And we can see that God you’re moving
A mighty river through the nations
When young and old return to Jesus
Fling wide your heavenly gates
Prepare the way of the risen Lord
Did you hear what I said?
You know what – maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I heard you but I wasn’t listening, or I heard you but I wasn’t paying attention.
Is there anything more annoying than knowing full well that someone wasn’t paying attention to you, yet they are still capable of parroting back to you whatever you just said?
When we’re in active addiction, how much do we hear? How willing are we to actually hear and heed the words being spoken into our lives? So often those words are true, but we are unwilling to accept them. We hear our friends and loved ones tell us time and time again how our behaviors are affecting them. How our acting out is out of control. How what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, where we’re doing it, who we’re doing it with, and how we act as a result of it hurt them. We are hurting our friends, our family and ourselves. But we don’t want to hear it, so we don’t.
Some of us are acting out because of what we’ve heard. We’ve heard all our lives that we’re not good enough, or we’ll never amount to anything. We’re not pretty enough or strong enough or smart enough or good enough. Nobody has ever loved us, and nobody could ever love us. If you want to be cool or successful, you have to do what everybody else is doing. Well by golly, if that’s drugs or alcohol or sex or porn or gambling, acceptance matters more than anything else, so I’m in. Let’s all go jump off the bridge together.
But then what happens when we get sober? Suddenly we start to become a new person with our own thoughts and opinions. The people who have been enabling us, provoking us and taking care of us no longer fit into the roles they’ve been playing for years. We have a new voice. We want to be heard. And for some inexplicable reason, those people are now on the flip side of the coin; they don’t want to hear us. They don’t want to hear what we have to say. Everything changes when we come to the realization that everything we’ve been hearing from everyone in our lives with regard to our addiction or compulsive behavior has actually been true. That doesn’t mean that everything anyone says about you is necessarily true, but those people were right about that thing. We just had to come to a place where we understood that the truth was, indeed, true.
When people speak, listen. They may just be trying to tell you something.
“Hear, O Israel! the Lord our God, the Lord is One; and you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.”
Open up the doors and let the music play
Let the streets resound with singin’
Songs that bring your hope and
Songs that bring your joy
Dancers who dance upon injustice
– Alex Walker