September 12

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 12: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ― Viktor E. Frankl

I love Viktor Frankl…what an incredible human he was. I have read all of his writings so many times, he is an old friend to me.

When we get the freedom of having fully incorporated these steps into a way of life, we get that kind of freedom where we can choose all of our responses differently. No one will hold the key to our responses; you know, like when we react continuously to the same things, based on our early conditioning and beliefs?

It takes real guts to work these steps at that level. It will not be the story for most people, who are lazy and satisfied to do everything half-assed. I only know one or two folks who do this like I do. I love that they exist because we can share this journey fully with one-another.

I believe we get to the point where reaction happens less and less often. We may feel the old ideas kick in, but we don’t do what we used to do. We can walk away or get quiet instead of jumping down someone’s throat or fighting back, trigger happy, as it were.

I don’t want to continue to say that I am making amends when nothing has truly changed. That is just a lie I tell me and you and the world. If I haven’t changed it, then it is not amended. That is all it means. I cannot apologize, over and over and over again, for the same shit and keep going.

No recovery in that, and certainly no freedom in that, for anyone.

We are all human, with a ton of old conditioning and ideas. We may have a feeling when something happens, but we don’t have to react to it. Being responsible (the ability to respond) means that I have learned how to calmly say what I need to say, no yelling or emotional outbursts needed, thank you very much. I can respond to anything. I may or may not state my feelings. I may just walk away. It depends on the person and the situation, but I do not get to react any longer. It tells people I am still that same asshole, only without alcohol or drugs. Not recovery lifestyle at all.

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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