Gabor Maté is an MD who sees addiction and disease rooted in trauma and inherited epigenetic trauma.
ROOTS OF ADDICTION
WHAT ARE THE ROOTS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS?
The link between epigenetic trauma, internalized oppression, and addiction cannot be overemphasized.
Substance-dependent adults often begin as extremely sensitive children, making them more affected by inherited trauma. In a traditional culture, elders could nurture these young people, creating artists, visionaries, healers and spiritual leaders. But growing up in a modern culture that devalues and assaults their intuitive emotional gifts induces trauma and produces addicts instead.
Drugs and alcohol initially serve as effective coping strategies for traumatized people, allowing users to numb their familiar pain while exploring altered states of perception and unknown areas of the psyche. But substance abuse quickly becomes a habitual psycho-emotional escape, creating its own set of problems and exacerbating existing ones.
Entheo Healing seeks to create a new cosmology for the story of drug and alcohol dependency. We recognize that addiction builds character, however questionable: Addicts are hyperaware, resourceful, and deeply resilient. The healing process builds upon these skills and an acknowledgment of the courage it takes to confront the unconscious and embark on the journey to recovery.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
Malidoma Somé is a traditional medicine man who holds three Master's degrees and two doctorates from the Sorbonne and Brandeis University.
HEALING RITUALS FOR ADDICTION RECOVERY
Healing rituals contain a symbolic link to the core beliefs of a culture, community, and spiritual tradition. They play a key role in a person’s integration to society, as well as the organic world.
When society’s cultural rituals lose their potency, the result is a disconnect from the physical and inner emotional worlds. For those especially susceptible, substance use offers a unique rite of passage and ritual culture as a substitute.
Humans seek and find comfort in rituals, whether healthy or not. The ritualization of alcohol consumption and drug culture makes substance recovery more complex. If the rituals of addiction are not replaced with a new system of ritualized action, one experiences anxiety. The individual is left without a sense of how to relate, act, and function in the world, greatly increasing the potential for relapse.
In order to provide a substance-dependent individual with a better chance of recovery, MedicineHeart seeks to replace addiction-related rituals with newly created, healthy ones. A successful recovery is far more likely through the use of a step-by-step program, which provides a solid framework for a ritualized recovery process.
FOUR ASPECTS OF RECOVERY
1. RECLAIMING IDENTITY:
Some elders say life is a process of remembering who we are. Our identity can begin with our full birth name. What is the etymology of our name? If we are named after someone, who and why? We are comprised of the union between our blood parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and so forth. What are the names and stories of these relatives? In what ways are their stories ours? The way these people met together with the circumstances surrounding the act of conception are all events that influence our identity.
The foundational identity of our birthright is our blood lineage and the original lands our ancestors called home. Our identity can be found in the stories from these homelands and the stories of migration across the globe to our birth land. What is the history of the place we were born? What are the stories of the original inhabitants of that place?
Many of our ancestors were driven from their lands out of famine or conquest, creating a break in the bond with our primary caregiver, mother earth. The historical traumas that forced our ancestors from their home creates a family wound that reveals itself in each generation. All people bare the burden of colonization and marginalization experienced as internalized oppression. The negative impact of colonialism is in varying degrees felt by all. These wounds manifest as mood disorders, addiction, sexual abuse, violence, etc.
Embracing our roots lets us stand in our strength.
2. LIBERATING SELF:
We all inherit the emotional legacy of our lineage including unexpressed pain. Family loyalty manifests in unconscious ways that require us to give up parts of ourselves. Unconscious inheritance from traumatic events in our family history creates a template for relationship and how we experience the world. The shadows of the family legacy can be reframed to account for the challenges and triumphs in ways that honor the love through our lineage.
Inquiry is the path to self-discovery. By asking self-reflective questions we uncover subconscious beliefs, fears, and complexes built up to support them. Core language reveals core fears, exposing core wounds in an individual which are also seen in relationships found in the family tree.
Through concrete exercises we begin to liberate the individual from being inundated, enmeshed, merged, or identified with family members and their wounds. Problematic relational dynamics will lose their potency.
A relational and energetic boundary is established creating space for one's self. The space we have for ourselves increases our ability to be with others. The healthy space we consciously create with loved ones is at times a better way to honor connection; self love is cultivated through sovereignty.
Through the wound we enter the heart to find our medicine
3. RECREATING SELF THROUGH RITUAL:
Ritual is alchemy for the soul serving as the bridge between the sacred and the mundane. Adding intention to practice creates an environment where habitual becomes ritual. Our psycho-spiritual practices must call attention to the present and consciously acknowledge the numinous.
Spiritual energy speaks through the language of the heart. Science shows that our heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to our emotional center, the heart. As practices deepen the heart opens and our capacity to feel grows. Ritual and ceremonies evoke utter vulnerability. Depths of emotional expression in a ritual container triggers ancestral wisdom in the very foundation of our psyche. These are the mechanisms to be activated for sustained transformation.
As the heart opens, pain is released. Suppressing emotions blocks the flow of life-force energy through the heart limiting our capacity to love. Our repressed pain and the unexpressed heartache of our recent ancestry, further distort the flow of ancient wisdom through our lineage - our connection to source consciousness. As the pain is released, the heart has more room to receive and express love in vibrant ways.
Metaphor is the language of psyche or soul. Information comes through the dreamtime and synchronicities in life serving as a roadmap for integration. We acknowledge and make offerings of thanks for this guidance. We activate ancient wisdom in alchemical processes within our being.
As above so below
4. BUILDING COMMUNITIES FOR GROWTH:
The wounds we have as individuals are shared by the collective. It is imperative that aspects of our healing be done in groups. Integration will include resourcing to create a network of people dedicated to wellness and living a balanced life.
Fellowship is forged through creative outlets addressing the mind, body, and spirit. It is encouraged to pursue artistic mediums, educational endeavors, energetic activities, and spiritual aspirations in group settings. The group consciousness of people focused on a shared goal of self-growth supports our expanding momentum fortifying our being.
Community serves as witness of our transformation, signaling to our psyche a successful shift is complete. We recognize a different quality of being. With initiation comes obligation in taking steps towards a just and balanced self, family, and community.
Bound in a bundle we can not be broke