Hanging Out with Drunks

In an analogy in The Mastery of Love, don Miguel Ruiz relates an example of hanging out with drunks at a bar or party as a comparison of how most of us live life. You hang out with these people who are just like you, they are all numb and drunk, having a good time, and every once and a while someone breaks out in a vast drama, but for the most part, you and the rest of the group are smiling, laughing, enjoying yourself, the camaraderie and you’re happy hanging out with drunks.

Then, once you begin to awaken to a higher version of life and start seeing things as they really are, it’s like being the only sober person at the party. After you’ve become more aware about life in general and your own life, numbing yourself is no longer desired or necessary to help you get through this life.

You think this is all well and good, but you remember how fun it felt when you were hanging out with drunks, so you go out to spend the evening with your friends.

Only now, you’re not compelled to drink, and you are not drunk. From this vantage point, your experience of hanging out with drunks is very different. You see people numbing themselves because they are looking for ways to avoid the reality of living the life they lead. You see them all celebrating the fog they all share, and while they appear to be happy, there is no happiness in them.

After a while, they notice you are not drunk, you are not joining them in their drunken celebration of not having to deal with life, and they accuse you of having something wrong with you.

The drunks prefer you to drink and enjoy being drunk with them. When you fail to participate and turn down their offers to buy you a drink so that you can essentially be an active participant with the other drunks, they get paranoid about you, see you as an outsider.

The drunks feel your sobriety as a drain on the energy of the overall group, you’re a downer, spectator, spy, or judging them like a self-righteous goody two shoes, and while none of this is true, you don’t feel like you fit in with this group of people anymore.

You are less enthusiastic about hanging out with drunks. You don’t judge them or feel sorry for them (because that would be condescending). You realize we all are only doing the best we can with what we have, honor the time that you spent with this group as a necessary part of your journey, you love and bless them.

There comes a time when you start to look for other people to hang out with, people who are more resonate with your current frame of mind, people who do not feel the need to numb themselves and disassociate their connection to this life.

You keep your eyes open and aware enough to find people who are more like you with whom you can associate and socialize with.

Periodically, the drunks will notice your absence and seek you out to rejoin them in their drunkenness because they believe being drunk is an important part of life and they feel your lack of drunkenness is not good for you. They know how awful it would be for them to try to manage life without being drunk. Just the thought of it represents pain for them, so they want to save you by inviting you to come back.

All of this is perfectly normal and fine in all its awkwardness as you move from the day-to-day struggle for survival in everyday life, to enlightenment.

Love’s Spell is Broken

You’ve fallen in love and have submitted to the overflow of love drugs which have overtaken the control of your physiology. You’ve obsessed about your partner, you have all the signs of being in love, you’ve gone forward as a couple, then one day you wake up out of the love fog, take a good (sober) look at your partner, and ask yourself, “Who is this?” as love’s spell is broken.

Love’s Spell is Broken

As love’s spell is broken, your brain chemistry is returning to normal and you’re starting to wonder, “How did I get here?” These free brain chemicals are the drug-gift humanity has been blessed with which has allowed us to grow to a population of over 7 billion.

Your logical, conscious brain has been clouded by increased levels of oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, testosterone, and estrogen, which after a while diminishes and you start to see your partner as he or she really is.

When these hormone levels are high, you project yourself, your hopes and dreams upon your partner, and you believe these things to be true. As the level returns to normal your projection fades and you start to see your partner more objectively, and you start to object, likely to think your partner has changed.

It is far more likely that your partner has not changed because people are pretty much who they are and are fairly transparent, showing you who they really are, but you fail to see it because you’ve fallen in love (or rather, gotten stoned on love’s drugs), and your desire to be in love interpreted this person as your dream come true.

When you’re under the influence of love’s chemistry, those little idiosyncrasies seem like cute little characteristics which endear you to your partner. Once love’s spell is broken, these very same characteristics become the annoying traits, which make you feel like love is lost, and you are not the harmonious partners you thought you were when you were stoned in love.

This is the critical phase of love which likely indicates that it may be time to leave, or least it feels that way, and in most cases, relationships end when it becomes apparent that things are not as they appeared not long ago.

From this drug-free perspective, you mightimaginethat you just cannot go on another day under these circumstances.

One or both partners begin to believe the entire relationship was built on a false premise and that there is a better person out there better suited for either one or both of you to pursue a relationship with. This is when it is thought that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

So, this is the end.

Or it is the beginning of a more mature type of love which is waiting for you to discover it on the other side of the breaking of love’s spell.

For the couples who are able to move past the breaking of love’s spell, there is a greater love which awaits, but it will take more concerted effort. While stoned-in-love little or no effort or attention need be exerted in the relationship, everything seems so simple and free but once you’ve decided to see what is on the other side of love’s rave, it will require more work to move into the next phase of love.