This newsletter goes out every other Wednesday. Being gone on vacation last week, I spent hours yesterday crafting my next one. When I went to “save” it, it went away. Lost. Gone. Finito. Aaarrgghh!
But hey, a chance to explore the spiritual topic I had written about. Which was on the holographic nature of the Universe meaning that life is a mirror showing me my “stuff”. So here’s my chance to check my levels of patience. 🙂 The whole essay is not coming back, or let’s say only in parts. It’s like it flees my brain once it’s done, but I’ll try again.
I wanted to weigh in one more time on the whole AA/spirituality topic. Bill White and Ernie Kurtz-AA historians and researchers-had written a response posted here.
There are themes I keep returning to, and here’s a couple. Information becomes knowledge through experience which eventually distilled down becomes wisdom. I took my first drink at age 10, some 51 years ago. These years allowed my research to be thorough. In my study of treatment, some 18 years in the field, working with thousands of those struggling, I heard again and again that 12 Step was not for everybody and I saw the fact of that. What I would propose is that the underlying principles of 12 Step are wonderfully thought out, simple and necessary for recovery from substance use disorder and pert near anything else.
Outer forms, the external, are not so important. It’s the spirit of things that really matter and that is deeply true for recovery. We can and do -all of us-sometimes- “fake it ’til we make it” -but ultimately, it’s the Spirit that bring results.
The distilled wisdom of 12 Step, the spirit so essential, I state as:
|Get honest||Truth telling|
|Clean out the wreckage of the past||Amend|
|Help someone else||Service|
It’s essential to keep it simple. Brains love to complicate, in this culture especially and recovery can be hard but is simple. In fact, life is simple. There’s a true difference: Complicated vs Hard. –Those aren’t the same things.
Honest, Open, Willing are challenges that grow our character and resilience, moving us closer to truth and reality, grounding us in something universal. Thus lies the doorway to spiritual connection.
There are many other practical suggestions that facilitate growth of recovery capital. Looking after ourselves with nutrition, exercise, play, mind work, body work, creative endeavors and you-name-it– all contribute to a safety net of recovery. Whatever strengthens the immune systems of our life builds safety.
I’ll end this with a link to Bill W’s most spiritual stance on AA critics: “Our critics can be our benefactors”
“As a society we must never become so vain as to suppose that we have been the authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect that each of AA’s principles, every one of them, have been borrowed from ancient sources.”