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Spirituality and Addiction

Spirituality and Addiction

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Week Forty-Six Summary and Practice

Sunday, November 14—Friday, November 19, 2021

Sunday
Until and unless there is a person, situation, event, idea, conflict, or relationship that we cannot “manage,” we will never find the True Manager. —Richard Rohr

Monday
We are all addicted to our own habitual way of doing anything, our own defenses, and, most especially, our patterned way of thinking, or how we process reality. —Richard Rohr

Tuesday
Twice a year we pause the Daily Meditations to ask for your support. If you’ve been impacted by these meditations, please consider donating. Any amount is appreciated, as we are committed to keeping these messages at no cost and accessible to all.

Wednesday
The spiritual significance of addiction is not just that we lose freedom through attachment to things, nor even that things so easily become our ultimate concerns. Of much more importance is that we try to fulfill our longing for God through objects of attachment.Gerald May

Thursday
What if the brokenness has no authority at all over us? What if only love has the authority over us? That’s the essence of the gospel. —James Finley

Friday
Surrender is the strongest, most subversive thing you can do in this world. It takes strength to admit you are weak, bravery to show you are vulnerable, courage to ask for help. —Holly Whitaker

 

Enjoy a Tech Sabbath

Author Tiffany Shlain offers a practice she calls a “Technology Sabbath” as a way of reducing our addiction to technology and our personal devices. She writes:  

How often have you looked up from your screen, eyes dazed, and realized you’ve just wasted thirty minutes or an hour or more? You look around and see everyone else with their heads down staring at their screens, too. You worry about how this is affecting you as an individual and society at large. You think you should do something about it, then your phone buzzes, you respond to the text, and you’re pulled back to the screen again. We’ve become ostriches, burying our heads in silicon sand.

Researchers have compared the sense of technological dependency—the feeling that we must be accessible and responsive at any time—to that of drugs and alcohol. It’s all because of the hormone dopamine, which is related to mood, attention, and desire. When you find something that feels good, dopamine makes you want more of it.

Shlain has creatively adapted the Jewish practice of Sabbath to reduce our dependence on technology. She makes several suggestions for individuals and families to prepare for a day with no devices:

What brings you joy?

Think about all the (screen-free) activities you enjoy doing that you just don’t do enough. . . .

Consider your own tradition or history

What foods or practices from your childhood, family, faith, or culture would make the day more meaningful for you?

Consider your intentions

What qualities do you want to develop? . . .

What habits do you want to break?

How do you want to feel when the day is over?

Shlain offers a list of practical suggestions to get ready for what she calls “24/6,” based on her own decade of practice:

How to prepare for 24/6

A little thinking ahead will help you get more out of the day.

Plan your first Tech Shabbat

  • Look at your calendar and determine what weekend day (or weekday) you’re going to start. Mark down several weeks in a row. The power and beauty of this practice come with its regularity. In time you will look forward to it each week.
  • Look at the list of things you want to do more of. Plan to fill your screen-free day with activities from that list. You can even print the list, post it on your fridge, and reference it throughout the day. Or fill the day with doing nothing, if that’s what you need and want.
  • Invite anyone you want to join you for a meal, an activity, or the whole day. . . .
  • Get a landline. You can get one for as little as $20 a month.
  • Tell people in your life (family, friends, coworkers, boss) you’re planning to do this. Don’t come from a place of apology, but a place of strength and excitement. If they express concern or curiosity, invite them to a Tech Shabbat dinner so they can experience it with you.

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound.

Reference:
Tiffany Shlain, 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week (Gallery Books: 2019), xiii–xiv, 6, 179, 180, 182–183.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Rose B. Simpson, The Secret of Flight (detail), 2015, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: I’m this post-colonial, bi-cultural being in the world who has experienced. . . the gift of perspective in context in this foundation but also this deep asking of why. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we live the way we do? Why have the things happened to us that have happened and why do we continue to abuse each other and also our environment and ourselves? —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
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Spirituality and Addiction

The Power of Surrender
Friday, November 19, 2021

Author and activist Holly Whitaker does not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to sobriety, but she fully embraces “surrender” as vital for any healing and recovery to occur.

