The root of no matter what the addiction — to substances, internet, sex, shopping, exercise, money, power, whatever! — is PAIN.

And the conscious response to addiction is to learn somehow, to bear witness, to be present to, our suffering; to be with the wild, awful agony, rather than denying, refusing, masking, or projecting in a vain attempt to not experience our very real horror.

In this unprecedented era of possible planetary and species extinction, who is not in pain? We permaculturists like to try to “fix it” by offering real solutions. But is not our human task  to first surrender to inconsolable grief? That grief simmers there, deep underground, swelling, dishonored, and unrecognized, at the bottom of our collective and individual souls. In an era of forced, compartmentalized, distracted, alienated separation, what we have in common is the vulnerability of our unacknowledged suffering.

Let us dive directly into our grief, the ongoing loss of our beautiful planetary home; let’s allow the river of our pain, our grief, to carry us where it wants us to go, rather than just trying like hell to reach, as usual, and ad nauseam, for one more whatever! — in a vain attempt to keep what’s vaguely bothering us at bay for one more minute, one more hour, one more day.

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2 Responses to The root of no matter what the addiction — to substances, internet, sex, shopping, exercise, money, power, whatever! — is PAIN.

  1. John says:

    Beautifuly summed up Ann.

  2. John Cowan says:

    Ann, I totally agree with you. Our culture does not honor feelings or emotions because if they were fully lived through we would be transformed. Our society and those in power don’t want transformed people in this world. I believe that not only do we need to dive into the river of grief that we all wade through but we need to do this in community. Real grief work is scalding and we need a container where we can be held and allowed to unravel, deconstruct, fall apart and cry the tears that we have held back for too long. Such a container will help with the healing, hold us (physically and spiritually) so that we can live the grief, be drowned by the grief knowing that the love of our community will help us to reconstruct, breath, and rebuild into a more whole being of light that we are and have always been from the beginning.

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