So I get a text 5 minutes before my wife shows up with, not only an out of town guest, coming over for dinner... but an "out of country guest." Lives in Thailand!
And, (not proud of this) here is my first thought: "Crap! Guests!? Been a busy day. House is a mess. Is she thinking I'm gonna make something for dinner??" (Yep, I can be oh so self-centered!)
Add to that, Been working and haven't showered today and I wonder, Is our house nice enough for this person?" "Can't we just have a quiet evening alone?"
Feelings: Poor me. ( Yeah, feel free to add sounds of violins to accompany my destitute condition!)
All this is "I just want to be alone" in the context of part of my days study: having done some research into the key cause of addictions: (sent to me by my very own wife Mindy Caliguire) that explain this main point.
"The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection."
Yes, this the main finding from a Huffington Post article by Johann Hari entitled "The Likely Cause of Addictions Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think."
The author questions the thing we've pretty much taken for granted: The likely cause of addiction? "Well, drugs, duh?" Isn't it just the case that people get hooked on the drug and it changes something in their body chemistry that makes them want more and more and more... until they'll even die for more! It's a chemical thing, right?
Well, maybe not so simply, according to Johann Hari. Recent scientific and psychological studies with both lab animals and humans have found that the attraction to drugs increases when there's one ingredient present: Loneliness.
That's right, isolate us from meaningful interaction with others and we seek "pleasure" in something other. Even self destructive things!
And, findings show that the attraction to drugs decreases when there's something present: relationships. Community. Others.
When you intentionally replace loneliness with life-giving friendships, community and interesting people in your life - how do you feel? RICH!
That's right! This incredible woman who came to dinner had been born in South Africa. She's lived in jungles of Kenya, spent time working with the poor in Mozambique and now resides in Thailand, working to train leaders around Asia. And she has vision for helping others find meaning in their work! (Ya think we had something to talk about!)
It TOTALLY didn't matter that we whipped up some soup (OK, Mindy did that!) or that we had left over bits of cheese with our wine! We shared stories, watched the sunset and learned how much people who grew up so far away had in common! We even prayed for each other before she left!
This "poor me" guy ended up feeling rich! That's right!
It reminded me of something I heard an international network builder named Jon Levy say the other day,
"The fundamental thing that defines the quality of our lives is the relationships we have and the nature of the conversations we have with them."
Wow! When you invest yourself in both building deep relationships with people... THEN intentionally talk about deeper things than the weather and "what you do for a living,' you feel rich! Life feels like an adventure!
In the Bible, it says in Proverbs 13:20, "He who walks with the wise grows wise."
And in Hebrews 10:25: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
I know this should also be a "duh" for all of us! But, for some reason we don't see how valuable deep relationships are to every other area of life! To
Our psycholgogical health
Being rich in money is a good thing. Being rich in good things is a good thing too. But, the missed method to become really rich involves intentionally seeking wealth and depth of relationships and experiencing the power of those bonds! How cool is that???
So, I would add to the addiction thinking: The opposite of poverty isn't wealth. It's human connection."
What if? Just what if? More of us (you too) were to have as a life-long goal to be and become rich in deep human relationships?
Not shallow ones.... but deeper. Where we talked about real stuff and learned real life stories from each other?
Invite a friend to grab coffee... just becauseInvite a foreigner over for dinner!Invite someone for another race/culture to grab lunch.Join a group of others who meet regularly to share deeply on a topicGo hiking/biking/running with someone you might notInvite a senior citizen over for dinner (even if you are a senior citizen!)Host a dinner party with other families.......
Invite a friend to grab coffee... just because
Invite a foreigner over for dinner!
Invite someone for another race/culture to grab lunch.
Join a group of others who meet regularly to share deeply on a topic
Go hiking/biking/running with someone you might not
Invite a senior citizen over for dinner (even if you are a senior citizen!)
Host a dinner party with other families
Better world? Richer you? What do you think?
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