Yesterday was a sweet day, a sweet Sunday, which I spent just being in the moment in meditation, making soup, gardening, swimming, writing, feeling deeply connected with myself, my husband and the Universe.
Around 7:30, I started watching West Wing reruns. West Wing has a total of 156 episodes. I am in love with Martin Sheen and the entire cast. I am dramatically pulled in by the way these primarily moral politicians are running the country. The show is a balm for the part of me that cannot tolerate the ugliness of US politics in real life. Last night I watched episodes 143-150. It was quite an escape. I must admit I got a little carried away,
This morning I am hungover, ashamed, saddened, depleted and remorseful. I imagine this is the way an alcoholic or drug addict feels after a drinking spree.
From my attendance at 12 step meetings through the years, I have learned that this is how an addiction works. Even though I am convinced I could have stopped at any moment, just gotten up and turned off the tube. The truth is that I could not stop! I had no control. The romance, the drama and the escape took over my life. I was in an alternate reality-The West Wing reality.
12 step programs teach that addiction is not a matter of weak moral character; rather, it is an illness. Just like an alcoholic who cannot stop at one drink – I could not stop at one episode. I was powerless...
Even when my husband complained at midnight that the show was interrupting his sleep and even when he got up and went to bed in the guest room shortly after that, I could not turn it off. Even though I love this man truly and deeply and for thirty years – West Wing and my fix took priority.
Today is a big day in my business. I am booked solid 8:30 through 5:30, not even a lunch break. I didn't care about that last night though. I couldn't imagine how I'm going to show up for work today. I really didn't think I could 'be present'. Then my husband wanted a date this evening- and I wasn't sure I could pull that off either.
The wounded, little catholic girl inside me this morning is thinking “I'm bad,” “I'm a sinner”, “I won't get into heaven.” (these are old, old thoughts - I would say they are my original sin spell!) I could go on with this voice!
Saturday night we went to a concert by “Over the Rhine” and they sang a song called “All of my favorite people are broken”. That song has been playing itself in the background of my mind the whole time I've been writing this blog.
All my favorite people are broken
Believe me, I ought to know
Some friends better left unspoken
But just will hold you
Let the rest go...
I didn't start the morning in self love, but that tune is so healing and if I can find it in my heart to drop the self loathing, unconditional love returns.
Another 12 step teaching is that I cannot, we cannot, do our healing process alone. I can only heal from the throes of addiction if I take the hand of this God of my Understanding and if I let others in who are, one day at a time, releasing their addictions. I believe that the God of my Understanding KNEW that my attending that conference the night before and hearing that sweet song would save me.
Just as I am broken, I am also made whole by my brokenness. While I have not yet completely forgiven myself for this slip into addiction and escapism, I can feel my heart beginning to soften around it. I've asked the God of my Understanding to take me through the day, be my voice, conduct my sessions and bring me back into balance with myself and my husband (who has already forgiven me).
Another possibility is that I could admit that I had a rough night, and I am not at my best self and I could reschedule the sessions. I've decided to do them one at a time and see if I can show up.
What I most want is to learn to integrate the belief that everything, really everything, even this slip, this dark night, is a part of God. The God I truly love is a loving God who always says he/she has room on her lap for me even when I'm in a dark night of the soul, not only when I'm on the other side – but right now, as my heart breaks open while I share with you, my reader!
Bowing towards you,