Tripping Over Joy

What is the difference
Between your experience of
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a
Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear, I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”
― Hafiz, I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy

Finding the Ability to Let Go

I first heard this poem years ago; I was moved by its simple, yet profound message then — and am moved by it still — whenever I come across it. Clearly if these words move me so much, I must be the person who still thinks, “I have a thousand serious moves.” Even writing this, I have a rueful smile on my lips. How easy it is to become mired down by our thoughts and beliefs about our circumstances! And how difficult it is to simply let go.


Life Circumstances and Powerless Over Addiction

The first step of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous says “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol/our addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

What a profound relief this statement, if allowed to permeate one’s being, can bring. For my patients addicted to substances who are locked up not only in a prison of their bodies due to the way opioids, benzos, alcohol, stimulants, and other chemicals affect the body’s tolerance…but also in prisons of their minds, believing the elaborate stories they have conjured up for themselves and their justifications to continue to suffer.

Many of the plots of these stories involve being a victim: of poor parenting, of unfortunate genetics, of life circumstances that led to the perfect storm culminating in a severe substance use disorder.

Addiction Holds Your Mind and Body Hostage

I urge anyone with an addiction problem that is causing them to suffer and preventing them from sitting at the banquet table that is this life, to consider the relief they might feel to simply be.

To be receptive to all life has to offer without the need to be convinced that circumstances are far too unbearable to experience without the numbing or enhancing power of a chemical.

To be able to experience, in words attributed to Zorba the Greek, the “full catastrophe” that is life.

To be able to ‘trip over joy’ on a daily basis. I have worked with and know far too many people who have surrendered their armour, opened their arms, and fully allowed life to delight and surprise them.

They take their recovery seriously, but not so much themselves. The first step in reaching this peaceful place is safely becoming free of the chemicals that hold the brain and body hostage.

A Comfortable Way to Detox Quickly

The Coleman Institute for Addiction Medicine has been working with people who desire long-term recovery for over twenty-five years. If you or a loved one is struggling to stop drinking alcohol or to get off opioid pain medication, heroin, methadone, fentanyl or buprenorphine products, we can provide a safe and comfortable detox experience. Joan Shepherd, FN