If addiction is a spiritual problem, then a spiritual problem (amongst other things) is a lack of purpose. Let’s face it, what drug addict or alcoholic do you know whose purpose in life is anything other than using drugs or drinking? And even if we have some sort of purpose besides using, is it truly a purpose? Is the path we’re on truly serving ourselves or, more importantly, serving others?
I had some grand ideas about my life. I figured that because I was so incredible and talented, I would be a best-selling author, a movie star, a rock star, and an enlightened guru all before the age of 21. No, that’s not a joke. And sure I wrote songs and stories and poems. Sure I auditioned for major roles in theatre and film. Sure I read anything and everything I could get my hands on if it pertained to truth, energy, mysticism, God. But… I was high as a kite before, during and after. The more I tried to grasp these things, the farther away they got. In the end, there was a giant abyss between who I wanted to be and who I actually was in reality.
Sure there is no problem with going into one of the more ego-driven careers such as acting or music. But it’s only not a problem if you’re NOT a drug addict. Drug addicts don’t have much of a choice in the matter. Because preoccupation with self will lead to our destruction, our purpose in life must serve others and the greater good. We cannot simply prance around waiting to be the next big thing. In fact, worldly attention and glorification is just about the worst thing for us. If we have any chance of getting better, than we must live in humility. We must get off of our pedestal and forget about our vain hopes and dreams.
I’m not saying that we can’t ever pursue our more self-centered worldly ambitions. I’m saying that we better be sane and humble enough first so it doesn’t go to our heads. We must give back enough and help enough people so as to rid ourselves of self-worship. Self is a losing proposition for addicts and alcoholics. It is only by putting our selfish desires aside and becoming other-centered that we may find our true purpose. And besides, what better purpose is there than helping others?
The funny thing is, when we serve others and God, our hopes and dreams usually start falling out of the sky while we’re busy doing good.
God, please show me my purpose and give me the strength and willingness to carry it out…