Daily Meditation 10-13-13
Because of what life throws at us quality sobriety doesn’t always look pretty. At times the
appropriate sober emotional response is to throw down the mask and promptly fall apart.
Because of what life throws at us quality sobriety doesn’t always look pretty. At times the
appropriate sober emotional response is to throw down the mask and promptly fall apart.
Article originally written June 2014.
|“If anybody knew how I really felt inside they would know that I am not doing well in my recovery. I feel like something is wrong with me. I must be doing something wrong! I am sober but I am depressed, I am sober but I still have anxiety attacks. I mustn’t tell anyone how I feel or they will know I am not really emotionally sober. I don’t have quality recovery how could I if I did I would not feel like this.”Hmm??? Ever hear anybody share the above statements in a meeting? Most likely you answered no. However the above scenarios show the way that many addicts think and feel even though they have worked the steps and regularly work steps ten through twelve.WHY????????????
First let’s define this type of thinking and what it’s connected to in us. Let’s explore the dreaded word, feeling, and thought called “SHAME”. Alcoholism & addiction have been explored and painstakingly researched by many experts who have finally defined addiction as a “shame based disease”.In the Big Book it is written that alcohol is but a symptom of an underlying problem. And that we alcoholics suffer from spiritual and emotional maladies. So what is this underlying malady and how do I fix it? In “How it Works” it is written that some of us suffer from “grave emotional disorders”. It says that those who suffer from these disorders can also get better and stay sober. Well guess what ALL ADDICTS AND ALCOHOLICS SUFFER FROM EMOTIONAL DISORDER in my opinion. It takes some serious open-mindedness and lots of journaling, meetings, therapy, working with a sponsor, prayer and meditation to get in touch with and admit to ourselves our underlying malady of shame.Shame tells us that we are not worthy of a Higher Powers Love. Shame tells us that we don’t deserve anything good. Shame tells us that we are bad, wrong, evil, and that we must keep who we are a secret or we will never have anything we want or need. Starting the day from the platform of shame blocks us off from so many good and spiritual things. It causes us to have to justify and defend ourselves. It causes us to be in defensive mode. It shuts us off from Love. Shame shuts us off from God even in our prayers we block off certain parts of our heart hiding parts of us from our Higher Power in hopes that even He, It, She will Love us if we pretend to be someone we are not.
We must first realize that we are human and we will never be perfect as long as we are human so we can never ever approach God as a perfect and totally worthy person. We must quit hiding and keeping secrets from God and man.
We should lay on the bed or floor stretch our arms out as far as we can to our sides focus on God and expose all of our heart to God. We should approach our Higher Power in all honesty and transparency and say; “here I am just as I am, I want a relationship with You I need your help.”
We are our Higher Powers creation and we were created INCOMPLETE that’s why we feel so incomplete. Not because we are bad, wrong, unworthy etc. but because that’s the way we were made. We are only complete & fulfilled when we exercise an ongoing relationship with our creator. Fulfillment, enlightenment, encouragement, comfort, and healing are some of the things we get from opening up to our creator. That’s why the steps work, they show us how to have a spiritual connection with our creator.
WE ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL GOOD ALL THE TIME
NEGATIVE THOUGHTS THAT ATTACH THEMSELVES TO MY FEELINGS ARE NOT FACTS.” FEELINGS themselves ARE FACTS because they are very real to us and come from our hearts experiences. It’s the thoughts that get us in trouble. If we don’t honor our feelings and journal them, talk about them then we are dishonoring and invalidating who we are. Our unhappy feelings come from somewhere real and often times we need to do some crying, some screaming (not at anyone) some beating the bed with our fists to get these intense feelings out in a healthy way so they don’t come out sideways at other people.
All humans have a capacity to be hurt emotionally by others, if we do not have a healthy outlet for hurt it will evolve into anger and continue to live inside us until we connect with it and express it in a healthy non-attacking way.
Depression is anger without enthusiasm
WE DO NOT RAMBLE ABOUT HOW BAD OTHER PEOPLE ARE AND WHAT THEY DID TO US UNLESS IT’S ON PAPER. WE ONLY NEED TO SAY IT ONCE OUTLOAD, IN A MEETING AND AGAIN TO OUR SPONSOR OR EMPATHIC LISTENER. It’s the talking about “how it made me feel” that heals us. It made me feel worthless for example or it made me feel dirty etc.
