I am continuously charmed by things I used to perceive as tigers that I run from (emotional stress, unworthiness, anxiety) with alcohol that end up being treasures when I face them, go through them and transform them into a gift. Being sober 24/7, all the way through with nary a hope of the crutch of the bottle is like being in a big white cold sterile room with four walls no furniture and lots of fluorescent light. Not exactly comfy. I have been “awake” for about two months now as I am every day greeted by these realities.
Whether we will admit it or not, we all deal with feelings of unworthiness or self-flagellation for not being what we perceive to be in our minds as ‘enough.’ I recently thought it would be a grand idea to open a can of worms with my first boyfriend and offload some resentments I was harboring. I’m not sure what I was hoping – I guess just to be heard and for him to take responsibility. This wasn’t about playing victim or not taking responsibility for one’s actions or reality it was an effort to neutralize and heal yet maybe in retrospect it wasn’t the brightest idea. His response was an apology peppered with “yeah but’s” with a lovely insult as the final exclamation point. It was at that point I realized it was a mistake.
When we already carry with us an inherent unworthiness or constant self-criticism, how can we expect to disregard when someone outside of ourselves seems to be echoing that? Step one is to unaccept what someone says to us that does not jive with the truth. Step two is to realize that we won the intergalactic lottery just by virtue of us being here and if that isn’t proof for our intrinsic value, nothing is. Step three is to know that that unworthiness is a lie and that everything around us is created by our thoughts. What we see around us does not have to be “reality.” It is only what we have created with our thoughts up to this point. See the video of Will Smith below. Will and Jada came from nothing and had everything against them in terms of odds. The only difference between them and others fighting certain limitations is that they chose to unaccept what was around them as their reality. The mind really is the last frontier.
If you’re sweeping a floor with a vacuum cleaner the only way to sweep up the dirt is to first shine a light on it. Drinking for me was a choice to live in pitch black darkness. I didn’t want to know anything or feel anything and certainly not sit in that sterile empty room with horrible light blasting in my face. The gift behind that horrible fluorescent light though, is that it will point out the dirt so that it can be swept up and cleared. How ironic that what kept me in darkness seemed like my best friend and that that ugly bright fluorescent light actually is by allowing me to see that dirt in the corner, though uncomfortable and temporarily painful is only helping me point out where illusions and false beliefs lie so they can be sucked up. I didn’t see this before, but now I am seeing how much higher it is to face all of the dirt and sweep it up rather than to sit in it in a dark room in illusionary happiness. The dirt is nothing to be afraid of – just a step to the next level of freedom. I welcome the sludge. Bring it – I will turn it into a diamond.
“A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.” — Mildred W. Struven