Well I have finally gone and done it since my last topic 12 step degenerated into recovery issues which I needed I thought why not make the next about recovery issues.
Every day I move aaay from my divorce I find it easier to function and think about moving on with my life. I do see an area in my life that has been out of control along side of my addiction and that is religious addiction. In my life this manifests itself in obsessive theological quests that leave me without a real relationship with God. Of course the more obsessive or more unbalanced I become the more my other addiction kicks in. Today I am thinking about scaling back my reading and praying more.
I've been taught that an addiction can be identified by the harm it does to self and others. I wondered how the 'obsessive theological quests' you mentioned are harmful?
I ask as I have an obsessive streak with reading and academic work myself, but have always seen it as a gift rather than as a problem.
That is a great post. I think I have a religious addiction and it serves no real purpose for me.
I think the problem comes in when we mistake spirituality for religion. I think stepping away from it all for a while and praying is a good thing. You can never go wrong with prayer.
I am going through marital problems and addiction as well. If you would like to talk feel to send me a private message. Take care.
I find them harmful because of the stress. I don't think anything obsessive can be healthy.
I am the type of person who has to have the answers for anything. Look at little kids. You know the ones who always say "But Why"? That is I. I am never satisfied. It can be exhausting mentally and spiritually.
It is a quest that will never end. A thirst that can never be satisfied. That is why I think for a person such as myself faith must be developed and trusted. When I develop faith at least I can rest long enough to take a breath.
That sounds about right to me - Jesus talks very clearly about quenching thirst.
I don't necessarily think that a period of intense doubt, questioning and seeking is unhealthy. It is painful and frustrating, but God answers. It takes a while to hear him though.
And you're right, prayer is always a good thing!
Regarding obsessive - its not always unhealthy! Think of all the great discoveries and insights that have been made as a result of obsession, all the knowledge, great music and literature we wouldn't have if someone hadn't been 'obsessed'. St Paul, St Francis and Julian of Norwich could all be described as pretty obsessed.
What is important though is how it feels to you, and if its stressing you then it may not be the best thing for you right now!
Excellent advice, FrancesB. That is why I think dialogue is important. Because someone might have another picture of the same situation.
I never looked at it that way. To me it seems exhausting but maybe to others it can create beautiful results.
My problem is my intellect is always battling my faith. My goal is to bring these into healthy unison.
I went through a similar period at university. I was trained as a scientist and for a while I really struggled (1-2 years). Then I read more widely, and accepted the Bible teaching that we won't understand and the wise will be the foolish and vice versa. I also prayed and begged for faith.
I was given faith over a long period of time, but am still challenged by others regarding how I can teach sciences and retain my faith. As if it somehow intellectually dishonest! I'm clear about the limits of my understanding and my willingness to accept that we can't fully understand God and His ways.
The battle as you describe it is a major one, but you are chosen by God - otherwise you wouldn't be seeking - and you will find peace. God gave us our intellect for a reason, He also gives us faith, so the two belong together - if only we can find the key.
If there is even one.
I try to establish my faith Biblical and Spiritual without using circular reasoning.
Is the Bible fallible or isn't it? Was the world created in 6 days or not? Why does Sampson in the Bible sound like the story of Hercules? Could some of the Bible be true and other parts just poetry or stories?
I believe every word of Christ. But I am not so convicted when it comes to the Old Testament. So much of it defies logic.
Then again there are remarkable things in the Old Testament that trigger deep thought upon me. Like the story of Elisha & Elijah. They had a relationship almost identical to the one of John The Baptist and Jesus. The miracles are almost identical as well.
Also the significance of the Jordan river. Elisha walked across the Jordan River with Elijah, and was on the ground on the
eastern bank of the river when Elijah ascended to heaven in a whirlwind.
Was this not the same place that Christ was baptized? Could all of these similarities be a coincidence?
Also if God created the Sabbath for man and not man for the Sabbath could he then of created the Bible for man and not man for the Bible?
I am not quite sure what my limits of understanding are. That is why it is so hard for me to give up the intellectual fight and give in.
I'm not a literalist believer of the Old Testament (OT). I do literally believe in Jesus, the prophecies in the OT and His miracles, resurrection and promises.
In my mind there is no contradiction in accepting the NT as literal truth, but not accepting every word in the OT as literal truth.
I'm not theologically trained, so I'm not that well versed in the history of the bible, but from what I've studied it seems to make sense to me that for example, the story of creation in the OT, is an attempt by a particular culture to understand the origins of the universe, and while scientifically correct in many places, is not literally true. We could for example read 'six days' as six millenia (or more). That's how I bring together my faith and my scientific education. I don't have a 'problem' with evolution either. I think that if God made the universe, then there is no reason why He shouldn't use physical laws and processes to bring about different species and progress. I know lots of Christians who disagree however. I'm at peace with that understanding though.
As far as the similarities go, the writers of the NT would know the OT very thoroughly, and it makes sense to me that this understanding and knowledge would filter their telling of Jesus life and miracles. They happened and are true, but are understood and told through the prism of the OT. I think of it as a bit like understanding friend's or family behaviour by thinking about how characters in a TV show behave? I had a colleague this morning who said about a friend isn't he just like Joey (from Friends).
I don't think those similarities are coincidence, they are meaningful and simialr for a reason - to reinforce God's teachings for us.
Today has been spent much of the day in my head part of recovery for seems to be meeting myself and loving myself unconditionally. It is wierd how sometimes God meets me in weakest and most broken moments.
