“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world” - Sydney Banks
I had a lovely conversation with Greg Suchy on this week’s Insightful Conversations show. Above all other things, Greg is a beautiful human being who also happens to be a Life coach, Mentor, Speaker, and cohost of the Addiction, Alcoholism, and the 3 Principles webinar and podcast series. Greg’s focus is helping people find freedom from addictions of every kind. His sincere, gentle approach to finding our innate health has attracted coaching clients from all over the world.
While we chatted, Greg shared the story of his struggle with addiction and his journey from AA to finding the 3 Principles. It was back in 2012 when Greg first found himself in the rooms of AA. He said he didn’t care that much about quitting drinking; he just wanted to stop being miserable. Greg noticed that during the meetings, he felt fine, but once he got home, his depression, anxiety, and worries returned. Greg was left feeling that if this is as good as it gets, it wasn’t working for him.
While he was waiting for one of his AA meetings to start, Greg met a couple who introduced him to a new paradigm in spiritual psychology called the 3 Principles. There was something about the passion in his new friends’ voice that intrigued Greg and had him want to look further into what these Principles were all about. He learned that a man named Sydney Banks had a profound spiritual experience that changed his life. The more Greg read and listened to Sydney’s teachings, the more he found himself experiencing the peace and serenity he had been searching for all his life.
I asked Greg what it was about the Principles that had helped him in a way that AA could not. Greg shared that the AA view that alcoholism is a disease that he would have to battle for the rest of his life didn’t resonate with him. He also felt when he introduced himself as an alcoholic; he was somehow injuring himself. The same went for when someone suffered a relapse; they were required to start their sobriety at the beginning again. As shame is at the core of many addictions, he questioned the efficacy of this protocol.
I can relate to what Greg shared. Back in the late eighties, having been diagnosed as suffering from Codependency and Love Addiction, I spent some time in CODA meetings. Each time I attended a meeting and felt pressured to describe myself as an addict, broken, and out of control of my life, a spark within me knew this was not the truth of who I was at my essence. My refusal to describe myself in these terms had nothing to do with a lack of humility; it just didn’t feel in alignment to describe myself that way.
I want to be clear here that I am not denigrating AA. I recognize that AA has been an invaluable program for many people over the years, and I have no doubt it has saved countless lives. What I am saying is that in addition to AA, there are other modalities out there that can help us gain relief from the addictions and habits that are negatively impacting the quality of our lives. It is essential for each of us to listen to our wisdom and find the path that works best for us.
Like Greg, it was coming across the 3 Principles that I found the peace of mind I had been searching for. Through this understanding, I could see that I had innocently tried to escape my negative internal chatter by looking for relief through the use of substances, behaviors, and relationships. Once I understood that we experience life, moment to moment, via our thinking, I stopped seeking solace from the outside in. More importantly, I learned that I didn’t need to believe the negative self-talk that filled my head.
This insight allowed me to see that I didn’t need to change the thoughts in my head to have a different experience of life. Neither did I have to fear, control, numb them. All I needed to do was see them for what they were, a simple misunderstanding of the nature of thought. These thoughts were not personal to me. They were not telling me who I was. They were the energy of thought moving through me.
I saw that no matter how uncomfortable my feelings were, I could handle them. I saw that there was nothing for me to do but allow the energy to move through me. I saw that my feelings were transitory and that if left alone, they would disperse on their own accord, and I would once again return to my natural state of wellbeing.
The unexpected gift of allowing myself to feel whatever it was I was feeling, without judgment or condemnation, was the discovery that the innate wellbeing and resilience that I saw within others was innate to me too. Once I experienced this for myself, I knew I could handle anything life brought my way without having to reach for something on the outside to soothe troubled waters that are a natural part of life.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