Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Getting Out Of Our Heads

"Cogito ergo sum." ~ Descartes
"I think therefore I exist (am)" is a phrase that has become a fundamental element of Western philosophy. Many of us who were part of a liberal arts curriculum in university learned the very act of doubting our own existence might be the proof of that existence. I always wondered in philosophy class about the lowly slug or igneous rock which, incapable of thought, must not exist at all.

"So what am I seeing?" I wondered.

Our Golden Retriever Cali, however, does continually ponder existence on so many levels that I am convinced she MUST exist. She ponders the existence of food, squirrels, her bone, noises, and whoever might, or might not be, entering the house at any given instant. Cali is the quintessential in-the-moment being. I often envy her.

But I digress.

We long for those days of 50-minute debates in the 400-Series philosophy class. Descartes' postulation may have been the inspiration for the Matrix trilogy, existence merely a function of what the brain wishes to, or is allowed to process. We perceive, therefore we ARE. In the movie, Neo, prophet visionary, programmer, hacker and black-market software purveyor was able to see beyond what was "wrong with the world" to prove the existence of "being" beyond everyones' immediate perceptions, beyond the constraints of what the Matrix allowed.

Our culture, a Matrix of sorts, prizes strong will to overcome adversity and advertises a pull-up-from-the-bootstraps mentality equating personal failures with a weak mind and weaker character.

Is there a Latin phrase for "I think, therefore I am all right?"

As parents of addicts we are notorious for believing we can arise from the ashes of our children's addiction through thought, force of will and logic. We soon learn we can proceed along our journey not by any cognitive process, but through a devastating realization felt to our very core. We are beaten, defeated and broken. There is something "wrong" with our world. We require drastic measures to be rescued from our false perceptions.

This escape doesn't require any deep thoughts and this is the beauty of it. We feel the defeat. We know what to do, the simple act of survival to get up, breathe, take a step, then another. We have no idea where we were going or where we are at any given moment, we just know we have to keep moving to escape the bog, the jungle, the thick foreboding forest of our children's addictions. We have to escape our self-constructed Matrix.

We know there is a better life out there for us. We don't know where, we simply Trust the Universe has plans for us. Eventually we emerge from a darkness, still not knowing where our journey is leading us. We only know, we can feel it, darkness being replaced by light, hopelessness by promise.

Sometimes as we progress along our recovery pathway we forget the elation of discovery we find when we Trust our Great Creator. We forget to Let Go and Let God and begin to get in our heads for a solution. We're beginning to get it together. We are the poster child of recovery! We can think these things through. We no longer require the gentle hand of the Universe to guide us.

We can take it from here.

Logic is safe. Logic is better than feeling, isn't it? Trust is frightening.

We climb into our heads and once there, the levers, buttons and switches that got us into the mire not so long ago are once again at our disposal. We're in control, exuding confidence for all to see.

We're lying to ourselves of course. Control is what got us bound with addiction's vortex. Control is Addiction's evil salesman showing us the way to a life we can ill afford. We can do this, we are led to believe, with a few … easy … payments. All that is required of us is that we give over our lives to the addiction of our children. This is the only payment Addiction will ever require from us or our children.

Breathe, Trust, and Feel. Let Go.

We feel, therefore we grow.

Feel the Pain

Feel the joy.

Feel the exhilaration each step of our recovery journey brings. Feel the warm blanket of our Higher Power draped across our shoulders as we proceed up, down and around the magnificent pathway laid before us.

We'll get in our heads from time to time. It's OK. Be aware, feel the isolation that comes with diving into our own grey matter. We'll learn to climb right back out again. Then, take a deep breath, look around, Trust in the possibilities "out there" we cannot even imagine. Take that first step, again, then the next and keep going.

Look around. We are not alone. Breathe, trust, laugh, seek, hope, love and see.

This is the essence of our being as parents in recovery.

… keep coming back

"I exist as I am, that is enough, If no other in the world be aware I sit content. And if each and all be aware I sit content." ~ Walt Whitman
"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." ~ Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland