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There is No Right or Wrong Way To Understand Human Life

What does this mean?

I became interested in this statement after a recent obituary of a younger person which they stated “she did not do anything to cause her death”.

This hit me hard, of course, since I have a child engaging in risky behaviors daily that could potentially cause his death.

What IS a human life worth? Is it dependant on the choices he makes? A very famous case in the last year has drew these lines so deeply that hundreds of (innocent) people have died as a result of these lines.

Sometimes, in my dark confusing days of navigating my sons journey with addiction; I fight the worthiness battle. Is my son worthy of a healthy productive life again? Of course he is.

So why do I feel the need to prove this? I post memes like this continually:

Instagram

I guess I’m trying to get someone to care as much as I do – which is ridiculous. Everyone has their own battles. That is a fact. but when drug addiction enters your world it turns every other thing into irrelevancy. You apply everything through the lens of addiction. I had a co-worker who lost her son in Afghanistan. I actually felt a twinge of envy! Envy that if my son died it wouldn’t be “serving his country”. Would I get compassion? Or looked at as the mother of an addict so the mourning somehow isn’t as valid?

What is a life worth? No matter the race, or their occupation or their manner of death. Pain is pain.

When I questioned this on a recent post on Medium, the author responded with this:

“All people can be heroes. But some deaths have a bigger impact on the world than others. Sure, you could choose to see your son as a martyr. No one would stop you. There is no right or wrong way to understand a human life. It just so happens that xxxx death was public for all the world to see, and something about it resonated with people. You do not have to see him as a martyr, but others do. Again, there is no right or wrong way to understand a human life. Choose for yourself.

Joshua Gane

My road to my own recovery through my son’s addiction includes this insecurity of shame and blame (& projection). But ultimately, I have to direct my own thoughts. If I want to focus on seeing my son through others eyes, I will be halted in my recovery. What matters is my own well- being and peace and my treatment of my son as a human being with the horrible illness of addiction ruling his life right now. How others treat him or see him is NOT my concern. Even in my own family. Others are allowed to feel however they want.

Sure, I want to break the stigma of addiction. I want to show that no one is immune, that it can happen to anyone. I want people to let others recover in different ways without the bullying of strict words such as clean and sober. I want to quit the argument of whether addiction is a choice or a disease. I want to use that energy on increasing treatment pathways not inflicting more punishment and pain by incarceration.

I don’t want people to have to hide in obituaries the cause of death of their loved ones or make sure people know they didn’t cause it. If a diabetic person died from too much insulin or too much sugar, would the family state: she died through no fault of her own- from diabetes? Or would they just say “From diabetes”?

Another coworker, who just lost her beloved brother, put this in his obituary:

“Please seek to understand the disease of addiction. It is not a choice or a weakness, and at some point, you or your loved one may be touched by it. Please have empathy and support for those struggling and treat them with compassion and respect.”

There’s also this obituary which I’ve saved for awhile:

“Brandie never wanted to be defined only by her addiction and mistakes, she was so much more than that. She made it clear if she was to ever pass as a result of it, she wanted people to know the truth with the hope that honesty about her death could help break the stigma about addicts and get people talking about the problem of addiction that is taking away so many young lives. 

Addiction doesn’t discriminate, it will take hold and destroy anyone in its path, including the families and people who love them. Addiction hides in the faces of everyday people all around us. Brandie isn’t just another statistic or just ‘another one gone too soon,’ she was a great heart with a bright future and a gift that the world lost and can never be replaced. So the best way to honor Brandie, is for people who read this or knew her to think twice before you judge an addict.OR USE!

https://www.serenicare.com/notices/Brandie-Brewer

My sincere condolences to those who have lost a loved one to this insidious disease. As I continue on my search for peace, I hope we can all find more compassion- less judgement for those who suffer with addiction. Also may we render more kindness to family members who are thrust into a maze of confusion where there is no blueprint to a singular way out.

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Pegs

Guest post by Foster Chambers

I’ve always looked at my life as a peg board. I have a board full of pegs, with one empty space. These pegs are people, events, experiences (good or bad), places, and any other thing that’s affected me life.
Whenever a traumatic event happened, for that event a peg was pulled, thus leaving an empty space. If I lost someone from a death, a peg was pulled leaving more empty spaces. Am I making sense?

Whenever something positive happened, such as falling in love, a wonderful event, or anything that truly made me happy; that would fill an empty space on my board.
The issue with the happy moment pegs, taking place of the traumatic pegs, was my board was getting empty of pegs from trauma, without any happy moments to fill those spaces with.

So I, in my addiction decided to fill my board myself. Drugs, lifestyle choices, organizations, people, etc.. I was filling my board so fast. It was fun, exciting, and the trauma pegs were being yanked away, and filled with my favorite peg of all…drugs.
Then I noticed my board was filling up with the majority of drug labeled pegs. Trauma pegs were leaving, but so were all the other pegs that I wanted to hold onto. All my pegs were changing, as drugs took over my life.

If you remember I said “with one empty space.” I couldn’t figure out what that one empty space could be? How can I fill it? Doesn’t an empty space mean I’m incomplete?
The moment I asked myself that question, I knew the answer. I bet if you stopped reading right now, you would know it too.
Exactly; my Higher power (whom I choose to be God) is the one empty space. Why is it that it’s empty in the beginning? I decided to let Him in my life to complete my board. He gives me a choice to to serve Him, or not. When I pick my Higherpower to lead me, guide me, and direct my path, my life is complete. Notice I didn’t say my peg board is full. Why? The loss of loved ones, things that I loved that are gone, those holes shouldn’t be filled. I need to feel that loss. Not for the pain, but so I never forget them. Those holes, also bring back memories of happy times with them people. Joyful memories, that fill other empty spaces from life’s hurts.

