Friday, March 27, 2009

The Alchemy of Addiction

by Renee Bledsoe

Addiction typically makes us feel weak, out of control and self-destructive. We think that we have no will power and are weak willed. We may even think we are unredeamable, a lost cause, blocked, too far gone, hooked, out there, too weird, stupid, ignorant, broken and possibly just plain dumb. I would agree that if this is how we are feeling, then this is in fact our reality. Yet even these lower levels of reality have doorways into new tracks of thinking. For there is nothing that can help us jump track quicker than overwhelming pain, doubt, fear and humiliation which can often give us a glimpse of another world, even if it is something that we can't quite put our finger on yet. Because there is much more here than meets the eye and somewhere in our heart and soul we know it. There is a mystery here and it is begging to be solved. Our soul is trying to get our attention. And if we will sit with and be still and let our spirit communicate with us in language and symbol, rather than through our own bewildering behavior and polluted thoughts we will start to see an alternate and even a parallel reality...not in some metaphysical airy fairy way, but with our physical eyes and even our logical mind!

In the concrete levels of reality we may be doctors, lawyers, accountants, janitors, librarians, college students, homemakers, technicians, life coaches, psychotherapists, financial planners, soldiers, teachers, self-employed or unemployed. We may drink, take drugs, get depressed, overeat, under eat, work too much, volunteer too much, give too much, take too much, try to control everything, get cancer, steal, rape and kill. But amidst all that even in the lower levels, the good, the bad and the ugly we are also lightworkers, angels incarnate, bodhisattvas, shamans, exorcists and alchemists. We are human. We are divine. Above all we are healers in whatever it is that we do. Many of us, however, may have started to notice that the vanquishing of one addiction leads to ever increasing levels of sobriety in multiple arenas of our life. And if denial is allowed to continue to peel away we may be staggered at the sheer volume of layered and hidden addictions that are often covered in "goodness" and repression. Crafty, resourceful and clever are we! Yet as we bravely continue to face our darkness, some can see the addictions peeling away often in quantum leaps as we excavate our soul and bring in the Light. And this is where our treasure is buried.

Addiction is the path of the earth/spirit warrior. It's what we came here to conquer. It has taken us thousands of years to even recognize and understand our "foe". All darkness and negativity arises out of the addictive process. We walk into this battle in spite of our fear, not because we don't feel it, but because we know that who we really are and what we can evolve into makes it necessary to engage with our own personal Armageddon. Some of us have seen what is on the other side of our pain and fear and we have been forever changed because of it. We have taken our base metal, our base nature, and allowed it to transform us into something very precious. We have transmuted our darkness into golden light. We emerge victorious in complete freedom. We are freedom fighters of the highest order, but we do not resist our enemy. We turn it to the Light and use it against itself. We tune the frequencies of addiction, compulsion and codependency into their opposite spectrums of devotion, sacred ceremony and unconditional love. We see the interplay of shadow and light and we honor our personal paths to freedom. Our mission, quite simply, is to free our spirit and soul to manifest on the physical plane and to evolve into our full human potential to create a life worth living.

Addictions are simply pointing out to us how much freedom we are willing to allow ourselves. Addictions whet our appetite for true freedom and make us hunger for something more. They give us a peak at our capacity for passion, devotion and true love. Addictions will ring our bell. And the bell tolls for each of us, for our connection to our highest self, the part of us that is limitless and free. These are not just any bells, but wedding bells heralding a mystical marriage, the union of our body and spirit. Our soul is knocking at our door, like an ardent lover come calling and asking for our hand. And it won't let up, because this is a divine union that no man can put asunder, not even ourselves.

Addiction is the ringbearer of our soul, cavorting down the aisle, maybe shirt tail askew, but nevertheless, bringing the ring. And in the marriage lies the paradox, for at the moment of joining and commitment something new is born self to Self, like Beauty and the Beast. Something so grand, so magnificent that it remains unnamable until that very moment. And that something is a new version of our former selves that may be barely recognizable to our own earthbound eyes. This is the promise of the union. And in that moment we come to know that there is no other way but to let freedom ring. Resistance is not only futile, it is not necessary. For this is not about being safe, this is about being free. This is not about fear, this is about overflowing, never ending, eternally abundant love. And this love can only be experienced in true freedom.

Once this fight for true freedom, not just sobriety is engaged, the mundane ceases to exist and the exhilaration of the true nature of the heart and soul begins to take root. So when we reach this place, and make our way through hell and back and see what awaits on the other side of addiction and crisis, we are transformed into freedom fighters who come back to run rescue operations on those who still suffer. And we come back not out of duty or obligation, but because we have been re-programmed through the circuitry of our heart and soul to assist others on their journey to the other side, because what we have seen, what we have become, what we carry back with us is this amazing grace which now clings to our body and soul like a new garment.

We know that if nothing more than through a smile, a kind word, a hug, a listening ear we carry within us the unspeakably rare and precious antidote to all addiction: compassion, forgiveness, unconditional love and self love. This is love incarnate. Many of us are invisible warriors, no longer engaged in codepent "fixing". We understand the art of doing without doing. We understand power versus force at its truest essence. For us, a smile is no longer just a smile, but a way to set body chemistry aright, to shine a ray of love out into the world and a sign of affection for its witnesses. It is a beam of love projecting and connecting to sources by most unseen, triggering an avalanche of support and energy. A thesis could be written on the power and beauty of a single smile if we only knew. This knowledge, wisdom such as this, quietly integrated into a life is what makes all the difference. Awareness of simple, quiet, unsung everyday miracles, is the lightworkers way.

As we unveil our power the implications of this at first looms large. For we now know that we are a healer and a lightworker and we know that this is what we have resisted all along. And we know that this is what was being born within us, honed and crafted in the womb of our soul. Finally, we begin to see the power and the glory of the kingdom accessible through our spirit made manifest in the flesh. And we now know without one shadow of doubt that we are divine. Before these words were at best allegory and at worst not applicable, now this concept is self-evident because it has been cross-stiched and interwoven into our experience in a manner as radiant and dependable as the rising sun. And what's more, because we know who and what we are, we now know that human...all humans....even the drunks, the robbers, and the junkies are also, divine. We know that even when WE were at our worst we were still divine.

Our soul starts to tickle us with inklings of the limitlessness and the possibilities. And when we realize that we have tracked our personal mystery down and jumped into an alternate reality, something clicks inside of us and life becomes an amazing adventure. Pain and suffering no longer have the bite they once had, perceptions are clearer, thoughts are purer and love is truer. Life is good, even when weird things are happening. Being human isn't what we thought it once was at all. And we are sobered to realize that there is always going to be more. And the knowledge that we are standing on the shoulders of the way we used to be brings us tears of gratitude. And the knowledge that one day we will stand on the shoulders of the way we are now gives us the three things we cannot be without: Faith in what we cannot now see, Hope that there is an eternal will to good at work in the world, and Love and appreciation of all creation, including and most especially ourselves. And this changes everything, even as it changes nothing.

This is the path, the path of addiction, a sacred pathway to healing, enlightenment, empowerment, wisdom and awareness. We find that this dirty, humble road we've been traveling has been swept clean to reveal just below the surface a street of gold. The wheel comes full turn, the snake is eating its tail and worlds are without end, kingdoms and places in the soul as yet to be discovered beckon us on to adventure. The process of addiction has alchemically changed our soul. Quite simply our addiction has helped us give birth to a new consciousness and opens the door of everything that has been waiting inside of us. It activates our ability to create the reality of heaven on earth. This is the Alchemy of Addiction.