After all these years I can say that I know what I have been searching for since I was a child. I have been searching for the experience of knowing Who I Really Am.
All my life I have been trying to figure this out. Who am I? What am I? Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing? Is there any reason for what I am doing? Does anybody care? Is there any outcome, other than the doing of it? What is the point of life?
These are the questions that plagued me as I tried to make some sense out of all this. There is a possibility that they have been plaguing you, too. If they have, you have come to the right place.
The Holy Experience brings us the answers to those questions. The Holy Experience is the answer. The Holy Experience is when you know the difference between Divinity and Humanity — and when that difference disappears.
Whoa! Did you hear that? The Holy Experience is when you know the difference between Divinity and Humanity — and when that difference disappears.
Whew! That was a mouthful.
Divinity and Humanity can become One in your experience, and when that occurs you have entered the Holy Moment. You cannot enter this Moment, however, until you know the difference between Divinity and Humanity—and why it exists.
So let’s explore that, shall we?
For me, the difference between Divinity and Humanity is that Divinity seeks only to distribute, and Humanity seeks only to gather. That is not the only difference, of course, but it is a milestone difference. It is a humongous difference. So let’s not gloss over it. Let’s not read past it and move on, without really grasping its implication. Let’s state it again. I said…
The difference between Divinity and Humanity is that Divinity seeks only to distribute, and Humanity seeks only to gather.
Divinity and Humanity can become One in your experience, and when that occurs you have entered the Holy Moment. You cannot enter this Moment, however, until you know the difference between Divinity and Humanity—and why it exists.
Divinity understands that it is only through the distribution OF Itself, the giving away OF Itself, that it can be magnified and glorified. Humanity believes that it is only through the gathering TO itself, the bringing TO itself, that it can be magnified and glorified.
So there you have it. Giver and Gatherer. That’s the difference. It is an astonishing difference. It is an exact opposite. That is no small distinction. Yet when it is deeply understood (not simply casually comprehended), everything becomes wonderfully clear at last, and the chasm between the two may finally be closed.
What God Wants is not unimportant information. Millions of people all over the world have been living their lives based on the information they have been given about What God Wants, and if the world’s prior information on this topic is inaccurate, the world could be in big trouble.
The world’s prior information on this topic is inaccurate.
The world is in big trouble.
The world does not have to be in big trouble. It is because it chooses to be. Its people could make a different choice.
I think that very soon they will. I think people have had enough. They’ve had enough of the violence and the terror and the killing. They’ve had enough of the bickering and the quarreling and the fighting that leads to it.
They’ve had enough of their own lives not working, of seeing their own relationships falling apart, of watching their own careers crumble, of having their own dreams dissolve and disappear.
They’ve had enough of everything being such a struggle in our world, with every day filling itself with adversity and difficulty all over the globe. They’ve had enough of human society taking two steps forward and one step back, constantly, constantly, constantly trudging into the wind.
The human race is losing patience with itself. People everywhere are saying, “There’s got to be another way.” And we’re becoming more and more clear that there is. Humanity’s problem, as it seeks to find that other way, is that people simply do not know What God Wants. They think that they do. Billions think that they do. But they do not.
If you find that hard to believe, consider this: If humanity does understand What God Wants, and if the present world situation is the best that humanity can do after all these years with that information, how much hope can there be for a brighter tomorrow?
If we really know everything that it is truly important to know about God—and if all that has been revealed, all that has been taught, all that has been said and sung about God has brought humanity to this, then what good has all of it been?
Yet if there is something new for us to learn, something more for us to understand about God, then it’s still possible for the human condition to change. Hope returns. Not hope for something better in the Hereafter, when life as we’ve known it on the earth has been destroyed, but hope for something better right here right now, before everything has been destroyed.
That hope cannot be realized, however, until some very important questions are asked and answered.
Is it true that humanity is utterly stubborn, completely unwilling and absolutely unable to overcome its most primitive instincts? Or is it possible that there is still some teaching left to be done, some data still missing, some important aspect of God and Life still not understood?
Could it be that the problem is not with the receivers of the information, but with the information itself?
Could it be that humanity’s understanding of God and of Life is not so much “wrong” as it is simply incomplete?
Finally, is it time for humanity to throw open the door to inquiry about God in a new way?
For far too long the world’s discussion about God has been moving in only one direction, led in the main by those who say that we understand all there is that’s really important for us to understand about God, and who assert that humanity’s problems are not caused by human beings who fail to understand, but by human beings who fail to act on their understanding.
