Rights offering detail :
Life on Life's Terms: The Secret Path to Spiritual Sobriety
July 15, 2019
Terry Heaton
Non-fiction: Religion/Spirituality
The opiate crisis has shined a fresh light on how we as a culture help people overcome addiction. In the process, however, the discussion has avoided addressing the source of the problem by treating it as a law enforcement matter. This is at least in part due to our mistaken belief about drug addiction in the U.S. We believe that the drugs cause the addiction by overcoming our willingness to say no. Tighten the restrictions, the thinking goes, and we'll prevent addictions and reduce the overdose deaths.

To the people who know addiction best - those who've come out on the other side of its brutal grip - this is nonsense, because we understand that the drugs aren't our problem; they're our solution. We abuse ourselves, because we have a sick need to do so, and we don't feel "right" unless we're behaving in a manner that is somehow wrong, and that usually means self-destructive.

Science would love to solve the addiction crisis. Heck, there'd be tons of money in it for the institution of medicine. but as long as science takes the position that substances or bad behavior are the problem, it will almost always fail. Once again, the everyday people who know addiction best have come to believe that the problem is spiritual, and science wants no part of that.

Every few months, it seems, some media outlet will produce a story about the unreliability of 12 Step "therapy," because it's based on a belief in a (chuckle, chuckle) higher power. Disdain for the spiritual is a core competency of the medical community and for good reason: there is no consistent, reliable, and measurable way to establish a spiritual existence, much less figure out how such an existence is supposed to "work." So, doctors ignore it when it comes to treatments, even though most rehab facilities operate with the 12 Steps. Though they can't say how, the medical community does at least acknowledge that the program works.

Evangelical Christian churches are another matter. While some allow their facilities to be used by 12 Step programs, their answer to addiction is a personal relationship with Jesus through the born-again experience. This can and often does conflict with Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups, so much so that many of the newcomers to the 12 Steps arrive with a deep resentment towards the church for such a shallow response to the deep problem of addiction. In the view of Christian Counseling, the "new creation" provided by being born again means that addiction is *poof* gone. This is quite ridiculous, but it is deeply engrained in our institutions of religion.

Addiction resources emphasize that "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic," while evangelicals insist that "all things have become new" in the wake of the born-again experience. To them, alcoholism is tagged as a sin; overcome the sin and you overcome the addiction. This is a meaningful disagreement, because at least a portion of these Christians will relapse when things don't go as they expect. Oftentimes, these faithful addicts will suffer greatly while doing battle with "sin," because people just aren't strong enough to fight thusly. And, when the guilt of being unable to overcome "sin" comes calling, their situation is worse than it was when they started down recovery's path. Absent tools to use when the cravings associated with addiction rear their heads, addicts are sitting ducks for misery.

The principal goal of the 12 Steps is to achieve the promised spiritual awakening, which, as noted above, is a "profound alteration in our reaction to life." Most can get to the spiritual awakening, but what about afterwards? Is this awakening permanent, and if not, then how does one maintain the awakening throughout their lives?

This is why I've written this book, for the right response is to learn the ins and outs of what's known as "living life on life's terms." There's no manual or guidebook for this, no set of instructions, no YouTube video shortcut, and no online institution for teaching it, for it must be learned by doing. We are all garden-variety human beings, but the spiritual awakening makes it possible for us to live alongside the troubles of life without being overwhelmed by them. It's sad, but many don't make it this far and instead live their lives in a jumbled state of confusion, doing the best they can with what they know.

We don't need a manual so much as we need simply to cease all attempts to control today and the future and choose instead to relax in the knowledge that life is on our side.

It's an adventure like none other, and it's available to everyone.
Rights available:
representation, publishing
Other Information:
Terry Heaton is a recovering alcoholic and sex addict, author, blogger, innovator, media and new media expert, philosopher, consultant, speaker, and widely-regarded thinker for over 20 years.
Terry Heaton
phone: 2143850445
6620 Old Madison Pike #603, Huntsville, AL 35806
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