Impermanence - November 2017, by TomBob Nedderman

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you know that “winter is coming.”  And if you live in Chicagoland, you also know that winter is indeed coming.  No matter how much we moan and groan or bitch and belly ache, winter is still going to come. Suffice it to say that we get very attached to the “good weather.” Understandably so.  We go from being out and about soaking up all the sun we can to almost a state of hibernation by the time winter is upon us.  The danger is that hibernation can sometimes morph into isolation, loneliness and depression.  And in response to this myriad of feelings we often self-soothe in unhealthy and sometimes destructive ways i.e. addictive and compulsive behaviors. 

I’ve heard it said that there is only one thing in life that is constant … and that is change.  As surely as summer gives way to fall and fall to winter, spring too will be just around the corner … albeit it a very long and cumbersome corner.  While this may sound a bit cliche, it is still so very true. Change is coming!

On the subject of impermanence and attachment, Rupert Gothic refers to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism when he says that “As long as there is attachment to things that are unstable, unreliable, changing and impermanent, there will be suffering - when they change, when they cease to be what we want them to be.  If craving is the cause of suffering, then the cessation of suffering will surely follow from the complete fading away and ceasing of that very craving: its abandoning, relinquishing, releasing, letting go.”

What then is the solution to the constancy of change?  How do we deal with this idea of impermanence?  We detach. We relinquish.  We let go or as I call it…surrender.  Ugh!  Yes I said it.  Surrender.  We surrender into our good, into that which sustains and affirms us.  Admittedly, no easy task.

When I was in early recovery from all sorts of addictive and compulsive behaviors, I used to walk out the door of my sober living house and immediately call my sponsor to let him know where I was headed.  Then I would call again when I reached the end of our sidewalk and recommit to my destination. I called again and again and again at every turn to recommit to my destination.  I had to because I knew that at any given turn I could choose to go to my destination or go get me one more hit or one more drink.  I literally had to surrender to my good on a moment by moment basis if I was to stay sober and get better and experience the good that I sought.  I really could not afford to isolate or disconnect from my support system.  Today, at 9+ years of clean and sober living, I still have to surrender into my good.  I still cannot afford to isolate and disconnect even though it is so tempting and easy to do, especially on those cold, wet winter days.  We all must continue to engage in life and with ourselves and others in order to fend off the isolation, loneliness and depression and those numbing behaviors that don’t ultimately make anything go away.  If I want to experience all the good that Life (with a capital ‘L’) has for me.  I must embrace the changes that Life always brings to us.  I have to detach and go with the flow rather than resist the flow.

Here at CMP, we’ve got a number of groups that can help you stay engaged in the flow life.  In the context of being in community with other like minded people, you can learn how to grapple with and actually embrace change.  And who knows, maybe even make some headway in those challenging areas that keep biting you in the butt along the way.  Check out some of our newest groups being offered at CMP: 

WELL FED:  A group designed for those wanting to explore their relationship to food, fitness and feeling good in and about their body.

MODERN MEN:  A group where men support men through the ups and downs of this ever changing world. Here we ask the enticing question "what the heck does it actually mean to be a man these days?”  If you identify as male, then this group is for you. 

LATINA  SUPPORT:  A group for Latina women who want to connect and know they are not alone.  The group will be held in English while integrating cultural awareness. 

Come join us this fall and winter in one of our groups!  Have fun, learn something, and be a part of our community.