Cycling can be a wonderful experience‑going down a hill or when the wind is at your back. However, if you are pedaling uphill or against the wind, cycling can be much less enjoyable. The perspective of going two different directions can give the experience a world of difference.
I have found this to be true for my own recovery and those I have helped in their recovery. For many addicts, it is very difficult for them to see life through the lens and life experience of others.
Generally, toddlers cannot get out of their own selfish perspective. They are not emotionally or cognitively developed enough to see how their behaviors affect other kids their age, siblings or parents.
As we say in recovery, a person’s emotional age and maturity stops growing when their addiction starts. This is so true. Most addicted and offended adults have the emotional IQ of a toddler.
Perspective can come in many shapes and sizes in our life. I believe nothing puts life into perspective like death. Attending a funeral or hearing a story about a recent friend’s or coworker’s death makes you really think about what is truly important in life.
Due to issues of abandonment, hurts, traumas, rejection and unforgiveness, this can be very difficult to do. As long as an individual believes they have been wronged and remains bitter and resentful, it is nearly impossible for them to move out of their own perspective and into the perspective of anyone else‑especially their perpetrator.
However, a powerful transformation can occur when a person begins to release and let go of the offense and begins to forgive. The emotional child begins to quickly become the emotional adult, growing up to match their physical age and maturity.
However, most often, the immature emotional adult acts more like a child physically with toddler-like behaviors having a temper tantrum.
I have witnessed this many times when children act more mature than adults.
As a person in recovery begins to understand, feel, and see the perspective of others, they move from what I refer to as “Have-to Recovery” into “Want-to Recovery”. They now have a heart’s desire to change regardless if their spouse, friends or family approve, stay or leave them.
They will begin to see and feel the world in a whole new perspective‑much like pictures and videos being taken by drones and posted all over the internet that give us amazingly different views of the same old landscapes, buildings and social events.
It has been my observation that when an adult in recovery begins to see, feel, and understand the perspective of others around them and those who they have hurt, big change begins to happen. Not only that, but a real sign of emotional growth into adulthood is when the addict can see themselves as others see them as well as feel what others feel about them through the perspective of others. This journey can be quicker for some and shorter for others.
Start truly living and begin to get out of your own perspective and into the perspective of others. Begin the adventure of seeing and feeling all the beautiful things you have been missing!
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.