We woman will die if we don’t talk about the way we feel. Criticizing others, character assassination and living in blame are character defects that we should not confuse with the expression it takes for healthy emotional order.
ACTION: What about anxiety? The fourth step in the Big Book has an exercise called the “fear list”. We write down all our core fears, we explore them.
REMEMBER FEARS COME FROM OUR HEART AND DO NOT HAVE TO BE LOGICAL. Just because our mind knows we don’t have to fear something if our heart fears it we should recognize it and honor it. Furthermore we should not let our shame throw us into the deep river of denial. Our fears need expression if we want to stop the anxiety attacks. So we write all our fears down and consider them. We realize we are not trusting God and that our faith is sometimes little if we are in fear. So rather than sticking our fear in the “denial box” we stick it in the “God Box”. We then ask God to remove our fears and help us to rely on him, it, or her.
THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTIONS: Why is screaming a natural response to intense fear? Screaming releases boatloads of endorphins and is a solution to fear. Why do some soldiers come back from the war with PTSD and others don’t who have the exact same experiences? Because often times we were taught that our expressions of fear and hurt and anger are wrong, bad, weak, stupid, ugly, disgusting etc. We were taught that our healthy emotional expression was wrong by some adult when we were very young and so we believed them and we became ashamed and shut down our own healthy emotional process.
God gave us vocal cords for a reason we can either save our face or save our ass! It’s time to let the emotional child within us out of the box so she, he can have a half way decent recovery.
Addiction is not a Disease, but rather it is a spiritual malady and force of habit. It is a poor self image and the presence of a broken heart. Our heart can be healed and our habits can be changes. We won’t relapse if we take the time to respect ourselves enough to realize not only did we hurt others but others hurt us deeply. The certainly taught us as children that we were inferior and bad. So we spent the rest of our days trying to prove that it wasn’t true while our own hearts believed that it was.
What can I say? I have been passionate about recovery for years. I made my Recovery Farmhouse websites back at around 6 or 7 years sober. Since then I have written hundreds of articles and engage in numerous Facebook group posts. I have worked in AA for years on end being a member of a home-group and being a sponsor. I have held positions in my homegroup such and chairman, secretary, and the like.
I was in so much pain that I needed to numb myself due to a life-time of hiding away my true identity. By hiding intense feelings and thoughts away my pain lived inside me till I finally was taught how to let it all out.
In a crowded room full of people would I be attracted to the sickest person in the room? Have my relationships been riddled with abuse and betrayal? Do I have a problems communicating on a respectful level when I am upset? Do I fear my feelings because they make me intensely miserable? Do I have a hard time sharing my fears and opening up to people? Do I have a hard time sharing my most intimate feelings, hopes, and dreams? Do I have ANXIETY, ANGER, DEPRESSION, LOW SELF ESTEEM? What about mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), PANIC ATTACKS, self harm, suicidal thoughts. Or learning and earning difficulties, lower educational attainment, difficulties in communicating behavioral problems including anti-social behavior, criminal behavior?
More from http://mormonchannel.org/12steps
http://www.mormonchannel.org/12steps This is the link to all 12 of the videos that the Mormon channel has recently put out. They are getting allot of attention in the press. Apparently they are very down to earth real stories of real people, their bottom and their recovery from all different kinds of addiction.
Here’s the link to the really good and helpful video. FOOD FOR THOUGHT AA EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY TOM P
We must never give up hope. In all things give thanks. I have been ungrateful for the things I have. For that I repent, where does that get me other than anger and resentment. And so once again I accept that God is in charge and I trust, trust, trust, that He, She, It, has my best interests at heart.
“We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. …But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. … though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.” [Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, p. 133]
HAVING WRITTEN THAT…..
Me and a group of recovering addicts/alcoholics had the opportunity to participate in group therapy from a brilliant ground-breaking therapist and writer in the field of “Trauma and Recovery”. Randall Mayrovitz is employed at Meridian Healthcare, Bridgehouse Rehabilitation Center. The therapy took place in 2006, our little group of women are still to this day sober and very much emotionally healed. And thanks to the 12 step program spiritually fed. Our commonality besides addiction is we women had suffered from abuse and neglect, of different types and different extents.
Please, we all love AA and still go on the most part. We believe deeply in the working of the steps. However, each of us women believe in our heart of hearts that without learning what Randy taught us in group, we would not have made it. The pain was much too deep to be healed by looking only at “our part” in matters.
