Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of by Gerald G. May

By Gerald G. May

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Additional resources for Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions (Plus)

Sample text

There will be no room for attending to anything else. Human loving is out of the question. Truly desperate narcotic addicts can be capable of injuring and even killing themselves and others in the search for a fix. As I try to think of a milder, more universal example, I recall a recent trip to the grocery store. I was in a hurry, and the checkout line was long. Ahead of me, a mother tried to keep two tired children from fighting while she unloaded her cart. The clerk couldn’t find the price of another person’s item.

Even though this community is bound to have its own mind tricks and mixed motivations, it has a chance for a better perspective. Most importantly, the people who care about a chemically addicted person have one another. Grace is always a present possibility for individuals, but its flow comes to fullness through community. Grace flows toward appreciating the truth, toward an accurate understanding of what is going on beneath the confused surface of addiction. During the first third of this century, Sigmund Freud and his followers laid the foundations for such an understanding.

But most often the acquisition of money and possessions leads to less freedom and more worry. When we can see our freedom impaired, we should consider the presence of addiction. In the arena of power, we seek status, influence, and control over our lives. In part this relates to financial security, but it also includes claiming and holding self-determination and autonomy in the face of the many forces around us. The more personal power we have, the less vulnerable we feel. When we use the word freedom in a social or political context, we are normally referring to this capacity to secure our self-interests.

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Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of by Gerald G. May
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