January 17

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 17: “The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.” ― Joseph Campbell

This is such a mystical kind of quote to me. I always loved the mysticism of Joseph Campbell anyway. His love of story and myth is one of my favorite things about psychology. He and Carl Yung shared these qualities. They gave a soft edge to the field and allowed for a softening around mental constructs that I find gentle and kind.

I especially love this, because it informed my life for many years, even before I got into recovery, I was a fan of the dynamics of demons that we do battle with.

Mine are consumed today. I have learned to do that. They no longer get to run my life or dictate how I respond/react to life. I am not living in the kind of fear I once did. I get to experience this more and more every day, as I make peace with all of life…its vagaries, its innuendos and its crashing into my ideas of what should and should not be…over and over again.

I love the changes I can see in my responses. I love that I am aware of these shifts in how little fight I need to put up with what IS and how I feel about it. Most often, I have lost the need to have feelings about a great deal that used to keep me awake at night.

This is a beautiful thing. I can let go and let it be. It isn’t the drama it used to be. I am so eternally grateful for that. There is a comfortable sense of rightness with the ebb and flow of life. I can allow it to just be and kind of soften myself, rather than standing in the face of it and spitting into the wind.

That is how I always pictured myself, because that is how I so often reacted to life. Armed and ready to fight everything, all the time.

It always felt so lonely and terrifying, like it was me against this gigantic world. It would make it impossible for me to even get out of bed in the morning…I felt weary and sad so much. Today is not like that. I only want to stay in bed so I can write and read longer and meditate and watch the hummingbirds outside my window. I am not madly racing about like a maniac.

But I don’t live in that kind of fear any more. This is an amazing discovery. I am not sure exactly when it happened, but it has.

Several opportunities have recently shown me this. I am so amazed and happy about it! YAY! And I am grateful that this work has been going on for a long enough time that I get these results. It did not come as quickly as I wanted, but it came! The demons have been swallowed, and they are no longer a threat. I am not in imminent danger with life, just a happy and ecstatic participant in it.

The pain was so great. And, as Mr. Campbell promised, the reply is even greater. I love this!

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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