This is a popular notion, but it’s a misconception. Just the opposite has been true. It has been people who did act on what they understood about God who have caused many of our biggest problems.
These are people who thought they knew What God Wants.
This is Part II of an extended series of headline stories in The Global Conversation.
It’s people who thought they knew What God Wants who created the 200 years of the Christian Crusades and the horrors of the Inquisition, seeking to win the world for Christianity.
It’s people who thought they knew What God Wants who told armies of Muslims to send marauders far and wide to conquer every land and culture and bring it under the Nation of Islam.
It’s people who thought they knew What God Wants who called themselves the Chosen People and reclaimed land they declared to be originally their own, ignoring the fact that history had caused it to be inhabited for thousands of years by others, and telling those others to now leave portions of that land, and to live when and how they are told to live, as second class citizens without equal rights in their own home.
It’s people who thought they knew What God Wants who hanged men and women in town squares, and burned others at the stake, holding up the Good Book and declaring them to be witches.
It’s people who thought they knew What God Wants who passed laws making it illegal for humans of differing races to marry, or for consenting adults to engage in certain sexual practices.
It’s people who thought they knew What God Wants who created cultural prohibitions forbidding people to sing or dance, draw pictures of any person, or play music of any kind except sacred songs.
It’s people who thought they knew What God Wants who said that it was not okay to even utter or write the name of G-D—but that it was okay to kill in G-D’s name.
Is all of this really What God Wants?
Are you sure?
It is important to be sure, because we are not talking about a small thing here.
There is much that we have been taught about What God Wants. Are these teachings accurate? We’ll begin to take a look in our next entry here.
(Our exploration of this topic continues in Part III of this extended series, coming very soon. Don’t miss a single entry. And if you wish to catch up on installments that you have missed, simply click on the word HEADLINE in the Categories list at right, then scroll down to find the column you wish to read.)
Very few people are going to believe what’s in the extended series of articles that begins today with this first entry in the headline story column at The Global Conversation.
The articles that will appear here over the next two weeks will answer the most important question in human history: What does God want?
For many people that answer will be startling.
These headline stories will be excerpted and adapted from the book What God Wants—and should, in my opinion, be the headline story every day in every major newspaper in every city the world. This news is that important.
This is because humanity’s ideas about God produce humanity’s ideas about life and about people. Dramatically different ideas about God will produce dramatically different ideas about life and about people. And if the world could use anything right now, that’s it—because nothing in our world is working.
Now I know it feels very “not okay” to some people for a spiritual messenger to talk in any way negative about life, about how things are, about what could be made better in our world, or anything that does not point directly to positivity and joy and loving solutions.
Yet one cannot discuss or explore joyful and loving solutions if one is not at least allowed to describe the problems. So we’re going to begin there, and then we’ll talk about solutions. And you’ll just have to have some patience with this if you among those who believe that “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil” is the only spiritually valid approach to life.
The problem in the world today is that none of the systems we have put into place to create a better life for us all on this planet have produced the outcome for which they were designed.
It’s worse than that. They’ve actually produced exactly the opposite.
Our political systems — created to produce safety and security for the world’s people – have produced nothing but disagreement and disarray.
Our economic systems — created to produce opportunity and sufficiency for all — have produced increasing poverty and massive economic inequality, with 85 of the world’s richest people holding more wealth than 3.5 billion…that’s half the planet’s population…combined.
Our ecological systems — created to help us produce a sustainable lifestyle — have been abused so much that they are now generating environmental disasters right and left.
Our educational systems — created to lift higher and higher the knowledge base of the planet’s population — have produced a drop in global awareness and sensitivity that each year sinks our intellectual common denominator lower and lower. We can’t even remember our own telephone numbers anymore.
Our health care systems — created in hopes of producing a good and long life for an increasingly higher percentage of people — are doing little to eliminate inequality of access to modern medicines and health care services, thus actually providing top level medical services each year to a lower and lower percentage.
Our social systems — created to produce the joy of community and harmony among a divergent population — more and more generate and even encourage discordance, disparity, prejudice, and despair…to say nothing of rampant injustice.
And, most sadly dysfunctional of all, our spiritual systems — created to produce a greater closeness to God, and so, to each other — have produced bitter righteousness, shocking intolerance, widespread anger, deep-seated hatred, and self-justified violence.
This article is Part I of an Extended Series of headline stories in The Global Conversation
We stand today on the brink of a global cultural war. The opening volleys have already been exchanged. The really major clashes, the unthinkable FutureWorld battles, may be yet to come.
