We experience pain deeply, sometimes a backlog built up over a lifetime. If we’re lucky, we have a sponsor who advises us to bring that pain to god. But sometimes, our amygdalas decide god’s just not concrete enough. We need safety precautions, emotional helmets and hazmat suits! So we reduce our vulnerability by learning to edit and hide our true selves. We develop strategies like people pleasing: whatever we think will smooth our path, whatever others want or would approve, we try to appear. The goal is to be accepted. We need it because we so intensely fear rejection’s pain.
In this unique and powerful moment, I know there is truly only one underlying, overriding intelligence, wisdom, power, and presence that is all around me. It is my Higher Power, the Highest Power. It penetrates, permeates, and courses through each and all of us at all times. I breathe in and receive this power, knowing I am one with that which I sometimes call Spirit, Mother Nature, God, Divinity, The One, or sometimes call it nothing at all. I sense It, and know that It operates within me, and I operate within It.
With deep appreciation, I look back and reflect on this precious month, grateful for all the ups and downs of my human experience, and grateful for the perfection of my spiritual experience. I am extremely grateful to be in recovery, free from addictive substance and behavior, and grateful for the freedom I have to choose empowering thoughts, ideas, and actions in all situations. I am thankful for everything and everyone that serve as my teachers and remind me to open my eyes and stay awake to the lessons and blessings that surround me.
Radical acceptance is an alternative to labeling situations, things, or people as “good” and “bad.” It’s settling into the space that opens up when we stop reacting so strongly to outcomes. This space for me takes the form of my thoughts, breathing, and sight slowing to a pace where I can take in and touch the sense of immense beauty and wonder in the world: the breeze against the trees, a smile on my loved ones face, opportunity that can come from loss, and the little things to be grateful for throughout my busy days.
How grateful am I to have a roadmap called the 12 steps. The spiritual principles they’re built around have become embedded in my own spiritual program. They serve as my guideposts to help me know I am on track. Basically they are honesty, acceptance, faith, courage, integrity, willingness, humility, forgiveness, sincerity, perseverance, serenity, and service.
Peeling the onion – one giant onion comprised of seemingly infinite layers of thin, translucent resistance, know-it-all-ness, habits, misunderstandings, misinterpretations, the BS of erroneous Belief Systems, and just plain growing beyond the point I have arrived at so far – that is my objective . . . Being comfortable being uncomfortable – I’m starting to learn how. No, I don’t like it. But I am willing to be uncomfortable in my quest to navigate and attain the next phase of awareness. I am coming to believe it’s a requirement.
Lately people in my day-to-day life have battled suicidal thoughts, fallen off the wagon, lost a loved one in a heartbreaking manner, and been painfully dumped. I used to dramatically interpret these types of events, or make some kind of self-righteous judgement. Which I know now is code for: things I feared could just as easily be happening to me.
So much has been spoken, written, and sung about pain as the vehicle to a marvelous experience of healing, even about the reality being beautifully beyond imagination, that it must be true. How wonderful to have that lifeline to hold on to when things are falling apart. Maybe what is happening is that things are just in the midst of falling together.