“Unlike some male fashion designers who love nothing more than to embellish, shackle and encase female bodies, de la Renta always put the woman first, once musing, “It’s only fashion when a woman puts it on.” His clothes, particularly the red carpet gowns he was famous for, were impossibly flattering and always highlighted the wearer rather than adorning or overpowering her.”—Oscar de La Renta’s most important legacy isn’t his clothes — it’s his respect for women
Gerald May was mentioned to me today. Wow, I hadn’t heard his name in a loooong time. His books formed part of my training in spiritual direction at the Washington Theological Union many years ago.
Brimming with curiosity I pulled his book ‘Addiction and Grace’ off my shelf, and opened the old thick pages of this small insightful treatment of the nature of addiction. ‘Ah, yes,’ the familiar compassionate words spoke to me again. ‘Addiction attaches desire, bonds and enslaves the energy of desire to certain specific behaviours, things or people. These objects of attachment then become preoccupations and obsession..the same processes that are responsible for addiction to alcohol or narcotics are also responsible for addiction to ideas, work, relationships, power, moods, fantasies, and an endless variety of other things…
WE ARE ALL ADDICTS,’ he continues.
And it is true. Maybe our addictions do not destroy the functionality of our lives, causing us to lose the people or possessions close to our hearts, but there is something to be considered here. If we are called to live a life that is free, a life that is a full experience of who we are, then any addiction lessens this life, keeps us stagnant, numbed, and even disassociated from very basics human movements such as emotion, love, fulfillment and vulnerability.
As Gerald mentioned, the word ‘attachment,’ comes from French meaning, get this, ‘nailed to.’ Addiction nails us by misdirecting will for the fulfillment of a certain desire and attaching it to something or one that does not really meet that desire, and hence keeps us hidden from ourselves. How functional is a life that is hiding from itself? And the more we peal back the onion to get to the core of our deepest, truest self, the more any addiction however slight, becomes a glaring smudge on the window of our souls.
It is interesting how willfull we can become in the face of ‘what we must have,’ and yet what a contradiction for it can feel very free to act on this attachment yet this attachment binds our freedom, our will, and our sense of dignity. Why does it hurt our dignity? It wields this sword because on some level we lie to ourselves about our relationship to our addiction, with a host of rationalizations.
Maybe we are addicted to a thought about ourselves, or a way we need to do something, or the perception of some dialogue we wish to have, or had…it is not only drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, though those can be easy to site as destructive addictions, even to use as rationalizations to forge a stronger iron clad bond to the ‘private’ unseen addiction that exists behind our closed door.
So what are you nailed to? We are all addicts, all in the same pool, needing to surrender to something greater than our present level of understanding and insight, we might call it grace, or Spirit, or even Life Force. The best place to start is an honest admission of our internal affair, and to acknowledge where we are attached. There are great indicators of addiction, to come soon….for now I simply ask,
BREAKING NEWS: Some U.S. airports to conduct additional screening on travelers arriving from West African nations most affected by Ebola; passengers will have their temperatures taken and have to fill out a questionnaire
During the 2014 TechGirls program, participants had the honor and pleasure of working, walking, talking, and traveling alongside a cast of wonderful individuals—mentors, presenters, supporters, and journalists. One of the excellent individuals they met from the world of journalism is Quincy Bulin from the Smart Girls Group. Quincy spent a dynamic day with us in NYC—she joined us on the roof at the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project and during an excellent panel hosted by MTV Act’s Caitlin Abber at Tumblr. Here’s her take on the day! Thank you Quincy!
"In response to a letter from Conal’s lawyer — he has not filed a lawsuit, but it’s not out of the question — Comcast’s Senior Deputy General Counsel admits that the company did contact Conal’s employer but says that Conal “is not in a position to complain that the firm came to learn” about his dispute with Comcast."