For those who are afflicted by addiction and struggling with recovery, it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to see their own beauty. A life of addiction is filled with shame, broken relationships, dishonesty, manipulation, and violated trust, so that the addict sees only the manure and not the flower.
In that seed of ourselves there is the blossom, but in order for the blossom to bloom, the seed must die. In the decomposition of the seed, roots begin to form. They reach out, take nourishment from the soil, climb through the dirt and fertilizes, reaching for the sun so that in its warmth, the bud can bloom into something beautiful and fragrant.
This can be our story; that seed, with its hard shell is how we have locked ourselves up, protecting ourselves so that we can maintain our isolation, and not risk the danger of relationships and intimacy. This seed, unless planted, can destroy the blossom of recovery and life that lives within.
Shame is the substance of the shell, locking within, the possibility of growth and change. Shame is the fatal virus that will kill the addict; the hard shell that destroys the potential within.
In order to grow, the shell of shame must be broken down. In order to break down this shell, the seed must be planted in good soil; the soil of honesty, authenticity, willingness and acceptance, and that is the soil of the 12-stesps, a community built on honesty, acceptance and a willingness to change. Often, it is in the 12-step community that the sufferer for the first time in their life has an accepting family and community.
As that shell of shame begins to disintegrate and the roots of growth reach out, nourishment flows in, to sustain the growing plant. The nourishment of humility, embracing powerlessness, accepting a power greater than self, accepting responsibility, growing in maturity, breaking through the earth, basking in the radiance of the sun.
Now, out here in the sun, liberated from the shell, life is fragile. You are vulnerable; the elements of life can stump your growth and impede you blossoming or even destroying your flower. Recovery is a risk; you leave the shell of isolation and embark on a journey of intimacy and honesty, which is always fragile, but embedded in that seed is our blossom.
The journey to recovery is difficult, challenging and ongoing, but it is also the promise to be happy, joyous, and free.