Friday, September 7, 2012

Loving Kindness

 By

Chris Newcomb, M.Div. 

It's hard to have a good attitude on a daily basis.  We look at the news and out on the street and often times it seems our world is just getting more and more crazy.  Maybe that is the case or maybe we just know about it more often because of the lightning fast updates via social media like Facebook, Twitter, and other popular technological advances.  

Personally, I don't think the world has necessarily gotten worse.  After all, it was only in the 1940's that a man with a very bad mustache convinced the German people to commit heinous crimes against the Jewish people in Nazi Germany and beyond.  Still, our world today has enough bad stuff to go around for sure.  

Therefore, I present to you: Loving Kindness!  The concept is represented in most major religions.   The good news is the concept works regardless of philosophical, religious, or non-religious persuasion.  It seems to generally refer to acts of kindness that come from a base of love.  That is, altruistic actions that are not motivated by selfishness or ego rather that are driven out of care and compassion for our neighbor over ourselves. 

Many of you may remember learning the 'Golden Rule' when you were a kid: "Do unto others as you would have done to you."  Makes perfect sense doesn't it?  Of course it does, until you try to put it into action.  Reality is we don't like everyone and everyone doesn't like us.  So much for easy Golden Rule implementation, huh!  

Enter loving kindness.  When we speak from a place of love, we build up and encourage not tear down and discourage.  When we act from a place of love, we heal wounds instead of creating fresh ones.  When we help from a place of love, we go the extra mile not for our own ego and self-flattery but because the other person needs the help and we want to help them just to help them.  

Loving kindness is a high standard.  It's not easy to do.  It's not easy to continue to do.  But, it is worth it.  The world needs more loving kindness.  However, you have to demonstrate loving kindness to yourself first. 

If you don't take care of yourself, you can't really help anyone else.  This is especially true with drug and alcohol addiction.  Choosing sobriety is a pure act of loving kindness towards yourself.  Continuing in sobriety and practicing recovery is also a continual act of loving kindness towards yourself.  When you genuinely practice loving kindness towards yourself, guess what happens?  You stop beating yourself up.  You start believing in your own worth.  And then, as if magically, your vision is changed much like the Grinch's heart grew 3 sizes that day when he realized the joy of Christmas and joined all the Hoo's in Hooville singing and laughing and celebrating.  And, the cool part is, you don't have to wait until Christmas to practice humble loving kindness towards yourself!  

Choose loving kindness and apply it towards yourself today.  If you do that, you will be unable to contain it tomorrow towards others.  Just another gift that sobriety and recovery brings those who choose to stop the destruction of addiction and start living in the healing of recovery!  

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs.  We practice loving kindness towards all of our patients by offering a safe, comfortable, and non-judgmental environment that promotes healing.  If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiatesalcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Help, hope and healing begin here!

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