MOTHS-R-US: Addiction as Initiation
Posted on 01 September 2013
I love this one-liner from Pema Chodron, about how we're insanely, wildly, immaturely, naively, passionately drawn to things that harm us just as a moth is to flame.
All of us are addicts in one way or another, whether the object is sugar, our favorite TV show, struggle, excess carbon footprint, negative thinking, anger, violence, cabernet savignon, fashionable clothing, fantastically taut skin, scones, or any escape of your choice.
Here's a common scene in my life 5-10 years ago:It's Friday night. I'm hungry. I get home from a hard day of work. Kids screaming, irritable from a long week at school. Husband not home yet. I deserve a glass of wine. "I'll stop at one glass," I tell myself. I pour a glass while I made dinner and cajole kids into setting the table. I munch on the food I'm making while I cook dinner. I drown the glass of wine. I pour another. I eat an entire meal "tasting" the food I'm cooking. Husband comes home. He's stressed out and wants to transition. Glass of wine for him. We sit down to eat. I eat my second dinner with my husband and kids. I finish my second glass of wine. The bottle is nearly empty. I stop there. I eat dessert instead, perhaps two servings. "I'll diet tomorrow!" I tell myself cheerfully! I wake up the next morning: hung over from the alcohol and the excess food and the dessert. I'm cranky, but worse than that, I'm full of remorse, frustration, even despair. Ultimately, we want peace, happiness and joy, right? Yet our goal and methods often don't jive. We often find ourselves, very humanly, unable to say "no" to something harmful. We figure out with time that willpower, fear and the forced march of the latest diet fail us.
How do we get our goal for peace and method to align better? How do we transmute our addictions into initiation?
Marianne Williamson would say that our addictions are from disengaging from "Divine Mind," which she defines as reconnection to your spiritual reality, achieved through force of Divine Mind, It's a gift from the Divine to return you to your sanity. She writes in A Course In Weight Loss that our goal is to remember the Divine Truth, which is that love is who you are, and this is the key to your healing. In this latest book from Marianne, famous for her translation and thought around A Course in Miracles (ACIM), her focus is on food, as in: it "is not about your relationship to food, it is about your relationship with love."