Self-Righteous Suffering (and Spiritual Arrogance) pt. 2
Sooooo, breakthroughs have never come when or how I’ve anticipated. History has shown that when it’s what I expected, it’s typically been manufactured by me thus the effect is minimal and it’s staying power is fleeting at best. Enlightenment and change happen when I am receptive to information, not when I’m only looking for confirmation of what I already think. When I got to the meeting on the 19th I was just in survival mode. I was open to anything that would help me get through the day sane. Little did I know, False Pride was my hang up and the truth became pretty clear; I’d gotten too big for my britches.
“Many false notions operate under false pride...A God-centered life has limitless possibilities for personal growth...God works through other people…”
Chasing spiritual and personal growth has been my driving force from the day I actually quit drinking. Doing so has strengthened the connection to my Source and in turn, given me the opportunity as well as desire and ability to help others. This may sound excessively altruistic but really, helping others is all I want to do. I have been privileged to be able to do so and I know this is a direct result of pursuing alignment with the bigger picture. But in classic alcoholic fashion, I found something that felt good and then over indulged in it.
There was this two-way street of me going to source and source providing enlightenment. Then the one-way street of my offering that enlightenment to others. I have an extremely small circle of people that I actually hang out with and even smaller circle that I would bring my issues to. I wouldn’t have a two-way dialogue with anyone who wasn’t seeking (at minimum) like I was. While I didn’t think I was better than anyone, I definitely felt like I was different than most.
Fact: I’m human, at my core, I can’t be any different than anyone else. So if I have the potential to help anyone, anyone has the potential to help me. The dissolution of my connection to that truth stemmed from a lack of balance. I spent so much time chasing growth that the basic need and value of human connection was becoming foreign.
God (the Universe, Truth, Love...pick a source) always offers opportunities to recognize and remedy misalignment with flow. It’s usually in the form of fear, anger, depression (emotional not chemical), disappointment, and really any form of discomfort.
As the stress of my situation mounted, none of my fix-alls worked. Because I was missing the lesson AND doubling down on my methods of going it alone, everything continued to worsen. I was backed into a corner where my only two options were to give up on life or ask for and/or allow help.
I started telling some friends and sharing about it in meetings. Doing so prompted conversations that addressed the glaring issue but also started touching on things I wasn’t even thinking about. Loneliness, fear, and expectations, to name a few, all came to light as things needing some deliberate attention. I was reaching out because I was hoping someone would provide the action step needed to get me out of my misery. No one did that. What they did provide was connection.
When the topic of false pride was introduced, it finally resonated because I’d spent the last month being humbled. This allowed me to realize that my growth efforts did not promote me above the fundamental need of human connection. Also, I’d experienced the value of it.
The self-righteous suffering occurred when I chose suffering over entertaining solutions that didn’t fit into my scope of pre-approved remedies. Discomfort is inevitable, suffering is a choice.
Spiritual arrogance happened when I allowed my spiritual standing to separate me from the whole. That’s actually the POLAR OPPOSITE of anything spiritual. Spirituality is oneness.
It was an honest mistake. I originally chased growth to get closer to Source and the result was opportunities to help others. My efforts became convoluted when I decided what the results of the efforts were to yield; both for myself and who I was to be to/for others. I was nobly acting against the purpose I was attempting to represent. The biggest testament to my growth is not the enlightenment I get but how I live given that enlightenment. How that is to be useful to the big picture will present itself...NOT per my own discernment, desires, or will.
To pursue and live in purpose requires little effort and much allowance. So I’ve come up with 4 principles to help me stay in purpose and 4 to help me realize and stop when I’m attempting to insert my own will; Will Blockers, if you will.:
Don’t Drink! I can’t connect to source if I’m unavailable to be reached.
Cultivate a connection to source. Read, Pray, Meditate...stay seeking.
Better myself/life. The better I am doing, the better equipped I am for whatever use.
Be of service. Help whenever and where I can.
Recognize the situation I am trying to dictate
Identify what it is that I want from it
Acknowledge that what I want from it is irrelevant (The/Thy Will, NOT my will)
And if that’s not working...
Go back to step 1
I was in a meditation this morning and the reading was about being in the moment (mindfulness 101). Loose paraphrase, ‘when we’re in the moment, anything is possible.’ How I translated that was that if I am just doing what I know to be right in the moment, I open the space for anything is intended to manifest. As soon as I act with a desired outcome, I have inserted my own will and tainted the situation with my standards.
It’s the journey not the outcome. The “breakthrough” wasn’t when my suffering ended but in all the realizations brought to light within it. In my case, this was a need to exercise humility and utilize community. When I embraced the gems in the journey, then the suffering ended.
What I got from this and I hope you guys do as well; hardships suck but they are just rumble strips on the side of the highway of life calling attention to a need to realign and get back in our lane. Joy is an outcome powered by actions that must remain adaptable. When it seems more and more distant, joy isn’t leaving me but I’m leaving it and need to do different to get back to it.
Sorry for the length and the all-over-the-placeness of the this one...but it’s my story and I’m sticking to it. See you guys sooner!
Thanks for reading.