Living on a spiritual basis was something I had a hard time grasping when I first got sober. I had never believed in God and I had a resentment towards organized religion. When my drug addiction had beat me down enough, I became convinced that living on a spiritual basis was the only way to maintain long term sobriety. The four absolutes describe the spiritual way of life that is so important to me today. This consists of absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love.
When I was in active addiction, I constantly lied to myself and to others. I lied to myself each day when I would tell myself “I won’t get high today” or “I’ll only get high after work”. I could never see the truth that each time I got high, it wouldn’t be the last time. I never understood that once I put a substance in my body, I would not be able to stop. I lied to others to get what I needed. I would lie to my family to make it seem like I really was sober this time. I would lie to my friends and ask to borrow money, with no intention to pay them back. Now that I am sober, I have to be honest with myself and with others. I have to ask myself, “is it true or is it false?” As soon as I got honest with myself and admitted that I could not stop using drugs on my own, I was finally able to accept the help of friends, family, and God. I entered a treatment center, where in group therapy I had to get honest with the other people in the group. This was the only way I could build the relationships that I needed to keep me sober.
Absolute purity means asking myself, “is it right or is it wrong?” While in active addiction, I never had a pure motive. I never examined my actions nor did I care enough to decide if what I was doing was right or wrong. I would cheat, steal, and lie from others because my morals were no longer important. There was always a hidden agenda behind my actions. I didn’t care if I hurt somebody else. Walking hand in hand with God on my journey to sobriety consists of looking at my motives before I act. I have to ask myself “is this what God would want me to do?” If I want to turn my life over to the care of God, I have to aim to do his will, which means having a pure motive. Even when I wasn’t spiritual, God was always there with open arms. He was patiently waiting for me to choose the right thing, and gave me every opportunity to do so. Today, I strive to walk with God and ask for his guidance to help me do the right thing each and every day.
When I was using drugs, my actions were merely selfish, inconsiderate, and dishonest. I stole from people and places to get money for my drugs. I pretended to be a good friend, when in reality all I wanted was a place to sleep that night or an opportunity to take what I could from them. Now that I am in recovery, I have to question myself before interacting with another person. Am I doing what I am doing for selfish reasons? Or am I doing what I am doing to help another person? I have to give of myself to help others in sobriety, because before I got sober, all I did was take. To practice absolute unselfishness means asking myself, “how will this affect somebody else?” When I give my time, compassion, and love to others, it gives my life a purpose. I am able to look at my actions and fully believe that God’s purpose for me on earth is to help others achieve happiness and sobriety. I believe that God is open to all people who seek him, and if I am to do God’s will, I must be open to all people who seek help from me.
Absolute love is my favorite of the four absolutes. When practicing absolute love, the question is “is it ugly or is it beautiful?” In the past, I put myself in so many situations that should’ve killed me. God was there and God loved me enough to keep me alive. He let me suffer so that one day, I could experience the beauty of life. God saved my life when I overdosed. God saved my life when I totaled three cars within two years. God gave me another chance when I went to treatment. I have been given the opportunity to show love and tolerance of others, thanks to the love I have been given from God. When God shows me absolute love, he expects nothing in return. To live on a spiritual basis means I must also show absolute love and expect nothing. If I were to expect something in return, I am making the assumption that I am entitled to something that the world owes me. Entitlement is ugly, but absolute love is beauty. God gave me the choice to forgive others or to hold onto resentment. When I forgive others, I am letting go of resentments. I must choose to forgive rather than to hold resentment, because resentment is ugly. Forgiveness is beautiful. In sobriety, I have found that when I practice love and tolerance of others, I am given love and tolerance myself.
Cassidy Webb is a 24 year old avid writer from South Florida. She works for a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.