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The Law of Sobriety

Author: Sherry Gaba, LCSW and Life Coach/Thursday, August 5, 2010/Categories: Chemical Dependency

The Law of Sobriety takes the principles of the Law of Attraction and puts them to work for the specific purpose of helping individuals recover from their addictions, whatever that addiction might be, including alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, food, co-dependency, love or shopping. However, in order to understand the Law of Sobriety, you need to understand The Law of Attraction. It states that your life is related to your thoughts—both conscious and unconsciously—that we put out into the universe. Thoughts are a type of energy, and the energy you put out into the world is the same energy you will receive or attract back into your life, both positive and negative.

The Law of Sobriety helps you take actions steps in your recovery. This essentially means the energy you are putting out into the universe with these positive steps will be what you attract back in order to have peace, joy and serenity in your recovery process. That is why it is so important that the thoughts and actions your take align with your path of recovery. Thoughts of fear, rage and discontent, according to the Law of Attraction, will not only keep you from fulfilling your recovery goals, but will be what is attracted back to you. If you live in fear, you will be afraid to try a new career or move on from a bad relationship. It will keep you frozen in misery and anger. If you are living with resentments, you are sure to attract back the same people, places and things that cause you to be resentful.

In some ways, the Law of Attraction is Positive Psychology meets Metaphysics. Positive Psychology states if you have a positive outlook, you will have a happier and more fulfilling life. Studies in Positive Psychology report that certain strengths and virtues enable individuals to thrive. For example, emotions such as zest, gratitude, hope and love are the most strongly associated with a satisfying life.

The Law of Sobriety is a program of seven steps that can be combined with 12-step programs or used on their own, not only to assist in living a life clean and sober, but to live a life that has purpose and meaning. It is about being called forth to do what you were put on this planet to do. The seven steps include:

  • Finding Your Purpose with Intention
  • Living a Life that Is True to Your Values
  • Living a Life of Authenticity
  • Learning to Live in Appreciation, Forgiveness and Compassion
  • Living a Life of Right Action
  • Living with Awareness and Mindfulness
  • Learning to Let Go of Resistance and Attachments

Often, alcoholics and addicts are not only drinking and using to escape their reality, but to fill their emptiness, pain and what many in the 12 steps call a “spiritual hole.” They are suffering from a spiritual malady of sorts. It is often said that if they would put the same amount of energy into sobriety as they did obtaining their drug of choice, their recovery would be assured. Addicts and alcoholics are always looking for the “softer and easier” way.

The Law of Sobriety may not be easy, but it is simple. Once these action steps are achieved, you will not only experience what it is to be joyous and free, but your life will have more clarity and purpose. You will be able to get a grip on what in life brings you the most fulfillment. Existential questions, such as Why am I here? What is my calling? Am I living an authentic life? Do I hide under a false façade? will be resolved. You will get a glimpse of your own unique wisdom and how to tap into it so that you can accomplish the goals you have set for yourself.

The first step, finding your purpose with intention, is about putting your passions into practice. Whatever gifts you were given is to be shared with others. If you are meant to be a writer, go write. If you are meant to be a chef, go cook. It is all about your compelling reason for existing. Without purpose, staying sober without being “dry” will be next to impossible. Relapse is almost inevitable when you are not living a life that resonates with who you are. The intention part of this step comes once you know what you desire: it is all about going after it with all the energy you can muster. For example, I remember watching Celebrity Rehab 1 several years ago and I told myself I would be on that reality television show no matter what. Through a series of events, I landed a spot on Celebrity Rehab 2 and 3, and presently I am working on Celebrity Rehab 4. I knew I had gifts to offer the clients of that program from my work at some Malibu rehabs and with high-profile clients. My persistence was uncanny and I made it happen.

Living a life that is true to your values is identifying what you stand for and are willing to defend. These values are what guide you toward action. It is about releasing the negative belief systems that you might have learned in your family of origin, and creating values that resonate with who you are now. Your personal values allow you to stay grounded. If you are in a bad relationship that could possibly cause you to relapse and if sobriety is your value, you must step away from that toxic situation.

Living a life of authenticity is allowing your true self to emerge. So often celebrities have this false persona that they portray to the media and their fans, but on the inside they are like scared little children. Authenticity is all about healing that frightened part of you by being really honest with who you are. Often, our true self emerges in the midst of crises. If you are contemplating getting sober because you have lost everything, now is the time to do it and to embrace the true essence of who you were always meant to be.

Learning to live in appreciation, forgiveness and compassion are interrelated. Once you learn to forgive yourself and others, releasing all the shame you have been carrying, then finding your purpose will be much easier. You will have opened up a space in your heart for true compassion that can only lead to a profound appreciation for your sobriety. When your heart is open, anything and everything is possible. I have seen many clients release their resentments toward people, places and things, letting them go and allowing for positive changes to occur.

Living a life of right action is living a life that aligns with your essence—no one else’s. You are here to follow a path that is essentially yours and yours alone. If people, places or things are taking you off that path, get back on it by getting rid of what is causing you to stray. Obviously, if your addiction is taking you away from what you truly want, then it is time for you to embrace the Law of Sobriety and attract back into your life exactly what you deserve.

Living with awareness and mindfulness is self-explanatory. It is about living your life one moment at a time. The founders of the 12 steps must have divinely known that living “one day at a time” was all an addict or alcoholic could tolerate. Often, one of the personality characteristics of someone who has the disease of addiction is her difficulty staying out of the past or future in her thoughts. It is much easier not to be judgmental of yourself if you are living mindfully in the moment. There is nothing to perseverate in the moment, is there? The moment is perfect just as it is.

Finally, learning to let go of resistance and attachments is about not being glued to having things turn out exactly as you envisioned them to be. It is about being open and willing to receive whatever comes your way so that you do not live in perpetual disappointment when things don’t go your way. I always thought that I would only be working with single parents when I graduated from my social worker program. I had no idea I would end up working in addictions. Once I became open to wherever my career was going to take me, more opportunities came forth. Having my book published is an example of achieving something I could have never dreamed possible when I entered graduate school. I am so grateful I have remained open by letting the Law of Sobriety work by creating miracles in every area of my life.

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