I watched a TV show episode yesterday that’s sort of lame but uplifting for me. A character in the show dealing with an addiction was confronted by a character that previously dealt with a similar addiction. One attempted to persuade the other that their separate-but-shared issue was possible to overcome. The current addicted character told the recovered addict character, “Some of us are strong and some of us aren’t. I’m not strong like you.” The post-addictive character responded by saying, “I’m not strong…” and something along the lines of, “I was helped, I’ll help you.”
That “I’m not strong,” response is so powerful to me. I’m figuring on why that is. Perhaps it’s such a juxtaposition to all these current banners of “I can…I’m strong…It’s possible” that I see – and that I feel empowered by.
I find myself facing an issue that I can’t seem to get away from. Repeat pattern behavior. I always hear that the first step to recovery (from addictive substance but I think probably all repeat pattern behaviors we want to change) is to admit you have a problem. That admission is the “I’m not strong” confession. What is catching me off-guard is that the character who overcame the addiction also confessed, “I’m not strong.” Maybe it’s evidencing to me that we’re all weak. In my journey to rediscover truth (ya know, like deep, true, constant, universal, unable to change truth), I’ve wondered about whether the human condition is this innate propensity to selfishness or not like some versions of Christianity describe. Are we totally evil? Are we not? Are some evil and some not? Is evil a territory of a divine being separate from God? Is it under the direction of/submitted to God? (I believe everything comes from God (total sovereignty) but I’m still feeling it out.)
“I’m not strong,” resonates with me. Am I a being that identifies with what I already agree with or is there something inside of me that can recognize truth? Is my response to the “I’m not strong” confession of the one who overcame the addiction (at least thus far) a recognition of something extrinsically and forever true?
I know I ask such big questions and leave them hanging. Who could answer that question? No one I’d absolutely trust. The quest continues.
For my own conclusion, I will continue to meditate on that “I’m not strong” confession. Another thing that often ‘gets-me’ is that I always find paradoxes. I’m not strong… but I am. That character may not be strong… but she is. She’s resisting something which reveals her strength.
And… just to throw this in the ring and because I’m thinking so much about relationships too, it’s notable that strength came from others. Character A could help character B because character A was at one point helped.
There’s what I’ve got for Thursday thoughts.