Where are you on your journey of self-fulfillment? Where are you on your journey of peace, inner and outer? Where are you on your journey of finding the real you? Not your things, your mind, or your TikTok likes, but your soul.
If you are on this journey, and I hope you are, and it is a journey, I hope that you pay attention to yourself, that you spend time alone cultivating, discovering yourself, call it what you will, your spirit, your soul. The first step on this long road usually comes about due to failure, breakage: a failed relationship, financial struggle, accidents, whatever. Without this fall, why would you need to rebuild? To re-calibrate? To question anything? Just go on your merry way with your ego, enjoy.
Otherwise, with every so-called failure, you release your ego; you embrace peace, you let go, you become more aware of your inner self. You rebuild and grow –and here is the catch- not necessarily stronger in the selfish way of thinking, but more vulnerable, wiser.
Why are you on such a metaphysical rant, Antonio? You might ask, and I am happy that you ask. You see, I have just read Richard Rohr’s Breathing Under Water and my mind has been expanded.
In his book, Rohr studies Alcoholics Anonymous Twelve Steps from a spiritual perspective and re-frames your pre-conceived ideas of alcoholics!
The book is epigraphed by three quotes from three of my favorite guides:
“I did not come for the healthy, but for those who need a doctor.”
Jesus (Luke 5:31-32)
“Alcohol in Latin is “spiritus” and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison.”
Carl Jung, letter to Bill Wilson (1961)
“These are the only genuine ideas, the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.”
José Ortega y Gasset
The first step is the hardest to take: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.” Most of the time our ego blinds us to our problems. This is why many times only a violent awakening will make us reach for much needed help. That is the first step, realizing you have a problem, it is much easier to dismiss it than to deal with it, and its roots…
Rohr analyzes every step in detail weaving spirituality into each rung of the ladder. It is an illuminating book that everybody should read. Yes, you too.
We all have our addictions our sins, it does not have to be alcohol or drugs –although many times it is. Rohr sees how “breakage” and coming out of it is deeply healing and spiritual. In Japan, when they break a plate or a bowl many times they glue it back together with gold covered adhesive, making the piece much more valuable. They call it Kintsugi, and it makes for beautiful, unique pieces!
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist