For me, recovery from love addiction has been a slow, less-than-perfect practice. Though stopping all addictive patterns at once is what’s recommended, this wasn’t my path. The biggest tool that 12 step recovery for sex and love addiction gave me was that it taught me to become aware of my thoughts, and to realize how obsessive thinking leads to compulsive behavior. While some people might be able to “get away with” carrying on emotional affairs, I can’t. For a sex and love addict, even seemingly innocent flirtation is not innocent. The moment I feel myself triggered, I disengage.
I sense a budding, newly awakened life energy in the air. The days are growing longer, the air is fragrant and sweet. My energy peaks and new ideas are sprouting and budding in the fertile soil of my mind. I am emboldened to step outside of my comfort zone, and immediately step into a new zone of awareness, ability, confidence, and accomplishment. Anything is possible outside of bondage of self thinking. I ask “what is mine to do?” and I hear the answers from my Higher Power intuition.
I went down to the banks of “Ma Ganga” (The Ganges River) to accompany my dear friend who had expressed his desire to dip into the sacred waters… we heard some chanting nearby… a small group gathered around a teacher chanting devotedly to God. In a few moments the chanting ended, and the teacher began to speak enthusiastically about relating to God: “When you are in the state of surrender, you will reject anything that gets between you and your relationship with God.” With this one sentence, my view of surrender had been transformed forever.
My cell phone charger was left behind recently for a 2-day conference away from home. I hadn’t brought my laptop because I figured why schlep it around since I’d have little time to use it… That first morning, heading to the event from the parking garage, I must admit I felt a wonderful sense of freedom and lightness in my being. One less thing to nag at me or call me away from the present moment… That sense of freedom got me thinking. Am I addicted to my cell phone and all that it connects me to?
To quote one of our posts from earlier this year, Recovery Consciousness is “the mindful awareness and realization . . . that we can continue to uncover, discover, and recover that which is ours, but has likely been numbed out and presumed lost.” Lost to “alcoholic thinking” is implicit in that statement. What is alcoholic thinking? Allow our guest post today, curated from the Holistic Recovery Centers blog, to explain.
I stumbled onto Science of Mind before AA. Probably literally stumbled as I was drinking pretty heavily in those days. But I was “fine. (sure.) This New Thought teaching was my entry into self-awareness from a higher place, not from the lowly self-conscious, self-centered, self-judgement-y place that was all I knew. It was the first time I heard in real words “you are whole perfect and complete.” I sensed I was indeed in the perfect place to hear what I was hearing, even though the meaning of what I was hearing was fuzzy. For whatever divine reason, one little corner of my mind bought in. I am sure I celebrated with alcohol or pot to have found something to hold on to, but it was a start.
It was in this moment that I realized there was no way that I could do this alone. I closed my eyes and asked the universe for more strength. With every step I took I had to ask for the power to take another step. And every step granted to me brought me closer and closer to the top of that mountain. I know that it is not my own willpower that carried me to the top… I firmly believe that the universe knew how much I needed this victory to revive my motivation in my own life…. I have to draw power from a source greater than myself, a power that would not have brought me this far just to drop me on my head with the finish line in sight.
Before Recovery Consciousness, thinking and speaking in positive, life-giving ways does not come naturally for most people. What a blessing to be open and teachable, caring and loving, and confident and optimistic in sobriety. As the Promises state, “Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.” What can you add to this list?