Given the direction in which humanity appears to be moving, it may seem as though this larger conflict is inevitable. It isn’t. There’s something very powerful that can stop it: dramatically different ideas about God and dramatically different ideas about life and about people.
Such ideas, if accepted and adopted, will produce dramatically different ways of living and being. Values will change. Priorities will change. Power structures and power-holders will change.
Of course, as we know, change can be a dangerous thing to suggest, not only around people of power (to whom change is the ultimate threat), but also around ordinary people (for whom change is threatening simply because it leads to the unknown).
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore had it exactly right in a September, 2004 interview in The New Yorker:
“In a world of disconcerting change, when large and complex forces threaten familiar and comfortable guideposts, the natural impulse is to grab hold of the tree trunk that seems to have the deepest roots and hold on for dear life and never question the possibility that it’s not going to be the source of your salvation.”
The final part of that sentence (italics mine) tells the tale of humanity’s belief about God and life in 15 words. Mr. Gore confirms this with his next statement. “And the deepest roots,” he says, “are in philosophical and religious traditions that go way back.”
Al Gore’s insight leaves us all facing a thunderous question: Is the way forward to be found by going way back?
The answer is, no.
And while, as the former Vice President notes, we never question the possibility that our philosophical and religious traditions are not going to be the source of our salvation—presumably because we feel threatened by such questioning—could there be times when not to question those traditions presents an even larger threat?
The answer is, yes. And this is one of those times.
(Part II of this extended series will appear in this space soon. Watch for it.)
All of my life I have been seeking the Holy Experience. All of my life I have known that the Holy Experience would reveal everything. Everything about God, everything about life, and everything about me. The only questions for me have been, what is the Holy Experience, and where can I find it?
Those questions have been asked by people all over the world since the beginning of time. Perhaps you have asked those questions, too. I should like now to offer my personal definition of the Holy Experience, so that we can know just what it is, exactly, that I am going to be talking about.
This definition kind of popped out of me unexpectedly a few years ago as I was responding to a question e-mailed to me by a man in Maine. Let me share with you that question and answer, and you’ll see what I mean.
Hi Neale…I have been struggling recently with what “mission” means in a pluralistic world. Mission has had so many different objectives throughout history—converting others to the “true” faith; extending God’s kingdom; doing justice for the poor and marginalized, etc.
Our world seems very near-sighted when people consider their faith the “true” faith and others as condemned to Hell. Since all of us have a somewhat different conception of what “faith” means, what is each person’s responsibility to other people—both people of other faiths and people of no faith?
Should we try to show others what we consider “true”, or should we only try to share with others, learn from them, and build reciprocal friendships? What does it mean to be a person of faith — ie: Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or otherwise—in a pluralistic world?
Thanks for any comments or insights you may have, Neale!
Matt, in Natick, MA
Dear Matt…The only True Mission is the mission of the individual soul. Every other mission is an extension of that.
The mission of the individual soul is to know itself as it truly is, in its own experience. I have learned that this is accomplished by creating itself as that. Life is not a process of discovery; it is a process of creation.
The hitch here is that in Ultimate Reality it is not possible to create anything, because everything that ever was, is now, and ever will be has already been created. So the Process of Creation turns out to be, after all, not actually Creation, but Perception. It is about seeing what has always been there, knowing what has always been true, and experiencing the Only Experience There Is. We call this, loosely: God.
The challenge here is that one cannot experience The Only Experience There Is if it is, in fact, the “only experience” there is. This is because in the absence of That Which Is Not, That Which IS, is not.
Put simply, in the absence of darkness, the light is not. In the absence of cold, hot is not. In the absence of up, there is no such thing as down. None of these things can be experienced in anything other than relative terms. The same is true about God. And, for that matter, about the human soul. For the human soul IS God, in part. It is a holy and individuated aspect of That Which IS.
If there is nothing in the environment, if there is nothing in the vicinity, that is NOT That Which IS, then That Which IS cannot be known experientially. If there is nothing in existence that is NOT That Which IS (and by definition this would have to be true), then That Which IS cannot be experienced. Nor can any Part of It. It can be fully known, but it cannot be experienced. That is, it cannot be known in relative terms (which is what “experience” is), but only in absolute terms. This is what is true in the Realm of the Absolute.
Remember this always:
EXPERIENCE IS THE KNOWING OF THE ABSOLUTE IN RELATIVE TERMS.
So in the Realm of the Absolute, That Which IS cannot experience Its own magnificence. It cannot know the glory of Itself, the wonder of Itself, the Truth of Itself.
