Sunday, June 26, 2016

Addiction - Those that shall be last shall be first

Addiction is not weakness, but it is helplessness. Addiction is not a lack of willpower; it is a powerlessness over the substance in question. (Susan Cheever, “Desire.”)

I remember once saying to a colleague, "One day at a time", to which he replied, "You do understand that this is the motto of Alcoholics Anonymous." Well, the more power to them; looks like they have figured out an important spiritual insight. Thinking about it, Alcoholics Anonymous is really the holy fellowship; people of good intend are coming together with the intend to raise each other up. For many it is the start of a spiritual journey they never experienced before.

Susan Cheever states that a defining characteristics of addiction is helplessness. Alcoholics Anonymous first motto of the twelve step program is that an addict is helpless. Maybe that admission is helpful to get the addicted started on the road to recovery but eventually nothing could be further from the truth. The whole point of a spiritual path is to realize that we very much have the power to set ourselves free. We just have to figure out how.

It is a huge step forward to drop all the guilt. A robot abuses the substance, or indulges in the questionable behavior. We just have to find the spiritual gem beneath. Somehow we run into a wall again and again, and imply can't find the door to proceed. Perhaps there is something that we have not figured out about our past. We search our memory for key moments of abuse or conflicts. We wake up to conflicting personality traits and programs that are running amok inside. One day it simply clicks and we discover the problem and start working towards the solution.

With some homework, hard work and a spiritual mission everyone can turn the ship around. Who knows, perhaps awakening starts just because we have no alternative. Isn't it written in Matthew 20:16 , "those who will be last shall be first, and those who are first shall be last?" An addiction simply forces us to wake up and smell the coffee. The ordinary folks have a choice, they can continue their lives full of conflicts and inconsistency, but you can't. This depressing point in your life might just be the beginning of a magnificent discovery of your SELF.

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