Work in the invisible world at least as hard as you do in the visible. -Rumi
At root, participation in our addictions as well as in our recovery is work in the invisible. The payoff of addiction is internal, emotional, and in all ways, not part of the material world. While that to which we are addicted is usually visible—drugs, money, another person—the underlying rewards of these pursuits are not. Traditionally, there is a great emphasis on the visible form that our addictions took and the visible abstinence from them. But true personal transformation from a person who requires the process of addiction for regulation to someone who does not is an invisible process. While abstinence—whether temporary or permanent—is usually necessary, it should never define recovery nor be the emphasis except in the beginning of this process. The real changes will come when one’s underlying emotional foundation has been examined, redefined, and upgraded. This process of healing will look different for each person and will necessarily unfold imperfectly, but such is the nature of personal evolution. Once we shift the emphasis from the visible forms through which our addictions manifested, we get to challenge the invisible psychic forces that drove the addictions in the first place. And through the right kind of emotional work, these forces can be retooled to produce different drives, drives that will naturally lead us toward healthier patterns and visibly better lives.