"Before we can be cured we must want to be cured. Those who really wish for help will get it; but for many modern people even the wish is difficult."
- C.S. Lewis ~Mere Christianity
I have found that lamentably this is a truth with our current culture. I encounter may individuals, both patients, clients and even friends and family that say the pain or discomfort of their current situation is much to bear. However, when offered a solution or a way out, the remain almost frozen as if paralyzed to act. I used to think it was mere laziness, but as I took time to do my best to understand their heart, I found this is not often true. There is, instead, a learned helplessness tied with an ignorance that takes time to penetrate. There definitely is a longing for the cure, but fear of the cost to obtain it. Fear about how much time it will take to change. Fear about the unknown. Fear about what being cured actually mean as it will become a new norm. Fear of the pain to change is still greater of the fear in remaining the same. I have to admit; I am sometimes at a loss at how to approach people that hold on to their fear like a comfort blankie. I know it sounds ironic, but many do. It is like trying to pry away their torn up smelly blanket from them because it is all they know and have experienced so much loss, losing even this fear they have grown quite accustomed and even comfortable with is too precious for them to give up.
I remember once seeing a profound meme of a father (I think it was representing Jesus) kneeling in front of a little girl. She was clutching to her mangled teddy bear. His right hand was gently wooing her to let it go, while in his left hand there was the most beautiful teddy behind his back ready for her enjoyment. But she first had to give this worn out possession to receive what was better. There is a famous quote by John D. Rockefeller: “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” But for most, I find this is still not relevant to them. They still let go of the fear of giving up the bad for the good. Or in this case, the dis-ease for the cure. The battle of any disease state – well most of them – the battle is in the mind. I have learned to approach others “stuck” in fear, with love. Love truly drives out fear. Letting others know that you want to genuinely understand them with no judgment begins to chip away at that fear. With love, patience. The patience to listen and learn; it isn’t an overnight process. Finally, with love and patience; be an example. An example by being conquering one’s owns fear and sharing that process without shame. Show that it is normal and even okay to be afraid, but courageous. How one will get a wish fulfilled with courage. The courage to fight. The courage to endure. The courage to feel stupid sometimes, especially when you fall. The courage to get back up again. The courage to share their story without shame.
I was an addict for many years desperately wishing things to be different. I so wanted to be cured of so much pain and heartache. I was that little girl desperately clinging to toxic relationships and afraid of being sober because I didn’t like how it felt to be otherwise. I was okay being self-medicated because it numbed my pain, discomfort and my awkwardness being around others. The band-aide of drugs, sex and trance music was all I knew. But one day, the fear of remaining the same was greater than the fear of being radical and doing something different. The fear of losing my life or soul became greater than the fear of losing my ‘friends’. Ultimately, the fear of my children following in those footsteps outweighed the fear of shuffling alone in my own. When I finally hit my rock-bottom, it produced something amazing – loss of fear. When you lose everything or even just that thing you have clung onto so long and realize you are still alive and don’t have anywhere else to go but up, you are forced to be courageous. Here’s another thing folks; you may think to yourself – “yeah, but I’m not an addict.” And this is what I say to you…EVERYONE is addicted to something. Everyone holds something so close that it is holding their personal growth in some area. Everyone is at one point or another afraid to change. And Everyone has something they wish for but are too afraid to get it.
If you want to be cured of something, you have taken the first step because first you have to know you are dis-eased in some way to need a cure. But don’t stop just at wishing for help. Help yourself first by getting the help you need. And if you don’t know where to go; just ask me. I may not have all the answers, but I will strive to connect you with resources to help you get the help you need. Why, because that is what someone did for me and part of my cure has been paying it forward.
About the Blog...
We have heard the wisdom that we should love others as we love ourselves; but many of us do not even Like ourselves let alone Love ourselves. My mission is to help people learn to truly love themselves so that they can then love others as themselves.