Balance on the Horizontal, Integration of the Vertical
By Robert Burney
I mentioned in the second column in this series (A Higher Power of my own understanding 2 - the beginning of empowerment) that the twelve step recovery concept of powerlessness was actually a step towards empowerment. Codependency and recovery are both multi-leveled, multi-dimensional phenomena. What we are trying to achieve is integration and balance on, and between, different levels. One of the ways it is helpful to me to think of this is in terms of the horizontal and vertical. The horizontal is about being human and relating to other humans and our environment. The vertical is Spiritual, about our relationship to a Higher Power, to the Universal Source.
In this context, what we are trying to achieve in recovery is to integrate the Truth of a Loving God-Force / Goddess Energy / Great Spirit into our relationship with the horizontal, That is what helps us to achieve some balance in our emotional, physical, and mental relationship with being human and in how we relate to other humans and our environment.
Living life on life's terms according to the definitions, beliefs and attitudes we learned in early childhood does not work. As I say in my book:
"Learning discernment is vital - not just in terms of the choices we make about who to trust, but also in terms of our perspective, our attitudes.
We learned about life as children and it is necessary to change the way we intellectually view life in order to stop being the victim of the old tapes. By looking at, becoming conscious of, our attitudes, definitions, and perspectives, we can start discerning what works for us and what does not work. We can then start making choices about whether our intellectual view of life is serving us - or if it is setting us up to be victims because we are expecting life to be something which it is not."
Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls