Sadness and Grief are My Current Learning Platform

3183573084_682ef28858_z“If prayer is the attempt to understand God, then grieving is the deepest form of prayer, rising from the body and soul and mind, asking God and really and truly wanting to know, no matter what the answer: Who are you? Why did you create a world with pain? Why is life this way? What are you? Because you are not what I thought you were.

Grieving, at its deepest level, is to acknowledge that creation can be cruel and that people suffer. To look at this truth, to allow yourself to feel it, you are forced to consider the nature of this world and this existence. you ask how this can be and who set this up and why this happens. To grieve is to ask God the hardest questions. To grieve is to ask who God really is. It’s to change your perspective on all other human beings and their relationships to one another and to you and your place in this world. To grieve is to start over, to be re-created.

Why suffering? Why grief? And why grief and God?

I don’t know. I’m not sure anyone does.” ~ Kerry Egan, Fumbling

Thanksgiving, 2014 will be my 38th year of addiction recovery. Every anniversary I seem to go through a period of growth. This year I seem to be stuck in sadness/mourning. I don’t know yet why I am feeling these feelings. It has been three weeks so far that the feelings wash over me. I stay in the feelings because I know that if I don’t I won’t get to move through the learning. More will be revealed when I am ready to accept the new reality.

A possible solution from Minddeep: “Another Invitation to Love“:

“Grief as I felt it this afternoon was of the more subtle kind. Nobody had died. Instead, I had been reminded of a painful bond, a loss not clearly visible to the outside world, but very real nevertheless. Heart aching still, I got to see up close again, the suffering that comes when love gets thrown back onto itself, with no one to respond at the other end. This is where mindfulness practice is put to the test. Mindfulness helps one to not wallow in self-pity and despair. Instead, one can investigate the full impact of hanging on to the idea of love on one’s own terms. One can feel the physical pain from grasping, and make the connection with ancient wisdom.

Every time I fall into that place, I feel compelled to revisit Ayya Khema’s Metta talk. And each time, I come up with another treasure.

“There are six billion of us, so why diminish ourselves to one, two, or three? And not only that, the whole problem lies in the fact that because it is attachment, we’ve got to *keep* those one, two, or three in order to experience any kind of love. We are afraid to lose them: to lose them through death, through change of mind, to leaving home, to whatever change happens. And that fear discolors our love to the point where it can no longer be pure, because it is hanging on.” “Grief begs us to listen to the suffering within, and to slowly let go of the cause. Life is too short to waste one more moment in self-inflicted misery. True love is limitless and independent of external conditions.”

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Addiction Treatment is Mainly About Maturity Issues

Addiction treatment by the medical model means that an addict is “sick” and that someone else knows how to get that addict “well”. In reality, each person has a part of themselves that is perfect and was given to them at birth.

The basic problem with the medical model of addiction recovery is that the medical field calls someone “well” by sending them to take classes about symptoms and this determines the level of “help” that the “well” person will be able to give.

The reality of any emotional/mental help is that the healer can’t help beyond his/her level of recovery. We are all wounded healers but growth only happens after surrender to the need for recovery.

What other field of medicine focuses mainly or only on the symptoms? I mean, where is the cure? Certainly a label can help by identifying what information is needed to lead to a cure. But how does telling someone that they are in denial help that person to understand that their thinking is faulty?

Denial is not about lying but about someone not knowing the truth. Isn’t it more helpful to say that an addict is someone using a learned pattern of behavior to deal with uncomfortable feelings? If there are problems because of the addiction, then the learned pattern has to be given up and a new pattern of behavior has to be chosen for the energy used to be a positive for the addict.

In other words, some of the main issues in addiction treatment are maturity issues. The age at which a person started drinking, using, eating, buying, being overpowering to others, using sex, etc. is the emotional age he/she still is. If he/she started at age 15, which is pretty normal, then he/she is age 14 emotionally.

So recovery is generally about growing up. Another main issue of why people are addictive is to continue to live life in their head or in their imagination. No one knows reality–we only have a perception of reality.

As the hero in 10 Million Ways to Die says, “I never knew that I lived in a world that I hadn’t created.” That is why the addict experiences such anger at having to give up the addiction. The addict believes that his/her using only affects him/her and is no one else’s business. In reality, the addiction is affecting everyone in the addict’s life.

In the self-discovery model of group healing, everyone in the group is a student. The sharing of power in relationships defines the health of the relationship. No hierarchy is needed when people enter groups to help each other. The leadership of the group can be shared by all on a rotation basis.

The group members in the self-discovery group must agree to follow guidelines that the group chooses. The main goal of the group should be short-term with the idea of splitting up to form new groups. Some people may choose to recycle–repeat the same group–before branching out to their own group. After 2-3 times recycling, the other group members may help with the formation of new group to a group member who needs more support.

The Mental Health Institute claims 20% of the population suffers from mental illness. These people generally can benefit from mental health counseling. In America, with all our wealth, many of these poor souls wander our streets as the homeless. They have no medical insurance so mental health care is a sometime thing. Since most of the population isn’t mentally ill, education groups can be a great source of comfort and growth for those not needing therapy.

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