Don't Care How You Feel & Don't Care What You Believe
Spirituality isn't about trying to achieve constant rapture. It's about facing reality and being human.
Charlie, we really don't care how you feel. Getting better has nothing to do with feelings. It's all action...
That is by far the most helpful thing anybody has ever said to me. Often when I start working with someone, they go on endless rants about how they feel - "Yeah but this, yeah but that..." It's always that somehow their addiction makes sense because of how they feel. And the best is that I don't understand. I don't understand how they feel so screwed over by someone, so unheard, so misunderstood, so alone, so weak, so useless, so depressed, so not living up to their potential, so blah, blah, blah. Um, yeah, I get it. I whined too about how nobody understands. I justified using drugs and alcohol like an absolute pig because of the way I felt. "Well, you would be drinking and sniffing heroin too if you went through what I went through!"
Um, no, sorry. Most people don't do that. And yes, they even suffer, too.
This is why therapy is such a joke. Addicts who I sponsor say, "Yeah bro, the Steps are great but I also want to dig into my stuff, my feelings. You need to know how I feel, man!" No, I don't. And fine, call me a sociopath but I really don't care. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) has it completely backwards. Addicts and alcoholics are so fucked in the head, we can't think our way into right action. We just need to shut up and start acting our way into right thinking...
I also don't care what you believe. It really doesn't matter compared to what you do. You can believe in the most noble, lofty principles in the world and still be a useless sack. You can believe in every good thing in the world and never truly evolve or grow spiritually. You can have your doctrine of choice memorized front to back and never really change at all. You can be one of those religious show-offs who throws passages around like no other and still be a deranged monster. What matters is what we do, not what we believe.
Bottom line: Getting better has nothing to do with our feelings. In fact, our feelings quite often prevent us from getting better. The most important thing any addict wanting to get better can do is to drop his preoccupation with SELF. Stop focusing on how you feel because the truth is it doesn't matter and nobody cares anyway. We need to walk through our feelings without broadcasting them on the nightly news. It is action, not feelings or beliefs, that will ultimately give us freedom.