Episode 44: Sacrifice – Its Role in Recovery and Growth

The Journey of Integral Recovery Podcast

Feb 16
Sacrifice: Its Role in Recovery and Growth

Episode 44
sacrifice
its role in recovery and growth

In this podcast, our 3 musketeers dive into the topic of sacrifice and its role in recovery and growth. Whether you are in recovery for addiction or any other condition that ails the human spirit, sacrifice can be a useful part of the journey. With humor and great understanding, born of personal experience, Bob, Doug and John shine a light on the value of embracing sacrifice and discovering the transformational power it offers us on our Journeys of Integral Recovery.


First, what is sacrifice? I’d guess most of us think of sacrifice as giving up something we love or are attached to and enduring the pain of that sacrifice. And it is the pain that stands out. Or we might associate something noble with the idea of making a sacrifice. The Latin root of the word “sacrifice” is: “to make sacred, to make holy”. That definition brings a whole different perspective and tone to the concept of sacrifice.

In recovery from addiction, especially in early sobriety, we suffer the pains that come from giving up our “using”, our attachment and dependency on substance or behaviors. We make this sacrifice in order to heal and hopefully to build a better life.

Beyond giving up addictions, our sacrifices can include giving up our ideas of who we are in order to clear the way for how life wants to grow through us. Consider the benefit of sacrificing those aspects of ego that live off of judging oneself into a solid entity that is blame-worthy. Uncomfortable, even painful, but this is where the growth edge is.

In recovery, the most important job we have is taking care of ourselves. This self-care is the foundation from which we become capable of going out into the world and serving a higher purpose. In Integral Recovery, there is huge emphasis on having daily practices that work the essential lines of Body, Mind, Spirit, Shadow/Emotions as well as balancing each of the 4 quadrants. We make sacrifices in order to make room in our day and commit to our practices. In essence, we have to sacrifice an easy undisciplined lifestyle in order to sustain our recovery and eventually find our purpose and our way of serving the collective.

By making sacred your daily self-care, you nourish and rejuvenate your whole self. It is important to anchor your self-care in “WHY” you are doing it, why it matters and for what higher purpose it may serve. Even if you aren’t clear what your higher purpose is, committing to your integral practices makes you ready and able to heed the call when the world or your soul calls you to action.

We sacrifice something of lesser value in order to make sacred something of greater value. And the rewards are much deeper and more satisfying than any addiction or immediate momentary pleasure.

Episode Resources:

NEW: The Freedom of Forgiveness A Guided Meditation for Self-Compassion as Daily Practice by Bob Weathers, Doug Prater, and iAwake Technologies
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
Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution, Second Edition
Profound Meditation Program
Profound Releasing
Stealing Flow: Complete Brainwave Suite for Flow State Mastery (iAwake Technologies and Doug Prater)
Deep Recovery – a guided meditation from iAwake Technologies

In this episode:

[1:21] When we notice sacrifice showing up as a theme in our lives, we have an opportunity to reflect on its role in our lives and our recovery. Does our interpretation of sacrifice, and what constitutes a sacrifice, differ depending on our enneagram or Meyers-Briggs personality type?
[2:21] The etymology of sacrifice: The act of making something holy. To scarify. How does reframing the idea of sacrifice by turning it into the act of making something holy change our relationship to it?
[3:14] As our lives change through recovery and growth, we may find ourselves sacrificing parts of our lives and ourselves that we had identified with and invested in over the years. Can we learn to accept our changing place in the world and allow ourselves to sacrifice our preconceptions of who we thought we were? Can we allow ourselves to serve the deepening and broadening definition of self as we release the old and embrace the new?
[5:53] Respecting the costs exacted on introverts when they’re giving extroverted gifts and playing extroverted roles as they bring their work into the world, and the importance of taking the time and space to recharge and return to the inner world in order to support the continued giving of those gifts.
[7:23] What can we do if we’ve neglected to take the time and space necessary to recharge ourselves? What happens in the four integral quadrants when we overextend ourselves?
[8:08] The importance of maintaining a practice-centered life, especially as our lives begin to improve. The most important job we have is to take care of ourselves and to take care of our recovery. If we don’t keep our lives in balance, we’re not able to make the sacrifices necessary to give our gifts to the world.
[9:39] There’s always a sacrifice necessary to maintain fidelity to our recovery, our practice, and our work.
[10:05] The importance of anchoring our practice in an understanding of why it’s important. Can we sanctify our practice by beginning with a dedication and strong intention to remind us why what we’re doing matters?
[11:35] Maintaining a daily practice to keep our saws sharpened and our spirits ready to deal with the inevitable challenges that arise in the course of our daily lives. The importance of preparation and living “as if”, even if we’re still searching for our meaning and purpose.
[12:17] The road to ongoing authentic happiness, and why doing what we’re supposed to be doing brings more than a fleeting burst of pleasure ever could.
[12:56] The authentic joy that arises when our lives align with our purpose, and how a lifetime of practices creates life circumstances that lead to more opportunity for the things that bring us joy and happiness.
[14:20] The importance of diet and nutrition as a cornerstone of life and practice. Oftentimes, making the dietary choices that lead to better functioning minds and bodies (authentic happiness) feels like a sacrifice when we pass up the tempting but fleeting pleasures of empty foods. The sacrifice of momentary gustatory pleasure leads to long-term fulfillment, and eventually, to learning to love what’s good for us.
[15:52] Neglecting our diet and splurging on the short-term pleasures of sugar-rich foods as a means of stress-relief ultimately worsens the problem as our bodies and brain function crash. The self-destructive feedback loop is intimately familiar to any addict. By optimizing and maintaining our diets, though, we create a strong physiological foundation that carries over into all areas of our lives.
[17:08] To “transcend and include”, as we say in integral theory, we begin with the self. Learning to take care of ourselves through sacrifice and commitment to the four foundational practices allows us to ultimately extend our circle of care to our families, friends, communities, and the world.
[18:04] We have to be good stewards of our own welfare, and get back up, without shame, when we fall off the wagon with our practices.
[19:40] In Integral Recovery, we continually optimize our practices, striving only for improvement. None of us are perfect. Learning to accept ourselves and to forgive ourselves for our slips shows us where we can improve. And as long as we’re continuing to do so, we’re on the Integral Recovery path.
[20:02] Forgiveness is the relinquishing of resentments, so self-forgiveness is a relinquishing of the ego that would never forgive myself. What does sacrifice have to do with self-forgiveness? When we forgive ourselves, we sacrifice the ego that would never forgive ourselves.

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02/16/2018, 21:46, 14.96 mb (Audio)

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