Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything
-George Bernard Shaw
Today’s quotation highlights the nature of change. Recovery means changing the very nature of the way we process and experience difficulty. It means taking a closer look at what has led to a painful experience of consciousness, getting rid of the means of distraction from this pain (addictions) and then changing our experience of consciousness in a lasting, meaningful, and healthy way. To accomplish this we must often make adjustments to many aspects of our lives. Not only will we have to let go of the addictive substances or behaviors (at least long enough to get to what is behind the need for them) but we may have to change our lifestyles, social group, jobs, and always, to some degree, our minds. A rigid mindset is often part of the problem and just as often is one of the hardest things to challenge and change. Mental rigidity is employed as part of the protective pattern that underlies addiction. Mental rigidity acts as a layer of denial, saving us from having to accept the true impact of our problem. And while mental and egoic strength can be useful, rigidity is never helpful and can, at its worst, disallow us from moving into the direction that will help us recover. Often, the path to recovery leads outside of our mental comfort zone, and mental rigidity will keep us from moving outside of this zone. When we can recognize this rigidity for the protective layer that it is, we may be able to release ourselves from its hold long enough to allow our minds to change in healthier, recovery-friendly directions.