Spiritual Awakening; From Pain to Wisdom

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“You embrace the pain that comes from knowledge and laugh at the bliss born out of ignorance. You accept that pain is a side effect of doing what you love, knowing that pain is merely the hard center of love that must be embraced, softened and transformed into wisdom.” ~ G. W. McGee

One of the signs of a spiritual awakening as defined by G. W. McGee, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, asserts that we find ourselves preferring to ‘be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie’.  There develops a real appreciation for truth that trumps any amount of pain or suffering that’s necessary to achieve it. People in AA are well aware of this fact. Regardless of consequences, they face the reality that addictions have caused great pain to themselves and others.  They follow the 12 Steps and engage in a new responsibility to truth and begin to practice it in all of their affairs.

As William Goldman tells us through Westley (Dread Pirate Roberts) in The Princess Bride, “Life is pain, Highness. Anybody who tells you otherwise is selling something.

When we accept that there is always pain in life, the wisdom gained through even the most difficult experiences becomes attainable.  Regrets begin to slip away when we awaken to the certainty that God is with us through every suffering and heartache.  We face the truth and embrace the existence of unconditional love.  This is spiritual awakening.

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Seeking Humility

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“We still need to contend with the original prejudice that some people are important and others don’t count. Our ego clings to self-importance and puts us on a path that draws us further from our soul’s truth.  Humility can keep us from moving into this territory.” ~ Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J.

Humility appears to be in short supply these days.  Posturing for recognition and struggling for praise are constantly on display as people in power shout that one side (our side) is better than the other. This arrogance does not align with any spiritual tradition ever practiced.  No religion has a theology of pretentiousness.

The humble Jesus, for example, empties himself for the sake of humankind.  He does not seek validation, nor does he cling to his authority.  He is willing to be mocked and sacrificed rather than accept a position of power over those who would be his enemies.

But despite the directives of faith traditions, many of us have made it a mission to elevate ourselves by driving down the ‘others’. The results have not been good.  So where can we find a healthy dose of humility?

“The way of God consists, first, of humility, second, of humility, and third, of humility.  No matter how often you would ask me, I would say the same.” ~ Saint Augustine

One place to find humble hope is around addiction recovery circles.  These folks hold a mirror up for us which reflects true humility.  Their very lives depend on complete commitment to humility.  In order to overcome the chronic symptoms of the disease, they open themselves to rigorous self-examination with a personal commitment to honesty.

Having experienced long periods of humiliation, there is a deep desire to not go there again. By finding humility in 12 Steps, they discover the life-saving difference between it and humiliation.  They cast aside false pride in favor of kinship and community.  Deadly secrets are disposed of in favor of gentle honesty, transparency and acceptance.  Self-seeking slips away. A friend of mine who attended a 12 Step meeting in support of someone made a statement I’ll never forget.  He said after the session; “That was incredible. I think everyone should go to AA meetings.”

There can be no more worries about the perspectives, opinions and attitudes that others might have when we have surrendered to a virtuous life of humility.

_________________________

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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The Self-Doubt Committee

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“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ~ William Shakespeare

There is a committee that meets on a regular basis inside our brains that operates as if it has a powerful mandate with the final word on the disposition of our worth.  It has an agenda that allows them to tick off all of the failings, shortcomings, pitfalls, should-haves, and what-ifs.

The members argue and shout at each other about how impossible it is for us to move forward considering our total lack of ability and incompetence.  Do you recognize that committee and those voices?  We struggle with them every day.  All too often, we listen to them like some benign CEO who fears for his job, approving their negativity with a nod and a sigh.

They are right.  We could never rise to the occasion.  It will be better to just plod along rather than risk another failing attempt.  The problem is that the committee does not have all of the information.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” ~ E. E. Cummings

Our friends in Alcoholics Anonymous call this grouping of internal self doubters “the itty bitty sh…y committee”.  They find these meetings of negative thoughts actually have the power to lead them back into the horrors of addiction if given the opportunity.  What is needed is an internal CEO with vision and with a silencing gavel to pound on the desk.

Each of us has the power to develop and carry out a personal mission statement.  Self doubt will slip into the recesses of our minds when we are following these better angels.

We were created to serve a higher purpose than we can ever imagine.  There is no time for negativity, no time for committee meetings, no reason to doubt and no reason to second guess our destiny.

Today I will pound that gavel and move forward toward my dreams!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_team_member admin_label=”Robert Kenneth Jones” name=”Robert Kenneth Jones” position=”Columnist” image_url=”https://chaplainusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/robert.jpg” facebook_url=”https://www.facebook.com/KenJonesBoy” linkedin_url=”https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-kenneth-jones-8861183/” _builder_version=”3.0.101″ global_module=”26968″ saved_tabs=”all”]

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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