| Anne Williamson |
Though I've yet to write the official description for the coming spring round, I want to share with you why I'm excited about our topic of Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, and why I think it is the right topic now….
WAYfinding was designed with the idea that healthy spirituality must be a journey of diving deeply inward and flowing back outward - love of g/God (since the d/Divine or deep wisdom sits at the center of us) and love of others. This is the thinking behind the bicycle model - pedal right then left, right then left, to stay upright and moving forward.
We have been spending the winter round addressing big, societal questions around identity, dignity and g/God. And, at least in my group, even when the intention behind the guide was to have folks look deeply inward, we quickly focused outward again due to the densely political air we’re all breathing right now. This is fine; obviously, this is what many of us have been needing. It’s important.
Now, though, I think it is time to focus inward again. How can we experience the kind of inward freedom - whether we call it salvation, enlightenment, recovery or something else - that allows us to move into and through individual conversations, and community-wide policy and values debates, with minimal ego, grounded internal (staying) power, and deeply generous love? This is what the Twelve Steps is all about. It is a freedom journey that is worthy of our wrestling with it, whether we ultimately end up agreeing with all (or any) of the steps in the end. And, it’s not just (or even primarily) for traditional "addicts”: “Substance addictions like alcohol and drugs are merely the most visible form of addiction, but actually we are all addicted to our own habitual way of doing anything, our own defenses, and most especially, our patterned way of thinking.” These latter addictions are the focus of Richard Rohr’s book, Breathing Under Water, from which we’ll be drawing many ideas for discussion.
The additional beauty and wisdom of Rohr’s approach is that we’re not leaving the societal and/or political conversation behind: “There are shared and agreed-upon addictions in every culture and every institution. These are often the hardest to heal because they do not look like addictions because we have all agreed to be compulsive about the same things and blind to the same problems.” So, as we move through the Twelve Steps, we will be drawing the societal parallels and addressing these too.
I hope you'll add your voice to the conversation!