Learning our own patterns of dysfunction was a large part of recovery. But do we shut down the tears of a five year old who is black and blue from the fist of a parent? Do we send him off with an assignment to write down his part in the abuse? An abused child now an adult does not grown out of needing comfort, care, and an understanding and loving hand to say, “I feel your pain, its safe to cry.” An abused child suffers and until that child is taught a way to heal they will be sick and continue to suffer. Outside issue you say? Well in some ways yes. But also for us it is the issue. Causes and conditions, the reason we (not all) drank and drugged was to bury feelings we could not bear. Addiction is a shame based malady with fear at the helm and anger spewing from the rudder. If addiction were or is solely a spiritual malady then we must all have a demon dwelling in us. For us spirituality is the remedy but the sickness is very much emotional coupled with a lack of spirituality. In my opinion.
EMPATHIC RECOVERY STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We come together as survivors of painful life experience seeking a place to heal our wounds. We’ve reached a point in our recovery where interventions aimed at symptomatic relief no longer satisfy us. We recognize the revolving door of symptom substitution and feel the weight of something deeper.
While our symptoms and circumstances may vary, the end product of our trauma is the same: frozen feelings bottled inside because it was too unsafe to feel. It was our natural inborn impulse to express these feelings in order to heal and grow. Their suppression has created a powerful negative energy, driving us to emotional, physical, and spiritual illness and destructive behaviors.
Through each other’s empathic support and understanding, we hope to be able to restore our life flow, the inner force that guides us toward vitality and well being, compelling us to feel our darkest pain in order to recapture our deepest pleasure. In so doing, we will slowly render unhealthy coping mechanisms useless, giving expression to old and new feelings and healing our wounds one piece at a time.
I will be publishing more from the Empathic Healing Workbooks that we were given at Bridgehouse
The Healing Journey
Embracing The Storm
This article is dedicated to Beth Palmer who by her sharing has the gift to help us see.
I want to begin this post with a quote from the “Twelve and Twelve” I simply love Bill W.s literary expression and agree with most everything he and his fellows wrote.
“Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves,
are to some extent emotionally ill as well as
frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and
see what real love for our fellows actually means.”
I’m sure some AA members will be quick to tell me that Love won’t get anyone sober but I say it will sure as hell heal the underlying and core causes of addiction when applied to the right emotional wounds. Often times in AA there is a mentality that to get sober we have to be kicked in the ass. That really does work for some people and I will not discount that a “call you on your shit” sponsor is a valuable commodity. However I think for the people that have had their asses kicked all their lives and tend to beat themselves up for human error and minor mistakes need a more loving and empathetic approach to their choosing a sponsor and friends in AA.
Please I don’t mean to imply a sponsor should be a coddling mama figure and emotional enabler who calls my wrongs “rights” and breast feeds me at every turn. I just mean someone who will not constantly look to label their sponcee “wrong” and “bad”. Personally I have done that to myself all my life as have my family members to the point of feeling I have no human right to even exist on the earth much less be a valid and important member of society. No I mean a sponsor who will validate my emotions because they are God given. And a sponsor who will see the similarities and relate to me which means someone who understands and “gets” me. That is so important for healthy emotional healing and that is what I found in AA not just from my sponsors but from my friends in AA as well.
God is Love. When people have had a spiritual experience they walk away feeling loved by God and their faith that God exists is increased greatly. They walk away from the experience feeling much more loving towards others. That includes loving themselves. I guess that’s why spirituality is a solution to addiction. When I am loving myself I am not abusing drugs or over-taking them. When I am loving myself I eat right, sleep right, fellowship, take myself to the beach or the river. Generally I have a clear vision of what is good for me and what is not and I follow that criteria. Gaining spirituality through seeking God by prayer or meditation (step eleven) has turned my life on a different path than if I were running on pure self-will.
I wish my self-will were healthier but I have had my own self-will run me into the dirt literally. I have watched like a by-stander as I have gone against my own moral compass while struggling and fighting for what my self-will demanded and thought it needed. I have hurt those I love and I have taken what little self-worth I had and crushed it in the wine-press by my own apostasy. (Going against what I believe in) Apostasy will crush a man’s self-image quicker than anything that I know of. Guilt and remorse set in when we do what we know is wrong. Then to cover the feelings of guilt we pour on more rational and false justifications to numb it all out and engage in further drinking and drugging.
There are many other addictions besides drugs and alcohol mark my words. When a man gets sober after many years of using he will seek out a new addiction even if it be the addiction to something considered healthy like working out or work or sex or eating. But all things done in excess are potentially harmful.
So what then? Are we recovering addicts doomed to always be revelling in one addiction or another? No absolutely not! The solution IS Love and steps 10-12 show us how to maintain self-love. Put in simpler terms we make it a habit to pray and meditate at least 30 minutes a day. We exercise our bodies and we eat right. We do some kind of service work and we keep guilt and shame off of our backs by confessing anything that makes us feel guilty and ashamed. When it comes to confession and the fifth step, it works best when we confess to both man and God. Oftentimes our souls will not feel a cleansing relief if we only confess to God because He, She, It is so far removed from us we just don’t feel the accountability provided by a human. The first 5 or 6 years of my own recovery I had plenty to confess and I did so in meetings and in private. Not to mention when we confess in meetings it helps other people relate to us and they realize that they are not so bad or different than other people.
Confessing our shortcomings to a human cuts our false-pride to the quick. False-pride is a crippling character defect that has caused more debauchery and chaos than imaginable. False pride ends Loving relationships, it can’t admit when it’s wrong, it shuts down our ability to learn new things (because it knows everything) and it basically and quite literally will kill us by its symptoms if it’s not kept in check. And so confession and truth are the tools we have to wage war against our false pride. This is another reason why the 12 steps work. The truth will set us free
AM I RECOVERED AND SANE? OR AM I AN ALCOHOLIC DESTINED TO ALWAYS BE INSANE? THE 12 STEP PROGRAMS WORK…..TO A CERTAIN EXTENT.
Ok I just re-read the following and I think its a little harsh. So… Disclaimer-I have been jealous and will be again at some point. I am human. Getting jealous does derive from fear however ALL HUMANS GET FEAR OCCASIONALLY OR OFTEN.
Big “GET OVER IT!” To the alcoholics and addicts who are stuck in the mind-set that, their way of recovery is the ONLY way to recover. People get sober with and without AA. Believe it the addict mind in many instances becomes jealous over “their way” of recovery. Even to the point of hoping that the person who got sober on their own or in church will quickly relapse to prove his point.
Addicts become jealous over “their Higher Power” and “their 12 step program”. Lets face it codependency which thrives on jealousy runs rampant through the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Understandable if you take into consideration that jealousy stems from fear of loss and that Alcoholics tend to be emotionally immature (sometimes).
But open your minds my fellows! There are many ways to recover that works and many times those same ways don’t work. It just depends on several different factors.
Here are the three main ways that people are known to drastically change for the better.
Today the topic is; “am I recovered or not?”
This is the thing….the big book reads that bill w. And the group “recovered” from a hopeless state of mind. Being recovered is mentioned through-out the big book. If a person has five years sober and realizes that they no longer have the alcoholic mind…and they have recovered. There is one sure way to know for themselves if they really have recovered.
The still insane, sick alcoholic will reason out…I have recovered so… I am no longer an alcoholic. Now I can drink responsibly. Now, this time it will be different!” And for a time they may actually be able to drink responsibly. However with the progression and insanity that alcohol produces and their past behaviors this luxury won’t last long. On the flip side: for the recovered alcoholic who truly is recovered, whose sanity has returned and have had a psychic change; their thought process works differently. These types realize they no longer have the alcoholic mind and reason out that in spite of that and because of that they do not want to drink again…ever. No matter what. So if one is truly recovered they will know that because of the allergy to alcohol they will never be able to drink like a normal person. They also realize that they are no longer an alcoholic in spite of a few addict-like tendencies and lesser addictions such as over-eating, internet addiction, cigarette addiction, sex addiction, anger or rage addiction, the addiction to being “not alright” even.
Perhaps all three solutions are only needed for those that have been abused and neglected. However i question any alcoholic’s self-awareness if they state they have no “core issues”. Why would anyone try to destroy himself by drinking alcoholically and try to numb out feelings and awareness by poisoning oneself yet claim not to have any childhood issues or core level shame?
I ran into a lady a Wal-Mart, she invited me to church. I gave her a brief summary of what God has done for me in the last nine years. I told her I have stayed sober nine years. She looked at me amazed and said, “Wow! That must be hard, it’s hard to stay sober.” I thought to myself about the last years in sobriety and how easy it has been to stay sober anymore. I thought to myself this life of mine is the closest this former drunk has ever been to a “normal life”. I told “June” (is her name), I said, “June it was hard, very, very hard to get sober and the first four years where absolutely filled with processing my core issues.
I worked very hard to clear up the wreckage of the past and root out the underlying causes of my addiction. Not to mention the twelve steps were and are my guide through my sober journey. In the twelve steps lies the magical jump-start that made all my healing and psychic change possible. That magic is my Higher Power. I relentlessly worked step eleven meditation daily for years. I connected with God, I met my Spirit Guides and I became strengthened to the point of a new self-confidence and awareness of who I really am. I let little Laura out of the closet and she isn’t so bad after all.
My underlying cause was “emotional disorder” Not to mention I was ate up with shame. Until I went to AA and had one full year of recovery based therapy I had no idea what to do with feelings. Feelings used to scare the shit out of me to put it bluntly.
Why does the addict work so hard to change the way he/she feels? How is it that the new re-habs are advertising that they have the “cure” for addiction when we are taught in the big book that we will always be alcoholics? Is it possible that Bill Wilson was wrong? We are taught to keep an open mind and to never limit God and His power. Maybe Bill Wilson just never did find the courage and where-with-all to return to his childhood traumas and scream and cry them out as that small child. Letting the hurts out rather than holding them in and allowing them to rule over out action and emotional responses is the sickness. Letting hurt out is the process that leads to our healing but not everyone can make themselves so vulnerable. Crying is a healthy emotion and should not be repressed.
If the underlying cause is healed by God and we are taught how to express our feelings in a healthy way, then it becomes very easy to stay sober. Is it a cure? Well that’s a matter of semantics.
NEVER-THE-LESS I AM SOBER BY THE GRACE OF GOD WHO PICKED ME UP OFF THE STREET WHERE I WAS DEAD TO THE LIGHT AND HE OPENED MY EYES AND HEALED
How do addicts handle their finances after years of spending money on the wrong things and suffering the regret? In the past personally I crossed many moral boundaries to make my money and then spent it on drugs instead of paying the bills, buying important things for my family and myself. Since I now have years of sober time under my belt I do question my occasional compulsive spending, I analyse it and am now sharing it with you.
I remember at the start of my recovery I continued in my willingness to cross moral boundaries to get money a time or two when I needed that money to get to a meeting or put toward my rehab stay. I had the gift of desperation that is a key in opening the lock of sobriety. I don’t save money well I never have. Neither have my parents, they didn’t teach me good financial planning or skills. However since I have been sober I do much better with my money, I get my bills paid even though sometimes they are late. I enjoy shopping but if I know a bill is due I usually pay it first. I say “usually”.
When it comes to walking in a Wal-mart with a pocket full of money even though all I need is a gallon of milk I will tell myself “I know there’s something I need” just so I can shop. Shopping is a high for me and if I go to the grocery store hungry I may forget all about my bills temporarily until I get home and wish I hadn’t spent so much money. I wonder…is it the shopping or the beating myself up that I get more satisfaction from. Maybe subconsciously the thought of just being good bores me to tears and since I no longer drink and drug because it became too painful I must replace that debauchery with another of a different flavor. One thing sure if we are busy doing Step 12 we won’t have time for self abuse.
The cycle of guilt is a merry-go-round that does not enjoy being put to rest. Whether it be illicit sex, stealing, yelling at our loved ones, gossip, over-eating, or greed recovering addicts seem to have a need to keep the merry-go-round of guilt and self-punishment alive. After all what will we do with out emotions and thoughts if we don’t have some negative aspect of ourselves or others to focus on?
The 12 steps help us to STOP the cycle of guilt and remorse. Perhaps not completely however, believe it there are degrees of guilt. Remorse can be so deep that it becomes intolerable after all where does depression step from if not from a deep nagging dissatisfaction of one’s self? The program gives us all kinds of new things to focus on and yes new things to criticize and balk at. Aren’t the very nature of steps 1,4,6,7,8,9, & 10 about asking ourselves “what have I done wrong today and in the past”? YES THEY ARE however the steps offer us solutions to that guilt so we don’t have to walk around ashamed of who we are. Without steps two, three, five, eleven and 12 our wonderful recovery program is nothing more than [ more of the same], more insanity and a continued process of self-abasement without the solutions. At the same time without the self-examination of our shortcomings we cannot clear the wreckage of our past and put our emotions from “disorder” to order, It is completely understandable why so many people take a peak at AA and then decide it’s not for them. They see all the negative self-examination and say “It does me no good to dwell on the past there is nothing I can do about it now its gone.” To an extent they are spot on and that is the best attitude if a person does not have steps 2,3, 5, 11,12.
