As mentioned in the preface of this work, it is imperative for the recovering codependent or addict to accept the truth that whatever the current situation is, is as it should be. Until this principle is understood, we will often find high resistance to the truth, blocking our use of the faith filter. How can it possibly be alright for anyone to be on a path of destruction in addiction? How can it be okay for a spouse to use pornography and destroy all trust in a marriage? How can it be alright for an addict to destroy her health, and how can it be okay for us to stand by and watch? Aren’t we then condoning sin?
Our response: How can it possibly be any other way? The circumstance of mind or heart or physical situations of all parties involved has brought us to this present place. We cannot change the past; we do not know the future. We have only the present. Considering the level of addiction, faith, hope, past responses, current repetitive thought patterns, codependent natures, and free agency of everyone involved, how can the current situation be any different? What comes next is the hard part.
What matters most in this discussion is what we think the purposes of the current circumstances are and what we think about the future. If the past dictates the future, we have lost the battle before we have truly engaged the enemy. If we blame our “now” on others, then we predetermine failure. If we think we just know what will happen to our loved one or us on this path, we have removed faith from the equation. We respect the path only by accepting the path and trusting that God will assist as we are willing to surrender to the Lord, holding nothing back. Again, Elder Bushe helps us:
“One of the great tragedies we see in our lives is that the adversary, through the influences of our “flesh,” can cheat us into establishing images of truth or perceptions of truth. Our brain, the great computer where all the facts of life’s memories are held together, can also be programmed by the “flesh,” with its self-centered ideas to deceive the spiritual self. Without the constant striving through prayer and contemplation to reach the ends of self-awareness and honesty, our so-called intellect can, therefore, based on look-alike truths, play many games of reason, to impress, to get gain, to intimidate, or even to manipulate truth with the vain results of deceit.”
If we believe that our Father in heaven is an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God, then we have no place in us for doubt that He knows all, sees all, and is all-powerful. We can relax our grip on what we think must happen in our lives or the lives of our loved ones, especially our loved ones who are experiencing horrendous paths. We do not decide what God will do with that path of pain. Perhaps this education via pain and tragedy is necessary for their perfect growth or our ideal growth. We should always seek and choose a good path, but not all of us will learn what is needed on what we would judgmentally call a “good path.” Remember, our Father sees our path with a perfect eternal eye; we do not.
One of the telltale indicators of codependency is a dogmatic black-and-white approach to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Seeing and living the principles of the Gospel in a strict true-or-false, right-or-wrong paradigm leaves little room for the sense that we can be forgiven for living in the gray areas of mortal life. This paradigm also leaves a huge opening for the ego’s tendency to judge others. We believe in absolute truths within the Gospel frame. However, we also know that we have come here to make mistakes, experience pain, and learn from that pain so we can find our way to oneness with our Savior, “knowing that we are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation” (2 Corinthians 1:7).
In this thought space of “what is,” we can finally release our death hold on what we think we know about what will happen in the future. We can let go of so many things that are just not our job to determine. We can let God have His way with our loved ones, in His time and in His perfect way, to perfect His children. Faith comes to us in a new color and dimension when we merely release these predetermined “what ifs” and ever-present fears. God is on His throne, and we have enough to do to correct our negative thoughts and feelings.
Busche, Enzio F. "Truth Is the Issue." Ensign November 1993. <https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1993/11/contents?lang=eng>.