Some of us have had a hunch that the screw-up wasn't all that strange. Neither does best-seller author in the spirituality category, Marianne Williamson.
That's what she explains in her 2016 book (6,103 on Amazon) "Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment." Here you can order it. In Chapter 2, "Through the Darkness into the Light," she presents the "case study" of a man she calls "Jonathan."
His psychiatrist recommends that he speak with Williamson. He has lost everything:
- Job practicing law
- Law license
- Any current means of making a living.
What he didn't lose was his freedom. Although he had committed illegal acts while a lawyer, he was able to stay out of prison. He is living with his sister.
As soon as there is a bit of rapport established, Williamson confronts Jonathan with the reality that he caused all this to escape the life he was living. That is, the shooting himself in the foot had the objective of forcing him our of one life and to have to put together another.
Immediately, Jonathan agreed. For example, he knew at some level that his spouse was in it for the money. When the money went so did she. But he didn't have the strength to remedy that situation on his own.
There would be no easy journey for Jonathan toward a life that for him was the right fit. Accoding to Williamson, he had taken the first important step. That was bottoming out. But, as many of us in recovery know, the bottom can be high. There is no need for a steep downward trajectory.
So many lawyers I meet in recovery programs, though, do a Jonathan. They have already lost their jobs and their license. If only there were ways to help lawyers exit the parts of their careers and personal life which aren't working without their having to resort to blowing everything up.
Of course, there are also lawyers in recovery who are self-aware. They don't rock the boat until they are sober for a year. Then they look at the job in law, the lifestyle in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and their intimate relationships.
Maybe dissatisfied lawyers might put a note on the bathroom mirror at home: You don't have to lose it all. Small changes can have big spiritual impacts.
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