Lighthouses have always inspired me. There is something about them that represents safety. They are usually made of stone and last for centuries, ageless guardians of light withstanding the worst weather conditions nature can throw at them. Storms, ice, pounding surf, decade after decade they stand, with one purpose: shining the light out into the darkness, so ships can find their way to shore.
Here’s the thing about a lighthouse, it’s a fixed structure. It doesn’t move off of the solid ground it stands on. It can’t swim out into a stormy sea and rescue ships in danger. It does it’s job just by being a beacon. This is a great example for those of us who love people who struggle with addictions or other challenges. Only by remaining grounded, anchored on the shore of our own consciousness, shining the light of Heart out into the storm of their choices, can we make a difference. The hardest thing to do, in the face of the pain and suffering of someone adrift in the fog and confusion of the disease of addiction, is to remain that fixed beacon of light.
People who don’t understand addiction, and the true powerlessness of everyone around the addict to change the individual active in their disease, can make things worse by using guilt and shame to attempt to “reach” or “motivate” the person to change. They don’t realize that the disease is already tearing the addict apart, while at the same time stealing away their hope. At the same time, loving someone who is active in their disease is excruciating, because every instinct you possess is screaming at you to DO SOMETHING. Anything. Because you understand that the person you love could die.
We can’t stop anyone from using. If love could do that, Amy Winehouse, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Jim Morrison, Jimmi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and so many others would still be with us. They were loved. Greatly loved.
In the end, being a lighthouse is the gift we offer to the world. If we can have the courage to stand, throughout the storms, the fog, the darkest nights, and just keep shining our light out into the world as a beacon, those that are ready, and who want to head in towards shore will be guided home safely. And those that choose to sail into the dark will also be guided home safely into the loving arms of the Creator, the ultimate lighthouse for each of us. May all who are in the midst of their own storm find safe refuge in the Light. And to all of you who have been the lighthouse for others, I send you my love, and my gratitude. Blessings, Judith