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Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Notion...In Motion.

Icarus by Henri Matisse, Jazz 1847.
I've been thinking a lot about the notion that I have gotten to be more serious then I need to be and that because of that I have lost or ignored some of the more congenial or light-hearted aspects of my personality. Or that I have gotten so serious that I am morbid and a downer to be around. I have mentioned a couple of times that a family member had expressed that very concern to me and I take it seriously, I really do. I have an ego, I'll admit it and I can bristle a bit at even the most constructive, postive criticism but I really am open minded and open about necessary change.

Recovery from addiction/alcoholism is serious business. It's a heavy, emotional subject no matter how you slice it or dice it. Rape obviously is a serious matter as well. Those two subjects...along with facing a life changing spiritual transformation recently do make for some very rough and tumble subject matter at times, no doubt about it.

The fact that I choose to make recovery, addiction education, spiritual growth and helping other people heal from those very things my life's work ("life's focus" really since I am not a professional and not paid) means I am thinking about and dealing with this heavy stuff most of my waking moments...that is I'm CHOOSING to think and do something about it. It's hard to separate myself from it from time to time, since it isn't an actual "job" but a life's work, a passion, a "directive from above"...I'm not sure I really want or need to separate from it either.

But I do take the concern seriously so I had to double check my motives for doing this kind of stuff and living with this passion everyday of my life. I consulted those I am in contact with on a daily basis: my parents, Kim and several friends & spiritual advisors. Though all agree that I am fully committed to the cause, passionate and intense about it, they feel it is in appropriate proportion to the work I do. Basically they said that whether that level of intensity could be a bit annoying to some people or not, it is my natural working method.

They also told me that I am more light hearted, cheerful and humorous then I give myself credit for which I'll admit is a relief. I don't want to lose my sense of humor...heck, laughter is the greatest healer of all! The individual family member expressing concern doesn't spend much time around me any more so they really cannot see that there truly is more balance in my life then it seems when we are together. 

it is natural for me to get excited by this kind of endeavour so it makes sense when I haven't seen someone for awhile I want to share this work and it's results with them, so it does tend to dominate what I am thinking and talking about. Knowing that now, I have been trying to do a better job when in similar situations to keep conversation and topics more balanced and a bit on the lighter side. So far I think it has helped...

But I do really try to address issues and work through things in this manner when confronted with a concern like this. And I believe this was really quite a healthy re-evaluation of my motives, lifestyle and working method for me. I had several interesting, informative and productive discussions about this stuff and it open me up to other ways to handle this kind of thing in the future.

So I feel pretty good about it and will continue to be open minded about tweaking it as I go. I don't know whether it will be enough to satisfy the original concern but I do feel like I took an honest and thorough look at the situation. And I do feel satisfied that even though other people may disagree with how I operate  in my personal life that it is still a fairly reasonable and healthy  manner to proceed:'s my working method and it's OK.

(Painting: Icarus by Henri Matisse 1947)