Monday, March 11, 2013

Improving our Conscious Contact

When they were much younger, my kids loved Star Trek. The whole notion of making contact with extraterrestrial beings makes for great entertainment and indeed all of my now-adult children still enjoy this genre of programming and fiction.

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before," was the opening narration by William Shatner for each Star Trek episode.  Much like space exploration, recovery requires that we boldly go where we have resisted going before--to explore the strange new world of connection and reconnection with our self, our Higher Power and with others.

Exploration of these strange new worlds is all about bringing the unconscious into our consciousness.  Our unconscious world is that part of the mind that is inaccessible to our conscious mind but that impacts our behavior and emotions.  The conscious mind is the awake mind--that part of us that is aware of and responds to our surroundings.  Bringing the unconscious into the conscious involves understanding that our emotions have a story to tell and taking the time to listen and explore that story.  It is grasping that behavior does not just occur--it springs from a deep black hole and having the courage to fly into that hole in order to discover the hidden source.  It is not an easy thing to do and unlike the Star Trek mission requires a life-long commitment to the journey.

The mission demands that we arm ourselves with three important character attributes in order to be successful:  integrity, inclusivity and intentionality.  Integrity is the state of being honest and having strong moral principles, being authentic.  Inclusivity is being open-minded; not excluding any person or idea but rather exhibiting a willingness to adopt new ways of thinking and being in relationship to others, including ourselves.  Intentionality reminds us that recovery work is something that is deliberate, that we do it on purpose and intentionally.

We improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power, ourselves and with others when we honestly and intentionally seek to improve, renew or restore the connections.  As we learn more about ourselves in relationship with others and with the God of our understanding, we strive for authenticity and congruence--having our behavior and words match. And as we courageously explore our woundedness--that black hole of our inner hurts--we find courage and compassion to tell our story--the real one, not the airbrushed one--so that others may share in our journey.  Seeking to improve our conscious contact brings many gifts:
  • We are better able to surrender our self-defeating behavior.
  • We find that we have the strength and insight to make good choices for ourselves.
  • Our ability to give and receive love expands tremendously.
  • We recover the feeling of joy.
  • We feel the security that arises from true fellowship with others and the God of our understanding, knowing that we are loved and accepted just as we are.
  • We no longer expect others to provide us with an identity or a sense of self-worth.
  • We find the courage to be true to ourselves.
  • Our hope turns to faith that God is really working in our lives, as we explore the wonders of serenity, dignity, and emotional growth.  (Working the S-Anon Program, p. 131)

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