When “happiness” eludes us—as, eventually, it always will—we have before us the invitation to examine our programmed responses, and to exercise our power to choose again. We exaggerate, confuse, and distort reality, thus causing an emotional imbalance in families, our church, and politics. We can learn to heal our reactive responses by seeking “emotional sobriety,” which is really the task we call contemplation.
Authentic spirituality should lead to a total “rewiring” of both our conscious lives and our unconscious, or programmed, responses. It will not just change external behavior, but internal emotions and responses—what some call “the healing of memories.”
Building from his new book Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps, Fr. Richard gives us some guidelines and directions toward a “full” sobriety that includes body, mind, and heart.