You are perfect the way you are, and…there’s room for improvement. -Shunryu Suzuki
When we are trying to face our addiction problems—especially in the wake of habits that have severely impacted our ability to navigate life without dishonesty and interpersonal neglect—we may have very low personal feelings of esteem and worth. Often, when we reach the point of actually trying to face our problems honestly, we do so from the standpoint of having consistently disappointed both ourselves, and those important to us, repeatedly. And it is often appropriate that we have these feelings given the limited lifestyles our addicted lives permitted us. Given this, we may only see room for improvement without giving ourselves any compassion. But at another level, we are perfect. First and foremost, we are perfectly placed to use this maelstrom of emotional discomfort to motivate us—to propel us through the difficulties that early recovery often presents. But at a deeper level, we should not forget that our addictions represent a misguided attempt at healing ourselves, not simply a moral or ethical failure. So even as we move forward to improve ourselves, we should never lose touch with our ever-present underlying perfection.