AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is noted for using the phrase “hitting your bottom” when referring to the place that someone struggling with addiction gets to before they are able (or willing) to reach out for help. Hitting bottom is a tough experience and so many of us resist the work that it is supposed to do. So, unless we’ve never experienced the “bottom” it’s hard to understand why it can be the best thing that ever happens to us.
The term “rock bottom” has to do with bedrock, the layer of solid rock that exists way beneath the soil. “Rock bottom” started out as a simple synonym for “bedrock” in the mid-1800’s, mostly in the context of mining. Once a miner or prospector hit “rock bottom,” the quest for water, gold or whatever was stymied, at least until advanced power drilling techniques were invented.
“Rock bottom,” like “bedrock” itself, soon became a metaphor for reliability and loyalty, as seen in an 1866 citation from the Oregon State Journal referring to a “rock-bottom Democrat.” The use of “rock bottom” to mean “lowest possible” followed soon after, as evidenced by a Dakota newspaper advertisement of 1884 offering “Boots, shoes and rubbers in great variety and at rock-bottom prices.” (source: http://www.word-detective.com/030698.html)
WOW! What a different perspective. Imagine that the entire process of getting us to our bottom is that it is a journey, a quest for that “water” or “gold” within us! Now that is an entirely new concept. There is indeed gold inside each of us and it is impeded by a multitude of forces blocking the flow of the water, the oil, the gold, the “whatever” that is our authentic true self. So, when we are on the way to hitting our “bottom” we are on the way to tapping into the very essence of life within us. Many times, that journey is painful, and we feel as if we will never be able to move into a new place. But the reality is that this is the best journey any of us can take.
When we see someone struggling in life, we can offer them hope and encouragement knowing what the process is working to achieve. Think about this and let it sink in.
Many years ago, I lived with my grandmother for a short season to take care of her. One day I went strolling through the sixty acres of pastures behind her lake and decided to lay down flat on my back to see what the world looked like from that perspective. It was an unbelievable experience. It was mid-summer and even though the temperature was quite warm, a mild breeze was blowing. The grass was soft, like a cool cushion of foam. When I looked up, I noticed the sky was a clear pallet of vivid blues and lavender. There were only a few small clouds floating slowly by. I would never have experienced that moment had I not been lying on my back. The moment was so peaceful I nearly fell asleep. Everything beneath that sky was hidden from view and any chaos going on in my mind seemed to clear instantly.
If you are experiencing a journey to the bottom, let it have its way. When you give in to the process, life will unfold in unimaginable ways for good.
Hi there 👋 My name is Jane Doe, I'm the maker of This Blog. One of my favorite things is travel, fun and sun :)