The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.
Our addictions arise out of a need for comfort. But it is only parts of our psyche that require this comforting. To borrow the language from today’s quotation, we could call these parts, parts of our ego. So if we have problematic addictions in our lives, then we have not formed a healthy ego. A healthy egoic experience would allow us to navigate the difficult parts of ourselves consciously and in a spirit of learning how to heal them. Our addictions, on the other hand, represent dysfunctional attempts to circumnavigate the need to address these parts of our egos directly—an attempt to transcend the discomfort instead of facing it. The more dependent on our addictions we become, the less healthy our egoic functioning becomes. So in our recovery, we may want to learn about the parts of us that were sated by the substances and behaviors that formed our additions. This way we can respond to our internal discomfort, creating a healthier relationship to our ego. Because only after we have developed a healthy egoic relationship, does it become safe to start letting it all go.