to take the challenge. It was scary, believe me, but I did have faith. I am pleased to tell you that the exact dollar amount I gave for THAT month is the same amount of money I will now receive EACH month from a new income stream. The giver is blessed.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend says that, "The essence of volunteerism is not in giving part of a surplus one doesn't need, but giving part of one's self. Such giving is more than a duty of the heart, but a way people help themselves by satisfying the deeper spiritual needs that represent the best in us."
What can you do to give? Can you share your time? Resources? Expertise? Compassion? Prayers? Money? Past experiences? Think about it. You have gifts and talents. How can you bless the lives of others?
I encourage you to find a way to share yourself. NOW is the perfect time. Don't wait. You will bless the lives of others. And, it is in the giving that the gift is gained for all.
|Friday, October 5th, 2018|
|Knowing What To Do
Work, and thou wilt bless the day
Ere the toil to done;
They that work not, can not pray.
Can not feel the sun.
- John Sullivan Dwight
Confusion is often a cop-out. Usually we know very well what needs to be done about our lives, and we even know how to do it. As they say, "Working a program is simple . . . but it ain't easy." If we are honest, we have to admit that "What am I supposed to do?" isn't the real question at all.
Any young athlete knows how to work a program: practice times are not to be missed, afterschool entertainments are given up, and new techniques are drilled again and again until they are natural. Students, too, work their program by sitting down with their books no matter how they feel. They practice good study habits until they have good study habits.
Achieving a new way of life consists of conscientiously repeating positive actions -- nothing confusing or mysterious about it. We must be willing to exercise the discipline if we want to reap the rewards of a healthy lifestyle.
Today, I will welcome the patterns that lead to success.
From “Days of Healing Days of Joy” by Earnie Larsen and Carol Larsen Hegarty
|Thursday, October 4th, 2018|
Affected by a Loved One’s Addiction? “Prodependence” is a Must Read – Scott Brassart
October 3, 2018Recovery
Dr. Robert Weiss is widely known for his therapeutic work and his books about addiction, in particular sex, porn, and love addiction. His latest book, Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency, is an extension of these efforts, focusing on the ways in which therapists (and the public) view and treat not just addicts, but spouses and family members of addicts.
For more than three decades, the primary treatment and recovery model for loved ones of addicts has been codependence, which typically labels efforts to help an addicted or otherwise struggling loved one as enmeshed and enabling. Then, the caregiving family member is identified as codependent and told that he or she needs to “detach with love” or nothing will ever get better.
To a person who loves and cares for an addict, the codependence model feels like they’re being blamed and shamed for someone else’s problem. And that doesn’t make a lot of sense to them.
With Prodependence, Dr. Weiss steers us in a new direction—celebrating rather than denigrating the desire to stay connected with and to care for a struggling loved one, even in the face of addiction. Weiss asks: “If I love someone with a physical illness or a disability by helping that person and the rest of my family, even to my detriment, I’m a saint. But if I love and care for an addict in the same way, I am called out as enmeshed, enabling, controlling, and codependent. Why is there a difference?”
That seems like a reasonable question, to which there is no real answer.
To remedy the situation, Dr. Weiss suggests a new model, which he calls prodependence. About this approach, he says, “To treat loved ones of addicts using prodependence, we need not find that something is ‘wrong with them.’ We can simply acknowledge the trauma and inherent dysfunction that occurs when living in close relationship with an addict, and then we can address that in the healthiest, least shaming way.”
Interesting, Dr. Weiss’s approach to treatment, in terms of the work that loved ones of addicts need to do, is similar to the work done in codependency treatment—an improved focus on self-care and setting better boundaries with the addict (and others). The difference is in how therapists and caregiving loved ones think about and talk about the situation.
Codependence imposes a pseudo-pathology that blames and shames the caregiving loved one; prodependence understands the caregiving loved one is in the midst of an ongoing crisis and doing the best that he or she can, given the circumstances.
Prodependence says that loving and caring for an addict is not a pathological behavior, even if that love and care occasionally veers off course into enmeshment and enabling. Rather than pathologizing loved ones of addicts, prodependence says we should applaud them for their efforts while helping them love and care for the addict in ways that are less stressful to them and more helpful to the addict and his or her recovery.
