"Give till it hurts" Mother Theresa
"Practical experience shows that NOTHING will so much insure immunity from drinking as INTENSIVE work with other alcoholics." p89
My favorite old timer used to say this, but (although it is a standard I use) I tend not to advertise this ? method for fear of being labeled horribly co dependent. Anyway. The missing piece of the jigsaw fell into place when I saw ken Wilber's utube item called 'give till it hurts'
Its actually very difficult to describe unless you've done it, so if you haven't really pushed yourself to your ! limits of patience and tolerance and gone to ANY LENGTHS to try very hard to help others, this may not mean very much to you at all. Who knows. But when I heard Ken Wilber describing the 'radical acceptance' that an INTENSE relationship to 'damaged goods' can bring about, I recognized it straight away. But then I have a bit of experience with meditation as well so perhaps that's why I can notice it.
I always say to Sponsees that newcomers are literally 'mind altering', in that they bring about a very clear and even mind space, but only if we are 'going the extra mile', or going to any lengths. Anyway, all I know is that at some point in the process, (usually after feeling very !! exasperated with the awareness that any judgment I am experiencing is completely road blocking my attempt to help) I sort of 'push myself up a gear', to 'get through to the person'. And reach a point internally where I GENUINELY feel no sense of 'good' or 'bad'. Its sort of like I can see the divine in them. They are not 'bad' people getting good. They are sick people getting well.
Anyway, it all goes a bit ? Neutral. Ken Wilber calls it an 'immoveable awareness'. Which sounds about right. It feels like I am 'holding' a 'space' for the craziness of the newcomer to exist in, where I do not flinch, internally or externally (in the form of speech or action) , while they relate their craziness to me. Its like I'm 'holding steady'. Yet it feels very intense at the same time. Anyway, it feels very cool. Kind of tough, but very cool. Its a very nice place to be in my head.
Anyway, Ken describes this as a way of achieving pure Equanimity, or 'one taste', which is just another word for releasing all judgment. All notions of things being either 'good' or 'bad'.
Anyway he pointed out that this was a way that women mystics tried to achieve the mental states normally created in more patriarchal institutions such as monasteries by sitting meditating for eight hours not blinking. It was very interesting and puts the mother Theresa doctrine into context. I always like mother Theresa, but I did not understand why. (Like most things to do with higher powers and what have you) Now I know! Well a BIT better!
Anyway anything that helps me put the jigsaw pieces together is good! I'm STILL 'looking though a glass darkly' but it all helps!
By the way, Mystics are very interesting if you can be bothered reading about them. I have heard the Christian mystics are worth getting to know, but I haven't done research in to book names or authors.
It's ironic how you write about the things that I have just been thinking about. I told my sponsor yesterday that I think I'm made for 12 step work. That being said, I haven't even gotten all the way through Step Four yet! It may just be my codependency kicking in but I enjoy helping others . It is frustrating sometimes to listen without reacting. As long as I monitor how I feel and check my comfort level, I seem to be okay. Thanks for the thought provoking post.
Thanks for the post. Thanks for spreading the message.
hugs and kisses
yup, give til it hurts and then some more--
Mother Teresa is one of my heroes
such a good lesson
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