I’m not an addict, but I am the son and grandson of addicts — alcohol and opium. I know the lies, the brokenness, the co-dependency. I’ve lived the enabling. All this, tuning my heart to real love. Yes, even the tough kind that walks away in utter surrender to Higher Power, which is often most present when we let people we love go very, very low.
Addicts forfeit their right to all relationships except one. Only Divine forces from within can repair what’s wrong. Inner Divinization is the sole cure, not merely for addiction but for abuses and compulsions of every human kind. Prevention of suffering is often the antithesis of love. When Christ tracked through the dust of his times, people suffered. He suffered. Yet at the bottom of that suffering, came triumph. Joys from within. Christ never said worship me. He said follow me. He respected humility, deep humanity, and he assailed egomania. He kept showing us the beauty of falling, of failing. He was no respecter of human righteousness of his day. Instead, he loved those the righteous deemed filth. And in that knock-down-ego-out, human lives transformed.
No, that’s not what many want to hear. Many want to believe their righteousness will heal themselves and the world. Alas, it won’t. If it would, the Christmas story would take form in a palace, not a cave.
And this is true of enabling addicts of every kind. I’m a big believer EVERYONE ought to go through a 12 step program. Not a boozer? Not a coke addict? No problem. Those 12 steps apply to you (especially if you grew up with an addict, my fellow co-dependents!!!) The 12 steps are more likely to bring you into union with our true Higher Power than many a church experience. And, yes, I’ve been a church member my entire life. I still am, gratefully so. I just get it now. Born of my experience with addicts, I get it.
Want help in “getting it?” Seek out Breathing Underwater by Richard Rohr. Read it now. Give it for Christmas to everyone you can think of. Drink from its font of Divine surrender, communion, times transcendent of even what seem the best of times.
Ecstatic joy to all. And if you’re struggling with trying to love an addict sober this Christmas, read this, before you do another thing.
Again, as always, peace!