This is the condition faced by God (That Which IS), and this is condition faced by your soul. You now understand the reason that physical life as we know it exists. The creation of Physicality produced a solution to God’s conundrum—a solution that is ingenious and spectacular: create an entire reality based on Illusion.
That phrase in itself, “reality based on illusion,” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, but it gets the idea across.
And so we find ourselves in this Alice in Wonderland world (an Alice in Wonderland universe, really) in which we swear that what is So is Not So, and that what is Not So is So.
It is a “wonderland” in the sense that it allows us to experience the True Wonder of Who We Really Are. We do this by calling forth the Opposite of Who We Are, and by experiencing ourselves in relation to that. Suddenly, we have a point of reference by which we may know ourselves. (Remember that I said that the mission of the individual soul is to know itself as it truly is, in its own experience.)
All of this lays down the theological basis for my (finally!) direct answer to your direct question. That which is opposite to us, that which is “not us,” exists for a very holy reason: so that we may announce and declare, express and experience, become and fulfill Who We Really Are.
Therefore judge not, and neither condemn. Raise not your fist to the darkness, but be a light unto the darkness, and curse it not.
Our “mission” vis-a-vis people of other faiths is to accept them exactly as they are. Not to seek to convert them, not to judge them, and certainly not to condemn them.
Now Matt, you have placed your question inside a riddle that offers two choices—yet these choices are not, in truth, mutually exclusive. It does not have to be one or the other, as you have posed it.
You have asked: “Should we try to show others what we consider ‘true’, or should we only try to share with others, learn from them, and build reciprocal friendships?”
I believe we can do both.
As we share with others, learn from them, and build reciprocal friendships, we DO “show others what we consider true.” In fact, that is the most effective way to show it. Thus, we set people free from their own limiting beliefs about us. This eventually will set them free from their own limiting beliefs about themselves. Soon they, too, will know Who They Really Are.
And so, Matt, walk through the world not as one who seeks to convert or convince others of anything, but simply as one who seeks to know others as Everything. When you know all of it as Everything, then you know your Self as Everything as well. You see your Self in every other person. Indeed, in every other thing that exists.
Suddenly, the magnificence and the glory of Who You Are becomes apparent to you. It becomes part of your experience. It is no longer something you know intellectually; it is something you know experientially.
Many people have had this experience (the experience of being Everything) momentarily. They have had it in meditation, perhaps, or in a time of pure silence, or in the midst of an impactful interaction with another (such as sexual union or laughing until tears come, or weeping together, or walking alone through the woods on a sunlit morning, or swimming in the ocean, or, simply…washing dishes.)
I call this The Holy Experience.
It is when you know Who You Really Are.
While many people have had this experience momentarily, the trick is to have it continually. Or at least a great deal more of the time. That was the yearning of the Buddha. It was the journey of the Christ. It is the opportunity placed before each of us.
Many Masters have shown us the way. The way is for us to BE the way. I am The Way and The Life. Follow me. This is what all Masters have declared. This is what all Students have understood.
Therefore, do not look for your Master, BE the Master for whom you have been looking. Do not seek the Truth, BE the Truth you have been seeking. And do not attempt to change another, BE the change you wish to see.
That is your mission, Matt, and there is no other.
Bless you, Matt, with the knowing of Who You Really Are. May God be experienced by you through you, and through the living of your life.
Love always, and all ways…Neale.
Here we go again. The good old death penalty has reared its ugly head here in the United States in horrific fashion.
The Associated Press headline read: “Okla. inmate dies of heart attack in botched execution”
The story recounted how, using a new, untested, lethal injection drug resulted in Clayton Lockett “writhing and clenching his teeth on the gurney Tuesday, leading prison officials to halt the proceedings before the inmate’s eventual death from a heart attack.”
It went on to say that “The blinds were eventually lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber, and the state’s top prison official eventually called a halt to the proceedings.”
“It was a horrible thing to witness. This was totally botched,” said Lockett’s attorney, David Autry.
Oh, so many thoughts are dancing around in my mind. I think of how Christians have been told to leave the old ways behind (old testament, an eye for an eye) and
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Then I move into CWG mode with excerpts from “Conversations With God, Book 1”
“Should societies use killing as a response to those who violate behavioral codes? . . . Is there a difference between killing and murder? . . .
Society would have you believe that killing to punish those who commit certain offenses (these have changed through the years) is perfectly defensible. In fact, society must have you take its word for it in order to exist as an entity of power. . . .
