“The trouble is that most Christians pushed this great liberation off into the next world, and many Twelve Steppers settled for mere sobriety from a substance instead of real transformation of the self?”
Richard Rohr: Breathing Under Water
There is almost too much in this statement for me to digest. I am convinced that this statement does not apply only to Christians. I believe that the core of any Spiritual practice is a ‘great liberation’. Spiritual practice is about the recognition of something greater than myself. The experience of the great liberation is in the now, the present moment. This great liberation is the journey of transforming myself through the power of that which is greater than myself. In the world of addiction recovery, we speak of a Higher Power or God and a lower power or addiction. I seek a great liberation from addiction, the lowest power that keeps me totally within myself with a lie that only I am able to live in control and power over my life. My first step toward liberation is my cry for help in the recognition of powerlessness, unmanageability, and insanity!!!!! I seek a great liberation from myself.
As this journey continues, I am faced with a teaching suggesting that everything I need is within myself. When I first heard this teaching, I wanted to scream: “I am trying to liberate from myself!!!!!”. There appeared to be another step of insanity. Stuff like ‘it takes a community to heal’, and ‘healing is within me’. Yet as I stayed on the journey toward sobriety, I slowly began to know my true self. The addicted self had to be forgiven, released, and replaced. The transformation was a matter of creating space: out with the addicted self and in with a sober self, my true self. It turns out that the sober self is a Divine self. I can only see the Divine self from within, in the quiet and stillness.
Somewhere along the path, the stuff of recovery began to make sense. Further, my life progressed from the avoidance of addictive substances to the celebration of honesty, freedom and Grace. I love to celebrate with community. We celebrate freedom, forgiveness, unconditional acceptance and love, the ups and downs of the journey, and the periods of rest needed to restore the energy to continue the journey. I am grateful to the Twelve Step community and the Yoga community for the ongoing experience of transformation.