I find the tragedies of people so heartbreaking. Addiction is misunderstood, and this has become my understanding.
I realize that this disease is not about drugs. Drugs are only a symptom of addiction or the "ism". Some people do drugs, while others collect things, suffer endlessly in painful relationships, others obsess over things they cannot control.
The real beginnings of many of our problems comes from far back in our lives starting with childhood and upbringing. We are told that we are expected to be a certain way and that we must follow the examples of others. Even though we should believe that adults that abuse us are wrong, we internalize it and find it to be our faults. “What did I do wrong? I shouldn't have done that. I must do better next time.” I have looked inside of myself and translated that this life terrorizing issue is hard to understand, yet simple.
We have a personality we have grown up with and created. An ego represented by coats of armor that we put on. We put on a new layer of armor each time we are hurt or learn a lesson. Eventually these suits of armor start to get so heavy, we cannot move, we cannot breathe. We try to walk around and be true to ourselves but our defenses make it nearly impossible. We only want people to see what we let them to and tell our true nature to shut up. We think our true selves aren't enough to be loved and isn't worth showing people. We become ashamed of what we actually are underneath. Our Egocentricity takes over and creates that facade we want people to see.
There are several walls we must break down in order to free ourselves of the thousands of layers of armor we put on over our lifetimes. We have the first wall: our personality we present to others. We must know it and see ourselves for what we actually are. There is nothing wrong with you. You are a wonderful human being that is deserving of everything life has to offer. The second wall is the big brute who bullies you at any cost to keep himself alive: Self-hate. It is your greatest critic, your manipulator, and your source of evil. You must look at your self-hate as a black dog behind you that is always barking, looking for attention, undisciplined and untrained. Wild, vicious and dangerous, it will do anything to get what it wants from you and does not love you. It will beg and give you those puppy eyes, but it is always lying to get what it wants... In front of you is another dog. Your true self. It is a little puppy that has not been nurtured or given attention in a long time. This puppy does not bark, it does not cry. It just wants your unconditional love as it has for you.
You must not ignore the black dog behind you. It must be stared straight in the face and you must say NO. This is where the last wall and line of defense against your true nature and love for yourself hides: Fear. You are afraid that this desperate black dog will bite you when it doesn't get what it wants. It will bark so loud you cannot hear anything and you are afraid of being ripped apart and die if you do not give it what it needs. Yet, this dog has a hidden chain attached to it you have never seen or knew about before. It cannot get to you if you don't let it near you. You must make the deep and soul searching decision through great fear and with courage to never give this dog what it wants again...
Turn your eyes forward...
See the little puppy in front of you? It looks at you with those big eyes filled with the desire for you to love it and take care of it. That puppy is you... Don’t be afraid of the work it takes to raise that puppy, because it will grow up slowly yet surely and be your undying companion; always guiding you to the happiness you deserve. Give it some water, some food, your love and take it on walks.
This is you. This is your puppy. If you can learn to love this puppy and nurture it, you will have found you love yourself. When you can love yourself, you can then love another...
The suits of armor come off and you can finally move away from that black dog behind you forever. The love you found will flow into you. You will be able to live with freedom, unchained from your self-hate and fears. Nobody can say you are a bad person anymore. You have taken such good care of that puppy that you don’t need anybody's approval. Your own puppy is happy, and he loves you unconditionally. It is unconditional love for yourself.
Everybody has this armor on and everybody has different weights on their shoulders. It is up to you to decide when to break free. I will pray for you all in the mean time. Please pray for yourself and others.
And as you do, remember to love freely.