We can only white knuckle anything for so long. There comes a point at which either we begin to develop a natural rhythm, or at which we simply realize that we just can’t do it anymore, and we flop back down into alcoholic despair, or ambivalent depression, or whatever the case may be. This is not necessarily a bad thing; we need to know what we are really working with if we are going to get anywhere for real.
Hitting bottom will reveal what we are made of.
We may kick into survival mode and swim to the surface for a while. We may have a genuine spiritual awakening or born-again experience, and the momentum from it may carry us quite a ways. Inevitably, though, the turbulence and friction of life will bring us face to face again with our true selves, or with the echo of our former selves which we cannot quite seem to escape (for whatever reason).
This will happen over and over, and each time it does, we must decide how to respond. Do we love, or do we hate?
In my own adventures with pain, I have discovered that the reason I’ve fallen short time and again when decision making time rolls around is because, at the bottom of it all, I really have hated myself quite badly for a very long time. I’m in recovery from this self loathing as much as I am from chemical dependency or any other affliction, and probably moreso, to be frank. But, I mean, that’s okay.
Knowing the problem is a huge part of being able to cooperate with the solution.
Before we can be whole, we must reach a point where we are not being driven or led to succeed and to thrive by some sort of high, based on a particular combination of brain chemicals or whatnot, but where we enter into this motivation purely by yielding ourselves over to Love and by the consistent choosing of this Love as our primary source of life, no matter what happens, and no matter what it feels like today.
We hear it all the time, and maybe we will never really learn the depth of its truth in this lifetime, but love is a choice. Love is always a choice. Sometimes it’s easy because it lines up with our emotions. Sometimes it seems impossible or wrong. It often seems impossible and wrong to me when I am faced with the decision to love myself, despite a multitude of circumstances and past mistakes which would seem to dictate that I am altogether unworthy of any such affection. Sometimes it seems impossible and wrong to love someone else who is severely lacking in the types of character qualities which normally inspire benevolence and care, or worse, who has genuinely wronged or deliberately harmed me.
It seems impossible.
What seems and what is, though, are often two very different things.
Friends, may you cooperate well.