July 9

PATIENCE MONTH: DAY 9: “… you know that soft is stronger than hard, water stronger than rocks, love stronger than force.” ― Hermann Hesse

I think of the Grand Canyon when I read this, or the amazing and beautiful canyons of Utah. These are all products of water wearing away and eroding in beautiful patterns.

And Love…look at that! We love people in recovery…when we let go of our demands on them and just love them, they can succeed in recovering from these dread diseases. Love is the only medicine that heals the human spirit.

We have myriad drugs to use, but the only thing that truly mends the heart and psyche is love. We see it every day. We wish each other well and pray that we will all get through another 24 hours sober and clean. It matters. The fellowship fails when we give conditions to others and judge them because their path does not look like ours.

What is so ironic about this is the absolute certainty we ALL have that we are different from the rest. Hahaha! And then we want others to conform to OUR way of doing this thing. I know for sure that there are a few things that cannot be forced, but only earned through love and kindness.

The first is a seedling. I cannot force a seed to produce a flower or a plant. When I treat it with love and kindness, however, it will produce magnificently. I have proven this to myself time after time.

Anything having to do with human interaction is the same. We cannot force someone to love us or even to respect us. That has to be the product of love and kindness given to them.

I must be the originator of the respect and love I wish to receive from others. If I don’t give them to myself, I cannot give them to others, nor can they give me those things in ways that matter for me. I have to get love and respect from myself before anyone else will recognize that I am worthy. The rest is just manipulation.

We can unconditionally accept those new members who do not know these things yet. I found that when I got here. Your belief that I, too, could recover became MY belief. We give each other that kind of respect. A safe cocoon where we can heal and then emerge, ready to fly!

I love the feeling I get when a new member is loved by the group, without trying to own or coerce them in any way. Sometimes, people swoop in to rescue them. That is always sad to me, because they need to find that path for themselves. But, I do know that the Universe has ways of allowing all of that to unfold in its perfect ways.

Patience is the biggest key for working with others. We must ALLOW them the dignity of their process. It will never work to try and force anyone to do what they are not willing to do. And, I have learned, I am not going to work with them if they are not willing. But, as the book says, we “move on” to be of service to the next willing person. This is always my experience.

Softening into patience…

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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