Who turned out the lights?

The longer I am sober the more I appreciate the darkness. It forces me to engage. It forces me to see things anew.

The very notion of darkness implies that I will need to interact in an unfamiliar manner.

The goal has always been to get out of the darkness—quickly—so I can get back in the light. Intrinsically, I have viewed the darkness as bad or wrong. I have come to see it differently.

My seemingly endless search to find peace within (sober) Earthly life has drawn me closer to appreciating *The Law of Polarity. I recognize that I’ve wanted the good and the good, the happy and the happy, the easy and the easy, the more and the more, the mine and the mine, of life.

I got this idea in my head that there was only so much to go around so I better get mine or it would all be gone and I’d be left with none. I built my world around scarcity and protection. This morphed into lack, self-hatred, and distrust.

Alcohol represented the opportunity to sink further into this delusion. With the boundaries blurred I was not required to face my perceptions. In sobriety my embedded perceptions were free to surface.

So, like many of you, I “trudge the road” in search of the ultimate me, only to find she has been here all along.

All along with all her foibles.

I’ve been so busy chasing the light that I forgot it was okay to be in the dark and actually be okay.

The dark is not only okay, it is necessary. It is a required component of Earthly living. Half of Earth lives in darkness each moment. Yet, when it is my part of Earth I am not irritated because I know Earth will continue to rotate to a new day. The light and darkness together sustain the balance of life.

So why is it so difficult to see this in self? Why do I not see this same balance in me? All lightness isn’t possible to sustain my Earthly experience. Both are required and both will continue as long as I am here. I give myself permission to stop fighting it.

When the lights go out I am confronted with using other tools to navigate my experience. The goal isn’t to keep the lights from going out. The goal isn’t to keep the darkness away. The goal is to accept that the darkness is part of the continuum. It’s coming for the rest of my life. But the new day is also arriving because it, too, is part of the continuum.

Now when I feel the darkness I no longer need to escape. I am confident in the return of light. It doesn’t matter how long the shadows linger. They are there to serve a purpose, to teach me. My job is to listen for what is truth and dismiss the rest.

I have begun the process of embedding new information into my subconscious. This new mind teaches me that lack, self-hatred, and distrust are learned perceptions. And that they exist on the same continuum as abundance, self-love, and trust.

I don’t consciously choose when the lights go out.

But it takes consciousness to get them turned back on.



*The Law of Polarity is one of twelve Universal Laws discussed in Sober Identity: Tools for Reprogramming the Addictive Mind. The law states that there are two poles/opposites to the physical, mental, and spiritual planes. That polarity is the difference between the two extremes of one thing. That there are no absolutes, but degrees of difference. That change is a choice upon the continuum. Mastery of this law requires balance, discipline, and detachment of material distractions.

16 Responses to “Who turned out the lights?

  • So so so true. I’ve been exploring the duality of my own life…I can’t know joy without pain, darkness without light guilt without kindness. I’m learning to embrace all that is me…warts and all…and love me just as I am.

    Took me long enough.

    Awesome post Lisa. Just beautiful.


    • Sherry, Thank you for your words. Even as I awaken to this new day I am reminded I have choices. It feels so nice to accept the fullness of who I am and continue working on me. Took me long enough too.
      xo Lisa

  • Lisa-

    I really love this reminder. Sometimes we spend so much time seeking balance that we forget where balance is– between those two poles. And that it’s necessary to experience the ends, as well as the middle, to deepen our understanding.

    • Cecile,
      Yes, I love how you wrote that, “the ends as well as the middle.” The answer is in no particular place, but in the whole. xo

  • Hi Lisa,

    Beautifully written post.

    Do you mind if I ask how you stumbled across the twelve universal laws and how they helped you find your sober identity?


    • No, I do not mind. One of my mentors is Dr. Norma Milanovich. She wrote the book, The Light Shall Set you Free. She teaches Universal Laws, sub-laws, the purpose of forgiveness, as well as comprehension of the electromagnetic field/grid. She is an amazing woman. Check her out http://www.ourtrustisingod.com/ She may be a bit ethereal for some, but I find her convergence of science and spirit to be nothing less than transformative.