I’d always considered the word surrender to be blasphemous. Surrender was never a possibility to consider; it wasn’t something self-respecting, self-reliant folk like me do—we scheme around and bulldoze through whatever stands in our way. That all changed, abruptly, on that day in 2012 when I finally ran out of options and did the thing I thought I could never do—concede.

In A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says, “Until your knees finally hit the floor, you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over. It’s when it begins.” [1] It is entirely cliché, but this was exactly my experience. The moment I finally let my knees hit the floor was when I finally stopped playing at life, and every bit of good that’s come to me since then stems from this reversal of opinion on surrender.

Surrender is the strongest, most subversive thing you can do in this world. It takes strength to admit you are weak, bravery to show you are vulnerable, courage to ask for help. It’s also not a one-time gig; you don’t just do it once and move on. It’s a way of existing, a balancing act. For me, it looks like this: I pick up the baton and I run as far as I can, and I hand it over when I’m out of breath. Or actually maybe it’s like: I’m running with the baton, but the Universe is holding on to the other half of it, and we have an agreement that I’ll figure out the parts I can and hand over the parts I can’t.

In his online course on spirituality and addiction, Father Richard puts it this way:

Until you move to the sense of being able to trust there is a God who is guiding you, who loves you more than you love yourself—that’s when you’ve made the transfer. That’s when you know you’re a part of a bigger flow, a bigger system—if you want to use that word—and you are not doing it, it is being done unto you. [2]

Whitaker continues her thoughts on the power of surrender:

Life no longer feels precarious, or about to crumble—even when it is, in fact, crumbling. By surrendering to whatever is unfolding and by accepting what is, by giving up on the outcome and allowing life to flow the way it’s meant to, by stepping out of your own way and letting the natural order take the lead, you not only get a break from the exhaustion of having to control everything, but you also get to experience life, instead of what you think life owes you. (Hint: What life wants to give us is infinitely better than what we think it owes us.)

References:
[1] Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (HarperPerennial: 1996), 12–13.

[2] Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: A Spiritual Study of the Twelve Steps (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2020), online course.

Holly Whitaker, Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol (Dial Press: 2021), 158–160.

Story from Our Community:
The unconscious ego, unhealed, will always project unresolved issues. Compassion and forgiveness for ourselves must come first. This can only come through the divine merciful spirit of God. I struggled with addictions to cover up the pain and scapegoating tactics. I finally took responsibility, got real, and honest with myself and . . . now I have a wider view of humanity. —K.L.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Rose B. Simpson, The Secret of Flight (detail), 2015, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: I’m this post-colonial, bi-cultural being in the world who has experienced. . . the gift of perspective in context in this foundation but also this deep asking of why. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we live the way we do? Why have the things happened to us that have happened and why do we continue to abuse each other and also our environment and ourselves? —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
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Spirituality and Addiction

Seeing Ourselves as God Sees Us
Thursday, November 18, 2021

In this conversation, CAC teacher and therapist James Finley shares his belief that we can only be freed from our addictions by healing our original wound—a loss of connection with divine love. Jim speaks here about the healing nature of seeing ourselves as God sees us.

We can say that the deepest question of my life, really, is not what my father . . . or my mother thought of me, or what my husband or wife thinks of me, or what my pastor or my boss thinks of me. Really, the deepest issue isn’t what I think of me, but can I join God in knowing who God knows me to be? Can I join God in seeing who God sees me to be when God sees me? This is salvation.

In order to do this, I have to let go of my own present way of seeing things, and I discover I can’t. We’re afraid to lose the control that we think that we have over the life that we think that we’re living, and we’re addicted to what blinds us. . . . The mystery of the cross, then, is this mystery of just being liberated from this deep addiction to the illusion of an ultimately isolated self that has to make it on its own. To realize I’m in the presence of the love that loves us and takes us to itself. . . .

