Sit Down Beside It

     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. 

God, teach me to have compassion on my pain, to embrace the darkness within that I may dissolve it and let it go…

See Also: Befriend The Darkness & Nature Knows Best.

Fearing God Isn’t Scary

     A few entries back, I opened with…

     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

     A common criticism towards this language and type of relationship with God is that our Creator is some scary, punishing God – one to be ‘feared’. I get quite the opposite from this. Sometimes we addicts must step back and suspend all preconceptions… and also be sure not to robotically press the ‘PLAY’ button in our heads. We must stay open and educable.

     My translation:

     Be humble, and in a healthy way, fear doing the wrong thing for the effect it will have on self and others. To fear wrongdoing is wisdom, for we have been blessed with the knowledge of the certainty of cause and effect, a knowledge which better allows us to love ourselves, love others, and ultimately love God. To fear God is also to be vigilant not to become narrow and closed to new ideas and information. Remain a sponge, yet firm in our resolve that God Is. The boundaries of our knowledge rest in understanding and respecting where we come from.

God, please give me knowledge and wisdom, and instruct me how to better do Thy will and Thy work…

Befriend The Darkness

     Feelings don’t have to stop us…

     We addicts need to learn to sit down beside our dark feelings and befriend them. We cannot let our feelings control, overwhelm, or have power over us. We must stay in the middle lane, do what we would normally do, and let our feelings fluctuate around us. Our feelings will always change, up and down, but they do not have to stop us and they do not have to have power over us. Whether good or bad, painful or joyful, the trick is to walk right through our feelings and push forward.

     Winston Churchill said astutely, “If you’re going through hell, keep going… Never, never, never give up.” Precisely. What are we going to do, stop in the middle of hell or turn back only to start all over again? I’m all set with that. If you fight your thoughts and feelings, they will only persist, and perhaps grow stronger. But if you let them just be, they will gradually dissipate and move on. And by letting them be as they are, by accepting them and gracefully moving through them or moving next to them, we grow stronger. We gain character.

     We don’t become strong men and women by wimping out, turning back, refusing do things that make us uncomfortable, popping a bunch of pills, pouring booze down our throats or shooting a spoonful of heroin. Nope. We grow strong and become free inside by walking right into our fear, our darkness, and our despair. Addicts must confront themselves to unlock the chains they are bound in.

God, teach me to accept and embrace ALL of my thoughts and feelings. Teach me to take the middle road, not too high or too low…