Posted by: smstrouse | June 16, 2011

The Hole in the Addict’s Soul

So Anthony Weiner has resigned. I don’t know how I feel about that.  I vacillate between admiration for the man’s politics and disappointment at his blatant stupidity. I want him to remain in office to continue his good work – and I want him to disappear and get his act together.

The main reason I’d like to see him continue in office is that if every politician who has a problem with an addiction resigns, the ranks of Congress would quickly diminish. The other reason is that it’s always the sexual sins that are singled out as the worst. Other moral and ethical failures like warmongering, lying about foreign policy, creating a national financial disaster, supporting policies that destroy the environment, etc., etc. are tolerated.

Make no mistake about it, I believe that Anthony Weiner has a problem.  His compulsion to tweet pictures of himself, along with other inappropriate behavior, is an addiction.  It’s not just a moral and ethical issue.  Because addictions don’t pay attention to rational arguments about right and wrong; addictions produce stupid behavior. There are those who rant that they don’t want to hear that excuse; they don’t want to hear that Weiner is going into a recovery program. But they don’t get it; it’s not an excuse, it’s reality.

On the other hand, I don’t think that a two-week program is anywhere near enough to deal with the demons of addiction. Maybe it can begin to get at the psychological issues. But there is the spiritual component as well. Now I know that many people will deny this. But it is my firm belief that no matter what one’s religious or spiritual orientation, we human beings have an essence, an inner being, a soul.  And each of us has a hole in that soul. There’s something broken, something  missing. Each of us has an inner wound; it’s just part of living as human beings in an imperfect world.

We deal with it in many and various ways, at varying levels of health or destructiveness. When an addict gets out of control and starts engaging in destructive behavior, it’s past time to address the hole in the soul.  Two weeks isn’t enough, because it usually gets worse before it gets better. When one takes on the courageous process of self-discovery, one may find that in opening the wound, there is a lot of ugly material that needs to come out. It may be painful; it may be the challenge of a lifetime. But it’s the way for real healing to begin.

There is always hope for redemption. My hope is that Anthony Weiner will make a serious attempt to plumb the depths of his soul to discover what led to his compulsions, that he will do the work of recovery, and that he will find healing and peace.

Only then will he be able to consider political redemption as well.

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