Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it within us or we find it not. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
The true process of recovery from addiction is an inside job. In many way, the process of active addiction is too. In active addiction, we are using a substance or behavior to change the ways we feel inside. We are actively attempting to create and sustain a change in consciousness. The process of recovery must be a functional extension of this same desire and attempt. The big difference, of course, is that in recovery we must stop trying to use the external means to create temporary internal changes, and learn to live from the inside out. Today’s quotation, though not written expressly about addiction recovery, illustrates the importance of an internal search for what we may be tempted to look for outside of ourselves. An addiction problem is evidence that there are specific aspects of healthy emotional development that were not properly implemented, thus the need to seek them externally. In recovery, it is important to identify what these deficits may be and work toward their implementation. Better late than never. Eventually, when we have identified and healed the parts of us that were crying out for soothing so loudly that we answered them with addictive behaviors, we will no longer require the addictions. At that point we know we carry the beauty within.