September 21

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 21: “Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose – and commit myself to – what is best for me.”― Paulo Coelho

There are more things I feel committed to today than ever before in my life.

I am committed to my health, so I maintain a good dietary regimen and exercise as much as I can. I know when I am slipping, but I am the only arbiter of my progress or lack thereof.

I am committed to my own recovery, and that of the people I work with. Because I place mine first, I will not care more for others’ wellbeing than I do my own. If there is a lack of commitment on their part, I can let them go to do it another way, with, hopefully, someone who is willing to practice on their terms. I can only provide direction in the ways that I have recovered. Anything else is more about carrying the mess, not the message.

I am committed to healing the Earth in every conceivable way I can. I pick up trash, weeds, and debris wherever I go. I use less plastic every day. I contribute all I can to animal rights organizations that I resonate with. I participate in clean up campaigns and volunteer for all kinds of work with organizations devoted to the oceans and animals of the world, along with the forestry services of both my state and country. I believe in parks and keeping them useful for those who come later. I want to believe that every child on this planet should be allowed to see the Grand Canyon and Yosemite and animals living in the wild and sequoias. It matters to me more than many other things.

I am committed to the wellbeing of those who come to me for healing their lives. This means I will join them where they are and sit with their experiences and show them how I transformed deeply painful situations and issues into joy and happiness in my life. I don’t do their work, but I will sit with them while they do. And I will always believe in the ability of the human spirit to recover and heal and thrive, no matter where they came from.

I am committed to living within the framework of a spiritual way of life. I resonate deeply with the Universe and the energy therein. I want to always walk The Good Red Road taught to me by my elders and to honor the journey of my spirit in this time and place. I love 12 step recovery and will continue, for the rest of my days to remain committed to the process of living that life.

I am deeply committed to a daily gratitude practice. Not just talking about it, but teaching it and never neglecting to participate in my own practice, no matter what. It has gone on now, daily, for over 34 years. I will go on for another 34, because the joy and peace I have within is so powerful.

There are other things I am deeply committed to. Isn’t that wonderful? I got here with only one commitment, to keep myself apart  from everything and everyone, no matter what lengths I had to go to, deeply certain that my only chance for survival was in isolation and anger and shame. What a great turn-around this has been so far!

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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