11-5-2015 Showing Up Whole

Opening Words

“Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom


Welcome to the UCE Addictions Ministry Group. We are a group of people who have
struggled with our own addictions and the addictions of others. We hope to struggle well
together as we work towards finding sanity, peace, love, and healthy relationships in our
lives. We will strive to spend our time together in a spirit of love embracing the inherent
worth and dignity of all. We accept and respect the varied paths that our members will
take to find sanity, peace, love, and healthy relationships. We covenant to be together
in a confidential, safe environment where we can explore our paths and our stories.

Our Relational Covenant

Embrace and practice deep listening
We will strive to be respectful of our limited time and try to keep our comments
focused on the issues that have brought us here.
Experience the group in a non-judgmental frame of mind
Build trust within the group
Confidentiality about specifics shared or discussed is imperative for our
We each take full responsibility for what we share or say, recognizing
retractions are acceptable as well
Meetings will always start and end on time

Check-in and Processing of Check-in

Showing Up Whole,  Michael

This idea of showing up, of being authentic, only entered my life a few years ago as I started on my path of recovery. As I started to come out of isolation and joined different communities I found myself uncomfortable and unwilling to let these different circles in my life overlap. The odd part was, these are good communities with good people and I am proud of them. Yet somehow allowing these parts of my life to overlap scared me and often still does.
As I’ve meditated on this I’ve come to believe that the primary reason for my discomfort about this is that allowing people to more fully know me puts me at risk of developing closer relationships.
A secondary reason is that by sharing my communities, there is the risk that someone might be offended or hurt and that somehow that would be my responsibility.
This is just one example in my life of the effects of living in a compartmentalized, fragmented manner. As I continue to work on and pay attention to how I ‘Show Up’ I find myself living with more peace and less fear.


Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want. — Margaret Young

Before I started doing my research, I always thought of people as being either authentic or inauthentic. Authenticity was simply a quality that you had or that you were lacking. I think that’s the way most of us use the term: “She’s a very authentic person.” But as I started immersing myself in the research and doing my own personal work, I realized that, like many desirable ways of being, authenticity is not something we have or don’t have. It’s a practice— a conscious choice of how we want to live.

        Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.
        There are people who consciously practice being authentic, there are people who don’t, and there are the rest of us who are authentic on some days and not so authentic on other days. Trust me, even though I know plenty about authenticity and it’s something I work toward, if I am full of self-doubt or shame, I can sell myself out and be anybody you need me to be.
        The idea that we can choose authenticity makes most of us feel both hopeful and exhausted. We feel hopeful because being real is something we value. Most of us are drawn to warm, down-to-earth, honest people, and we aspire to be like that in our own lives. We feel exhausted because without even giving it too much thought, most of us know that choosing authenticity in a culture that dictates everything from how much we’re supposed to weigh to what our houses are supposed to look like is a huge undertaking.
        Given the magnitude of the task at hand—be authentic in a culture that wants you to “fit in” and “people-please”—I decided to use my research to develop a definition of authenticity that I could use as a touchstone. What is the anatomy of authenticity? What are the parts that come together to create an authentic self? Here’s what I developed:

                   Choosing authenticity means:
                  • Cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable;
                  • Exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle;
                 • And nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.

                           Authenticity demands Wholehearted living and loving— even when it’s hard, even when we’re wrestling with the shame and fear of not                                       being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.

                          Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives.

The Gifts Of Imperfection By Brene Brown


Living an authentic life: Dr. Maria Sirois at TEDxBerkshires         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohGMg-LJCjs

Brene Brown, The power of vulnerability          https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en


Closing Words

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves...........Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke





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