Spirit of Drink

I want to share an excerpt from the writings of Dr. Carl Jung that he wrote in a letter to Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Wisely, he states what a chronic alcoholic, who has lost hope is experiencing in the grips of alcoholism.

“His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low 

level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, 

expressed in medieval language: the union with God . . .  

You see, Alcohol in Latin is “spiritus” and you use the 

same word for the highest religious experience as 

well as for the most depraving poison. The helpful 

formula therefore is: spiritus contra spiritum.”

— Excerpts from letter of Dr. Carl Jung to Bill W.

Spirit, like God, denotes an object of psychic experience which cannot be proved to exist in the external world and cannot be understood rationally. Dr. Carl Gustav Jung

Humility

The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.

Carl Gustav Jung

Humility is self esteem based in wholeness and fulfillment.

Humility is the acceptance of myself and my shortcomings.

I used to live two different lives, which forced my insides to be in conflict with my outsides.

Until I accepted and asked God to change me at depth, into establishing my spiritual nature and live in accordance to His Will for my life, I was unaware that I was operating solely on my ego.

Remember one aspect, that God is the image within. It is the invisible Power that runs the entire system, the universe.

The ego is into people pleasing, validation, approval, and confirmation amongst many other defects of character.

Understanding through a process of life experience, self discovery, self love, and self awareness, I am learning that my life is an evolution of humility.

Life presents to me opportunities everyday to exercise and witness humility. This is a beautiful gift because It brings me closer in union with God who is the orchestrater of my life.

When I live with humility, I recognize the behaviors and attributes that kept my ego in charge.

Fear, guilt, shame, anxiety, anger and control were the main root system of my ego. They still are a part of me, yet now I accept these feelings and go to a new choice of living with honesty, willingness, openness, love, acceptance, and trust that God is molding me into the person I was created to be.

Humility is letting go of concepts and modes of behavior and being able to transition through the process of change with a grateful attitude that even though I may not understand what to do, I must trust that the circumstance, person, place, or thing is molding my character to honor myself.

When I honor myself, I can honor others. When I come from a meaning that “I am good enough and can accept it,” I then move outward to others in a pleasing, kind, and cooperative manner.

Honestly viewing my character, good and bad; understanding that I know very little, modestly viewing myself as part of the greater whole, intuitively listening and trusting that still quiet voice within me, loving myself so I can love others, tolerating the behaviors and dispositions of myself and others, and yielding to a power that makes it all possible, these are qualities of humility.

Humility is strength. When I trust myself and am able to delegate and share with others, I experience humility.

Life also manifests humility in me. One such way is loss. Loss of health, wealth, relationships, loved ones including our animal friends, has an impact on the meaning I interpret life from.

Our being is a manifestation of meaning.

These experiences allow me to create and shift my attitude into a meaning that enriches my life.

When I understand pride, bravado, selfishness, and egoism are a part of my make up, I can transform myself by viewing these states of consciousness with an open, still, and loving heart.

Humility requires patience for the process of life and the unfoldment of my character. When I can admit that I made a mistake and release perfectionism for outcomes, I can strive for excellence instead.

People are imperfect, that is why we are human. The ideal is not lost, only the measure on how I interpret perfection does.

Asking is imagining. When I humbly ask with no attachment on the outcome, I am given all that I need. Maybe not what I want, but what I need.

My purpose is to discover a meaning for my life that includes the sharing with others, then pride is shifted to self worth, which operates under the power of faith.

With this understanding, I can now personalize my experience and live with integrity. I can have my insides match my outside.

I no longer desire to find my happiness or relevance in an another. I must live within myself. This s where joy is found.

Only then does my ego or “I,” shrink to its proper perspective. I am a part of the equation of life, not the whole solution.

Now my psychology, relationship, and spirituality are in harmony. My thoughts, judgments, and decisions include the cooperation, not competition with the outside world. I compete with myself to become better today than I was yesterday.

Better today so I can be better tomorrow. This is humility for me today. A work in progress not perfection.

Use F words

FEAR, FAITH, FORGIVE, Focus

Limiting beliefs affect even the most successful people. The first step to overcoming fear is to face them. If you can not make it go away, then dance with it.

What if fear meant Focused Energy Abandoning Reality? Maybe you’ve heard that fear is also False Evidence Appears Real.

Whatever the acronym, we all experience this sensation. Sometimes it’s best to do the challenge and other times it’s not. Both are an action.