This is a refreshing approach. Any person who has ever been labeled as codependent and told that he or she needs to detach with love knows how little sense that label and that suggestion make. As human beings, we can’t walk away from a person we love any more than we can stop breathing. It’s just not natural. Do we sometimes need to take better care of ourselves while we help our addicted loved one? Almost certainly. Would setting and maintaining better boundaries with the addict be helpful to us and to the addict and his or her recovery? Without doubt. But that doesn’t mean we need to walk away and leave the addict to sink or swim without us.
Prodependence recognizes and accepts (and even celebrates) these facts. In so doing, it presents an evolved prism through which therapists and caregiving loved ones can examine, evaluate, and improve not just relationships affected by addiction, but relationships in general.
Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency is recommended (maybe even required) reading for all recovering addicts, all spouses and family members of addicts, and all therapists who work with addicts and family members of addicts.
|Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018|
“If you can’t be find anything to be thankful for Today then go play in the freeway.
Of course, that would be stupid but no more than not being thankful.” --E.B. Bull
1: the act of giving thanks
2: a prayer expressing gratitude
3: a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness
noun pl \ˈthaŋ(k)s\
1: kindly or grateful thoughts :
2: an expression of gratitude —often used in an utterance containing no verb and serving as a courteous and somewhat informal expression of gratitude
What giving of thanks is not:
1: Complaining about the weather (or anything else) and then saying “This is the day the Lord has made, I will give thanks.” (and then keep complaining).
2: I’m thankful Lord, but…
3: God never did that for me…
4: Thankful, what have I got to be thankful about?
5: Oh sure if God blessed me the way he does so and so it would be easy to be thankful.
6: Oh! All Right! Thanks! Now, are you happy?
Copyright 2011 Robert A. Moody
|Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018|
|I Asked God ...
I asked God to take away my addiction, God said, No. It is not for me to take from you. it is for you to give up one day at a time.
I asked God to take away my pain. God said, no. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. God said, no. Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience. God said, no. Patience is a by-produce of tribulations, it isn't granted, it is earned
I asked God to give me happiness, god said, no. I give you blessings, happiness is up to you
I asked God to make me grow spiritually. God said, no. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. God said, no. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things
I asked god to help me love others, as much as he loves me. God said... ahhhh, finally you have the idea
I asked God why I was receiving all of these benefits. My child, simply because I love you.
THIS DAY IS YOURS DON'T THROW IT AWAY
May God Bless You,
"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world"
|Monday, October 1st, 2018|
Today I am grateful for 42 years Sober! Thank you, God!!!
I believe the one important imperative to happy, permanent, effective sobriety for any A.A. member is the simple virtue of gratitude. Gratitude is the memory of the heart – that quality which enables a man to double his Fortune by sharing it with his brother. It is the golden tray on which we give to man the things we have received from God.
The measure of a good A.A. lies not in what he knows but what he does. Not in how he thinks, but how he feels. The assessment of a good A.A. is made not in the brilliance of his mind, but in the charity of his heart. His stature in not gauged by how high he will reach to receive, but how low he will stoop to serve.
A good A.A. is thankful not only for what he has got, but he is grateful for what he can give. He strives not for cleverness but for wisdom. He would rather be right than popular. A good A.A. uses not the toughness of his mind but the gentleness of his touch in bringing hope to the sick alcoholic. For he knows that if ever the lamp of his charity burns dim, the light of another alcoholic may go out forever.
We who, when we came into A.A., not trusted by man in the most trivial affairs of life, now are trusted by God in one of the most important missions on earth – trusted by Him to preserve and pass on this mighty miracle of sobriety to the alcoholic who still suffers.
By Austin Ripley
|Sunday, September 30th, 2018|
|Amazing Grace For The Alcoholic
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
It saved a drunk like me.
I was once lost, but now I'm found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Twas Grace that brought sobriety,
Twelve Steps that I could use.
Restored my life to sanity,
With freedom from the booze.
In fellowship with A.A. friends,
I found my rightful place.
A way of life that never ends,
A gift that came from Grace.
If I could live ten thousand years,
Through times of change and strife.
I'd trust God's Grace in facing fears,
For that redeemed my life.
Adapted by Mel B.