Life After Addiction...Now What? "Direction on the Self Determined Path"

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You've Stopped...Now What?

That's a really good question. If we've accepted that our natures are driving us into trouble. If we understand that our natures are built from data, that trauma is not just a phenomena of the catastrophic event. That most, if not all, people have been traumatized.

That, because we are people surrounded by people - it was damn near impossible to avoid being traumatized. That it has effected every part of our thinking, feeling, character as a whole. That our "holistic body" was, and is in a state of "dis-ease/un-rest" as the result of imbalance. We will understand that our recovery from our addictions is still in the beginning stages.

If we've decided to go further into dealing with cause - then it's time to address the third 'D' - Direction.

This is our present position on the road to recovery, happiness and complete freedom from addictions and addictive behaviors. We are at this beginning stage in our personal development journey. You could say spiritual development/spiritual journey if you like. By now we're beginning to fully understand that they are one in the same.

We are at the "Now What" place. Considering we have been participating in our own development and healing we will know that we have been working mainly on our brains. Once we gain some understanding of the brain. Once we know that it is doing what it's doing because it's been filled with bad data. Once we start the process of cleaning the shelves, emptying the trash and restocking, we have started the restoration process. So what we have been attempting to do is get ourselves to a starting point. This has been our goal. Since I don't hear any screaming and complaining, I guess we're all here, ready to take off on a self determined path. Yes?

Establishing Our Position on the Self Determined Path

From this point forward we are, for us, in uncharted territory. There is no longer anyone, or any "thing" making decisions for us. Our brain has been relieved of that duty. Instead, it has become a tool for our use, not the other way around. We're not in trouble with the law, nobodies mad at us. We have taken an upside down world and righted it. But this only gets us in a position to start. If you are here, then we are here together. We're at the beginning. From now on we will continue: at the beginning. We will not move past it. We will stay here, making the next best move...forever...there's nowhere to go. There is no finish line. There is no place to go. Remember, in the steps we looking at the idea of "if only" ? Happiness is found on the path. The path is the place to be. Now I can only tell you what I am doing - at this moment. I can tell you what data I am looking at. I can tell you what I'm looking for and why. I can no longer say, "here I did this and it worked". We've gone through the discarding and housecleaning. We've become adventurers. Explorers. Discoverers of new worlds. Creators.

Understanding people: Institutions...

We all made a list of resentments as we followed the 12 step inventory process. We included institutions. We understand that Institutions are people. Institutions are made up of people and there collective ideas. So to understand institutions we'll have to study those collective ideas. There are institutions that are bent on the destruction of nature for profit. There are institutions that seek to control all of mankind, for profit, and the power that profit brings. We know these people. We got to know them on the playground in our early childhood. We saw the bully, the not so nice group organizer. The angry kids. The teachers pets. The loners, the haters, the frightened... We met all these people. They are still those people we met. They have moved into the society and they took their natures, ideas and ambitions with them. So if we are to fully understand society we will look for these people in the institutions of society.

We already studied motive. We understand it and can look at people realistically and therefore all the mysteries concerning people are solved. The same holds true with institutions. It can be no other way. They are all people. So who is the institution? What is it's collective idea? What does it mean to us? One of the main sources of the trauma that we endured came from not understanding the world around us. Almost all addicts and alcoholics will tell you they never felt like they completely fit in. Understanding the world around us is like understanding a jig saw puzzle. With a jig saw puzzle we want to put the pieces where they go. Our questions are where questions. In the puzzle of life we all want to know what the finished picture looks like. But the questions we ask are all why questions. Everyone, at some point, starts asking why questions. We feel an overwhelming need to fit in somewhere. Our puzzle on the table is resolved when we know where the pieces go. It doesn't work that way for the people puzzle. We have all tried to place ourselves in positions to solve the puzzle. It doesn't work. Even with people who say it works - it doesn't work. I can say that because - it is impossible for it to work. A why question cannot be resolved with a where answer. A lot of the time a why question will be worded - where do I fit in. This will never lead to resolving the puzzle. It's not the right question. It's a step in the wrong direction. It always leads, as mentioned earlier, to an unresolved why question.

So why is it important to understand all this? The purpose of sharing these observations is to allow us the best chance of continued success in our personal recovery. Although we are all on the path, the path will unfold in some unique direction. That is the nature of paths. Since the path is ours, we want it to lead in the best direction. We are entering into the region of the where question. But in order to make the most qualified decisions - as to where - we need to know why. If we know why we're less likely to try and fit in "where" it is less healthy. I think the term is slippery. This confusion about the questions and their respective answers is why people end up in slippery places. Slippery places are always - less healthy. I say less healthy because, who knows, we could get out unscathed. It's still not "what's best" for us or anybody else. When we fully understand why we will naturally gravitate to the healthiest places.

So we can look at the world around us as we have learned to look at people. This takes all the struggle and frustration out of it. This will allow us to make better decisions. Healthier choices.

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