I believe it was Deepak Chopra who once said, “We are not human beings having occasional spiritual experiences, but rather we are spiritual beings having occasional human experiences.”
I have always loved that statement. For me, it puts me on a spiritual plain realizing that I am indeed a spiritual being... that this life is just part of the journey... part of becoming the true being I was intended to be.
As I look at my life in addiction and now my life in recovery it is a living example of opposites. When I was drinking, I was full of hate and that hate created a life of chaos. The furthest thing in my life was love and harmony.
Sobriety didn't produce harmony and love right away. It couldn't. It was not possible. I was so far into the negative that the “good” was unknown and scary.
Slowly the pendulum started moving and slowly the harmony came into my life. There was still chaos, yet harmony was coming and the little glimpses I had of it, I knew I wanted more.
The hate and the bad behaviors left, replaced with the good and love of others as well as myself.
Something happened though along the path of enlightenment. I can not entirely just throw away the negative aspects of myself. In recovery, we call it our character defects. These defects helped me survive for many years. Not just that they helped me survive, they were a part of me.
If I was able to just throw them away, what would be left of me? Yes, a lot of those defects serve no purpose for a constructive life... but they are still a part of me. They make me human. Again, back to Chopra's quote, “We are not human beings with occasional spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings we occasional human experiences.” Those defects make me human.
It is the love, the divinity, the harmony, and the good, that makes me a spiritual being.
The two, at extremes, are very opposite and they are very much a part of me. And it is when these opposites meet in the middle that I can see my humanity as well as my divinity. It is then I realize that I am a spiritual being with occasional human experiences. And those human experiences make me a stronger spiritual being.