HOPE MONTH: DAY 28: “You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” ― William Faulkner
I remember how people in the meetings I went to when I was new would say (a lot, it seemed!) “If you like what you are getting, keep doing what you are doing.”
To me, this was a cautionary tale. I did not always like how I felt. And so I would begin to shift into new behaviors. This has been the pattern of life for me since that time. Not everything feels as great as my head tells me it will feel.
When I meditate in the mornings, I am sometimes surprised by what I am led to sit with. This has happened a few times every week or so since I began. So, I continue to question what I am led to. I have learned that there are a lot more “new horizons” in my life than I could have believed in the beginning. Some things seem to be more permanent than others.
That is the trouble. There is nothing permanent. I forget that. So, I have learned to relinquish those things that I am led to sit with, in order to lose sight of the shore.
I have always had a lot of questions about doing or not doing things since I got here. My wonderful mentor, friend and sponsor Allene used to say, “When in doubt, do nothing.” BUT, she also added, “If it keeps coming up, look at it all again.”
I have used this formula for a long time now. I get to see that life is going to keep on, whether I want to join or not. And sometimes that means letting go of the sight of the shore much more than I want or anticipate. It is always like that.
Allene also used to talk about how much addicts like their “ruts.” They get caught in the same meetings, the same lifestyle, the same relationships, the same way of doing things, the same job, whatever. And it begins to cause pain, because it was not the thing or the way it is supposed to be. We just don’t want to let go and move past something or learn something new or change the way we think about it. I get that. No matter how painful something is, we may cling to it for dear life, and the story around it.
I get that, too. And one day, the pain is greater than the fear of letting go. We move past it, we find a new way of believing about it and a new story around it. Or we don’t and the pain spirals into that horrible place of addiction we all know so well.
Sometimes, pain can be a great building block in recovery. I opt for another choice. That is too be mindful of the things that are going on as they happen. I don’t want to work through that pain over and over again. This thing is amazing…we can recover from so many old ideas and behaviors. But, after a while, it is best to just see what we believe and learn from that.
I have these crazy moments when I get to see what I believe and shift into another realm of thinking. I don’t want to wait until I get a shovel to my head or heart. Ouch! I can recognize these things more quickly, because I have done these years of self-examination and practiced these shifts. They are not always what I want to do, but they are always what is right.