  • why must you always make so much sense?

    • Of my own I make no sense. It is through daily practice and discipline that I find comfort in life and “what is.” I’ve just decided to never stop learning. Like so many addicts I was ill-equipped to manage life, manage me in life. If I want to get and remain sober I best become good at understanding me and how I tick. You give me the opportunity to both teach and learn. I am grateful for our friendship. I love you. Me

  • Reading this gave me such a feeling of inner peace, of calm, of connection. Thanks yet again for another warm embrace of understanding.
    Love and Light,

    • Britt, you are welcome 🙂 I see you have a site up. Is this new or did I just miss it in the past? I’ll come over for a visit. Thank you for sharing your kind words. It is through connections like yours that I continue to write and continue along my sober journey. Much love, Lisa

  • I’ve been thinking of you Lisa as of late – miss your thoughts out here – but I know that you have been very busy. But what a well of thoughts you display when you bless us with your words. Wow. I had to re-read this a few times to really feel what you are saying. It’s so very simple and yet brings so much to the table.

    Balance. Acceptance. Wisdom. Self-knowledge. Surrender. All the things that we seek in our new lives on our new paths. And try to practice…or at least I try to. And yes, it’s almost counter-intuitive to embrace that darkness, but I am finding now that I have a smidgeon of time under my belt that that are where the lessons are. It’s easy for me to discuss this and that when it’s all well, but what is my perception when things are clouded, in the shadows or just plain black? How do I navigate those waters?

    Thank you for this…just stunning. Much truth in here, and much wisdom.


    • Paul,
      Thank you for the overflow of expression for this post. After not writing for 5 weeks, I felt a bit stellar in what showed up as an expression. So often in my writing, I have been encouraged to “bring-it-down-a-few-notches.” For me this is difficult. I have little of the comedic in my writing (which most people love, as do I) and tend to fall toward the pensive side. Regardless of what I put out there I can always count on you to provide an equally thought-filled response. I love how you ask the questions. I have found that it’s all about questioning what I perceive as my reality. Thanks for being part of my long term sobriety. You make a difference in my life. And many others as well. You have a beautiful online presence.

      I see you are training for a long run. Saw some of your tweets last week. Wow, good for you. Seems like the runners are contagious among us sobered-up bloggers.

      Blessings back to you, Lisa

  • Ah, Lisa, how I miss reading your beautiful insight. So glad you life is full and happy, though 🙂

    Interesting, just finished reading and commenting on Karen’s post, and I was saying that sometimes I need to lean into a negative feeling in order to move past it.

    So maybe it’s because I was just thinking in this direction, but that’s what I’m taking from this incredibly wise post: acknowledge that there is both joy and pain, embrace both as they come, and know that all is transient in this life.

    Thank you for making my afternoon brighter, Lisa!

    • Hey Miracles,
      Thanks for coming over. Yes, it has been a while since I last posted. Felt almost weird. I must admit I was wondering if anyone even remembered me as a blogger. I love your word “transient.” I have had to remind myself of this, a few times today, as I was feeling overwhelmed with the dark side and wanting to push it away. I have to keep myself accountable for my thoughts and the first word that came to my mind was “transient.” Thank you. I shall not wait so long to post, and, I think my next one will be on a more personal level because I feel as if I am navigating a lot of new territory. Like you I have one new to high school (son) and my daughter new to middle school. And then there’s my husband, but that’s another URL me thinketh.
      much, much love, Me

  • Reminds me how the stock market works. Highs and lows. Greed and fear. But while I stay sober I will achieve higher highs and higher lows. Tomorrow is day 200 for me completely ethanol free.

    • Happy day 199 then. Yes, it is like the stock market. We ride them both out while staying invested. Good to hear from you. Congrats on climbing with your days. It really is a big, big deal.

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