Shame and Spirit

The first step in seeking a spiritual solution to any type of addiction is to determine exactly from what it is we are running.

Perhaps one of the only benefits of being an addict is that we are catapulted into a journey of spiritual seeking with greater ferocity than if our lives were unencumbered by the wreckage of addiction.

Many people bristle at the notion addiction can be viewed as a blessing. I understand this resistance.My own behaviors and actions during active addiction brought significant pain and suffering to not only me, but to those I love most. Obviously there is nothing redeeming in hurting those you love.

Mired in the endless cycle of denial, I chose to not fully acknowledge the effect of my actions in my own life or the lives of others.I justified my behavior by convincing myself I just liked the way getting high made me feel, and how could feeling good be detrimental?

In reality though, I wasn’t feeling good.

My main objective was to not feel anything at all. I ran away from people and situations which made me uncomfortable. Life consisted of medicating and repressing any inkling of sadness or fear which bubbled up from deep within.In this mad dash toward not feeling I became the poster child for delusional, optimistic denial, hurting many of those I loved along the way.

Sadly my behaviors were in direct opposition to the values I professed. The incongruent me that I refused to see was directing my life.

After many decades of running, and finally in enough pain to admit there was a void I was trying to fill, I surrendered.  I peered into this dark chasm. I sat with it. Surrendered to it. And finally allowed it to inform me.

It sucked.

It hurt immensely.

Yet it offered me a glimpse of understanding of how and why I had become such a despicable and unreliable individual.

By taking a genuine look at the pain and sadness seething from this void I began to understand why my life was careening out of control.

Unresolved trauma was running the show!

Almost immediately upon acknowledging I was in fact an addict, and ceasing to pump my body full of chemicals, things got better.Yet discovering the details of my trauma and beginning the process of healing took some time.

Armed with desperation and nurtured by the care of others who had experienced the same pain in their own lives, I took those first authentic steps toward deeper knowing and healing.

I finally asked for help and admitted that I had been on the run for years. I had finally had enough.It is from here, for the first time in my life, I began a sincere spiritual seeking.

I’m not alone.

Most of us are scared to death of deeply knowing ourselves. Yet only by addressing the darkest  parts of us, those which scurry into the shadows chased by shame, may we find transformation.

The main byproduct of trauma is shame.

While I cannot undo the past, I can feel the pain, let go of the shame, and begin to have some self-love. And it is from there that I can love and nurture those around me to a greater degree than at any time in my life.

This is the blessing!

If you’ve finally had enough, great. Phew! Please reach out to the folks at Deep Waters. We’re all wounded healers on this boat.

It’s in our brokenness where true spiritual seeking begins and freedom awaits.

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