“When we feel terrible about who we are, we pursue behaviors that
provide irrefutable evidence that we are unwanted.”
~ Covenant Eyes
This statement sums up my addictive life like no other. It is the path of self destruction I have tried to shut out from my past. However, this reminder is the affirmation I need to hear today. It is a reminder of how much I have grown, and of how I need to continue the ardent effort, not just for sobriety, but for the life of grace and peace that is the result of the work we do to enter in to the will of our Higher Power.
I clearly remember the feeling of being unwanted, especially by my Higher Power. How could anyone want me. So I lived this circle of denial: I would do good things, but then engage in my addiction just to prove that I wasn't any good. No one would want me if they knew the truth about me.
The early experience of sobriety was another act of denial. I could abstain from my drug of choice, but my mind and spirit continued to push the edges of my sobriety. I lived on a tight rope, abstaining just enough to say “I'm sober.” However, my mind and spirit continued in the destructive game that resulted in frequent relapse.
This is an exhausting way to live.
A life of lies is destructive.
Fr. Richard Rohr drove home the point with the following statement:
“We need much more nutritious food to feed our bigger self; mere entertainments, time fillers, diversions and distractions no longer work.”
These efforts of entertainments and distractions simply continued my lie. The did not constitute addictive behaviors, but they did not nourish my mind, body and spirit. Avoiding addiction is not sobriety. This life style left me restless, under a constant sense of danger.
Here's the good news: when I became willing to turn my life and will over to my Higher Power, my God, He/She listened and responded. This sense of restlessness and constant danger was and is the voice of God reminding me of Her presence, responsiveness and love. I keep hearing, “You asked for it, now you have it. Don't waste it.”
So, I began to change my diet.
The most nutritious item on my diet is meditation. This is the practice that continues to keep the voice of God loud and clear. The next item of importance is you, the people of my community who speak the voice of God in your actions of loving support and often not-so gentle encouragement. These two keep me directed to a diet of a life style that continues to evolve and reveal the power we are together. We are the power to eat healthy, exercise physically, emotionally and spiritually. We are the power of forgiveness and belonging.
This is the stuff of sobriety. We are the stuff of humanity and divinity that keep the pains bearable, the joys exuberant, and the hope alive. This is the energy that keeps us moving forward and together. This is the energy that provides courage when the waters are rough, peace when the waters are calm, and courage when we can not quite see the sea shore.