November 9

GRATITUDE MONTH: DAY 9: “I felt acutely grateful to everyone, everywhere, who does their best by giving what they have to give, no matter what issues they are facing in their own lives.” ― Donna Goddard

We are all in this thing together. I love the people in my life, some of them have been there for a long time, some are newer to my world. We all exchange whatever it is we are here to teach one-another. I love that.

I am just as grateful to those who taught me in abusive, ugly and painful ways as to those who taught me in kind and loving ways. There is no difference in the lessons, they are all a part of my journey. Of course, the ones who teach us the most are those who stay with us for a long, long time. These are usually family and friends who have great impact in our early years of life.

This is when we get to really formulate our personal stuff. The stuff that we still carry with us today. It is important, and it is certainly formative. We may discount or hate its impact on us, but it is all part of the journey we came here to live out. And those people were chosen to do exactly what it is that they did in our lives for our own best growth and development on this spiritual path.

They, too, are living out their journey, along with us. It may not look like we think it should; and is probably very dysfunctional, but that is the truth for each of us. No one gets to have a truly healthy relationship with anyone in this culture at this time. We are all here to grow through those experiences and learn to lighten our hearts and minds around it all.

This gives me a great deal of comfort. It also brings me peace when all I could do was react against it for so many years. I acted like an idiot because of all the abuse and violence. That did no good for me or for them or anyone else. It just kept the cycle of crazy going. Today, I get to own my part in it all and be in total acceptance and gratitude that I can step out of they cycle whenever I want. Oh!

We are all just here, walking each other home. We have all been broken and bent by the world in which we are living. What we do with that is the measure of our spiritual progress. How we help each other heal is equally impactful and important.

My greatest teachers are those who were the most instrumental in my broken-ness. They gave me lessons in resilience, strength, healing and learning to stand up for myself and how to walk away. Without their part in my life, I would not be anything like the woman I have become. I would have little or no compassion for suffering, no understanding of abuse or healing, and none of the spiritual life I so thoroughly enjoy today. They were all being the best people they knew how to be under all circumstances present at the time. There were many stories of broken-ness and abuse that they carried within them as well. This is the cycle we are all caught in.

How wonderful it is to be able to work through these times and get to another level of healing and love and compassion. All I had to do was drink and drug myself half (or more!) to death and violate all manner of laws, both civic and moral, to become the woman I am today. There is nothing but grace in that story. Love and grace, healing and recovery are the most amazing way of life. And, I am grateful for every second of every hour of every day spent getting here and being here…what a tremendous gift it all is!

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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