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My own approach, being an admixutre of the spiritual & cognitive, to heal & recover

Old 06-06-2013, 03:39 PM
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My own approach, being an admixutre of the spiritual & cognitive, to heal & recover

I feel it’s time to start a thread with a more positive title

Looking back, I’ve been thinking about things that have been helpful to me in not drinking, and listing them, so as to return to them, and gain better focus. Some of them come from SMART, some from my own life, some from trying to grasp certain more spiritual ideas.

I saved many of these as Word documents, and have been looking them over.

One that came to me was the idea of what I call a ‘helpful power’: This is a kind of reservoir of strength to draw on, and reflect about, which I would say embodies the aspects of the spiritual, as far as I am spiritual.

In any event, here are the amended aspects of what I call my ‘helpful’ power:

1. A Tao aspect, an aspect that reveres nature, the cycles of change, and sees the world and universe as wholly impartial; this frees me from attachment and expectations, and allows a sense of wonder and growth.

2. An aspect that involves the symbolic aspects of Pan, and the Pagan: a respect of nature, the physical, of the feelings of the body, of the 5 senses, of sex, of joy in living in this body, on this earth, of poetry, art, and music.

3. An aspect of humor and levity, as manifest in Beast Boy, my cute 'lil super-hero avi...as I say...he is always stuck being green with little pointy ears, certainly not the easiest way to look, but has the super-power to change into any animal. There is a symbolic sense that perhaps makes it the most important, because it embodies the other two, with a sense of humor, added. Did anyone here watch the Teen Titans cartoons??? Anyway, he was awesome, and a vegan tofu lover

4. An affinity to animals, and animal consciousness; imaginingg myself as an animal, and certain ones in particular; A fox, a Husky, a Badger, A Skunk. To seek a more basic level of consciousness, and to return to something simpler. Variously as a meditation, a reconnection, as something frivolous, as something fun, as something cartoon-like.

~

Then, there are the more ‘practical’ tools: the decision not to drink because of the problems it creates, and the opportunities it blocks. To this extent, SMART has been helpful in diffusing urges, in that I MUST drink because life is so awful, yada, yada, yada. And yet nothing makes me, and surely, it has done more harm than good.

Bridging these two together are my beliefs in Humanism, and love, especially as reflected in certain ancient texts.

One that I have found very inspirational is that of Mo Tzu, or Mozi, written about 400 BC, China, called Universal Love.

It reminds me to try to have as much respect for others as I can, and also, for myself, and not to cause harm to myslef, or to others…and all without invoking God.

An excerpt: (Not my favorite translation, but it was on the web!)

"Mo Tzu said: The purpose of the humanist is to be found in procuring benefits for the world and eliminating its calamities.

But what are the benefits of the world and what are its calamities?

Mo Tzu said: Mutual attacks among states, mutual usurpation among houses, mutual injuries among individuals; the lack of grace and loyalty between ruler and ruled, the lack of affection and filial piety between father and son, the lack of harmony between elder and younger brothers—these are the major calamities in the world...

But where did these calamities come from, from universal love?

Mo Tzu said: They arise out of want of universal love. At present feudal lords have learned only to love their own states and not those of others. Therefore they do not scruple about attacking other states. The heads of houses have learned only to love their own houses and not those of others. Therefore they do not scruple about usurping other houses. And individuals have learned only to love themselves and not others. Therefore they do not scruple about injuring others.

When feudal lords do not love one another there will be war on the fields. When heads of houses do not love one another they will usurp one another's power. When individuals do not love one another they will injure one another. When ruler and ruled do not love one another they will not be gracious and loyal. When father and son do not love each other they will not be affectionate and filial. When elder and younger brothers do not love each other they will not be harmonious.

When nobody in the world loves any other, naturally the strong will overpower the weak, the many will oppress the few, the wealthy will mock the poor, those honored will disdain the humble, the cunning will deceive the simple. Therefore all the calamities, strife, complaints, and hatred in the world have arisen out of want of universal love. Therefore humanists disapprove of this want.

Now that there is disapproval, how can we have the condition altered?

Mo Tzu said: It is to be altered by the way of universal love and mutual support.

But what is the way of universal love and mutual support?

