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Thursday, February 16, 2012


Most addicts classify themselves as 'egomaniacs with an inferiority complex.'  We aggrandize ourselves while, at the same time, feel as though we are less than others or even worthy only of disdain.  

The problem is that both positions hold just enough truth to be plausible.  God has made us good and given each of us reason to appreciate what we have been given.  There is also a great deal that needs to be fixed.

We must walk the middle way, realizing that we must be grateful for our gifts and yet mindful of our shortcomings.

Too often, we resort to self-hatred when we see our true selves.  The problem with this hatred is that it can be so overpowering that it compels us to deny its existence through the construct of a false self.  We make 'masks.'

Addiction thrives in the tension between the mask and the fear of the real self.  It leaves us lonely, paranoid, and exhausted.  It is false and therefore weak, and so we constantly need to reassure ourselves through 'over-engineering' our defenses.  Thus, the ego goes up.

Repentance is the only real truth humans can reliably experience.  By this, I mean that it is extremely hard if not impossible to falsify.  While some can mimic aspects of it, the entire denuding of the self that repentance is so profound that even a Hollywood actor cannot keep it up for long.  It is a shattering of the false self, the mask.

Repentance is the encounter with the self, since we renounce the falseness of the mask and the avoidance of who we are as God made us and as we have fallen.  The pain of seeing our own potential for beauty and goodness devastated by our sins and resentments, our anguish and our malice, is so profound that nothing less than it can be duplicated and passed off as the real thing.

Only through repentance and the encounter with one's self is one prepared to meet God.  The truth of God only comes through the truth of the self, and self-hatred with all of its avoidance of the self impedes our experience of God.

How does one cure self-hatred?  Once one has repented and begun the path of healing, the Steps reveal that it is through service to others, either carrying the message or serving others, which cures self-hatred.  We must offer ourselves to God, and allow Him to use us as vessels of His mercy.  Then we will see the purpose for our wounds.  No longer do we need to hate ourselves, because even the shameful aspects of our lives have meaning.

We come to gratitude, and give thanks to the God who made us as we are.  here, there is no room for self-hatred.


  1. If the most shameful aspects of our lives are to have meaning then surely it's not so much serving others or carrying the message that cures self hatred but our ability to be honest about who we are and to live an authentic life no matter in what capacity?

  2. Why do those things have to be separated? All of us have the capacity to serve in one way or another, and an authentic life means serving others. If we are honest, then we realize that we are all meant to love and serve others, and it is this discovery that fulfills the realization of self.

  3. This was a very insightful psychological definition of repentance. "Repentance is the encounter with the self, since we renounce the falseness of the mask and the avoidance of who we are as God made us and as we have fallen."

  4. I ain't much but I'm all I ever think about.