Why aren’t we getting what we want?

What if we had power right now to live our best lives, smash all of our goals, and see every single one of our audacious and fabulous dreams come into fruition? What if? What would that look like? How would it feel? What are we doing to work toward it?

Why have we not gotten it yet?

I was just approached by a woman on the street here in Daytona Beach. God bless her, I have been seeing this woman walk everywhere from beachside up to the intersection of 95 and international Speedway Boulevard for well over a year. She used to come to my restaurant, accompanied by a haggard-looking man, and sometimes a child in a stroller. Since the last time I seen her, she’s gotten significantly smaller, and the sores on her face have multiplied. I say this not from a place of judgment, but from a place of knowing: Is obvious that she is struggling with drug addiction. My inclination was to get out of the car, and tell her that I am also a drug addict, but because I am in recovery, my wildest dreams are coming true. I wanted to tell her that the impossible is possible. I wanted to hug her and tell her that we do recover. However, that is not my job. That brings me back to my main defect of being a control freak. By acting as a tugboat, I am only exhausting myself, trying to rescue all of the ships at sea and bring them to shore. Today, because I have step work and recovery of my life, I know that I am not a tugboat. I’m a lighthouse. My job is to be a shining beacon of light, and to let all the ships that are lost at sea realize that by following the light, they too can find their way to safety.

This philosophy may very well get me some flames, and you know what? Have at it. It’s easy to judge from the outside. Having been inside the grips of active addiction, I can attest, as a witness, that the best thing for me was to hit my bottom, and to claw, climb, reach up, and ask for help to get out. The help that I needed was not a shovel which would dig me deeper (money, advice and such). What I needed was hard truth that hurt my feelings. That truth was given to me when it was clearly expressed by two trusted friends that I am, indeed, out of control. It was made abundantly clear to me that I needed help. It was also expressed to me that I have the wherewithal to get that help, to get clean, and to get my shit together.

An interesting fact about the disease of addiction is that it compels us to use in order to escape for our problems. What’s fascinating is the very thing that we are using as a balm to ease our pain is also the very thing that is exacerbating that pain. When we are caught in the cycle, we are caught in the grips. And there is no escape.

Two of some of the most annoying things I hear from non-addicts are:

1) Why can’t they just stop?

And this second one infuriates me…

*deep, calming breaths…*

…2) Everyone is an addict (of sorts, in behavior, etc.)

My job here is not to label, diagnose, or define anyone as either an addict or not. The purpose of this is to point out that while there is a problem, there is also a solution. And that solution is in the hands of people who have been down that road, walked these streets, have stories to share, and who feel exactly the same because we have the very same feelings.

Look, I acknowledge that we all suffer, and we all have something that we pulled from the shelf from our inventory of bullshit that we use to numb and escape our pain. Vulnerability is messy and immensely uncomfortable. Many of us would rather suffer the consequences of excessive escapism then face our problems head-on. While it is insane to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, it is equally ludicrous to do the same thing and know damn well what the result is going to be, and do it anyway.

Escapism can be positive. It can give our brains a much-needed reprieve when we are stressed and obsessing about a problem that seemingly does not have an instant solution. That clarity of mind gives us perspective, and refreshes us to come back stronger. Have you ever gotten a brilliant idea while driving, taking a shower, or on the toilet? Then you know what I’m talking about. However, when we use escapism to completely run away, or do things in and overindulgent manner, we are not refreshing our minds. We are instead becoming reliant on that hit, that instant gratification, the relief that comes from not facing our problems.

Here’s the key. We are both responsible for our problems, and the genius who creates our solutions.

So if we find that we’re still clinging to that dirt bag that’s dragging us down, it’s time to make the executive decision and get the hell away from him. If we find that we want to stop doing something excessively that is only making matters worse, the first step is to acknowledge that we do it, and develop the willingness to make a change. There are many things in life that we can do in moderation, but there are also some things that we can do without. Acknowledging our habits and the reasons why we employ these habits is the first step to taking action in order to get different results.

What’s something you want to work on?

How is it affecting your life?

What would your life look like if things got better?

Do you know what you want in life?

Getting clear on these questions help us come up with an intention, and an intention is a guidepost for us to move forward. Take a look at these things, evaluate them honestly, and make a decision to either keep doing the same things (and getting the same results), or to be bold and move toward your greatness.

Either way, the power is yours.

Go forth boldly! Your dreams await you ♥

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