Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Healthy Recovery

Spiritual Development

The spirituality of recovery is about healing the wounds of abandonment and disconnection. A baseline definition of spirituality is connection: with self, with others, with life at large, and with a power greater than yourself. Within this backdrop of connectedness, spirituality, as it relates to healthy sexuality, necessitates the reconnection  with self. This then allow for the possibility of a healthy sexual connection with others. The act of self-discovery is at the center of recovery.

When we emerge from sexual functionality into health, we are like a sculptor who sees, in a formless block of marble, the shape of something beautiful and desired. When we work on ourselves, we chip away at what has hidden our beauty and desirability from view. As Stephanie Urbina Jones sings, "I'm chiseling out my soul like Michelangelo. Found my spirit in the stone, I am chilling out my soul."

If we are to be the artist of our personhood, we must first connect to the fullness of who we are. Because of our traumatic histories, we have been entombed; we need to break out of that which blocks the expression of our capacity for relational intimacy, so that we can connect to our partners and to a power greater than ourselves.

Michelangelo released figures entombed within the marble; the sculptor liberates the image latent in the stone. That liberated image is what we often call 'the authentic self'. The authentic self is the precious gift of who we are, restored to us by chiseling our the soul from its entombment in trauma-induced sickness.

A second image image comes from a novelty shop in Florence, Italy. The shop sells replicas of Michelangelo's unfinished sculptures. The caption on the bottom reads, "Be patient, God isn't finished with me yet." This tells us that the search for self is a process and that chiseling the soul is the artistic goal of the spiritual life.

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