Wednesday, May 16, 2007

sleeping with bread

i'm only on page 20 and i could quote 10 paragraphs here. you have GOT TO get this book! it is linking together so many areas of my life and my journey and giving me the tool that will change everything. i know that sounds like a wild claim - but i truly believe it.

if i never teach my children anything else this will be the one thing i want them to grasp. on page 19 they quote st. ignatius' the spiritual exercises where he writes:
It is wisely said, "Experience is the best teacher." ... The primary and most obvious reason for this is that revelation is not over, God is constantly revealing himself to us in our experience... Of course, the Bible is divine revelation -- no one denies that. But so is life! It is precisely because God is present to life and available to human experience that we have a divinely inspired story to tell, and that the story once told is revelation."
(emphasis mine)

the part i want to highlight here is where it all connected for me - my story, my recovery, my personality and my strengths and weaknesses. sheila fabricant linn writes on pages 14 & 15 a bit of her story - she is telling about a meaningful father-type relationship she had with a professor that meant everything to her and evaporated one day. she tried quite a few times to reconnect with him and he wasn't receptive. by working the examen and telling her experience of this pain to others she realizes the following:

Because my mother was mentally ill and unable to connect with her children, I learned as a small child to feel ashamed of my needs and desires, especially needs for connectedness with other human beings. It was this voice of shame that told me I should give up on trying to heal my relationship with Alex. When I considered giving into this voice, I felt desolation. When I got in touch with the consolation I felt each time I told the story of Alex, it showed me how to find healing: by asking to be heard.

The pattern I have described in myself, of feeling ashamed of my needs and desires, is an aspect of co-dependency. I behave like a co-dependent whenever I orient myself around the reality of others rather than living in my own reality and honoring my needs. Many people working in the field of addictions are saying that co-dependency and the core emotion of shame underlie all other addictions.

I need the examen to help me in my recovery. I her book, Co-Dependence, Anne Wilson Schaef says that for a recovering co-dependent "even the smallest lie can plunge us back into our disease." In other words, distorting the truth of who I am in any way (to please others, to meet my expectations of who I should be or what I should feel) is like an alcoholic taking that first drink. I need the examen each day because it helps me get better at telling the truth about who I am and what I need."
insert hallelujah chorus here.

here is the definition of consolation and desolation they give from st. ignatius:
"He expected that God would speak through our deepest feelings and yearnings, what he called "consolation" and "desolation." For us, consolation is whatever helps us connect with ourselves, others, God and the universe. Desolation is whatever disconnects us. Ignatius recommended returning to our deepest moments of consolation and desolation." - pg. 19
it's all starting to make sense! yippee!

have to get to the food bank as i'm helping out there again today! hope you're all well!


Hope said...

I couldn't find it to buy on Amazon Canada but I did find it through inter library loan and have it on order! It sounds like a book worth having and reading! I hope you had a great day.

And on a funny note - I read your last sentence and got the food bank thingy all mixed up in there and thought I read - I hope you're well fed.

benny said...

Experience is the best teacher. But if it is to have its 'perfect' working it shall have different emphases than you and I might put.
Speaking of consolation let me put this way: God once spoke to me thru a verse from the Psalmist. 'Though I walk through the valley of death....' it worked then say at the time of a bereavement. Now suppose I am desolated by a tragedy I cannot bring to mind no such verse am I to take God has nothing to comfort with? Can not God speak through still small voice or through silences?
We make the experience hold like water in vessels of our own choosing.

Sarah Louise said...

WOW. I think I should get the Anne Wilson Schaaf book...