For me the bible is an epic story told in a way that brings out God's covenants leading to the ultimate acts of the incarnation death and Ressurection. Like Augustine I would also say if I had to take the bible literally I would not be a Christian. I have seen the devestation fundamentalism and it is not pretty.
A good example for me would be the creation story. I consider myself a thiestic evolutionist for me the details of the creation story or unimportant what is important is that God created the world.
Good to see that you are still here on Shalom Place.
May I recommend to you simple baby steps in reading scripture which has helped me tremendously and may do so for you as well. Take a short Psalm, I especially like the Psalms of King David. Let the Psalm come alive in you as a prayer within your heart for the whole day, and go on to the next one another day.
Hope this benefits you.
A psalm a day keeps insanity at bay...
Yes I am still around though not as often as I would like to be. I have been studying origin, Evagrius and John Cassian as part of the Lay oblate group I attend. Lay oblates are a lay people dedicated to the way St. Benedict. I go to mass at Holy Cross Monastery in Chicago www.chicagomonk.org I believe. anyway in thier writings they stress are free will to choose to follow are emotions or desires or trust God and choose to follow him. They speak of first a need to purify and then are need for stillness to overcome are vices. Also ithey list 8 vices beleiving that gluttony or lust are at the root of the other 6. Origin Cassian and Evagirus are definitely becoming sources of healing for me thier writings are practical especially the idea a true theologian is one who prays Eastern Christianity and Benedictine Spirituality is built on Praxis instead of scholasticism.
I've just come back from a week's stay at a Poor Clare convent. I try to go once a year. Like the Benedictines, they recite psalms at each office. One of my favourites is Psalm 139 - the idea of fleeing God and yet he is everywhere I go is a powerful one for me. I also love the verses:
Powerful arguments against abortion.
Today has been especially sad for me. I guess I should be glad but I am not it seem due to form my marriage was only blessed and my wife and I did not receive the sacrament of matrimony probably because it was presumed valid. According to the Priest I talked to this is grounds for nullity My wife and I were married as non catholics in civil ceremony. All of this splitting of canon hairs made me sad with the realization it is over.
The biggest struggle I have in recovery is financial. I have also been seeing someone and realizing how much about relationships I need to learn. I am moving in with my parents for a short time to right my finances. The other big issue more of a theological one is the annullment process. I am beginning the process and have been told I have good grounds but have my doubts and questions concerning the process.
Brother Jaan: Do you keep some kind of journal of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences? If so, good. If not, you might find it helpful as a way to keep your feelings unblocked.
It's strange that an emotion such as love can bring so much pain, but it does. Hope you are doing well.
yes but I need to journal on a more regular basis. I am dealing with some losses this week. I have moved in with my parents to get back on my feet and coming out of an intense relationship. Both hurt tremendously. I guess a big issue in recovery is loss. I am doing some crying and praying both seem to be a healthy response to the pain I am feeling.
I guess a big issue in recovery is loss.
I read an interesting passage recently by Henri Nouwen from his book Out of Solitude:
What does that mean? Well, for starters, I don't have any answers for you, Brother Jaan. But I do know the pain of loss�especially the loss of a love. As human beings we travel around with the sense of a gaping hole in the depths of us, even in the best of times. In the worst of times that hole seems bottomless. Here's a few thoughts from Nouwen from his book The Inner Voice of Love, a book that I highly recommend, by the way, whether in good times or in bad:
Now, combine that with the following words from Henri and see if some kind of synthesis doesn't suggest itself:
Wow it would explain my behavior today. I ran from my wounds and fears. Alot of people around me tell me I need a relationship with Jesus my parents are fundamentists but In a way I think they are right I need to feel my wounds and build my relationship with God.
It has been a while since I have posted here. I am working two jobs and seriously dating. I am beginning the annullment process. I am rethinking some of my understanding of the steps and find myself using it to make myself feel inadequate I am growing a lot especially in the area of self esteem.
Brjaan, Hi to you. I sure like hearing that you are growing in your self esteem. Working two jobs must be tiring, but you may be able to pay off some debts incurred from your past, should they still linger.
You are also dating seriously, and am happy that you have found someone to share your free time with. I pray that you have worked hard with the resolvement and healing of your marriage and know the right reasons as to why you are now in your new relationship.
Glad that you started the annulment process.
You seem to be in a pretty good place and I continue to wish the best in all your endeavors as you are moving forward in your life. God bless.
Actually I probably plummeted into the relationship early but it has been a learning experience and continues to be for both of us. She is also divorced and comes from a troubled background . We are taking it slowly learning from are mistakes.
I am also learning how the 12 steps can be misused by someone as a means to clubber themselves are as a excuse not to grow.
You appear to be in a good place with your lady friend. I like your comment about taking it slowly learning from both of your past mistakes, yet are the really mistakes?, I see them as fruitful learning experiences.
Of course, everything can be misused which includes the twelve steps. There are consequences in this misuse, but you should just jump back into them in knowing what it is that works for you. I do hope that you continue to attend group meetings to share and receive the wonderful gift of the testimonies that are given at these meetings. It is so important for you to hear the strength that comes forth within people in their hopelessness that have surrendered all to God, or as they say, a higher power.
Hopefully you have been able to repay some of your past debts by living with your parents and are working on an annulment of your marriage. This is not an easy task, but will free you to fully have a relationship with your present lady.
I recommend to you Psalm 25.
My best to you Brjaan, as always.
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