The Three Aspects of Living in Process
Healing relationships within ourselves and wholeness of body mind and spirit are of necessity intertwined and the focus of this work. There are three important aspects to Living in Process that we have found helpful—recovery, deep process and community. They are distinct and yet vitally connected.
Western society demands addiction to fit into it, and everything around us invites us back into the addictive process when we are trying to recover from it. If we become fully conscious and aware of our connection with others and all living things we would no longer be able to sustain our society as we know it.
Living in Process helps us to recognize and address the addictive process which is engrained in our daily lives whether we recognize it as addiction, dysfunction, anxiety, depression or obsessive thinking and behaviour. Some of the things that many of us use addictively include: alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, work, spending, food, coffee, adrenalin, and nicotine. We often use these patterns to distract ourselves from our feelings and our awareness, and to prevent us from being fully alive and experiencing freedom.
We cannot recover from an addiction unless we first admit that we have it. Naming our reality is essential to recovery. Once we name something, we own it. Once we own it, it becomes ours, as does the power we formerly relinquished to it. Once we reclaim that personal power, we can begin to recover.
As we treat the addictive process within ourselves and start recovering from it, we literally begin to do life differently.
Imagine the universe as an enormous puzzle. Each of us is a unique and vital piece of that puzzle. No one else has our genes, our life experience; no one is us. We are unique. In an Addictive System, we are trained not to be ourselves. We loose touch with ourselves. We focus on (blame) others and reference ourselves externally. We deny who we are. This leaves a hole in the puzzle and a hole in the universe that no one else can fill.
Because we have been living in a system that is an addictive system, we are living in a universe that has many holes. As we begin to claim our lives, our pasts, and ourselves, that hole in the universe is filled. It is in living our own process that we take our place in the universe and the whole system can heal.
The best way we have found to address our addictions is through 12 Step Programs. The most well known of which include: Alchoholics Anonymous (AA); Al-Anon for family and friends of alcoholics; Overeaters Anonymous (OA);Sexaholics Anonymous (SA); Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA). Workaholics Anonymous (WA);Debtors Anonymous (DA), and many others. Lots of good information is available through a Google search.
As we begin to let go of our addictions, one of the most obvious things that begins to happen is that we start to have feelings-all kinds of feelings-and old, submerged, hidden deep processes begin to come up. In fact, one of the major functions of addictions is to keep us out of touch with our feelings, our awareness, and our deep processes.
When we get depressed or we start to get agitated or overwhelmed by feelings, that’s our inner process telling us that there is something deep inside us that is ready to come up and be healed.
Our deep process includes feelings and it is not just catharsis or the expression of feelings. These processes or experiences have a life of their own, and it often takes a while to be willing to let go of control enough to actually go through a deep process. Most of us have had these processes come up in our lives; we usually thought we were becoming hysterical or “losing it”. We have been taught to fear and mistrust our deep processes, yet they offer us a level of healing that we have never seen take place in any other way.
Healing is most effectively and powerfully done in a community setting.
In a participatory system, we are all part of a larger whole, and our participation in that larger whole is necessary to our healing. Often, as others share their stories, their struggles and their experiences we are able to learn about ourselves in ways that we never previously considered. Even more important, we need to participate in the community, in the hologram, in order to reclaim ourselves and our self-esteem, and take our place in the universe.
The isolation of dysfunction and self-obsessed thinking takes us out of our awareness that we are part of a larger whole and therefore connected with all things. This isolation pushes us to forget the personal power we feel when we allow ourselves the awareness of participating in something that is much bigger than ourselves. How isolated and alone we feel when we remove ourselves from our rightful connectedness! This connectedness is the very basis of spirituality. It is only when we feel we belong and participate in this belonging that we truly come to know our spirituality. Spirituality can have a private side, and it cannot be isolated. Spirituality is our connectedness. Spirituality is our participation in a whole larger than ourselves.
Community offers more knowledge and information than any one person can give, no matter how “objective” they may be. Yet, each person has an important and unique contribution to make and give in community.
As we get more in touch with ourselves and our spirituality we begin to know deep in our beings that we are part of larger and larger wholes. We begin to see that we must practice the same basic truths on a community level that we practice on an individual level.