“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 to “let go” that comes from the demand for security, for certainty, for assured results. Release, like spirituality itself, requires risk.”
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.