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DISCONNECTION IN AMERICA

During the years when I was writing Addict America: The Lost Connection, my focus was on how we, as Americans, are so caught up in our "more is better," "over-the-top" lifestyles, that we live in a state of addiction and disconnection. In our current times, when our country is so extremely divided, it is more apparent than ever that we are living in a state of addiction that is driven by fears created by groups who wish to control us. This is nothing new. Religions, political groups, and any other special interest group - including any company or individual trying to sell us something - will first create a fear and then tell us how they can relieve that fear.

For instance, by creating the fear of Hell, various religions have gathered and kept members by promising that if the members just do what they are told, they will escape Hell and go to Heaven. In essence, they sell their religion. In a more mundane way, think of the commercials on TV. The advertisers create a fear - if you have bad breath, you will be alone; if you drive a competitor´s car, you will die in an accident. Then they tell you what to do: Use this product, buy this car, and you will be safe.

We also have the need to belong to a group, whether it is our family, our religion, our country, or our political party. Belonging to the group is the strongest motivator of human behavior, because we are already Connected to all life. It is just difficult to take in the concept of Connection of such magnitude when our Enlightened Brains are still evolving, so we grab on to smaller, more manageable groups.
Unfortunately, this leaves us open to manipulation by fear. Of course, then, our greatest fear is rejection from the group, so we sublimate our own inner sense of Connection to our Higher Power for the security of the group.

At this time in America, we are experiencing this phenomenon to an incredible degree. We have lost our sense of being part of the larger group that is America and are being divided to an extreme degree by political groups. Political parties and large corporations are made up of people who are part of their own groups within those entities. They, too, are acting on their personal fears of inadequacy and rejection and they personify the concept of addiction as put forth in Addict America: The Lost Connection. In their need to escape their own existential pain, they attempt to control the external world and so no amount of money or power will ever be enough because that pain can only be resolved from within. Meanwhile, unless and until the rest of us free ourselves of fear, we will be manipulated into a deeper state of disconnection from our spiritual selves and from each other.

Even in these divisive times, we can choose to live in recovery. We can bring ourselves into the present, accept that we cannot control anything outside of ourselves and only our inner thoughts and feelings, and we can give to God that which we fear.

Fear is about loss of control, but when we accept that the only thing we can control is our own minds, we realize that nothing external can ever control us. When we live by the Serenity Prayer, we have nothing to fear.

God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Another paradox of recovery: Connect with your inner self to Connect with all life in the Universe.