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The Dark Graces

Have you ever said that you were going to quit something like cigarettes, drinking,
overeating or coffee and you meant it you really did but you were slow to start?

In fact you may have been so slow to start on this
particular resolve that you actually went a bit backwards or back on your word.  
I'm talking about declaring you were going to quit this thing, this bad habit and instead you reversed further into the mire of your vice or addiction 
so that you could, you know, enjoy the final days of your (insert serious obsession here)?  

You're going to leave the days of excess (blank) for good because this, by far is 'the end'!

Or maybe you really kinda wanted to unconsciously over do it with said vice so that you would perhaps end up deeply resenting the specific crutch or tool you were using. I've come to know this or refer to this type of activity as the dark graces; sinking deeply into an addictive behavior after declaring you are ready to leave it behind.  

The dark graces puts you in a state of self inflicted physical pain so that the release of such action(s) is that much harder or sweeter to overcome.  
The dark graces consume you until you are ready and determined to elevate yourself to a cleaner or holier state of being.  Because somewhere along the way we learned that cleanliness is next to Godliness and too much of anything well, will kill you.

I've personally have experienced the dark graces with several vices: drinking, smoking and coffee.
There are times when I've battled my own intuition to stay away from such things because I felt that they were physically and emotionally messing with my day to day existence but I'd gorge myself instead so that I'd never touch them.  It's almost like getting alcohol poisoning from a certain drink or brand of liquor and the thought or smell of it makes you want to vomit.  That's what I'm getting at here. When I wanted to quit smoking, which I'd only smoke a half or one cigarette a day and buy a pack every three weeks when it came down to it. I over dosed for me upping the dosage to two-three cigarettes a day so that my mouth tasted like an ashtray and my breath was rancid.  Reverse psychology had nothing on my plan!  It worked. I haven't picked up a Djarum clove pack since January and when I asked a friend for one I almost choked.

But the dark graces can build you up for success or failure. It's slippery really.
It's just a matter of the story you have, the one that you tell yourself or anyone else who will listen when the words slip from your lips giving yourself permission to do the gluttonous dance with the monkey on your back.  
"I thought you were done with coffee?"  Mom says.  "I am but I just want to finish this really fancy, super expensive Starbucks bag that I spent a small fortune on and then I'm done. Don't want to waste money. Right?"

"Didn't you quit smoking?"  
"I did but I'm super stressed out with all this political stuff going on at work so once things calm down I'm guessing I can invest in the patch and work things out."

The stories keep us in the darkness. The place where it's comfortable and happy to ritualize even if it's uncomfortable. Grace however will allow yourself to honor this harshness as something real then forgive those moments of weakness, those actions that keep you from your personal victory and ascend to a more appropriate, perhaps healthier, mature version of yourself.

For me, I feel as if sometimes the dangerous waters of the dark graces are a necessity.  Because for some people it takes actually feeling the bottom of the barrel to actually realize there are no more options.  That by living in the story that gives us permission to act out is really giving in to a level of insanity which just keeps us circling the drain.  It's that much needed moment that we need to face as if when there is no place to go but up because the environment we created is so toxic and so necessary to dissolve with healing that anything else could and would be deadly.  

I'm not telling to you throw yourself deeper into any addiction by any means.  
I'm simply acknowledging a pattern of behavior within myself, several of my friends and clients that has been made aware to me and I'd like to take a flashlight to.  
Anyone with a serious addiction should consider professional help to ease you through your work and healing.  

I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or via email here. 

Be well my friends. XO


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