The experience of surrender involves the ” letting in ” of reality.

                                                     ” Serenity is in the letting go!”

Alcoholism ( depression) and addiction, characterized as they are by the rigid clinging of obsession and compulsion, help us to understand  the experience of release. Perhaps the greatest paradox in the story of spirituality is the mystical insight that we are able to experience release only  if we ourselves let go, This is the paradox of surrender. Surrender begins with the acceptance that we are not in absolute control of the matter at hand – in fact, we are not in absolute control of anything. Thus the experience of surrender involves the “letting in” of reality that becomes possible only when we are ready to let go of our illusions and pretensions  (our “unreality“).

If surrender is the act of “letting go” the experience of conversion can be understood as the hinge on which the act swings – it is the turning point, the turning from “denial” as a way of seeing things,  to acceptance of the reality revealed in surrender. The self-centeredness that undermines spirituality is rooted in a self-deception that reflects a false relationship  with reality, and that false relationship begins  with distorted seeing, with some kind  of false understanding about the nature of reality and our relationship with it. Breaking through  that denial and confronting reality is what members of Alcoholic Anonymous mean by “hitting bottom.”

The experience of release most frequently comes at the point of exhaustion, at  the moment when we “give up” our efforts and this permits ourselves to just be…

“What blocks release more than anything else is the  refusal tolet go” that comes from the demand   for security, for certainty, for assured results.  Release, like spirituality itself, requires   risk.”

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SOURCE: The Spirituality of Imperfection. Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham. Bantam Books, 1992. pages 168-169.

NOTE: This excerpt was reprinted in the  Volume 8, Number #1 Issue of The Antidepressant Tablet. Louisville. KY.

Spirituality requires risk.

Alcoholism  (depression)   and  addiction , characterized as they are by the rigid clinging of obsession and compulsion, help us to understand the experience of release. Perhaps the greatest paradox in the story of spirituality is the mystical insight that we are able to experience release only if we let ourselves go. This is the paradox of surrender. Surrender begins with the acceptance that we are not in control of the matter at hand –in fact, we are not in absolute control of anything. Thus the experience of surrender involves the “letting in” of reality that becomes possible only when we are ready to “let go” of our illusions and pretensions ( our unreality).

If surrender is the act of “letting go” the experience of conversion can be understood as the hinge on which the act swings – it is the turning point, the turning from “denial” as a way of seeing things to acceptance of the reality revealed in surrender.  The self-centeredness that reflects a false relationship with reality, and that false relationship begins with distorted seeing, with some kind of false understanding about the nature of reality and our relationship with it. Breaking through that denial and confronting reality is what members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Depressed Anonymous mean by “hitting bottom.”

The experience or release most frequently comes at the point of exhaustion, at the moment when we “give up” our efforts to just be…

What  blocks release more than anything else is the refusal to “let go” that comes  from the demand for security, for certainty, for assured results. Release, like spirituality, requires risk.”

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SOURCE: The Spirituality of Imperfection. (1992) Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketchum. Bantam, NY. , Page 173.

 

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.

Today, we would like to initiate a series on the Promises of Depressed Anonymous. We will consider some thoughts  about the First Promise of Depressed Anonymous.  The following piece illustrates  some important areas for you, the reader,  to consider.

” Working the 12 Steps is like the person who heads toward the light at the end of the tunnel.  The closer one gets to the light  –the more one discovers the way out.

The light in this case is symbolized by the Fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. The expression of light, health and recovery of its members helps each of us to stay focused on recovery. Work has to be done if we are to find  not only the light  — but a life free from the symptoms of depression. Change is painful.   The first step is really the beginning of the end of our pain.  By admitting that we are in pain is that which paradoxically begins the release of our pain.  This is the paradox of letting go and holding on as we learned from our Step Three. What we hold onto holds onto us.  What we seek –seeks us.

It is difficult for any of us to admit that our lives are out of control.”

–  To be continued

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SOURCES: Copyright (c) The Promises of Depressed Anonymous (2002) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Copyright (c) I’ll do  it when I feel better. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications,. Louisville.

Copyright (c)  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

       For more information on literature available, visit the store.

I EVEN TRIED TO CONTROL GOD!

I THINK I WAS A CONTROL FREAK!

“If surrender of our wills to the ‘care of God’ is of the essence of the spiritual life, for anyone who truly desires to free him or herself from a chronic and compulsive behavior such as depression, the Twelve Steps can be your stepping stones to the path of a hope-filled life.” (8)

REFLECTION

My thinking is what has been keeping me depressed these many years.  I haven’t thought of myself as being addicted to sadness or that I might even be a saddict. Now the truth is becoming clear to me as I work the Twelve Steps and attempt to change the way  I think and feel. I  no longer want to be  a victim of my past, but I am becoming a person filled with hope and a new found zest for living. I am finding that my expectations for myself have decreased as my need to be perfect is yielding to a greater acceptance of myself as I am. Being perfect is such a bore. By letting go of my need for perfection it seems that my self-acceptance is beginning to grow.
One of the great freedoms I am experiencing  in my life today is that I don’t have to be in control of everyone’s life or behavior. One of my character defects has been a need to always have everything and everybody under my control. I have even tried to control God until I learned that it is only when I surrender to God that my life can be filled with hope and peace.
MEDITATION
We will no longer allow ourselves to continue to obsess about hiow bad our lives are when all we need to do is learn how to find our peace by allowing God to guide our will and our life on a daily basis. We don’t have to choose to live a life of misery –we can  make different choices which restores my sanity.

SOURCE: Higher Thoughts for Down Days(c)

THE GOD BOX or LEARNING TO LET GO.

I remember in my early days of my sobriety the PROMISES (See Past Posts for Depressed Anonymous) were the thing that kept me coming back to the meetings and gave me hope in the power of the 12 steps.
It was then and is still hard for me to turn over my fears and my hopeful thoughts to God. I was told early in my first years to write all these things that troubled me down on a slip of paper and put them in a GOD BOX.
I remember thinking how silly this really was. Well, I continued to go to meetings and do my work within the 12 steps and forgot all about my GOD BOX. Sometimes afterwards — probably going on a year or so later I found this slip of paper buried in a drawer in my desk. Everything that I was concerned about at that time, namely, all my fears, all of my guilt from the past which I had I turned over to God had been worked out. It was amazing to me. I had forgot I had even written them down.
I must admit that I have really worked hard and that God has given me the strength to do the work, to take a look at myself. Now the Promises are a reality for me. I do have a new freedom and a new happiness. I also have new fears, but that’s life.
So now I am going to put these in my GOD BOX. I am letting go and letting God work on those areas of my life that I still need work on so that I can continue to “carry the message” to others still suffering.
Tell me what you think?