The way to grow is to do the very thing we are scared to do.
Why is it that alcoholics and drug addicts can’t ever seem to kick the habit for good? Why do they stay sick for so long? Sure it’s because they are stubborn, obstinate, self-absorbed children. But it can be summed up in one word: fear. We are cowards, and therefore we are scared shitless to recover, as that would actually require some (gulp) work.
Addicts refuse at all costs to step out of their comfort zones. Anything difficult or uncomfortable they avoid like the plague. The truth is that we refuse to become adults. We cannot accept that life might not be solely about us feeling good all of the time. We cannot deal with the fact that life might be tough sometimes, that we might have bad days, feel sad or self-conscious or depressed. We simply cannot fathom the idea of living life on life’s terms. If life does not suit us, we drink or use. We do whatever we have to do to maintain our comfort… like a child who wants a candy bar even if mommy can’t afford it. We will whine and shout and even begin to hurt ourselves until we get it.
Getting better is really quite simple. It is just doing that which we fear. We do all of those things that addicts hate doing – admitting when we are wrong, being accountable and responsible for ourselves and our addiction, thinking about others once in a while, taking care of our families, and going to work even when we are tired and don’t want to, just like every other human being. Guess what? Other people actually get up and go to work even when they’re having bad days. They don’t need to get jammed out of their skull just to get in the shower in the morning or get plastered as soon as they punch out.
We get better by walking through our fears. We face the embarrassing character defects that we have amassed. We admit them and discover the healthier way. We become accountable for our harmful behavior towards others. We come to understand that we are not the most amazing things in the world, that we alone cannot fix ourselves. We consider humility, and get underneath something for the first time ever. We accept help from others… and most importantly, from God.
Growing simply requires we do that which all other humans have to do, and we don’t complain about it. By acting like adults, we will magically find that we don’t need to shoot heroin, sniff a pile of coke, smoke meth, or drink like a pig just to get in or out of bed. By walking through fear we melt away cowardice… and we become free men and women.
God, please rid me of the poison of cowardice…