Jim envisions God saying to each of us, in the midst of our struggles:  

You know what? . . .  I’m in love with you. I’m so in love with you that I’m utterly giving myself away [to you] as invincibly precious in my eyes, in the midst of the unresolved matters of your heart. I find in these unresolved matters no obstacle to how infinitely precious you are to me as I pour out and give myself to you as life of my life. . . .

Jim concludes:

That’s faith in the higher power. But what if the brokenness has no authority at all over us? What if only love has the authority over us? That’s the essence of the gospel. The essence of the gospel is there. That’s why I say the miracle stories of Jesus, when you really look at the healing stories, they’re all the same, basically. A person brings suffering; Jesus listens to the suffering, responds to the suffering. But Jesus sees the essence of their suffering isn’t that their daughter died or they can’t see or they can’t walk, or they’re a prostitute or a tax collector. The issue of their suffering is they think they are what’s wrong with them. It’s the idolatry of their shame. Reflected in [Jesus’] eyes, they see their true face before they were born, hidden with Christ in God forever. That’s experiential salvation.

Reference:
James Finley, “Mystical Sobriety,” “Addiction,” Living School Alumni Quarterly, issue 3 (Fall 2019), video teaching.

Story from Our Community:
The unconscious ego, unhealed, will always project unresolved issues. Compassion and forgiveness for ourselves must come first. This can only come through the divine merciful spirit of God. I struggled with addictions to cover up the pain and scapegoating tactics. I finally took responsibility, got real, and honest with myself and . . . now I have a wider view of humanity. —K.L.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.
Image Credit: Rose B. Simpson, The Secret of Flight (detail), 2015, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: I’m this post-colonial, bi-cultural being in the world who has experienced. . . the gift of perspective in context in this foundation but also this deep asking of why. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we live the way we do? Why have the things happened to us that have happened and why do we continue to abuse each other and also our environment and ourselves? —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
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Spirituality and Addiction

Freedom to Choose Life and Love
Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Author and psychotherapist Gerald May (1940–2005) was a friend and early mentor of Father Richard. In this passage, May explores how addiction keeps us from living with the full love and freedom for which we were created:

It seems to me that free will is given to us for a purpose: so that we may choose freely, without coercion or manipulation, to love God in return, and to love one another in a similarly perfect way. This is the deepest desire of our hearts. In other words, our creation is by love, in love, and for love. It is both our birthright and our authentic destiny to participate fully in this creative loving, and freedom of will is essential for our participation to occur.

But our freedom is not complete. Working against it is the powerful force of addiction. Psychologically, addiction uses up desire. It is like a psychic malignancy, sucking our life energy into specific obsessions and compulsions, leaving less and less energy available for other people and other pursuits. Spiritually, addiction is a deep-seated form of idolatry. The objects of our addictions become our false gods. These are what we worship, what we attend to, where we give our time and energy, instead of love. Addiction, then, displaces and supplants God’s love as the source and object of our deepest true desire. . . .

For me, the energy of our basic desire for God is the human spirit, planted within us and nourished endlessly by the Holy Spirit of God. In this light, the spiritual significance of addiction is not just that we lose freedom through attachment to things, nor even that things so easily become our ultimate concerns. Of much more importance is that we try to fulfill our longing for God through objects of attachment. For example, God wants to be our perfect lover, but instead we seek perfection in human relationships and are disappointed when our lovers [Richard: or parents, children, and churches] cannot love us perfectly. God wants to provide our ultimate security, but we seek our safety in power and possessions and then find we must continually worry about them. We seek satisfaction of our spiritual longing in a host of ways that may have very little to do with God. And, sooner or later, we are disappointed.

Father Richard puts it this way:

After a few years in recovery, we will know that our deep and insatiable desiring was for God all along. We went on a bit of a detour, looked for love in all the wrong places, and now have found what we really wanted anyway. God is willing to wait for that. Like Jacob at the foot of his dreamy ladder, where angels walk between heaven and earth, we will lay our head on even a stone pillow and say, “You were here all the time, and I never knew it! . . . This is nothing less than the house of God, this is the very gate of heaven” (Genesis 28:16–17). [1]

References:
[1] Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (Franciscan Media: 2011, 2021), 61.