My extreme traumatic event holes; I personally never want those holes filled either. I want them holes to remain open, in hopes that writing about them, sharing them, and using them to help others wont fill them, but lightly blanketed by the love of the most important hole I chose to fill with the peg that matters most, God.

Am I complete; I don’t know? Am I content with my board the way it is; never? Will I trust my higher power to blanket those certain holes with love, and guidance, until I know what goes in that spot?… ABSOLUTELY.

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LoSe BIG

What are you truly scared of?

I see it all the time.

People acting the way they do strictly out of ғᴇᴀʀ.

Think about it. Would there be ĂŃŶ office politics if people were not fearful for their job?

Would there be ĂŃŶ fights in relationships if people were not fearful of LOSS?

Would there be ĂŃŶ addicted gamblers if they were not fearful of being βŘØҜ€?

I swear everything that anyone does is out of fear of losing something. Either their identity (which they have attached to their job, their relationship or their material things) or their lifestyle.

I’m not a psychologist but I believe most things come down to those 2 things. (But I am a mom AND a nurse sooooooo…..)

Let’s look at those 2 things.

Identity: Who am I?

Who am without this mask? Literal mask and invisible mask.

Am I just the sum of my parts? My achievements, if you will…My title, my riches, my awards on the wall? All those things are representative of power and prestige in our society. Of course, we have to have goals. We can’t just live in a tent singing kumbaya can we?

It all depends on where you are in life.

While raising my kids, I yearned & searched for bigger and better things to achieve my goals of organization. If only my house was bigger, my car newer (because of course then it wouldn’t be messy) or if only my kids had nice cubby’s to organize their backpacks and shoes then they would for sure organize their backpacks and shoes.

Now, that I’m old🧓 I want peace, simplicity, order, beauty. I definitely don’t want a big house to spend all my time cleaning. I don’t want cubbys or a huge washroom for more and more clothes to spend more & more time washing.

So wherever you’re at in your journey there are different things you want. If you want to move up the ladder at work you will do almost anything to appear competent, resourceful and productive. If you want to be seen as the good mom, you will do almost anything to  a͆p͆p͆e͆a͆r͆ as if…..

Now I do understand, not every good mom wants to fulfill her ego and post perfect family photos so that she’ll get lots of likes and comments of what a beautiful family she has and what a great mom she is. Some just WANT all that. Regardless of what others think or say.

But regardless of the endorphins that flood our system to help us feel good, we all have root (core) emotions we need. I believe that it all comes down to safety.

We want to feel safe.

What? A worldwide virus in is coming? My family needs toilet paper to feel safe.

A mask will keep us safe? Well then I want a mask. (Don’t worry, I’m not going there- but I kinda sorta did Here)

Having our house organized with this or that helps us feel safe. Having a food supply helps us feel safe. So many things that advertisers KNOW will appeal to our sense of safety via our ego. “If my hair is soft and thick and healthy looking them I will appear healthy and strong and on the ball. That will make me feel good which makes me feel safe in my world)

If you have ever listened to Abraham Hicks  you know that A̳l̳l̳ you have to do to feel good and HAVE good is get into the “zone” so you can then get into “vortex” to receive everything you ever wanted.

The way to get into the zone is to deny ANY negative thoughts and focus on what you want rather than “what is”.

So if you’re sitting there with your head in your hands staring at your empty back account sick to death with worry of money, you will get more empty back accounts and more stomach pains and more worry, which then takes you “out of alignment” so you bring on more bad luck. Such as a car wreck or illness.  Her theory has been around for ages that you must feel good to receive good. It’s basically the law of attraction redone, with The Secret going back to 1937  Napoleon Hill & Helen Blavatsky a Russian occultist in 1875.

Ancient hindu art depicting reincarnation

But why then do people who lose everything make a huge comeback sometimes? There are plenty of videos set to music to show these famous and not so famous people who have done that. I think it’s because of Gary V.’s quote at the top. Yes I’m quoting Gary V despite not liking his language he used to spout off & his empty long videos. Now he’s getting into more short and sweet motivational shartzz – I like to call them -such as This and This one too.

All I’m saying is, when you lose your job that you can’t imagine ever losing and you survived it; and you lose your dream business you built up – like my son; you lose your beautiful home that was your pillar image of your success; and you still survived, then you come away with a deep power and strength inside u that nothing can break you. This means that worrying that someone won’t like you or like your work, becomes a non issue. Engaging in drama doesn’t appeal to you because you have nothing to prove.

Divorce used to be the scariest, baddest word I knew, but after surviving it, I don’t fear being alone anymore. Does this make us insensitive and hardened to the vulnerabilities of life? Not if we don’t let it.

I think it makes us a better person because we don’t attach our identify to a specific job, title, person, or area to live in or our annual income.

We know we can find happiness anywhere. Money and power make life easier in alot of ways, but they make it alot more complicated too.

I haven’t read The Tethered Soul in a few years but it’s the best example I can think of – of how money didn’t matter to him- before he had it and again after he had it.

Don’t be afraid of losing everything- you just may find yourself.

hαppψ †hαηκšgï∀ïηg 2020