Making Peace with My Addictions

Dan Harris, a co-anchor for Good Morning America, got his studio audience to meditate for sixty seconds. Some amazing love mischief, eh?

Many people try meditating but give up because they can’t stop the distractions. Harris explains that we don’t need to clear our minds–which is impossible to do–just focus and keep focussing.

I’ve heard this before from Cynthia Bourgeault and Thomas Keating. But because they meditate for spiritual reasons, (Harris does not), they take it one step further and understand that refocusing as a returning to God. Keating often said, “Even if you have to return to the sacred word a hundred times in a prayer period, God rejoices. You have come home to God a hundred times!” Our intent isn’t to master the art of meditation but to be in loving relationship with God.

I told Fred about Harris’s video while we were walking to church and something clicked. “All I have to do when I am inundated with distractions is to return to focusing on my breath again and again. And all I have to do to make peace with my addiction to food is to keep saying no again and again.”

I had wanted to resolve my struggles with one big crashing of the door. I wanted to enter the chamber of Love and be set free from my addiction to food and thoughts once and for all. But I’m discovering that all Love wants me to do is keep crashing the door–in this moment and the next.

If I fail; it’s okay. That moment’s gone. I’ll have another opportunity to choose Love in the next. If I succeed, that’s good, but that moment’s gone too, and I must choose again.

How often I succeed or fail doesn’t affect what I need to do right now and every moment after that: just keep returning to Love.

God is with me in this. God wants me to reap the benefits of healthy eating and contemplative prayer practices. God wants what’s good for me. But more than that, God wants to awaken me–moment by moment–to the reality that I am in God. I am in Love. And God is in Love with me.

In returning and rest, you will be saved.
In quietness and trust you will find strength.
— Isaiah 30:15 (The Voice)

* * *

Love Mischief for the World

Father Thomas Keating, O.C.S.O. (1923-2018), Father Basil Pennington and Father William Menninger revived the practice of Centering Prayer after finding an old copy of The Cloud of Unknowing in a monastery library. Keating is the founder of Contemplative Outreach, “a spiritual network of individuals and small faith communities committed to living the contemplative dimension of the Gospel.” Father Keating travelled the world to speak with laypeople and communities about contemplative Christian practices and the psychology of the spiritual journey. One of my favourite quotes by Keating is “The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from him. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced.”

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
An Open Gate (Askrigg, Yorkshire Dales) by Rachel Hartland. Used with permission.
Quote by Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart. (Warwick, NY: Amity House, 1986), 44.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Mindfulness, Overeating, Prayer, Reflections, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Making Peace with My Addictions

  1. audreyhoehn says:

    Once again Esther … thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    Thank you, my friend.


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