The best speakers, leaders, writers all experience fear but do it anyway. Why? Maybe it’s faith that they are prepared and the steps ahead will be there.

Commitment, dedication, and trust in yourself establishes and reinforces belief.

My beliefs shape my decisions, my decisions shape my actions, my actions shape my attitude, my attitude is everything.

If my natural state of being or attitude is Joy, what gets in the way of that joy? Often times it’s the questions that I ask of myself. Questions determine focus.

If they are negative, I will feel negative, if they are positive I will feel positive. Being witness to thoughts is necessary to feeling the feelings I want to feel. It’s all an interpretation, so choose one that works for self and doesn’t dishonor others.

Be optimistically cautious. Projecting and trying to control the future can lead to anxiety and false expectations. In remaining in the present moment, all the resources are available, like breathing, clarity of focus, temperance, or acceptance.

Often worry and anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future, but rather trying to control it.

It’s important to learn how to detach or let go of outcomes which can conjure negative emotion.

Feelings of resentment and fear of separation permits you to perceive everything as a threat and seduce one to the dark side of its nature.

Darkness can consume you in FEAR, which leads to stagnation and eventually destruction.

THE POWER OF THE F-WORDS: FORGIVENESS AND FAITH

Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant. Cultivate other emotions, like passion and hunger in order to change your mindset and learn how to have a positive attitude in a lasting way.

Other than perhaps gratitude (which is the underpinning of both) no two human emotions have a greater impact on the quality of your life than forgiveness and faith.

We will always carry anger and hurt in our hearts as long as we have expectations of other people and life conditions we can’t control.

Forgiveness is really an understanding that the only person you hurt when you’re upset (no matter how justified it may be) is yourself. Even if everything in you wants to blame someone else, consider giving yourself the gift of forgiving your expectations.

This to me is the definition of responsibility. Responding to life with ability.

What would happen to your well being if you quickly forgave? What I mean is first forgive yourself for the thought before saying sorry to another?

You are now on the route and path of acceptance.

Acknowledge fear and replace it with the insight of awareness.

Hardest test in life is the patience to wait for the right moment.

Guatama Buddah

Faith

Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.

Bruce Lee
IMAGES OF STILLNESS RESTORE MY SERENITY.

Faith

Faith is the starting point of all achievement. It is the prerequisite for moving forward in life.  

What is faith?  Faith is a power.  It is a power that manifests creation.  There is an invisible thought stuff that makes an idea transform to the material world. Faith is the basis of what makes man operate on a daily basis. It gives meaning to existence.

What is the difference between faith and trust?  Trust is not only a feeling but a stronger knowing that forms a foundational confidence in your spirit that allows you to act with greater certainty. It blends beautifully with belief.

Trust in the Source or Power of the universe, which many refer to as God, is a foundational step.  Some do not believe in a God and that’s fine. The word has many interpretations.

It’s interesting to me, that those who do not, are always consumed with a fervent passion to an idea of something that does not exist in their perception or experience of life. Why question something that does not exist?  

Our monetary system is based on faith or trust.  Without gold backing, why is any currency that is written on unique paper say to “Trust in God.”  If there was no faith that the paper means anything, then all you have is a piece of paper. 

Why is faith vitally important for the alcoholic seeking recovery.  A hope or wish to stop drinking puts the “Idea” in a distant future state which at the beginning, frankly is flimsy and could blow away when it meets any adversity.  Yet with faith, that feeling of certainty has been tested or experienced by you in past circumstances. References are reinforced.

For example, when you are driving your car, and for those who still drink and drive especially, what is preventing the other car coming at you 50 miles an hour from an opposite direction not cause you to  freeze in your tracks and force you to pull over every time?  It’s because you have built faith over time, that the other car will hold up an invisible bargain called: “rules of the road.”  

The same can be said with faith. An agreement with the Power which is greater than yourself is infused into your thinking and feeling.  You can then harness and channel this energy into a goal.  Anything is possible now.  Trust can be described as having stronger faith muscles and an inner knowing stronger than a feeling.  This comes with time, effort, and personal experience.  

Faith is a verb. Faith is a power. Faith is a flowing state of openness or trust… In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go; And become open to the truth, Whatever it might turn out to be.

Alan Watts

When I reached my lowest point mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I asked for help to a Power I did not understand.  I was all out of ideas.  Something inside of me knew that my life had to change and I could no longer live the way I was living. Desperation can foster innovation. 

Faith made this transformation in my thinking possible.  My attitude shifted to where new possibilities for my life could made.  Action is required. Consistent action.

Life is a happening and reacts to us. Some say life is a journey.  I agree, but life is also a lesson.  It is a lesson on how I can strengthen my faith daily until it reaches the point where it becomes trust.  I have come to a stage in my life where now, I trust myself and others, until they give me reasons not to.

I now trust life.  I am guided.  I live with “downstream thinking.” I rarely am struggling and paddling upstream against the currents of life, family, relationship, and most important myself.

I have discovered that the best relationship I can have is the one I keep with myself.  This way, I get to choose how I respond to my emotions.  Today, I not only exercise faith, but live with Trust. It is a process lived one day at time, one step at a time.  There is no more self criticizing or blame, only acceptance that I am being led to grow and understand.

Exercise your applied faith!

The beginning is purification, that’s the first step. And purification means purification of body and mind. You don’t purify the body without cleansing the mind; that’s the way it works.

Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE

Meaning

 What’s your Meaning?

My search for meaning is the source of success or failure.  Understanding, perception, and past experience shape my decisions.  These decisions affect my attitudes which in turn determine what kinds of results I experience. 

It is difficult to comprehend that circumstances outside of me do not determine the experience of my inner world.  This sounds outrageous, but I hope to express what I mean.

Meaning is an interpretation of a perceived event, personal communication, or concept.  When I can change the way I see things, the things I see change.  An inside look at myself and interpreting an experience in a certain way is useful to my growth.

The more I know today, the less I understand. The things I thought I figured out long ago, I’m learning again. So, I must be flexible and adaptable in what concept I identify my world in.  

When I was drinking, in the end, I had become habitual to alcohol.  I believed that only with alcohol could I cope with my life.  This was the meaning I felt in my soul.  I never thought I could stop; because every time I set goals to stop, even for a day, I could not.  This became to be a self fulfilling prophecy and further cemented a belief that there was no hope. 

What happened that allowed me to turn the corner and view my alcoholism in a new way?  For me it was desperation.  I had ran out of answers and excuses. I cried loudly internally, “I need help!”

I do not know your situation, but when you are about to lose your family, your health, and your self respect and dignity, a new meaning for your life is revealed. Maybe for you it’s a “nudge from the judge” in the form of a drunk drinking citation or accident.  Either way, action is required based on the meaning you give to the event, words, or self talk. 

My attitudes are based on belief.  Belief is a feeling of certainty about what something means.  It is therefore important to choose a meaning that not only serves me and allows me to move forward, but does not interfere in the well being or life of another.  I decided something needed to change, and that was me.

When I was drinking, I was living mostly in my mind and rarely had the interests of others. Self centeredness, self pity, poor self awareness were characteristics or defects of my character. Alcohol was hiding these traits from me or better still, I was running from them and using booze to mask them.

Do you see what I just did? I changed the meaning and my evaluation or interpretation of the experience instantly changed. All of us do this shifting in meaning consciously but more times than not, unconsciously.

The key is to watch my thoughts and change meaning consciously that better serves my attitudes. I am not disguising the experience with false beliefs, rather proactively finding a feeling that best expresses a meaning.

Attitude is always in flux, just like the weather. When I can find a purpose greater than my moods, true joy can be experienced. Happiness typically depends on outside forces or circumstances and joy is an inner experience. I can nurture joy.

My understandings must be viewed with an open mind and willingness to always know that my perceptions are always subject to change. What I believed yesterday is information that is subject to change today. This is what I like to refer to as “downstream thinking.” When I am living in “flow” and not fighting life, “upstream thinking,” I view life effortlessly. I can roll with the change. Life begins to hum along.

Admitting to myself and others I am alcoholic was differently difficult. I frankly was anonymous of this denial to my psyche. Eventually, in the end, I was ashamed because I allowed it to erode my dignity. There are definitely certain stigmas or meanings attached to that term.

For several years I never considered Alcoholics Anonymous because of the stigma, and reputation I had placed in the organization. I had to shift my meaning in order to behave differently. Many times this is not our decision, but the meaning is the catalyst.

Today, I understand that admitting to being an alcoholic is simply saying that I am living in the solution. I am now in the equation of solving the problem. This facet of me is a part of my experience of life and I would not be the person I am today without recognizing my past.

Admitting I am alcoholic is the first step towards recovering and experiencing soundness of mind. Without revealing the problem, I will never find the answer, which is soundness of mind.