Gerald G. May, Addiction and Grace (HarperSanFrancisco: 1991), 13, 92–93.

Story from Our Community:
I am a recovering alcoholic. One thing that I turned away from in my addiction was making art. Recovery has ignited a renewed passion for creation. I find that I can connect with God, expressed in the colors, forms, and movement on the canvas. I feel free and in the moment! —Megan N.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.
Image Credit: Rose B. Simpson, The Secret of Flight (detail), 2015, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: I’m this post-colonial, bi-cultural being in the world who has experienced. . . the gift of perspective in context in this foundation but also this deep asking of why. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we live the way we do? Why have the things happened to us that have happened and why do we continue to abuse each other and also our environment and ourselves? —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
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A special note from Fr. Richard: An opportunity hidden in plain sight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Dear Friend,

Thirty-five years ago, during the summer of 1986, I left Cincinnati with all my possessions in the back of my little Toyota pick-up and started driving west to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I stopped in Kansas to visit my family, where my father immediately put up the hood of my truck to fix it; not that it even needed fixing! I suppose that is just what a father did back in those days.

In those early years when I would return home from speaking, I often took a moment to sit and consider my recent experience — maybe this was a little bit like checking under my own hood — and I would think… “these things I’m saying to people about the Gospel and contemplation… I don’t know where the words are coming from, but this is good stuff! I’ve got to find more ways to give this to people.” I’m sure there was some egocentricity in that, that I was the giver of the message. But I never thought I was the only one saying it. Frankly, it was disappointing that all ministers and priests were not saying it too because to me it is so obvious that the Gospel is good and liberating news for every one and every thing.

Helping people discover the often hidden or even denied traditions of Christian contemplation was what led me to found the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC), and 34 years later there is still a real sense of urgency to this work — perhaps more so now than at any other time I can remember. What we need is a new way of being in the world together that embodies the reality that all life is sacred, precious, and connected; only the contemplative mind can bring forward this new consciousness which is needed to awaken a more loving, just, and sustainable world.

This work is only possible because of the trust, partnership, and support of people like you.

Twice per year, we pause the Daily Meditations and ask you for your support. If you have been impacted by the CAC’s programs (including these Daily Meditations) and are financially able, please consider making a contribution. Your support is what enables this work to reach people around the world, many for the very first time.

Thank you for being a part of this community. The CAC is not funded by any large institution or big foundation, but by thousands of people around the world who have been impacted by this work — people just like you.

As I continue to slow down at the age of 78, working with our editorial team to share these meditations is one of my greatest joys. I am honored and humbled by your trust and partnership through it all.

Please take a moment to read our Executive Director Michael’s note below. Tomorrow the Daily Meditations will continue exploring the theme of Spirituality and Addiction.

In gratitude and solidarity,

Richard Rohr Signature

 


 

Dear Friends,

Think back to the first time you heard about Richard Rohr or the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC). Was it a book, audio recording, a conference talk or one of these Daily Meditation emails? I’d venture to guess that whatever it was, someone that you trusted gave it to you. A friend gave you a cassette tape, a co-worker burned you a CD, a relative told you about a book or sent you a podcast.

For the last three and a half decades, this community has grown person by person through trusted friends sharing the message with people they care about. The growth of this community has been driven from the bottom-up because there is a deep need for the integration of both action and contemplation that is historical, inclusive, service-oriented, and honest.

The CAC’s vision is to realize Fr. Richard’s hope of supporting a global movement of people who are putting this contemplative message and spiritual practice into action in the world. When we do that, we bring a dose of healing, love and compassion to our families, communities, and societies. It is love made manifest in the world.

If you have benefited from the work of this CAC community, please consider making a one-time donation or recurring gift to support it. If you are able, please consider making your donation a monthly one. Recurring support helps CAC consistently provide new offerings, many of them at no cost, that can support the lives of more people who have yet to access this contemplative tradition.

In gratitude for an online donation of any size, we will send you a digital version of our new edition of ONEING with the important theme of The Cosmic Egg.

We are so thankful for your partnership and help in serving as a gateway to this contemplative path. We do not live this life alone, but we are all deeply connected to each other living inside of God’s great story. Keep being an agent of love in your own way in this beautiful but hurting world.

Peace and Every Good,

Michael Poffenberger's Signature

Michael Poffenberger

Executive Director
Center for Action and Contemplation

P.S. You can donate securely online at cac.org/dm-appeal or send a check (USD only) to CAC, P.O. Box 12464, Albuquerque, NM 87195. Donations are tax-deductible in the United States. EIN # 85-0354965. We invite donations of any size. Learn more about other ways to give, including gifts of stock, qualified distributions from your IRA or an estate gift at cac.org/support. Email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or would like further information. Thank you so much.

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Spirituality and Addiction

Stinking Thinking
Monday, November 15, 2021

I do not understand my own behavior. I fail to carry out the very things I want to do, and find myself doing the very things I hate. . . . For although the will to do what is good is in me, the performance is not. —Romans 7:15, 18

Father Richard Rohr continues his thoughts on addiction and transformation:

Addiction is a modern name and honest description for what the biblical tradition called “sin” and medieval Christians called “passions” or “attachments.” They both recognized that serious measures, or practices, were needed to break us out of these illusions and trances. In some cases, the New Testament calls them “exorcisms”! They knew they were dealing with non-rational evil or “demons.”

“Stinking thinking” is the universal addiction. Substance addictions like alcohol and drugs are merely the most visible forms of addiction. Actually, we are all addicted to our own habitual way of doing anything, our own defenses, and, most especially, our patterned way of thinking, or how we process reality. The very fact that we have to say this shows how little we see it. By definition, we can never see or handle what we are addicted to. It is always “hidden” and disguised as something else. As Jesus did with the demon at Gerasa, someone must ask, “What is your name?” (Luke 8:30). The problem must be correctly named before the demon can be exorcised. We cannot heal what we do not first acknowledge.

Contemplation teaches us how to observe our own small mind and, frankly, to see how inadequate it is to the task in front of us. As Eckhart Tolle says, 98% of human thought is “repetitive and pointless.” [1] How humiliating is that? When we see how self-serving, how petty, how narcissistic, and how compulsive our thinking is, we realize how trapped and unfree we truly are. We might even call it “possessed.”

The only way to be delivered from our “body of death” (Romans 7:24), or what Tolle calls the “pain body,” [2] is to find oneself inside of a “body of resurrection” (1 Corinthians 15:35–44; Romans 6:4). In other words, an experience of a deeper love entanglement absorbs all our negativity and nameless dread of life and the future. Paul’s code phrase for this positive, realigned place is en Cristo (in Christ), which is to live by choice and embodiment within the force field (“Mind”) of the Risen Christ.

I truly believe the only cure for possession is repossession—by our original Source. To use the language most often found in recovery circles, this is what a “vital spiritual experience” [3] does for all of us, whether we name it as Jesus, God, Spirit, Higher Power, or Love. Afterward, we simply know that we belong in this world, and that we are being held by some Larger Force. For some seemingly illogical reason life then feels okay and even good and right and purposeful. This is what it feels like to be “saved.”

References:
[1] Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Plume: 2006), 30.

[2] Tolle, 140.

[3] Bill Wilson, Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book (Ixia Press: 2019), 32.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Little Way: A Spirituality of Imperfection (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2007), MP3 download; and

Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (Franciscan Media: 2011, 2021), xxviii–xxix, 108, 109.

