To Do or Be

By Deborah Train

Who are you? Our identity can easily get enmeshed with what we do for a living, who we are related to or what we have done in the past. But that really isn’t who we are, thank goodness, because careers, jobs, relationships and accomplishments come and go.
Who we are is the inspiration that flows from our value base and serves as a catalyst for making decisions in our lives.

When we are unclear about our personal values, then we may be prone to subscribing to someone else’s. Even cultural values are questionable, so it’s best to truly know what drives us and strive to be as authentic as we possibly can, whether others like it or not. We each have a unique potential of possibilities. It isn’t about what we do, it is who we are being in the world and how we are doing the doing.

After having some success with physical recovery managing or abstaining from whatever substance or behavior is causing negative consequences or feelings, many of us logically want to go about the business of putting our lives back together again, as quickly as possible.
Fixing all of the physical and tangible aspects of life may come easy for some. No matter how it looks on the outside, it really is about how we feel on the inside. That is our personal barometer.

Early recovery can be challenging and for many, finding a job, going back to school or maintaining healthy relationships may not be so simple. Jumping in too soon could mean sabotaging our recovery if we are not clear and honest with ourselves about what our intentions are.
This is where it’s important not to compare ourselves, our progress and our lives with anyone else’s.

Are we listening to what others tell us what we should do? Are we using work as a socially acceptable way to avoid practicing stillness and self-awareness? My mother explained it best: even if we can’t see it, there’s some healing time needed and how much time is needed depends on the individual.

Underneath our physical addictions, there may be some causes and conditions that held us hostage to our addictive behaviors. If we are still making choices with the same set of limiting beliefs — like people pleasing, trying to get good enough, smart enough, or rich.