We Aren’t Here to Fix You Because You’re Not Broken
Our Foundation of Basic Goodness
I want to take a moment and introduce the cornerstone of our program that makes our approach to addiction treatment unique: Basic Goodness. Basic Goodness is the concept that we are—innately and forever—good at our core. We may be lost, or trapped, or wounded. But never broken. Deep inside, we remain unshakably good, unshakably whole. Addiction doesn’t break us. It breaks our connection to our true selves. It breaks a connection that, with love, endurance, and a little bit of guidance, can always be rebuilt.
This concept of Basic Goodness is taken from Buddhist teachings, and is also referred to as “Buddha Nature.” According to this principle, Enlightenment always resides within us, and the practice of meditation is a means to connect with that inner Buddha, over and over. This can be applied to your life, whatever your spiritual orientation. The way this was taught to me was through the metaphor of the sky. Our basic goodness is as vast as the sky, while our experiences—emotions, thoughts, habits, and addictions—are but passing clouds. There are days when the sky is so crisp and clear that it feels like its sweet blueness will absorb you in its calm. But more often, there are clouds. There are moving bits and pieces swirling around, shifting your experience of the sky, and blocking its view.
Sometimes there is fog, so thick and oppressive that it not only blocks out the sky but also the world below—those landmarks you have come to know and trust on your path. Where you may question your reality, your orientation on this earth.
And then, of course, the storms. Some of them lasting for years. Some decades. When the blueness of the sky feels like a distant and frivolous memory, and survival is all you have the capacity for. But through the darkest storms, you never forget that there is something beyond the clouds and weather. You know that this will pass, and the sun will reemerge. That there is a sky behind it all that is in fact bigger than this storm, even if the storm is all you can see and feel. Your basic goodness is just that; it may seem to disappear out of sight, but it always remains bigger than the weather. You are bigger than the weather—than the addiction, the mistakes, the trauma, the hurt. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
At Flatirons Recovery, we believe that this is the heart of true recovery. Perhaps that is why we call it Recovery. Not Transformation, or rebirth, or correction. But recovery. Recovering yourself from the layers of painful experiences, trauma, and coping that no longer serve you. Shedding all that isn’t you, all that is weighing you down and caging your spirit. You’re not with us to be changed or schooled or repentant. But to find yourself again. You’re not broken, and we’re not here to fix you. You’re not a bad person, regardless of your mistakes. And though you may need help, you’re not helpless. You have the strength and wisdom to walk the path of your recovery. We’re just here to guide you towards that inner voice (and maybe give some tools to make it a bit easier along the way).