Reaching the milestone of 4 years of sobriety has brought on a deep reflection of my journey. During the years I attempted to enter sobriety, as well as the first year or so of sobriety, I was constantly asking myself: why? Why me? What was the catalyst or moment that caused my struggles? Was it a trauma? When did it happen? Which experience was it? But as I delved deeper I realized two things: 1) it honestly didn’t matter what it was and 2) this had been inside of me a lot longer than I had realized. This deep seated spiritual malady was a part of me my whole life. I was always searching for some deeper meaning. Asking myself as a child, what’s the point of all of this? How did we get here? Why are we here? There must be more to life than what I am currently experiencing. So it was only natural for me to reach for solutions that would elevate or change my current state of existence. Even if those solutions were negative, they allowed me to feel “something” different. The solutions temporarily gave me relief from my discontent with reality.
This theme was explained by Lisa Miller in her book “The Awakened Brain”, that “much of suffering in life comes from being out of alignment with deep truth. Much of our own happiness, our joy, comes from asking the question: what is life showing me now?
These deep existential questions that were emerging in my mind, was the universe knocking at my door. They were gentle reminders to listen to my heart and be guided to my truth. As I continued to ignore these reminders, the knocking on the door grew louder. As if to say, wake up, I’m still here. The longer this cycle continued, the louder the knocks became. Consequences started to occur, so it became harder to ignore the knocks. I can see that now, but at the time, I was so shut off from my inner essence of spiritual awareness, I could not see it. Lisa Miller shows us through science that we are all hardwired for this spiritual awareness. It is through listening to our discomfort and tapping into our knowing that we can cultivate our spiritual awareness. And that many of our crossroads or seeking in life comes from our deep seated desire for the hunt of transcendence.
It is as Lisa Miller explains, it's about being able to see life as alive and guiding, we are actually built for that. We have in our brain a series of circuits that allow us to see the deep nature of life that is in fact buoyant, that is in fact a consciousness field through which we are loved, held, guided and never alone.
We have the opportunity to look at one another and see the presence of God, spirit, consciousness in one another and we have to speak about it and live that way. That has been the most profound gift of my recovery journey - developing my spiritual awareness and thus a deep sense of oneness with others and the world around me. The ability to look around and see the connectedness of my surroundings instead of separateness.
“What if the condition we pathologize and diagnose as depression is sometimes actually spiritual hunger - a normal and genetically derived part of human development that is unhealthy to muffle or deny?” - Lisa Miller