The Victory Over Addiction, Part 2 with Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

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“Suicide and Suicide Risk in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Populations: Review and Recommendations,”

Key Findings and Recommendations:

Although multiple studies point to elevated rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse among sexual minority people, the panel found that these problems, by themselves, do not account for the higher rates of suicide attempts that have been reported by LGBT people.

THUS, the consensus report identified Stigma and Discrimination as playing a key role, especially acts such as Rejection or Abuse by Family Members or Peers, Bullying and Harassment, Denunciation from Religious Communities and Individual Discrimination.

The Journal of Homosexuality

January 2011

 

The antidote is the understanding that we are all at one with our infinite divine source. That gives us all the joy and peace we could possibly want. But I think society still hasn’t grasped these ideas widely enough. In the long term, and even the short term, individuals who have been healed of using drugs have had a deeper insight into who they are. These people were able to give up drugs through the realization at some level that they were not separate and alone, that God was with them and loved them. I’m not sure they would put it in those terms, although some do. But I think a sense of being loved really does make the difference.

The first drug czar speaks

From the October 2002 issue of The Christian Science Journal

 

 

(Daily Bread Reader #1, Name Withheld)  I’ve found it fascinating to think about the word high, because to me it says that people want to be picked up and taken out of something that is pulling them down or making them unhappy. If you try to get this through a chemical compound, then I think that it ultimately bankrupt you mentally, and you find yourself coming back down again with an even harder impact.

For me, the real source of satisfaction is spiritual.  Spiritual attraction takes you up out of the problems and limitations you may be feeling. It can give you joy and fulfillment, peace and happiness. But it’s not dependent on anything material.

(Daily Bread Reader #2, Name Withheld)

The concept of spirituality can be foreign to a lot of addicts or they may even be struggling to understand their relationship with God and how to fill their niche in the world.

How do you tell somebody about spirituality and the peace that comes from it if they have never felt it to begin with or currently have no faith and spirituality in their life which may be why they fell into addiction in the first place. 

One solution can be to pray silently for them with their permission.

But they may need to find some type of support group until they come into the awareness of an all loving and all inclusive God which is alive and healing.  Branch churches can be one solution but many LGBT students of Christian Science have not found that to be a present day reality to the human sense which may be why so many branch churches are closing/have closed.

Finally,  people struggling with addiction may even resent being told any of this by the good sunday school student whose faith is only academic up to a point because they never faced and overcame any adversity.

Further, the video for yesterday’s Daily Bread  shows an interview of a college wrestler who fell into addiction.  It was  love from his human mother that saved him. It was love!  The love came from God and his mother just reflected it ALL back.

Thus is it any surprise why there is such a high substance abuse rate and suicide rate within the LGBT community due to the seeming lack of love from their human families and church community because of their sexual orientation or gender identity ???

Yes, Christian Science starts with the solution for healing but error found out is 2/3’s destroyed.

 

Rembrandt is as much the elder son of the parable as he is the younger.  When, during the last years of his life, he painted both sons in his Return of the Prodigal Son, he had lived a life in which neither the lostness of the younger son or the lostness of the elder son was alien to him.    Both needed healing and forgiveness.  Both needed to come Home.  Both needed the embrace of a loving Father.  But from the story itself, as well as from Rembrandt’s painting, it is clear that the hardest conversion to go through is the conversion of the one who stayed home.

The Return Of The Prodigal Son

Henri J.M. Nouwen

* Henry was born in the Netherlands, where he was ordained to the priesthood.  He taught at the University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Divinity School.  In 1986 he became pastor of the L’Arche Daybreak community in Toronto, Canada.

 

 

The Victory Over Addiction, Part 2

Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

26th Feb 2014

 

My last post on the temptation of addiction generated many emails, sharing heartfelt stories of challenges, fresh spiritual insights, and victories. Thank you for sharing…I am deeply touched.

