More on the creative theory:
The decision to surrender and the decision for creation are not the same thing
When you make the decision to quit drinking or using drugs, that is a release of sorts; it is a surrender of will and a decision to stop fighting. This is your moment of truth that kicks off your recovery, an essential step for any addict who is looking to change their life. It is the start of stage one recovery.
The decision to create is a different decision that will likely occur later on in recovery. It is not a moment of surrender or that of “releasing” or letting go, but instead a willful act of creation. It is the decision to set a vision for one’s own future and then to achieve it. In this sense the decision to embrace creation is the start of stage 2 recovery.
So understand these 2 different points and their respective decisions. If you have been drifting through stage one recovery for awhile and have a firm grasp on the basics of not drinking, then it might be time to transition into creation. This involves a decision and consequently action on your part.
Creation should be driven by values first
Your values should drive your creative efforts. This means that whatever you value, or hold to be good, should drive your efforts in creating more of that value. A good example is with your health. In recovery we hold our health to be good (generally speaking) so eventually your actions and creative efforts should seek to enhance and preserve your health. This should obviously happen from a holistic standpoint, addressing your physical health, your emotional balance, your mental status, and so on.
Note too that low self esteem in early recovery can be overcome and eventually developed through personal growth. Sometimes we have to “fake it ’till we make it” for awhile and later we can start feeling better about ourselves. Once you are in this positive feedback loop then real self esteem can be generated through your positive actions and real growth experiences.
And of course it all comes back to your values. They will change as your self esteem rises and this will produce better acts of creation on your part.
Value driven creation will lead to purposeful living
As our values slowly change in recovery, we aspire to new things with creation. We start to value our own life as well as the lives of those around us. Life becomes valuable again and this causes us to reach out to others more often through our creative efforts.
In other words our creative efforts become more focused as we progress. Our actions become aligned with our values and our values continuously change and rise towards the ideals of health, love, and well being. This gives our life purpose in that we are striving to create good things through our actions. Life becomes meaningful because life becomes valuable to us again. For most of us this was not the case in active addiction as we almost invariably suffered from some lack of self esteem. In recovery we come to know love again. This is how our changing values gives rise to purposeful living. Creation is the expression of these changing values as we reach out to others and engage in positive actions.
Purposeful living + creation will result in passionate living
As we keep creating in recovery, our changing value system will push us closer and closer to the ideals of well being, love, and balance. This results in purposeful living and creates a positive feedback loop that fuels further creation.
When we recognize that we are actively creating a new life for ourselves we can finally approach creation with enthusiasm and this leads to passion. We are now creating with real purpose and seek to make great changes in our lives and the lives of others. This is passionate living and it’s definitely where we strive to be in creative living. This is where we jump out of bed excited each morning and grateful for another day in which to create. This is what we aspire to in recovery: passionate creation. The mindset for this state is always gratitude. We are excited for the opportunity to create something positive.
Passionately helping others = very low chance of relapse
As you progress in recovery and your self esteem rises, you will naturally start to value your life more and more. When this happens, you will also start valuing the lives of others as well. When you start caring about yourself more and more this will naturally cause you to care for others as well.
Helping others is therefore a big part of recovery and it has a very solid foundation for keeping you sober. You can’t really help others until you have helped yourself first, so this becomes a powerful technique for maintaining sobriety.
Seek to help others recover and you will stay on top of your game. Find a way to reach out and help others that is exciting and passionate for you. For some this might mean sponsorship or chairing 12 step meetings. For others this might mean counseling someone who is struggling or just talking with someone who is on the verge of relapse. But if you can reach out and help others and find meaning in doing so, this becomes a powerful insurance against relapse.