UCE Addictions Ministry
May 26 Agenda
We need to have greater patience with our sense of inner contradiction in order to allow its different dimensions to come into conversation within us. There is a secret light and vital energy in contradiction. Where there is energy, there is life and growth. Your contemplative solitude will allow your contradictions to emerge with clarity and force. If you remain faithful to this energy, you will gradually come to participate in a harmony that lies deeper than any contradiction.
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 safe, confidential 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 success.
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.
We are trying out having a minute or two of quiet time. Not yet sure where it will fit best.
Check-in and Processing of Check-in
A video link , under 4 minutes. The other videos on the site are nice as well.
4 Steps to Working with Impatience
- Understand the addictive nature of anger, irritation, outrage
As evolving humans, we are still constructed with our old reptilian brain that protects our physical and emotional survival. On the emotional survival side, we want our way, to get ahead, to achieve, to "look good." It's not a "bad" thing; it's just an evolutionary older part of our brain than our newer mid brain and neocortex.
Let's just face it- that urge to protect ourselves and what we deem valuable is absolutely addictive. Just try and not act on your urge and you'll see what I mean. So the first step in growing patience is to get in touch with the addictive quality of the opposite of patience- anger, irritation, blaming, shaming. Usually it starts with a slight discomfort and tensing in the stomach area that goes along with the interpretation that things are not going our way. Then the story line of thoughts appear. "I have never seen such incompetence. . .how could they..., don't they realize...did they do it on purpose or are they just ignorant... blah, blah, blah." You know the rants. We all have them. And we can grow beyond them.
- Upgrading our attitude towards discomfort and pain
So many of us have the belief that being "comfortable" is the only state we will tolerate. I remember a friend, about 25 years ago, who was in the process of changing a destructive habit. He had learned to say to himself, "This is merely uncomfortable, not intolerable." It helped him enormously to break his habit, and helped me begin to look at my own avoidance patterns.
Pain has its purposes. It pushes us to find solutions.
Where we often go astray with the "solutions" that we try to find, is that we try to change the other person, situation or thing that we think is causing our discomfort. But the problem is, that it is not the outside thing that's the source o our pain, but how our mind is set. No matter how bad or good the outer thing is, it's our mind that has the aversion or attraction. It's our mind that is the cause of discomfort, not the outer circumstances.
In the mind training model of dealing with the pain of irritation, the idea is to reduce the pain and suffering that our impatience gives us and to increase our ability to act in a way that has a higher probability of our achieving our goals.
So the solution to pain is an inside job.
- Paying attention when the irritation/pain starts.
Most of us don't really realize it when we are feeling subtle-but very present- painful feelings. We ignore the fact that we are in pain and focus exclusively on fixing the problem. But to really care for ourselves, we can ask ourselves if being irritated brings us comfort other than the comfort of familiarity? Get curious about what's actually happening in the moment inside YOU. I know for myself that when I am critical and impatient with anyone-including myself- it really hurts more than almost anything else.
Focusing on what's actually happening inside you, you can notice the dread of not wanting what's happening, the resistance.
- Self talk
The main thing here is to just stop the story. And as we get more and more practice attending to that vulnerability inside without fueling it with our story about how wrong it all is, how wrong they are, how wrong we are, the feeling can pass through in mere seconds.
As an example, a client once reported that she was hurt that her husband had seemed to forget her birthday. When he left for work, she started recounting all the ways in their relationship he had not met her needs, then she went on to shaming herself for being so "weak as to marry him." She woke up and realized, "Oh, I'm just disappointed, that's natural. But he's a good man and I know he loves me." She was astounded at the internal peace that showed up when she just dropped the story.
When- not if- you find yourself impatient, irritated with yourself, you can remind yourself that you are growing, and that, "Sure, this is understandable, this is what happens to me when I'm bothered." You can say to yourself, "It's true, I don't like this, this is uncomfortable, but I can tolerate it. And, "I can be tolerant of my own flaws and inadequacies"
Wow. Just imagine how it would feel if we never felt rushed, or hurt by another's impatience with us. And how it would feel if we were never (well, almost never) irritated or impatient with someone - either someone else, or ourselves. What would that be like? Is it worth practicing patience?
Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?