By guest author Cassidy Webb,
Before I got sober I only thought of myself. I was selfish and inconsiderate towards others because drugs were the only thing that was important to me. I was nice to people if they had something that would benefit me, but my motives were always selfish. I hated the person that I had become and I blamed my problems on everyone else but myself.
When I finally fell into a state of deep depression and loneliness, I came to the realization that I couldn’t get sober by myself and that any life run on my own decision making would fail. I was completely broken.
In admitting that I was completely powerless over drugs and alcohol, I reached out for help and went to treatment. There, I met a woman who became my spiritual guide. She explained her recovery to me in terms of her own struggles and experiences so that I could relate to her and learn from her. The most important thing that she explained to me was the importance of using spiritual mechanisms in order to change my life.
I knew from my experience that I didn’t have the willpower to stop using drugs and alcohol. Admitting that I was powerless over this aspect of my life was easy, but learning how to fix this was the hard part. I was instructed that I must build a relationship with a personal God of my own understanding in order for the obsession to use drugs to be lifted. Since I was powerless, I had to find something that was more powerful than I and turn my life over to this power.
The Four Absolutes
I had always turned a blind eye towards organized religion after being raised in a catholic home, so this idea didn’t come easy. However, I was sick and tired of living the way I had been living, so I was desperate enough to try anything. I found this power greater than myself by living on four basic spiritual principles of absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love.
In practicing absolute honesty, I have to ask myself, “is it true or is it false?” Since I was constantly dishonest in the past, it is essential for me to now practice honesty all the time. In being truthful, I am able to build real relationships with other people which helps me stay sober today.
Absolute purity means asking myself, “is it right or is it wrong?” While actively abusing drugs, my motives were not pure. I never examined my actions and the motives behind them nor did I care enough to look at whether what I was doing was right or wrong. Walking hand in hand with God on my journey to sobriety requires me to look at my motives before acting on them. I have to constantly ask myself “is this what God would want me to do?”
To practice absolute unselfishness means asking myself, “how will my actions affect others?” Now that I no longer struggle with the obsession to use drugs, I am able to share my experience with others in the hopes that they may recover from addiction as well. I must take time out of my day to sit down with another addict or alcoholic and show them exactly how I overcame this obsession. I must act unselfishly today, because selfishness got me nowhere.
When practicing absolute love, the question is “is it ugly or is it beautiful?” Absolute love encompasses many other principles, like resentment and entitlement. Resentment is ugly. When I am able to truly forgive others in my heart, I am able to let go of resentments and see the beauty behind lessons learned. Entitlement is also ugly. If I love each and every person for who they are while being of service to them without expecting something in return, I am practicing unconditional, absolute love towards others.
I placed myself in countless situations that could’ve killed me. God was there the whole time and God loved me enough to keep me alive when I should’ve been dead. He allowed me suffer so that one day I could experience the inexplicable beauty of life. God spared my life each time I overdosed. God saved my life when I totaled three cars within a period of two years. God gave me a second chance at life when I made the decision to get help. Coming to these realizations that God has always treated me with honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love, made me truly believe in a power greater than myself.
My spiritual awakening consisted of coming to the conclusion that God was always there for me, I just had to seek him. The way I learned to seek him was to practice spiritual principles whenever possible. I believe that God is open to all people who seek him, and if I am to do God’s will, I must be open to all people who seek help from me.. When I began to stop thinking of myself so much and begin to live a pure and honest life, I began to reap the benefits of living a spiritual life.
I am able to look at the motives behind my actions today so that I can be of maximum usefulness to God and to the other people around me. I fully believe that God’s purpose for me on earth is to help others achieve happiness and sobriety by giving love and compassion to others. Before I had this change in perspective, I felt lost and useless. The feeling of purpose is what brings me happiness and peace today which is more than I could have ever asked for. Having faith that a God of my understanding is always watching over me allows me to have inner peace when there is havoc happening around me.
Today, I can honestly say that the obsession to use drugs has been lifted thanks to faith in a loving God of my own understanding. I have the privilege of watching the light come back on in people’s eyes as I help them discover their faith and loose the mental obsession that takes the lives of so many individuals. I have a fulfilling life today where I can find beauty in everything around me. All it took for me was an open mind to allow spiritual principles to take a hold of my life.
I am not perfect and although I aim to practice these principles every day, I sometimes fall short. When I do something that is not in line with the four absolutes, I share my shortcomings with God and with another human being then set forth to correct my wrongs. I have a daily reprieve where I can obtain forgiveness when I am wrong. My God is forgiving, not condemning. My God is loving, not punishing. My God is always there for me as long as I put forth the effort to walk with him.
Cassidy Webb is an avid writer from South Florida. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.