Do you believe these positions are correct? Have you taken another’s word for it? What does your Self have to say? There is no “right” or “wrong” in these matters. But by your decisions you paint a portrait of Who You Are. . . .”
It is the last statement that jumps out at me.
“But by your decisions you paint a portrait of Who You Are. . . .”
The United States paints, at best, a confusing portrait of who it is, and the rest of the world wants us to make up our minds, and is doing its part to help us make a decision. How? They are refusing to sell us the drugs required to execute.
As a recent New York Post article put it:
“EU nations are notorious for disagreeing on just about everything when it comes to common policy, but they all strongly — and proudly — agree on one thing: abolishing capital punishment.
Europe saw totalitarian regimes abuse the death penalty as recently as the 20th century, and public opinion across the bloc is therefore staunchly opposed to it.
The EU’s uncompromising stance has set off a cat-and-mouse game, with U.S. corrections departments devising new ways to carry out lethal injections only to hit updated export restrictions within months.”
“Our political task is to push for an abolition of the death penalty, not facilitate its procedure,” said Barba Lochbihler, chairwoman of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on human rights.
The United States seems to not see that it is in violation of Human Rights.
I think that anyone who is for the death penalty must ask themselves these questions:
If the blinds had to be “eventually lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber”, what does that say about the “rightness” of what was going on behind those blinds?
What makes this kind of killing somehow more “wrong” than with the other death cocktail?
Might there be something about ourselves, and our connection to everyone that we deny whenever we rationalize the taking of another life, for whatever reason? What is the death penalty really about?
Why keep testing for the best way to kill someone rather investing in how to allow someone to live a life in which they would never even think of killing?
What portrait are we painting of ourselves as individuals, and as a nation?
(Therese Wilson is a published poet, and is the administrator of, and Spiritual Helper at, the global website at www.cwghelpingoutreach.com She may be contacted at: Therese@TheGlobalConversation.com.)
We are living in a world where more and more people are feeling more and more insecure, and searching more and more for certainty, in times of more and more turbulence.
And so it has happened.
For the first time in the 21st Century it has been announced that an entire nation will hereafter be ruled by the tenets of a religion as a matter of law.
The nation of Brunei has declared that it has officially adopted sharia law, and will incorporate it into the country’s existing civil penal code, where it will operate alongside of that code.
The online, commonsource encyclopedia Wikipedia explains that “Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygience, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Though interpretations of sharia vary between cultures, most Sharia law is determined through human interpretation of the laws, which fuses together the modern context of society with Islamic values.”
Some online news sources have reported widespread negative reaction by international human rights groups to the announcement by the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, that commencement of the first phase of the sharia-based penal code has begun in Brunei.
That nation had already implemented several strict religiously-motivated laws, such as the banning of alcohol sale, and now the adoption of sharia law as part of its civil code has some international observers worried. Sharia includes punishments such as flogging, dismemberment and death by stoning for crimes such as rape, adultery and sodomy.
That may be alright for people who adopt, accept, and embrace the Islamic teachings upon which these prescriptions are based, but global sources point out that while some parts of the new Islamic code will apply only to Muslims, other parts will affect all citizens, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This means it will impact Buddhist and Christian communities as well.
“Around 70 percent of people in Brunei are Malay Muslims, while the remainder of the population are of Chinese or other ethnic descent,” a May 1 report from Arshiya Khullar for CNN said. The report may be seen here.
That CNN story went on to say, ”The United Nations has also publicly condemned the move.”
“Under international law, stoning people to death constitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited,” Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, was quoted by CNN as saying in a press briefing in Geneva last month.
“He further expressed concerns about the implementation of sharia law’s impact on women,” the CNN article from reporter Arshiya Khullar went on. “A number of UN studies have revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by stoning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them,” Mr. Colville is quoted in the CNN report.
The action by the nation of Brunei invites every member of the human community to sincerely ask: Is it the highest and best choice of a sovereign nation to base its civil code on the religious beliefs of the largest number of its citizens?
Alongside of this might come a second inquiry: Do other nations, albeit more quietly, do precisely the same thing?
Is not the civil code of most Western nations based on the principles, ideas, and proscriptions of old Roman Law, which was based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, which is, in turn, based on messages in the Bible? If not, what is the purely Civil Law basis that supports opposition to, say, gay marriage in the Congress of the United States? Is not that opposition based on what legislators say believe about What God Wants?
The larger question is: What role, if any, should What God Wants play in our collective social and civil experience?
For that matter, what does “God want”? Who can know for sure? What source can tell us?
