COURAGE MONTH: DAY 3: “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” ― Stephen Hawking
What a great quote from someone who overcame so much and still recognized his tremendous gifts. He broke all the rules, didn’t he? I think his courage is an inspiration to all of us.
And I want to always hold these heroes in mind when I face any kind of challenge. In working the steps, I know how frightened (terrified!) I was in contemplating their insistence that I live a fundamentally different life.
I was not becoming a new person. I still hold all the same desires, aspirations, and basic human qualities I did then. It was just that, I must allow, I had buried my goodness deep below the behaviors that I believed I had to practice because of the life I was living at that time.
As my addiction progressed, I became more secretive about my heart. It was the same heart I have now, but I had covered it in so many protective layers of defense mechanisms that others believed I was the tough, callous, uncaring person I showed the world. Maybe they saw through the disguise at times, but I was hellbent on maintaining that illusion.
I remember meeting a man in my first months around here who told me something so incredibly important. I have never forgotten him. He said, “The biggest lie we ever tell is that we don’t care. We care so much that it is killing us, and we are dying from how much we care.” Ugh! It killed me to hear that, because it was so terrible and so true. And I have never since then said that I don’t give a f— or that I don’t care. It is a lie. I am grateful to let go of that lie.
There were SO many lies, so many coverups, so much bullshit to supposedly protect me from you monsters. Today I am grateful that I know who the real monster is. It ain’t you. It ain’t my past. It is my Ego. And I don’t have to let it run and destroy my life and happiness today.
No matter how much I believe I am doomed, I can do all those things Mr. Hawking speaks of. I CAN, because I have, and I always will remember to be brave. There is nothing to fear except the monster that lives in my mind. And the disease that wants to destroy me and blame it all on YOU.