Episode 29: When Others Don’t Want us to Change – The Dynamic Self, The Addict Self, and the Infinite Self

Episode 29:
When Others Don’t Want us to Change
The Dynamic Self, The Addict Self,
and the infinite self

Recovery changes us. Thank God.

Our ways of being the world, our coping mechanisms, and our relationship strategies were killing us, and we needed to make some radical shifts. So with the best of intentions and a heavy dose of grit, we set about the deep transformational work of Integral Recovery practice. And we began to heal our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits. We developed new relationships with ourselves and with the world. We got healthier, we evolved, and we grew. And as long as we continue our practices, we’ll continue to do so.

But all the growth and transformation we’ve worked so hard to embrace carries an unexpected (and often high) cost: the emergence of our healthier selves doesn’t always sit well with the others in our lives.

Our growing sense of self-respect and newfound ability to draw healthy boundaries can destabilize our relationships. Our families, partners, and friends can feel threatened when they’re no longer sure what to expect from us, particularly if we had adopted the relational strategy of pathological accommodation as many addicts (and non-addicts) do.

When we gain the courage to embrace (or discover) who we are, it presents a real challenge to everyone involved, and if we’re not prepared, the resultant turbulence can wreak havoc on our resolve, halting or even reversing our transformation and recovery. If we don’t handle our shifting relationships with awareness and grace, we risk relapse and a return to the darkness of addiction. Our lives depend on our ability to skillfully, compassionately, and self-compassionately navigate the waters of the lower-left “we” quadrant.

It sounds challenging. And, well, it is. And unfortunately, there’s no way out but through. The good news, though, is that our daily Integral Recovery practice of meditation strengthens our ability to approach ourselves and our relationships from the perspective of “witness consciousness”, where we can observe ourselves and our reactions as objects (rather than hidden subjects).

With compassionate awareness, we can be present in a supportive way to the effect our transformation has on others, as well. Simply changing our relationship to the experience allows us to engage more skillfully with ourselves and others. From the place of observation, the “controlling self” is no longer the reactive, addict self. Moment by moment, we make new choices. And we inch ever closer to discovering that the truth of we are, both relatively and absolutely, is even more profound than we conceived.

Join John Dupuy at the online Radical Recovery Summit – September 23rd-24th, 2017:

Episode Resources:

Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction (SUNY series in Integral Theory)
The Religion of Tomorrow: A Vision for the Future of the Great Traditions-More Inclusive, More Comprehensive, More Complete
Profound Meditation Program
Stealing Flow: Complete Brainwave Suite for Flow State Mastery (by iAwake Technologies and Doug Prater)
Deep Recovery – a guided meditation from iAwake Technologies

In this episode:

