17: Thoughts on Why Rock Bottom is a Powerful Place by Lisa Arends

“It’s easy for me to have an opinion, it’s not my pain.” – A True Friend

Reading Lisa Arends’s story, Why Rock Bottom is a Powerful Place, I recognize the struggle is not allowing others to define the bottom, or the solution, in terms of their own experiences. Everyone brings their own biases, prejudices, ignorance, and experience to other people’s pain.

Arrogance tries to convince us we have some special insight into the inner workings of other people. All too often we make value judgments about what should be the consequences and punishment in situations we are only tangentially involved with. We’re all experts in someone else’s pain and motivations.


Someone recently suggested, I need to take responsibility for what I did, but when pressed for what that means, because I’m willing to listen to their ideas, they had nothing to offer but ghost stories. Which reminds me of the old adage, “We are either part of the solution or part of the problem.”

One of the most difficult aspects of my life today is not to let other people’s ignorance, fears, or anger define my identity. As such, their opinion of me is none of my business, even when their grandiosity says it is.

I have great qualities and bring great passions to my relationships. I’m curious about people and places. I like to explore and encourage people. I understand what a Partnership is supposed to be even when I fall short. I’m willing to learn, change, and grow.

I also have flaws. Some are ugly. None are monstrous. I’m not perfect and that means I’m human too.

For some people that will never be enough.