This blog can be tough on addicts, victims, heroes and pity pots… but I do understand that we are in pain. When we abuse ourselves with drugs and alcohol, when we abuse others and project our flaws onto them, when we become whiny, negative and full of self-pity, when we see ourselves as brilliant and superior, or when we see ourselves as the center of the universe, it is because we are in pain. Suffering does strange things to people. We either self-destruct, lash out on others, or engage in self-worship.
But the pain is real and even though it’s imperative to own it, to be accountable for it, we also need to embrace it, befriend it, and have some compassion on it. Compassion is useful as it allows us to forgive ourselves, which opens us up to others, helping us to better love them, to love more deeply. So we do need love. We can’t just make war with our character defects. We need to understand the effect they have on ourselves and others, and then sit down beside them. By accepting and embracing them, we disempower them. We can then let them go.
It’s also okay to be tough on ourselves. In fact, addicts need to if they are to break through the endless layers of pride, ego and bullshit. We need to shatter our self-centered frame of reference in order to become honest again, to see things clearly. So compassion doesn’t mean that we blame anyone and it doesn’t mean that we sit idly and refuse to proactively do anything about our pain. We are entitled to make mistakes but not to remain sedentary.
The solution? God and Purpose. Maladies like addiction or depression are simply a lack of purpose and a weak or ineffectual spiritual life. When we find actions that improve our conscious contact with our Creator and when we find a Purpose that feeds us and others, we repair naturally.