[1:51] How do we navigate relationships with family and friends in recovery when, contrary to what we’d expect, not everyone is happy with the changes in our lives, our behaviors, and our character? How do we manage negative reactions to our positive recovery?
[3:02] The complexity of family relationships, from the toxic to the well-adjusted and functional, and everything in between, and why there is no one-size-fits-all perfect solution to manage family dynamics (or any other group dynamics)
[4:51] Using substances as a way to manage the feelings the feelings and stresses our relationships produce, as a way to protect ourselves from feelings of abandonment or other uncomfortable emotional reactions
[5:36] Pathological accommodation in relationships and protecting ourselves from feelings of abandonment
[7:22] Using the “witness perspective” and “witness consciousness” in recovery to observe, understand, confront, and reshape our reactions and tendencies in the way we relate to others and ourselves
[8:00] How the shift from pathological accommodation to a grounded self can produce negative reactions in others who had grown accustomed to our tendencies
[8:55] On recovering our true selves, and why recovering this sense of self is necessary to sustained recovery
[9:50] The tendency to drink and use to reclaim the sense of self lost through pathological accommodation, and learning to show up as ourselves in healthier ways
[10:51] Allowing ourselves to feel like we belong in the world – why discovering the sense of our right to be here – our inherent and inborn worthiness – leads to a stable recovery
[11:50] Our struggles to identify shame in our lives, and how the messages we received can lead us to unhealthy expressions of accommodation and the disowning of the self
[14:00] How the discovery of self-compassion and self-forgiveness, first by becoming aware of ourselves, can transform our lives as we learn to transcend our shame and show up with authenticity and vulnerability
[16:02] The practice of showing up as ourselves in the world, and why we must continue to exercise those muscles to build strength and resilience to the discomfort of expressing our needs. How something as simple as standing up for our feelings and our views can be both terrifying and profoundly healing
[17:20] Coming back to a new and healthier center after we’ve extended ourselves, and why emotional growth and transcending accommodation requires grit
[19:20] The courage required to work with and confront our emotional wounds in the lower-left “we” quadrant, and why this is different than our work in the upper-left subjective interior quadrant
[20:00] Addiction, almost by definition, means that we need help. We can’t do it alone. And this means that our relationships are bound to be affected as we learn to set boundaries in a healthy way.
[21:43] Courage and the romantic language root for heart – why heart-centered living and drawing boundaries requires courage in the lower-left quadrant
[23:29] Setting boundaries for ourselves in what we’ll allow ourselves to be exposed to, and why this can challenge our relationships with friends and family members who we used to accommodate
[24:12] Different styles of dealing with our lower-left quadrant conflicts, and why accommodation and withdrawal into isolation are equally problematic in addiction and depression
[25:00] How the idea of selflessness that often shows up in spirituality and spiritual circles can be easily misinterpreted in unhealthy ways, and the importance of creating a healthy and balanced self
[26:20] Developing a sense of ego-identity in order for the deeper states of non-dual awareness to show up in non-pathological ways
[27:50] The “transcend and include” of Integral Theory brings the inclusion component to the fore, as transcend and disavow creates shadow material
[28:36] How the subject of one developmental level becomes the object of the subject of the next – as elucidated in Ken Wilber’s The Religion of Tomorrow – and how this applies to the evolution of the controlling self as we shift perspective from the “addict self” to the healthy self.
[29:06] Fixations (addictions) and allergies becoming hidden subjects if we fail to go back and own certain aspects of ourselves through our development
[31:12] The demonic possession of the hidden subject and how healthy inclusion and integration leads to evolving health and developmental growth, and why shadow work must be an integral part our interior practice
[32:26] Our histories with those who’ve seen our addiction and the complications that arise in healing, and how this differs from the relationships we form after recovery takes hold
[35:07] The concept of “earned security” in relationships, and how this can allow room for growth
[35:38] The dangers of “dispositional attribution” and the tendency to blame the mistakes and slips of others as fixed, unchangeable attributes of character – and how this dispositional attribution, as opposed to situational attribution, is closely related to the internalization of shame
[37:05] How cultivating a practice of situational attribution leads to the development of grit and resilience, allowing the possibility for change
[38:21] Encouraging behavior change and personal development by praising behaviors instead of traits
[39:00] How dispositional attribution robs us of our agency, and thus, our power to transform our lives, and how this relates to the difference between guilt and shame
[39:46] Masculine and feminine love, mother love and father love – the difference between them and why both are necessary for the cultivation of our character and our continued growth and development
[42:15] The wisdom involved in knowing which dynamic to invoke as we transition to parenting and coaching ourselves, and how invoking the witness consciousness – and also the outside perspective granted and gifted in relationship, can bring wisdom and insight to our blind spots
[43:10] Namaste – the divine in you, in me, and in all of us. Holding namaste consciousness in the absolute dimension while still offering behavior corrections in the relative dimension. How the acknowledgement of divine perfection can empower transformation in the relative domain
[45:15] A short poem on Namaste
[46:30] Completing the “aesthetic arc” in our communications as a gift to ourselves, and how extending lovingkindness through our communications brings beauty to the world


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09/08/2017, 50:02, 34.37 mb (Audio)

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