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Addiction and Karma

I've been working some really deep places these past few weeks, gathering valuable soul pieces in the process. From what I've been hearing, everyone seems to be doing their own version of this. Maybe you've been feeling it? I wanted to share my personal experience with you, in case something in my experience might help you connect with something in yours. I've had lots of people help me connect my dots, and I'd love to pay it forward.

For me, it started with a sudden urge to learn how to play the cello. I don't actually listen to music that much, but I've always admired musicians, and have oftentimes thought how fun it must be to pick up an instrument and play. I decided to humor this seemingly random, creative impulse. I made a few phone calls, found a local teacher and rented a student cello.

From the moment the cello arrived at my house, I was entranced. I stood the cello up in a corner of my living room, so I could see it whenever I walked into the room. I touched it, stared at it, scraped the bow discordantly across the strings. I found myself thinking about the cello when I wasn't playing, counting the minutes until I could. I was sure if I could just get out of my way and out of my head, I could sit down and play something amazing. I felt incredibly frustrated that I couldn't.

A desperate need to make music and to have music in my life began to build within me, like something long forgotten but precious and irresistible. The feeling was so strong, I couldn't seem to escape it. It was accompanied by the certainty that I needed a cello of my own. I didn't just want to play cello. I wanted to play a very specific cello. If only I could find it.... It had to be out there somewhere.

I searched craigslist and traveled to multiple stores and luthiers, dreaming of finding "the one." In between, I watched YouTube videos, read about music theory, researched string brands and bow hair. Cellos populated my dreams. I was completely powerless to resist. It felt something else had control of my mind, and I had no idea what it intended to do with me. It felt exactly like an addiction.

Then I started getting glimpses of another lifetime...little memories rising from my soul depths. Yes, I'd been a musician. Maybe an addict too, or maybe I'd just been completely possessed by the music. I suddenly understood why sometimes when I listen to music, I find myself drifting, as if everything solid holding me to my life is falling away. It's both a frightening and liberating feeling, like completely losing control. I also understood another reason I'd chosen my father - an alcoholic who would sit for hours in his room listening to records or playing his guitar. Something had gone terribly wrong in that lifetime. Love had been lost. Maybe I had been lost. Some part of my soul had made a decision to never return to that place of pain. My father had been my reminder. His life was chaotic enough to remind me....don't go there...don't be like him.

Like following a trail of bread crumbs, I kept going where I was pulled to go, feeling desperate and strung-out for no logical reason. I searched and I cried, for reasons mostly unknown. It was like the vibrating strings of the cellos I played were echoing through other times and other experiences. All that I could access was the emotional residue ringing somewhere inside of me. Pain. Anger. Blame. Loss.

Then one afternoon, it all broke open. I hit rock bottom. All the emotion came out in a messy rush. I felt completely beat down and broken open before it was done. And then a glimmer of light. I saw something I hadn't seen before. I felt a spark of forgiveness and of love.

Between that day and the next, I had three encounters that tied it all with my mother, one with my cello teacher, and one with my husband. None of them was remarkable. In retrospect, I see that in each encounter, I'd made a conscious choice to offer love and honor myself at the same time. Like repeating a magical spell three times, doing so broke the chains of enchantment. Though I still didn't understand the full story of that other lifetime, suddenly I knew I was free of it. It was like breaking through a fog, as if I'd been detoxing, shaking in a bed somewhere, sweating out the pain and the addiction, and now it was over. Clarity returned. My life resumed it's normal shape, and I understood that in being willing to consciously surrender so completely to that emotional echo, I'd found a way to transcend it. It was like my soul looked back and said, "Now I see. Let's do it differently this time."

Since that day, I've been thinking quite differently about the cello. I'm still looking for one to purchase and I'm still playing every day, but the compulsion is gone. My soul has apparently decided there's room in my life for music once again, and that I can have pleasure and love without losing myself.

I've oftentimes thought that compulsions are the universe's way of holding our attention on something we need to transcend. Addiction, in all of its forms, draws us back again and again to the places we've disempowered ourselves, like a groove in a record. The tune just keeps replaying until we figure out how to lift the needle out of the groove and move it somewhere else. With addiction, we keep surrendering, whatever the cost, because it's imperative that we gather those missing pieces or fill in those holes. Maybe there's soul territory where that's the only way it can be done. Or maybe in surrendering to something so completely, we create some kind of soul resonance for surrendering more fully into divine will.

For those of you struggling with addiction or who are watching loved ones struggle, I truly believe addiction to be a spiritual path all its own. There are soul pieces that can only be gathered when one is willing to surrender the personal ego so completely. If you're willing to go deep enough, you're bound to find the light.

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