What do we do when we see others suffering? How can we help when we feel so hopeless? This goes beyond the alcoholic suffering we witness in our fellow addicts when we become sober. I want to talk a little bit about the state of the world. Looking back into history, it seems as if we are finally evolving as humans; realizing that we create our own experience here. Many of us understand that suffering does not have to be part of that experience, but for most, it is still a prominent state of being.
At a very young age I used to burden myself with the suffering of the world. I recall asking my higher power for wisdom at that young age, and then not knowing what to do with my insight when I was faced with reality. If you can’t relate to me here, I apologize ahead of time. I am aware that most twelve year old kids don’t go around worrying about the state of suffering in the world, or asking God for wisdom (what was I thinking?). I was different, which is why I began drinking and using in the first place. It was a way for me to feel less burdened, and to fit in with my peers. Otherwise, I was clouded with depression and hopelessness because I could not fix anything, or help anyone.
Although I may have been a little over the top with this grandiose thinking, I’m pretty certain that many of us have felt like an ant sitting atop a mountain at one time or another. What is my purpose here? Who am I in the grand scheme of the world? It is troubling to feel like nothing, and I know that we can all relate to this feeling. Comparing ourselves to others can be even more debilitating, but in my own recovery, I have realized something incredibly significant in my own insignificance. I only have to change one thing in order to change everything… The one thing is my perspective. The everything is me.
By doing the hard work it takes to face the mirror in my addiction, and by changing my alcoholic behaviors, I have indeed assisted the universe in its overall balance. We forget that everything is connected. We walk around as if we are separate from the person walking across the street, yet we need to remember that we are all on this grid together. I’m not talking about the manmade grid that keeps track of everyone’s social security numbers. I’m talking about the universal grid. How many times does a coincidence remind you that there are greater forces at work here, than what your senses are aware of at any given time, and that these forces are working toward your well-being? This is a symbiotic world we live in. When we become sober, things begin happening. Little “miracles” in our lives indicate that we are on the right track.
The whole time I was concerned about the rest of the world, I completely disregarded myself. I was the one who needed to do something about my own suffering. My state of being is the only thing I have real control over. In turn, might my own awareness and inner joy be a light to those around me? It’s such a simple solution to a seemingly gigantic problem. Keep plugging forward in your recovery, and leave the burdens of the rest of the world to your higher power. There will come a time when you will be able to reach out to others, but not before you are centered in your own sobriety. By that time, it won’t seem so over-whelming because the clarity will be coming in strong, and you’ll be focused on your own corner of the universe. You’ll begin to realize that you were the one who needed make the difference by re-aligning with your soul.
One by one, we can all flick on the inner light. It may take centuries for the world to become a better place, but once your light is switched on, you won’t be so concerned about the rest of the world. You’ll realize that your inner joy is like its own sun in the solar system of your surrounding universe. Your sobriety makes a huge difference in this world. Change everything by changing one thing. The one thing is your perspective, and the everything is YOU.