Would it be Moses and the Old Testament? Would it be Jesus and the New Testament? Would it be the Prophet Muhammad, bless his holy name, and the Qur’an? Would it be Bahá’u’lláh and the writings of the Baha’i faith? Would it be Joseph Smith and the writings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Book of Mormon? Would it be Lao Tzu and the words of the Tao Te Ching?
For a close look at what Conversations with God has to say about what God wants, return here in the days ahead for an extended series of articles covering the next two weeks, built around excerpts from the book What God Wants. Your comments, ideas, observations, and beliefs will be anticipated with great interest in the fortnight beginning Tuesday, when our first installment will appear.
Hi my name is (_________) and I am an addict, alcoholic, compulsive gambler, sex addict, risk taker, over-eater. These words are repeated daily by millions of people in recovery. The reason given for saying these things lies in the belief that those who forget are doomed to repeat. This is decent logic, but is there a better way to achieve the same result? And when I say better I mean, more effective. After all, isn’t effectiveness the goal of all that we do in life?
Life is all about the effects. Our thoughts, words and actions, are the process that we use to create the effects which we desire to experience in our lives. Not very many people would ever admit to striving for mediocrity, although behaviors may indicate otherwise. Most people wish for and strive for higher and higher effectiveness in their daily lives.
I’d like to call into question the logic of placing a derogatory statement about ourselves behind the two most powerful words in the human language. If those of us in recovery are seeking to remain abstinent from the substances and behaviors that we found ourselves unable to control, wouldn’t it stand to reason that we may want to make a more positive and empowering statement about who we are?
In the world of recovery there is most important thing is of course personal sobriety. In order to achieve and maintain long term sobriety a person either needs to be extremely determined not to use under any circumstances or create a life that is so grand that using would never even be an option. I recommend the second choice there if you are wondering. The first option is called abstinence or as the old timers would call it, “dry drunk.” The second option is called sobriety.
You may ask, what is the difference between abstinence and sobriety? That is a very good question. Abstinence is simply taking away the substance like alcohol or drugs and doing nothing at all about the underlying conditions that created the issues in the first place.
Sobriety is a daily practice of self awareness and self improvement. Persons who take on the role of raising their consciousness about themselves and their surroundings often find themselves to be happy and fulfilled, as well as inspiring to others. Sobriety in this form is very contagious and people flock to you to share in the energy.
Many words have negative energy as well as negative connotations surrounding them. Words like, junky, crackhead, drunkard, lush, addict, alcoholic etc, not only have a darkening effect on the user but also projects out that same dark energy to surrounding ears. Place the words “I am” right before them and we are actually summoning that definition to our reality.
There is a recovery film out now called “The Anonymous People.” If you get an opportunity to watch this please do. In this documentary the political history of the 12 step programs is investigated deeply. Many people have lobbied our politicians to find more funding for recovery programs and addiction treatment facilities. Currently the political answer to addiction is incarceration. Because we can all see how well the prison system is reforming people (sarcasm.)
So the question then becomes how is that one of the greatest public health threats, addiction, isn’t treated as a healthcare issue? One possible answer lies with the image of those of us in recovery. When a person who is not in recovery hears one of us introduce our self as, “Hi, I’m Kevin, and I am a drug addict.” They see a person with a moral deficiency.
The same “normal” person responds differently when I introduce myself in a more positive light. Hi, my name is Kevin McCormack. I am a person in long term recovery from the disease of addiction. For me long term means almost 27 years of continuous sobriety. In those 27 years I have experienced great things in my life such as a long term job of 20 plus years, continued education, but most of all the respect of my family, friends and self.
This type of shift in our language not only sheds light on the positive in our life which keeps our mind on what is most important, but it also brings about a certain level of respect and admiration from those who do not fully understand the disease of addiction.
Ultimately, personal recovery is goal number one, however, the twelve steps is very clear that “we cannot keep what we have without giving it away.” How can we give it away if we are hidden away in the basement of a church surrounded by those who have already found it?
Humanity would be well served if we took the anonymity of ourselves a little less literally. By all means I am not saying we should disclose someone else’s participation in recovery. But it serves very little good to keep who we are secret. It is time to stand together and raise the awareness of those in need. Recovery is possible. A happy, productive life is at your finger tips. Come walk with us, people in long term recovery who wish to help others achieve the same.
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional and Recovery Advocate. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, recovery coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery. Kevin has a passion for holistic living, personal awareness training, and physical meditation. You can visit his website Life After Addicton for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)