“What we want for others doesn’t work unless they want it for themselves.” (Bryant McGill)
You know that old saying, about how you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make them drink it? Well I’m that person who’s often tried to force many horses to drink the water over and over and over again, without much success. I tried for years to get my mother to go into 12 Step recovery for her alcoholism, but she had every excuse in the book as to why she didn’t want to, yet that never stopped me from trying to convince her otherwise, which frankly exhausted and drained me incredibly, right up to the point of her tragic passing from her addiction. Sadly, that wasn’t an isolated incident in my life either. Add in the countless people I’ve dated, sponsees I’ve worked with, and friends I’ve been pals with along the way who’ve each struggled in their lives with various addictions or other unhealthy patterns, all whom I tried desperately to lead to some brighter light, yet watching them in the process repeat the same patterns again and again, leading me to beat my head against a wall because of it.
The simple reality that I’ve had to learn the hard way is that what I want for others and even see could be for their highest good, can never come to fruition if they don’t want it for themselves. In other words, they have to want to drink that water. They have to want to do the work. They just have to want it, not for anyone else, but themselves, and to get there, it often means watching them fall completely apart, becoming totally broken, and losing everything that means something to them to figure this out. Unfortunately, I’ve also learned it’s meant watching some people lose their lives to tragic deaths because they never got it, like my mother, several sponsees, and a number of friends of mine, each who picked up alcohol or drugs, or some other addiction, one more time, only to have it take their lives away permanently.
Currently, I know of a few who keep falling prey to the sickness of seeking prostitutes for what they feel is bringing them comfort and reassurance to their lives, even though it’s not. I’ve done everything I can to show them the sickness of it all and shed plenty of light onto the solution, but have watched both relapse repeatedly. I’ve finally come to acceptance that the best I can do is pray for each to one day find the willingness to actually do the work that will help them achieve the healing I know their soul wants from deep within, while in the meantime shifting my focus onto those who are seeking to do the work to get onto a much higher spiritual path in life.
The bottom line is that even if I am able to see the best in someone if they just do “this”. Unless they want to do “this”, they will continue to do “that”, until the pain becomes great enough for them to want to otherwise.
Dear God, thank you for the wisdom I’ve gained in realizing I can’t fix anyone. I know now it’s up to each and every individual on this planet to find their way to You. And sometimes that means watching them become completely broken, where they finally seek You, which in turn allows You to guide them to people just like me, who will use Your guidance to finally help them on their way to greater Light and Love.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson