January 9

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 9: “The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.”― Joseph Campbell

I have so many friends and acquaintances who have been in pain for long periods of time. I have been in this situation a couple of times myself. My broken neck was such a time. I had so many physical demands on my body and my time and had to let them all go while I healed.

Because I have the ability and skill to do deep meditative work, I was able to move through those times without medication, something I am forever grateful for.

I have learned so much from my painful experiences. They have taught me the gratitude I have for when my body moves in ways that are not painful. And to be very disciplined about the practices of movement that keep me limber enough to walk freely and do things I was told I would never do again. I am grateful for the teachings of those who talk about this part of life being informative and its teachings. I could take advantage of the responsibility I have for doing mindful practices of diet and exercise that keep me from locking up in that kind of pain again.

There have been a couple of episodes of this kind of pain again since then. I do what I am taught and find the best practices to accommodate this situation without medical intervention such as surgery or meds. So far. I also understand that I may need to do this in the future, but so far, not.

Emotional pain has also been a great teacher. When I began to do the work that was placed in front of me 2-1/2 years ago, I made immediate changes to my routine to incorporate deeper practices that would take me through this journey without becoming a victim of the things that were being opened up for me.

I am not willing to allow my past or my today or my future to keep me from the spiritual work that I have done thus far, nor to be a hurdle to greater spiritual experiences. I do not believe I would ever ask the Universal Power to remove pain from my life. It has been such a tremendous teacher. I am grateful that I have learned to let it teach me, again and again.

The acceptance that there is a great deal I can learn from my crazy life experiences is the biggest gift of recovery for me, so far. The greatest gift. The gratitude that I practice around this gift is the next greatest. They have transformed my whiney ass into a productive and powerful advocate of sitting still with ALL of it. There is no other way to get HERE than to go THERE. And I have been THERE, trust me. It is not by osmosis or the reading of a few great books that I have achieved this space in life. It is because the pain has been HERE, with me, in me, and FOR me. When I let go of the battles I waged against the pain, I am free of the idea that it should be any other way. Instead of “why me?” I am okay with accepting that this is my road and I am not some put-upon step-child of a tyrant Power any more, no victims, just grateful recipients of Grace and love and lessons. Which is truly why I am here.

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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