Healing the Soul

Reprinted from 12/15/2010.

Most of the sites listed under alcohol, drug addiction are from treatment centers. I believe that treatment centers as well as twelve step groups can help addicts.

My problem with treatment centers is the cost and the medical model they use which means someone has to be “sick”. I believe in the self-discovery model which is the reason I wrote the Changemaker Test. Anyone with compassion can take the Changemaker Test and get a group together and begin learning about themselves.

Of course, I also believe that the AA method of tearing someone down in order to rebuild them loses too many new addicts. It works for the military because the recruits have to stay or go to jail for desertion. Having been sober for 28 years and having been a substance abuse counselor who worked in profit and non-profit centers gives me a unique viewpoint. Someone with an experience is never at the mercy of someone with an argument.

How do you know that someone–regardless of age–is spiritual? Certainly not because they say they are. The best evaluation is to see the fruits of the Spirit manifested by them. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, kindness, self-control, patience, faithfulness, goodness, longsuffering and gentleness as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

When You Find the Buddha in the Middle of the Road–Kill Him is the wise title of a good book by Sidney Kopp. No one knows what is better for anyone than that person. We each have our own answers. Even those of us trained in counseling techniques can only see what is revealed. Tendencies may be seen and certainly personality indicators will be there. But the work of change is a person’s individual choice.

The opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite is indifference. When you no longer have feelings for someone, you have no reaction to them. When you feel hate, there is still emotion for that person there. This is the reason abusers can hold on to the abused. Anger may be covering hurt or feelings of entitlement.

Generally, unless the abuser has a spiritual experience, the abused must move either emotionally and/or physically away from the abuser. No real reform comes except from a contrite heart. Separation while recovery is taking place can bring quicker results as this leaves both parties more opportunity for self-reflection.

Photo credit.


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