Ignoring and repressing guilt will only get us so-far. Unprocessed emotions will come out of us in the form of criticisms, gossip, verbal attacks on other people, and it will turn bitter inside of our bellies and prompt us to jealousy, envy, and make us sick. Repressed guilt turns to shame which turns to fear and hate. We as recovering addicts need the 12 steps like a fish needs water. We must not give way to homicidal and suicidal thoughts but instead have the courage to do self-examination and admit our wrongs and then tell someone about it. We must let the cat out of the bag by doing our Fifth Step which is so important for our emotional recovery. Our relationship with God is so important but we must have at least one confidant that we can tell anything to. Where there is no sense of accountability personalities digress.
So how does all this fit in with our finances? We recognize when and if we are using money to continue somehow our cycle of shame and guilt. If we learn to work the 12 steps properly and as women focus on our feelings when doing so and honor them by validating and sharing them in our fifth step we can then let the pain go rather than hold onto it like Gollum held on to the ring….his Precious. We shall put our emotions into a state of “order” rather than sick and depressive “disorder”. By admitting that we do experience guilt and shame instead of labeling such feelings weak and shameful we can and will simply grow out of them.
See Link below
HERE IS A LINK TO THE BOOK IN PROGRESS. VERY FEW EDITS LEFT TO DO. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST.
Because of what life throws us quality sobriety doesn’t always look pretty. At times the appropriate sober emotional response is to throw down the mask and promptly fall apart. We must release the poison that negative human emotions can create in our hearts if we are to survive not only sober but sane as well. Contrary to common belief crying is a healthy emotion that should not be shut down by force of habit.
Psalms 30:5 “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Pretending we know no sorrow does not exhibit strength it exhibits weakness and fear by forbidding others from seeing who we are and how we truly feel sometimes. It is not sincere for those in the program to constantly portray that “It’s all good” all the time as if those who are having struggles are inferior for lack of a decent program.
Sharing from our heart during times of struggle is often a huge relief to our fellows because now they know…they are not alone. By the same principle of honesty the most important thing to share on a fifth step is the deep dark secret we are the most ashamed of. Shame is an exhausting emotion that cannot stand the light of confession and so it leaves. Thank God we have a way to emotionally heal.
It is flawed thinking to surmise that somehow if we flog ourselves enough for our perceived imperfection THEN we will be good and acceptable to our Lord and our fellows. The pure and anointed process God has set down to relieve our guilt by confession (or fifth step as we label it in AA) works famously to relieve self-hate. The trouble is most self-haters don’t realize that it is themselves that they hate. Because of our ability to survive emotionally we put blame quickly into action. Then it becomes the world’s fault that we are miserable. Oh well….no not “oh well”, this emotional survival process that so many of us humans engage in of blinding our self-awareness is at the core of every sick murderous and violent act against mankind that we can imagine. Plainly said, blame is at the core of our worlds straying from Love.WE, THE CHILDREN OF A CREATOR ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HAVE THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO CONDEMN OR PUNISH OURSELVES or anyone else. The decision to punish or not to punish lies in the realm of our Higher Power and the law. Furthermore it is a common and subconscious illusion that self-abuse will render us pure and perfect…probably rooted in childhood punishments. Interestingly my spiritual teacher whom was a missionary, a reverend, a grandmother, and a friend once informed me that “there is a counterfeit for every spiritual principal in existence on our Earth”. Surely our former destructive methods of cleansing ourselves by self-abuse (even when it is done subconsciously) is surely the counterfeit of the pure and enlightening act of confession or “Step Five”. And if your a religious human who prays often. Do not be fooled by merely confessing all your wrongs to God and leaving out the “human” angle. There will be little humility gained by confessing faults only to God. This keeps false pride and sick secrets snugly in place in our hearts. Confessing to a human and God are both vital to recovery.