Addiction comes in many forms, some subtle and others not so subtle. Regardless, to begin to demystify the temptation is to grasp the idea that the attracting power or pull is not in the thing – matter. Why? Because the ‘thing’ in and of itself doesn’t have any power…we give it the only power it has! The only, always power of life is divine Spirit, the all-embracing God. This spiritual power felt in the smallest degree gives one dominion over the temptation, no matter what the situation.

One reader wrote: “It dawned on me that the entire human experience is about addiction because everything I see, hear, feel, taste or touch tries to convince me that matter is power…I have a tendency to worry about finances, which is believing that security is in matter! I need to know I can’t be addicted, or surrender my thinking, to matter being a power in any form.”

In my spiritual healing practice, I have witnessed victories over addiction, the temptation to believe that life and intelligence are in matter. The following healing is one I shared at Harvard Medical School’s symposium “Spirituality & Healing in Medicine.”

When Paula graduated from college she was five feet eight and weighed just 100 pounds. After graduation she traveled through Europe for several months, returning home weighing even less. She was drinking excessive amounts of water. Her parents were very concerned. They took her to a nutritionist for advice about eating. Her water consumption continued to increase, and her food intake continued to decrease. Eventually her weight dropped to 79 pounds. At that point, her parents decided to admit her to a clinic specializing in eating disorders.

Paula and her parents asked me to pray for her. The staff at the clinic recognized the effectiveness of Christian Science treatment. They agreed that this treatment should be continued instead of drug therapy. The physician in charge was very receptive to spiritual healing.

Here was a young woman who felt desperately alone, disconnected, out of control. There were periods when Paula needed constant reinforcement through prayer. During these crucial times she would sometimes call me hourly, and I prayed continually for her. During those calls I reassured her of God’s undiminished love for her and of the relationship she had to God right at that moment – she was inseparable from this divine power!

In my practice it is essential to understand that God is the only power. It is also necessary to understand that the patient is not vulnerable, not a victim. This conviction and assurance of the patient’s God-given value and uncontaminated worth helps patients feel stronger. And it frees their thought, enabling it to yield to God’s power, to begin to feel His unconditional love. This ‘reformed’ thought aids in finally breaking the hold of compulsive behavior.

Ultimately, the spiritual energy or regenerating activity of God governs action, and it can correct a life out of control.

One especially challenging day, I remember asking Paula to think of herself as being like someone on a staircase. She could either step up or let herself be pulled down. Where is herthought taking her?

When Paula grasped this point—that she could let God lift her consciousness up, or she could turn from Him and mentally be pulled down—the change was significant. She saw something of her spiritual dominion. From that time on, her weight steadily increased, and soon she was able to go home.

One morning shortly thereafter she woke up and said, “I have to eat.” She felt free of the desire to drink water constantly, and her appetite returned to normal and has remained so. The physician later told Paula’s parents that her compulsion was equal in severity to a cocaine addiction, and that if she had continued on this path, it would have led to her death by self-starvation.

This healing occurred several years ago and Paula is now a mother and a schoolteacher of learning-disabled kids. I love this healing example! It is indisputable proof of spiritual dominion that breaks the hold of addiction and provides complete restoration.

One reader wrote of her daily prayers in support of the high-school across the street from her house: “I pray to support students, teachers, community leaders, parents, and residents. My approach has been to declare and know that their only spiritual substance is soul-filled which satisfies completely! I love thinking about God as divine Soul and all of its infinite qualities. Soul sings. Soul flows. Soul inspires. Soul ascends. Soul laughs and dances. Soul is never diverted. Never divided. Never deteriorated. Never contaminated. Never abused.”

The first chapter in Science and Health  is all about healing prayer and includes The Lord’s Prayer from the Gospel of Matthew. Author Mary Baker Eddy writes, “The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of Soul, not of material sense.” She then amplifies the prayer with her spiritual understanding, finishing it with the assurance of inevitable victory over temptation of every kind:

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;

And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over all, and All.”

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