I struggle to relate to anyone asserting they have nothing to recover from. ? Every cell of my being tells me to beware of people claiming that. Usually because they are unwilling to own their dis-ease and therefore likely to offload rather than heal it– and quick to judge and banish those honestly addressing struggle and pain. ⚠️I adore recovery and all people humble enough to do the work. Spiritual recovery—we all lose parts of our spirits and have been injured by someone or something, in ways that we may not understand. Recovery from low self-esteem, low self-worth, people-pleasing, depression, grief, ptsd, abuse, fear of scarcity, unhealthy coping skills, obsessions, sexual abuse, incest leading to addictions to drugs, sex, alcohol, shopping, exercising, eating, staying busy, being right or perfect—all of those “things” are responses to pain. “Healthy striving is said to be diametrically opposing attempts at and need for perfection, which is driven by fear, control, shame, and results in separation. Those are all spiritual maladies for which their are spiritual solutions.” When our focus is on how others perceive us, that is not mental or spiritual wellness, that is brokenness -which tells us look to others to see if we are ok. Trying to guess how others will feel and respond to us can make us overwhelmed, anxious, and very controlling. We are powerless over that. And so long as we think and behave otherwise, we will have difficulty being our true selves and allowing others the same—the birthplace of eggshells. The First Step in any of the fellowships teaches us that we are powerless over people, places and things. And to live otherwise is unmanageability- in the form of tryyyyying to hard all of the time to be feel and make others feel what they do not. It is true insanity. Though many people dedicate a lifetime managing, controlling, and regulating others to avoid dealing with the truth of what they feel, what they have done, and what they do. Below is an excerpt from one of my readers that feels especially relevant. In program, seeking serenity has become my primary purpose, and my greatest miracle. Knowing I need help and making myself available for guidance and change was the beginning of my recovery life. Living in this way, being guided by a higher non-human power is the freedom, connection, and guidance I always needed but did not know. So, for me it is a re-parenting of myself. No longer controlled by my will or the will of another allows me to seek truth and serenity, to head directly into difficulty knowing that I am not alone and that I have tools and choices to help me navigate rather than avoid what must be dealt with.
When I admit my life is unmanageable, I don’t admit that I am a bad person. In my attempts to maintain the delusion of exercising power where I am powerless, my life has become disorderly. Although I have temporarily lost control of my life, I have not committed a crime. I need only apply Step One to begin to regain my serenity.
When we turn our will and our lives over to the care of a Higher Power, we affirm that we need guidance. Our job now is to keep our minds open, knowing that life-changing help can take any avenue, any form, any voice. Our teachers are all arounds us. Let’s make room for every single one.
My journey from grief to healing happens only as a result of great effort, intention, and commitment to sustained contrary actions. Change. Is willingness to change an admission of badness? If so, then what is an unwillingness to change?
The humility required for and learned in recovery is something I have scarcely witnessed outside of the rooms of recovery and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu . What is it like to think you have nothing to recover from? I cannot imagine being unable to seek ways of better living, loving, and being in the world. Sweet Greg and I are working to recover something between us which was lost or maybe only buried beneath topical issues which have, for the moment, divided us. We can recover rather than turning on each other or walking away. We will do the work to either amend or end our journey in an honest, wholesome and constructive way. We can do hard things. The only way through hard times is through. Avoidance, pretending, blaming, denying are tactics to avoid change. Our connection is strong, possibly changing, for the moment. Without the wisdom of program, this could seem a call to war or the door. But we do not see it that way. Oh, sweet Greg.
Recovery offers us options and tools. Before recovery, going after fire with fire and a sledge hammer were the tools with which I was most familiar. Defense and offense are fine, I suppose, if the win is what counts. The zero-sum game calling for a loser and a winner, is a mentality from which I am recovering. My refusal to engage in this way has been labelled abandonment. It is one thing to be abandoned by another, and something much worse when done to ourselves by ourselves. Recovery teaches me self-love which allows me to show authentic love for others. Love the verb, not the feeling.
Before recovery, I thought love was just the good feeling I had when something really pleased me or a word to say to people I was related to or in relationship with. Well, I also thought it meant, we were all responsible for each others feelings and behaviors and it made it permissible to withhold and punish, when others failed to please us, meet our needs, get out of our way, and give us exactly what we needed. That is how I experienced love before recovery. I don’t do that kind of love anymore and this has been a deal breaker. We are all responsible to be kind, honest, and fair….not entitled to impose justice or consequences on others or to be hurtful and then justify it, deny it, and demand a pretense that IT never happened. Love—love tells you to own your shit, make things better and spiritually right. We cannot do this alone, without a higher power. What is your high-power? What guides your decisions, principles, and behaviors? I use the 12 Steps, because they are unchanging, static….unlike the opinions and moods of others which for so long, were my only sources for navigation. Ugh–what a mess.Much Love,
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