September 28, 2016 Felicia Durling

Divorcing Behaviors: Saying Goodbye to the Things We Do

Divorcing Behaviors: saying goodbye to the things we doActions speak louder than words. You may not be who you say you are. You are what you do. Society is filled with such cliche sayings. In The Beatles tribute movie Across the Universe, rebellious college dropout Max feuds with his conservative Uncle Teddy. His Uncle asks him “What do you actually intend to do with your life?” Max reacts dramatically demanding to know why the question is never about who he is as a person. “What you do,” Uncle Teddy explains, “defines who you are.” Defiantly Max retorts, “No Uncle Teddy, who you are defines what you do”.


Imagine if the question originally posed by Uncle Teddy fit Max’s ideals. “Who do you actually intend to be in life?” As children in school, we’re rarely asked who we want to be, without the condition of what it is we will do as that person. For example, learning about firemen, police officers, astronauts, and artists, children answer “I want to be a doctor when I grow up” rather than “I want to do the job of a doctor”. We are taught to want to be defined by what we do. Consequently, we become attached to our actions. Who we are as a person is evaluated by what we do. When we “do” something “bad”, we are labeled a “bad person”. Conversely, when we “do” something “good”, we are celebrated as a “good person”. Every day “bad people” do “good things” and vice versa. The secret is this: there is neither bad nor good. We simply are.

Recovery comes with this philosophy: Love the addict, hate the addiction. Through the healing process we endure an intricate procedure of divorcing ourselves, and others from behaviors. We ask ourselves this question: is it possible to be loved for who we are despite what it is that we do? God’s love answers yes. Our highest, most heart-centered knowledge answers: yes.

Drug and alcohol addiction changes how we act as well as what we do, but it doesn’t change one critical fact: we are still children of God. Recognizing and really taking in this fact is a life-changing awakening. You are not what you do. You are forgiven for what you have done. Say goodbye to your hurtful behaviors and embrace the love of your goodness as a person. Beaten upon the cross before his death, Jesus forgave his offenders, exclaiming to God, “Forgive them father, for they know not what they do.” Lost in the chemical override of addiction, we lose sight of what we do and indeed, who we are. Recovery is the journey of clearing out the fog. Become who you are, change what you do, and live in peace.


If you’re looking for relief and recovery, our specialists are waiting for you. Contact our helpline to schedule a no-risk consultation at (951) 775-4000 and get started on a new road in life.

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