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Monday, April 15, 2013

Willpower vs. Nature

One of the biggest societal contributions to the problem of addiction is the notion that we can use our own willpower to overcome what is natural to us... and that such an act is entirely safe.

Yes, people can exercise their will against their own nature.  We see it all the time: the alcoholic who drinks himself to death, the anorexic who starves herself to death, etc.

But, there are less obvious ways that we cause ourselves harm, and these harms lead us to addiction.

Here is an example: how many addicts drink because of pain from being alienated from their fathers... yet society routinely says that fathers are optional!  Yes, society drives this point home again and again:

1) Easy divorces.
2) Custody favoring women.
3) Punishment for missed child support payments, but not absenteeism.
4) Radical feminism's anti-male rhetoric.
5) Gay adoption.
6) 'Gay marriage.'
7) Relegation of Marriage from Sacramental and holy union to optional living arrangement.
8) Exultation of bachelorhood.
9) Sex as recreational activity rather than marital union.
10) "A woman's right to choose."
11) The loss of manners, etiquette, and common decency.
12) Modern focus on financial accomplishment rather than honor.
13) The exultation of single motherhood.

These things have diminished Fatherhood to the point where it has become a biological term at best and utterly meaningless at worst.  Children naturally need a Mother and a Father, but we are now seeing how society assumes that government social programs can replace the Father with 'services,' be they support payment collection or other forms of care for 'our children.'  

There is a difference between the notion of  'our children' and 'my child.'  That child needs me, not services.  If addiction often based on or aggravated by the addict's broken relationships, then the breaking of the relationship with a father is a contributing factor... yet we have created in our modern world a land of broken father-child relationships.

So, we use our willpower to try to overcome what is natural.  The Father-Child bond is natural, and we try to forcibly ignore it with other messages and attempts to replace it.

"Yes, Larry, I know you want a father, but your mom is gay and wants to live with her lover, who will be your 'dad.'  Don't worry... they love each other, and they will love you, and you will accept this love as a father's love because this is what we want, and what you need is secondary."

You can think I am a bigot, and that's fine because you are entitled to your opinion.  However, I know plenty of men and women who have continued to hunt after their father's love after years of having everything else provided to them.  They benefited from everything we are told is just as good, yet nothing replaces a father's love.  These men and women keep going back to the rejecting father, and the rejecting fathers feel no shame in having no relationship with their children.

After all, they kept their part in the 'social contract'.  They paid child support and taxes.  Their work was done.

Sure, there are men who stay in the house and marriage and are cold to their children, but we now have an epidemic.  We have institutionalized this rhetoric.

We have also divorced (pardon the pun) fatherhood from marriage, and so men and women think that they can still effectively parent from a distance.  Yes, aren't those phone calls wonderful!

No, a child learns to accept the absenteeism the same way a starving child accepts being hungry.  They just stop complaining after a while, but the hunger never goes away.  The children use their willpower to silence their complaints, but their nature continues to nag them.

What I am saying is that some of our wounds in addiction are because of false resentments, but there are many other wounds that are very real and very normal.  A rape victim is naturally wounded, so is an abandoned son or daughter.  

While this wound of abandonment may be treated, it never entirely heals because part of nature which has been violently torn off.  We may lose a limb in an accident and stop the bleeding, but that's not the same as having the limb being reattached or growing back.

Modern materialism and its efforts to replace relationships with material things has left us all wounded, like a tree with all its branches torn off.  Yes, the tree is still a tree, but it is sick and ugly.  The modern home-life is very ugly.  So, we use our addictions to escape the ugly truth.

In the end, willpower can only provide a cheap replacement to what is required by nature, and ultimately it fails.  We cannot will away our humanity, though we can use our willpower to temporarily suppress it until our deformations can no longer be maintained.  Humanity cannot be removed from us by the force of will.

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