In a culture that leans heavily into the acquisition of things, the art of letting go—the language of the heart—has been lost.
Even our spirituality has become another means of attempting to acquire more things, the ever-elusive abundance or love or status-worthy lifestyle or spiritual accomplishment empty of true compassion, kindness, or service to those less fortunate than ourselves.
There is a quality of love that can only enter the heart when we let go. When we stop doing. When we stop hoarding energy or vibrations, accomplishments or ideas, followers, identities, thoughts, emotions, and things—things as a measure of ourselves.
This is the condition of the hungry ghost, from Buddhist psychology. The ghost who has a potbelly but a small throat, who wants to consume and consume. The ghost is never satisfied and perpetually full, to the point of being distended.
This is the consciousness of addiction.
Filling up the empty hole of the heart through the body, unconsciously seeking ways to the mother, to mother ourselves, to feel that fullness of connection our deepest soul roots are hungry for. Searching for nourishment in toxic places.
Much is to be found in our emptiness, yet this is a place that brings up our terror, our old traumas, our fears or deep grief or isolation or aloneness. All things we are taught to pathologize, or even fear, because in this culture we are taught to be afraid of our very humanity.
We are taught that what makes us human is what makes us weak, so we have people who hold the shadow for us. People we “other” or push away, people we think are nothing like us, or who someone else will help. We believe that the suffering of the human condition is not our problem while we stuff ourselves with whatever to feel better.
The human condition is all of our problem.
The deep disconnection from love that is driving the show of consuming and hoarding and acquiring is our problem.
The confusion that getting is the same thing as loving is our problem.
We have lost the art of the in-between spaces, the spaces where we learn how to mother ourselves—to actually return to the great mother in our bodies, in the form of the earth and the unconditional, liberating love of the essence of the Mother herself.
In this human-created world of walls and separation, she is who we are all trying to come home to.
She is matter.
We cannot disown matter. It is the way to bring soul into body, to know ourselves as love in form.
When we are able to let go—to let go of trying to get, of identities, of hoarding things to make us feel better, of thoughts and traumas—a great grief and longing can rise like a tidal wave of love that washes our hearts clean and brings us back into sane connection with our humanity. A humanity where we only take what we need, and we care about others. We care about the land, and our hearts break open to see the impact of our addiction on the earth.
And finally, we do something about it rather than thinking: what can one person do? Every person makes one more person who is ending the needless ache of the planet.
Marion Woodman once said that healing addiction is what matures people. It is also the way that the Divine Feminine, the Great Mother archetype, will restore herself in our lives. Through healing addiction, the wounded feminine will heal herself.
This has always resounded so deeply in my own heart. When I was early in my recovery, I saw that my own addiction was my dead mother. That what I was addicted to was the energy of my mother wound I hadn’t been able to touch with loving awareness. I was unconsciously trying to mother myself and drown out my own wounded, feminine heart—emotions, dreams, gifts, powers, and purpose.
Addiction is false worship of a distorted, wounded, and sick feminine energy, and we cannot let the pendulum swing into thinking we can solve this at the level of our mind while we unconsciously move into an addiction to distorted masculine energy. These things have everything to do with addiction and being who we really are, embodied in the consciousness of our hearts.
We are taught that to fit in we have to be the same. But being the same is not the same thing as belonging. There are things in us we are trying to kill in the name of fitting in through acquiring and trying to prove and be like everyone else—have the same thoughts, dress the same, and emanate the same kind of “light.”
But there are so many important flavors of human, so many distinct expressions of the feminine and masculine that are desperately needed, even if our culture does not know what to do with us.
Our healing is crucial to the healing of the planet right now. Healing addiction and trauma bring us into a deeper relationship with true thriving and deep creation that is in partnership with the oneness of what is.
We must restore our connection to the true Mother within and without, learn to trust her, know her love has never left us, and that it is us who have forgotten her. It is she who is waiting to embrace us with open arms again.