March 4

HOPE MONTH: DAY 4: “The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life.” ― Mandy Hale

So many events in my life since recovery have been spontaneous. There were quite a few of them before recovery, but I often trashed the outcomes with my addiction.

Today I have many varied experiences where I jumped off cliffs with faith and had amazing results from the events, because I did not try to shift the outcomes.

This is my life. I am always surprised by some of the sudden turns it takes, but I really love being the recipient of surprises. That was probably the hardest thing to learn…to live with surprises.

Being the person, I am with the history I have, it is hard for me not to control for all possible outcomes. I used to pray that I would get a FAX (I know, dated!) each morning telling me what kind of shoes to wear. Because that never happened, I learned to always have some hiking shoes and flip flops in the car, so I could do whatever popped up.

Most of you know that I love to wear big heels, so this is a practical way to travel. I cannot tell you how many times I tried to do grocery shopping in 4-inch heels and nearly killed myself on the slick floors of the market. Or had a car emergency and had to walk in those things. Usually, it cost a pair of hose or tights when I would just take the shoes off and go barefoot.

So, I have learned to pray for the ability to accept the surprises of life with grace and joy. That is not my default setting, but it has been a long time since I didn’t do it that way.

None of us wants to be cranky and grouchy all the time, and we all have seen how unattractive that is. I have so many great examples of those who do not understand that going with the flow ensures greater peace and happiness. They are grouchy and bitter all the time.

I know this is the way my mind instantly reacts to a shift in my plans, but I work at this acceptance of grace as I have learned the value of what comes into life when I do so.

Just when I finish digging a new garden bed and planting it, I may be given the opportunity to get a dog in my yard to play with (!) or decide to move (!) or some other change comes along that means I have to let go of the outcome of those actions. I have planted an entire season’s crop and been surprised (oh joy!) with a late-season snow. That one used to happen a lot, until I moved to the beach! No snow here, thank goodness!

But life is always amazingly full of surprises. To NOT be prepared and dressed properly for them is okay…to destroy them with a bitchy attitude is what creates unhappiness and bitterness. I have been there and done that. Today I want to be joyful and happy…mostly, I AM!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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