Recently, I was talking to my good friend and colleague Bob (Robert Weathers PHD), who I met a few years ago through our mutual interest in addiction recovery. At that same time I also joined Bob’s ‘Your Vitality Project’ where he spoke and presented about all things recovery. When I use the term recovery in this context, I speak about addiction to both substances and behaviours. We found we both had an interest in more integral recovery processes and spiritual development. The ‘Your Vitality Project’ is no longer a thing, but we still meet every couple of weeks to talk about life, what’s happening in our worlds, recovery and most importantly, our own relational and spiritual development. In the near future I will record some interviews with Bob and others to discuss these and other topics of interest pertinent to Genuine Relating.
In our conversation Bob reminded me of the root meaning of addiction. In his talks and lectures both in the US and internationally, he explains addiction: the word addiction derives from the Latin word “addictus” meaning enslaved. As I reflect on this definition, I thought of my work in Genuine Relating with those “enslaved” to their relational chaos and how we regulate our chaos with addiction which is traditionally viewed in terms of substances such as drugs, alcohol and behaviours such as sex, gambling, internet etc. These behavioural addictions are sometimes referred to as process addictions.
The uniqueness of Genuine Relating lies in its focus on our resistance to relating and the change process, identifying our unmet needs and how we creatively adapt ourselves to the world around us and our relationships, to satisfy these needs. As we grow and move through life these once creative adaptations often become fixed and outgrown, resulting in unwanted consequences in our relational world. In short, we are enslaved to these now fixed adaptations which no longer serve us.
The outcome of Genuine Relating is to co-create relational awareness leading to greater creativity, vitality and deeper and richer relationships. Genuine Relating brings deep awareness to our unmet needs and the now outgrown creative adjustments in place in our life and relationships. With newly gained awareness we now find freedom and creativity to satisfy our relational needs, breathing vitality and health back into our relationship with ourself and others. As the saying goes ‘You can’t get out of the bear trap until you know you’re in the trap.’