Loneliness, Autonomy, and Becoming Self-Supporting in Sobriety

Welcome to our discussion based on Joe C.’s Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life. We post choice quotes from the daily reading, as well as the discussion questions, and encourage you to think on it and respond in the comments. Please keep our community guidelines in mind while commenting.

It means giving up searching for a home, becoming a refugee, a lonely person who must depend on himself….Fundamentally, no one can help us. If we seek to relieve our loneliness, we will be distracted from the path. Instead, we must make a relationship with loneliness until it becomes aloneness.

-Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939-1987)

…What does it mean to make a relationship with loneliness? As a spiritual principle we don’t seek “outside contributions” to cure us, make us whole or reassure us. The Seventh Tradition means we are alone in our financial affairs. We may have sponsors but we are in charge of recovery–it isn’t done to us or given to us. We may feel connected to our groups but not dependent on them for every decision. We grow beyond being dependent or enabling others. Some of us have families but we don’t need them to be complete.

Discussion Questions

  • Am I “fully self supporting, declining outside contributions” as a spiritual daily practice?

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