Thoughts on Recovering the Self

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Over the past few months, I have been obsessed with the idea of recovery. I believe that recovery plays a huge role in one’s conscious awakening, whether that plays out as a spiritual journey, a self-actualization, or any of the many ways we humans grow, learn, and heal.

I also believe that the idea of recovery can go overlooked by those of us without a traditional addiction of some sort. When we imagine people working towards recovery, we typically think of recovering drug addicts, alcoholics, and sex addicts. So many of us – I’d even argue that it’s all of us – however, have something in our lives that we have become dependent on or have grown unhealthily attached to. A need for validation, a desperation for romantic love, an addiction to the comfort of food, the temporary high of spending money, engaging in risky or dangerous behavior, and so on and so on. We all have ways of using our external worlds to numb or “fix” our internal problems. 

It is impossible for me to talk about my ideas on recovery without mentioning Russell Brand, who has gone through his own recovery so publicly, written books on the subject, and talks about the idea repeatedly on his podcast, Under the Skin. I was listening to him be interviewed on an old episode of the Tony Robbins podcast recently, and – when asked about his definition of recovery –  he said it was the process of “recovering the person you were meant to be.”

This struck me for two different reasons.


1. It Implies that We Have a Set Path or Purpose

I like the idea that each of us has a set path, and I believe in this idea wholeheartedly. Let me clarify, though, that this does not mean I don’t believe in free-will or that I think our entire lives are predetermined.

There is a person you are meant to be, but this is not the person you have to be. Much like I believe that we are all here to learn, I believe that each of us has something inherent within us that we are meant to create, share, teach, or give. Some of us will choose not to. Some of us will choose not to even explore ourselves enough to figure out what that “something” inside of us is. But it’s in there.

Surely, having a purpose makes recovery possible. If we accept that there is a version of us that we are “meant to be” and are able to acknowledge the ways that we are not currently being that person, then we have a path we can start working towards. We have something to strive for. We have something to recover. 


2. It Applies to Everyone

You don’t have to be an addict to find differences between who you are currently being and who you want to be or are meant to be. Every single one of us can do this. Working towards recovering the self can benefit absolutely anybody.

Embracing the idea of recovery during my own conscious awakening has been life-changing for me. Healing did not seem so impossible once I accepted it as the process of getting back into alignment with a version of me I was meant to be and, therefore, absolutely could be. I did not have to invent something to be, I just had to be open to learning who I already was. This realization didn’t make healing easy by any means, but it certainly made it possible. It put it within my reach.

And it’s within yours, too.

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My Own Recovery of Self

If you had asked me at any point in my life what I believed my purpose was, I would have told you that I was meant to be creative, and I was meant to inspire or help others with my creativity.

However, I would have also had to tell you that I was not currently creating anything. I wasn’t inspiring anyone. I wasn’t helping at all.

So, here I was with a sense of purpose inside of me but not acting upon it. Once I made the decision that I needed to recover this version of myself in order to live the life I was meant to, I had to figure out who I was choosing to be instead. If I wasn’t using my time on my purpose, what was I using it on?

We all have our issues, and they are never fun to admit. I had two particularly big ones that I personally needed to recover from.

  1. I would do anything – and I mean absolutely anything – to avoid real or perceived abandonment.
  2. I spent nearly all of my time trying to find validation in my external world.

With a clear understanding of who I had been and who I was meant to be, my recovery process began.

And it continues.

I look forward to sharing more of it with you along the way.





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