Tag: compassion

Our Relationship With The Truth

By Michael Arndt, Alumni Coordinator, CAST Centers
Follow Michael on Instagram: @michaelcastcenters

Before I got sober, my life pretty much revolved around lying. I led a double life that required keeping a lot of secrets and telling a lot of lies. It is an uncomfortable topic for us to discuss, and though almost everyone lies, if you ask them, they will vehemently deny it. There is a lot of shame around our relationship with dishonesty. We are taught that it makes someone a bad person if they lie.

My experience has taught me tha is almost never the case. Often, people lie because they are in pain, shame, or fear. I think we can all have compassion for a person who is experiencing these emotions — they are difficult and we have all been there.

I am not advocating dishonesty, but advocating instead for compassion for those who struggle with it. There are those too who are so hurt, ashamed or fearful of reality that they have no accurate perception of it and therefore cannot speak to it; It is often not even conscious.

As we all know, being as honest and vulnerable as we can in recovery is a crucial piece to getting well. We cannot change that which we do not acknowledge. The more tightly we hang on to our pain, the more it will hurt us. It is helpful, if you are struggling with it, to take a step back from it and gain some perspective on it. Ask yourself, what is the reason that compels me to be dishonest? Am I attempting to control a narrative because I am scared of being seen for who I really am? Am I so hurt at the prospect of rejection that I would rather be dishonest and inauthentic?

There are some valuable lessons surrounding discomfort with the truth. These areas in our lives and in ourselves are worthy of nonjudgmental exploration and can expand our growth and sense of self.


By Michael Arndt, Alumni Coordinator, CAST Centers
Follow Michael on Instagram: @michaelcastcenters

Compassion is a foundational and universal value and practice. Compassion allows us to connect and empathize with others. It also allows us to take things a little less personally. 

For many of us, it is easy for us to find compassion for people we are close to, or with whom we relate easily. However, most of us can think of a few people we have encountered or who are part of our lives with whom we struggle to find compassion.

In the early stages of my own recovery, I often struggled with finding compassion when I felt I was being lied to or manipulated by others. We can easily justify not even attempting to find compassion for challenging individuals. We tell ourselves that they are unworthy because they are “bad” or that they are choosing to do something we do not agree with or cannot relate to. As it turns out, these people and situations hold an incredibly valuable lesson for us.

In finding compassion for more difficult individuals, we are actually challenging our hearts and minds to expand. We learn to treat every human being with a little more respect and understanding. In doing so, we deepen an even more important practice: treating OURSELVES with a little more compassion.

This helps to lessen our feelings of shame and guilt, and in doing so, we may find that having more compassion for ourselves and others makes life just a little bit easier. 

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