Story from Our Community:
When my first marriage ended, I immersed grief in alcohol, drugs, women, and denial. Through an overdose, I met Jesus, “my savior.” I discovered my grief was not about the relationship ending, but thinking my desire to serve God was gone. Who would want me? The answer—God! Through this realization, I am able to serve God and my sisters and brothers as an addiction and mental health counselor. —Gary C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.
Image Credit: Rose B. Simpson, The Secret of Flight (detail), 2015, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: I’m this post-colonial, bi-cultural being in the world who has experienced. . . the gift of perspective in context in this foundation but also this deep asking of why. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we live the way we do? Why have the things happened to us that have happened and why do we continue to abuse each other and also our environment and ourselves? —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
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Spirituality and Addiction

A Willingness to Change
Sunday, November 14, 2021

Throughout his ministry, Father Richard Rohr has recognized the power of Twelve-Step programs to bring about spiritual transformation. The steps parallel the counterintuitive wisdom of Jesus:

What the ego hates more than anything else is to change—even when the present situation is not working or is horrible. Instead, we do more and more of what does not work, as many others have rightly said about addicts. The reason we do anything one more time is because the last time did not really satisfy us deeply. As the English poet W. H. Auden (1907–1973) put it: “We would rather be ruined than changed, / We would rather die in our dread / Than climb the cross of the moment / And let our illusions die.” [1]

Addicts—which I’m convinced are all of us, in one way or another—have an intense resistance to change. We like predictability and control. That’s one of the reasons addicts find it easier to have a relationship with a process or a substance rather than with people. Unlike objects, people are unpredictable. Having a drink, making a purchase, or turning to our devices can change our superficial mood very quickly. Even though the mood shift doesn’t last, it makes us feel like we are in control for a while. We don’t have to change our thinking or way of relating to people. We don’t have to sit with our boredom, discomfort, or anger, which short-circuits our ability to grow up and to move beyond whatever is in our way.

In the process of healing and gaining sobriety, salvation becomes not just something we believe, but something we begin to experience through the process of transformation through grace. Both Jesus and Paul were change agents. They were hated by their own groups precisely because they were constantly talking about change. The first thing Jesus said when he started preaching was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). The word usually translated as “repent” is the Greek word metanoia, which is surely best translated as “turn around your mind” or “change your thinking.” Most of us won’t move toward any new way of thinking or actual change until we’re forced to do so, which usually means some form of suffering or disturbance that upsets our habitual path.

Until we bottom out and come to the limits of our own fuel supply, there is no reason for us to switch to a higher octane of fuel. Why would we want to change? We will not learn to actively draw upon a Larger Source until our usual resources are depleted and revealed as wanting. In fact, we will not even know there is a Larger Source until our own source and resources fail us. Until and unless there is a person, situation, event, idea, conflict, or relationship that we cannot “manage,” we will never find the True Manager.

References:
[1] W. H. Auden, The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue, ed. Alan Jacobs (Princeton University Press: 2011), 105.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, How Do We Breathe Under Water?: The Gospel and 12-Step Spirituality (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2005), CD, DVD, MP3; and

Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps (Franciscan Media: 2011, 2021), 3-4, 6.

Story from Our Community:
When my first marriage ended, I immersed grief in alcohol, drugs, women, and denial. Through an overdose, I met Jesus, “my savior.” I discovered my grief was not about the relationship ending, but thinking my desire to serve God was gone. Who would want me? The answer—God! Through this realization, I am able to serve God and my sisters and brothers as an addiction and mental health counselor. —Gary C.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations Editorial Team.

Image Credit: Rose B. Simpson, The Secret of Flight (detail), 2015, sculpture.
We featured the artist of these sculptures, Rose B. Simpson, at our recent CONSPIRE conference—so many of us were impacted by her creations that we decided to share her work with our Daily Meditations community for the month of November.
Image Inspiration: I’m this post-colonial, bi-cultural being in the world who has experienced. . . the gift of perspective in context in this foundation but also this deep asking of why. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we live the way we do? Why have the things happened to us that have happened and why do we continue to abuse each other and also our environment and ourselves? —Rose B. Simpson, CONSPIRE Interview, 2021
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