Addiction, recovery, forgiveness & love.

I was interviewed for a wonderful podcast called HOME, which looks at the big questions in life through the lens of addiction recovery. My interview is up today.

I didn't realize it when we were recording the other night that today also happens to be the birthday of my brother Ricky, who died 21 years ago from a heroin overdose. He viewed his entire adult life through the lens of addiction, without much recovery.

It's easy to view alcohol and drug addicts, especially, as dirty or less than or somehow flawed. I used to feel that way about my brother. Now I'm clearer than ever there's no difference between any of us. Ricky was never less than me or anyone else. No one is less than or greater than anyone else. Our essence runs much deeper than our habits.

My brother succumbed to his addiction. It killed him before he could figure out a way to stay sober. To everyone out there in recovery, I applaud you. I applaud the brave choice you make, over and over each day, to live in your sobriety. You are all messengers of courage, of resilience, and of hope.

To everyone out there living in their addiction and considering recovery, I'd like to remind you that you have what it takes to become, and stay, sober. You are no less strong, no less courageous, no less anything than anyone else. You are a choice away from your sobriety. That choice is there for you right now. It is always there for you.

We're all working hard to make sense of this challenging task of being human. And we're all numbing and escaping our realities in different ways all the time. With drugs and alcohol, with TV and food, with social media and shopping. Everyone is addicted to something.

Let's continue to work hard at self-love and love of others. At compassion and kindness. At truth and forgiveness. Let's keep making choices that reflect our commitment to our happiness and well-being. Let's stay committed to creating for ourselves the kind of lives we won't feel the need to escape from. The kind of lives that have us naturally making healthier choices for ourselves and the world.

And through it all, let's stay connected to each other and remember that we are brothers and sisters. We are family.

I hope you'll give my interview a listen:

Happy Birthday, Ricky, and BIG LOVE to you all.

A hole called the past.

Yesterday I fell into a hole called the past. It was dark and deep and filled with unchangeable realities. Some of which I knew well and hurt to remember. Some of which I didn't and will never know, their secret truths lost forever to the years. And that hurts too, the not knowing. I let the past swallow me yesterday. Through anxiety and tears and disbelief, I fought against what was, against what is. As we know, that fight never ends in victory.

Today I woke up in the hole again, but it's not the tarry quicksand it was a day ago. This hole has a solid base, with steps that lead out, to the present. These steps are built with acceptance. Ya see, there's no peace in fighting unchangeable things, and the past is as unchangeable as things come.

So I decided this morning to close my eyes and breathe deeply, so deeply, into the acceptance of my past for what it is, as it is. Without judgment, without the need to know all the specifics, without shame, without control. With each breath of acceptance, I climbed another step out of the hole. With each breath, I became lighter and less committed to my anger and confusion over events that will never change.

I fell into the warmth of acceptance, total acceptance. And the hole began to close up beneath me, lifting me as it did so, to solid ground. To quiet. To the present moment.

We can choose to fight against our past, and we'll always lose the fight. We can choose to ignore our past, but it will eventually make itself known. We can choose to live in our past, though we'll deny ourselves the many gifts of the present.

Or we can choose to accept our past, so completely, that no matter what happened to us in our lives, we are able to breathe into those realities with a newfound sense of peace, and with a deep understanding that it is a part of us without becoming us, and that every single thing we've experienced contributes to the great light we have to share with our world. Now.