Wednesday, November 13, 2019

If It's Not Difficult & Uncomfortable, It's Useless


*This is an old draft I never published...
     
     As we become increasingly inundated with wordly life and the reality of responsible adulthood, we begin to realize that addicts and self-help gurus alike who don't ever leave the cushy spiritual retreat centers are missing quite a few 'muscle' stones in their foundation. It's easy to be calm and at peace when all you do is hang out at an oceanfront retreat sweeping leaves and writing books on how messed up everybody is. It's easy to stay in the womb-like bubble of the treatment center with endless service opportunities at your fingertips to lift you up, all while worldly clamors are essentially absent. The bubble of isolation leads to idealism and false knowledge, and thus to a flimsy foundation. After a certain amount of time, remaining in retreat mode year after year can become a crutch. I am guilty of multiple crutches, too, so no need to get trigger-happy with the keyboard. Feel free, however, to bash away as I believe in free speech with every cell in my body, unlike the SJW/ PC tyrants of today.


     Try joining the world, working a full-time job and having children and then we'll talk. Better yet, try serving in the world as well as serving the dust particles in the monastery, as even I cannot deny that a balance between the inner and outer is the way. But to truly grow, we must rejoin the world, face the challenges of adult life and put away the blanky and the stuffed animal collection. Trust me, if you want to get really strong in your recovery, come home, serve your family, serve your friends and colleagues, get a job, work hard, pay down debts, start a family of your own, serve your region, try new things and jump in. Remaining protected and isolated is fine for a short while, but will cripple you after too long.

     Remember, we addicts and alcoholics will want to do what is HARDER, NOT EASIER, as the harder thing is the better thing for people like us, and perhaps for everybody. It is harder to come home. It is harder to be there for our families, for those who may push our buttons but those who need us and whom we owe it to. Whenever we get too comfortable, we need to get moving. That is the trick to growing and staying strong year after year. Never make a home in your comfort zone.

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." - Neale Donald Walsch 

     This is perhaps the single most important thing for addicts to understand if we truly want to recover and conquer ALL of our demons, not simply drug and alcohol addiction. It was by doing the very things I didn't want to do that fixed me and made me stronger. Doing that which scared me and made me uncomfortable, insecure and self-conscious is what repaired my mind and soul, enabling me to go from recovering to recovered. Making a tough amends, running a group or speaking publicly are good examples. Working full-time, raising children, helping one's family, living by God's principles while surrounded by a world of idiots are other examples. I'm sure you can think of several others...

     At times we all feel like isolating, shutting off, going inward and avoiding people, places and things that push us out of our comfort zone. But this is exactly why the most important part of the Step process is to go work with other people. When we get up and force ourselves to sit with another addict who is suffering, it thrusts us out of isolation and lifts us up inside. It shifts our direction from the small and narrow world of self-focus to the colorful and limitless world of service. Giving, sharing and being with others is perhaps the greatest contributor to personal strength, and it adds the most to our reservoir of relief and freedom.

     Do yourself a favor and step outside of your comfort zone, something many programs, doctors and counselors in the bullshit, new-age addiction world don't recommend for some reason. But the truth is that it's often the things that scare us the most which are also the most healing and beneficial for us and for those in our lives. So do not isolate. Rather, do the opposite.

God, please give me the power and willingness to walk through fear, pain and discomfort...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anybody Can Take Steps - Chapter Three

* STEP 3 Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.           Soun...