Mo Tzu said: It is to esteem other countries as much as one's own, the houses of others as much as one's own, the persons of others as much as one's self. When feudal lords love one another there will be no more war; when heads of houses love one another there will be no more mutual usurpation; when individuals love one another there will be no more mutual injury. When ruler and ruled love each other they will be gracious and loyal; when father and son love each other they will be affectionate and filial; when elder and younger brothers love each other they will be harmonious. When all the people in the world love one another, then the strong will not overpower the weak, the many will not oppress the few, the wealthy will not mock the poor, the honored will not disdain the humble, and the cunning will not deceive the simple. And it is all due to universal love that calamities, strife, complaints, and hatred are prevented from arising.

Therefore the humanist praises it.

But worldly people would say: "So far so good. It is of course very excellent when love becomes universal. But it is only a difficult and distant ideal."

Mo Tzu said: This is simply because the worldly people do not recognize what is to the benefit of the world, or understand what is calamitous to it. Now, to besiege a city, to fight in the fields, or to achieve a name at the cost of death—these are what men find difficult. Yet when the ruler encourages them, the multitude can do them. In comparison, universal love and mutual aid is quite different from these. Whoever loves others is loved by others; whoever benefits others is benefited by others; whoever hates others is hated by others; whoever injures others is injured by others. Then, what difficulty is there with universal love? Only that the ruler fails to embody it in his government and the ordinary man in his conduct."
~

For me, this engenders a sense of agency, of possibility, that though it may be difficult to do, it can be done: Including not drinking.

Well, such are my thoughts for today…day 5, as it is so far.

H. Pup
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:51 PM
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Nice.. Like the way you put that together. Take it online to its own website and give AA and Smart some competition! I'd sign up.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:03 PM
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Thanks! It does come from trying both groups, and seeing that I was someplace in the middle, or off to the side, if you will, of either.

It seems helpful for me to have logic and reason on one side, but also a deeper sense of the spiritual and wonder on the other side. In the past, some of the cognitive approaches seemed too cold, while others seemed too dogmatic.

So I thought: What is it that I can take from each, that's helpful? I think others might also be in a similar quandary, caught between the often dueling polarities of some of the more major groups.

Well, I'm glad you found that helpful. I had been thinking that one thing that happens so often on boards is a lot of bickering, and that it would be better to try to build my own personal bridge, and to go from there.
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:00 AM
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Well, it was a rough night, but I made it through. Read some Margaret Atwood.

I think the main feelings I've been having are those of loneliness, and not having much of a network of people to reach out to, and actually talk to. That seems to be the hardest part, for me: Sometimes, I wish I had just a few people I could call up on the phone, to bounce ideas off of, and try and help each other. Still thinking of forming some kind of group, even though I don't have a lot of days.

Doing OK, kinda somber feeling.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:41 PM
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A boring day at work, but in a good way. It gets slow in the summer, overstaffed at times, so I took some time to go through and clean up some of my computer files of poetry, and do a bit of revising. I got quite a bit done.

Keeping busy helps.

Sometimes, when you have a boring/less than meaningful job, that can be a trigger...you get to feeling like a caged animal, & just letting the time pass by.

So I did a few extra clean-up projects, and then just manned the front desk, working on my own projects in between helping patrons. I think the tropical storm has them all staying home.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:08 PM
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Hi HP, I understand completely when you say :

It seems helpful for me to have logic and reason on one side, but also a deeper sense of the spiritual and wonder on the other side. In the past, some of the cognitive approaches seemed too cold, while others seemed too dogmatic.
I have always straddled the line between the two world, logic and spirituality. Somehow AA didn't seem to work for me, not because of the high power, but because I wanted to be included in the part of the work that meant that I was in control. AVRT makes much more sense to me. I am studying my spirituality on the side, which helps to - but its my own personal journey and for me the feeling of being in control having the spirit imbued within me and my intellect / spirit is what makes sense to me.

16 days sober and stuggling a bit with depression and the desire to isolate from the outside world both so as to avoid triggers, situations with Alcohol, but also to reflect by myself (and with my cat).

I can understand the boring aspect of work. I have tried to work fast leaving time for personal reading during lunch and breaks.

Keep on rolling!
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