Hearthaven Publishing

12 Step Materials for the Latter-day Saint Community

Some people have acclimated so well to this world, to this lower, telestial glory that is based on practical, physical performances and possessions. Unfortunately, this glory that is sufficient for so many people’s needs, leaves other souls nearly undone with confusion and longing

These confused, undone ones are the addicts—people whose sense of acclimation here, in this life, is so minimal that we feel too weird, too different, too unsuccessful at doing what acclimated, level-headed people do. We want to scream and run—run as far away as we can. We ache so bad down deep inside because we just can’t pay attention to the “game of life,” nor play it with enough concentration and consistency to win any approval, much less any prizes.

And when any of our kind do choose to compete in the game of life, to seize hold of a talent or ability, we usually develop a compulsive-obsessive strangle-hold relationship with it, drowning ourselves in it. In other words, even then we are not really demonstrating true acclimation with this world, but only an “idiot-savant” sort of phenomenon—an intensity and brilliance of performance that we can’t maintain indefinitely. In that area we shine, we excel, and attract the attention of others—even the adoration of others—which only serves to drive us deeper into despair over what a fraud and an alien we know ourselves to be.

While others are adoring us, filling up on the delight they get from watching us perform so well—whether it be in the arts, in the sciences, in management, hailing us as geniuses—we are even more aware that nothing of this world, even acclaim for our talent, makes any difference in how lost and lonely we feel. Nothing does. Nothing. Nothing. How many times can it be written to be sufficient? There would be no limit to how many times it would need to be written, because no amount of anything we do makes the emptiness and loneliness and terrible neediness go away.

We do every thing we can to follow our lusts we feel, thinking that surely this must be the need that is burning us from within, that leaves us feeling like an empty shell—an empty universe, a black-hole—within. As long as we obsessively look outside ourselves, turn our faces to something or someone out there, we can pretend to be functional. But the second we turn our attention inward, we are confronted with this infinite void, which absolutely nothing in this physical, mortal, temporal, carnal world can satisfy or fulfill.

And so, one way or the other, we end up confusing and disappointing our family and friends who are acclimated to earth-life, who can live on borrowed light, borrowed truth, who seem perfectly satisfied with second-hand reports of God and Heaven from a handful of people who have experienced their veiled reality. But we “addictive personalities” can’t seem to do that. It isn’t enough for us. We have to make conscious contact with the Divine ourselves or we will reel and crash and burn—and take our dearest loved ones with us into hell.

We must know for ourselves. We are the rebels. We are the difficult children. The challengers, the questioners. We are the restless ones, the ones that are unable to be satisfied with just working for God at a distance. We can’t live the lie that serving in His church or serving others is as good as sitting at His feet, leaning on His knee, perceiving His voice, feeling His Spirit, being in His presence. We just don’t get it—how so many can live on so little direct, personal contact with Him. We love them. They are our family members, our loved ones. We long to be like them, but we’re not. We’re the troublemakers, the troublesome ones. We’re the ones who can’t be satisfied until we have seen for ourselves. We’re the ones that have to be first-hand witnesses of God, or we are lost. We are people who must have “it all,” or nothing else will make any difference. We must have Him come to us and encircle us in the robes of His very own righteousness or we cannot survive.

We are the addicts.

~Colleen H.

©2012 Hearthaven Publishing. All rights reserved.

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