I can’t say enough about the inspiration coming from Tama Kieves. She’s not a leader in the recovery movement (her partner is in long-term recovery, however) but she IS a leader in the movement of being who we truly are and all we can be. And the journey she is describing here applies so beautifully and directly to our recovery journey:
“It’s a strength to be undoing that which no longer works for you. Undoing is progress, not mayhem.”
The artist Pablo Picasso wrote,
‘Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.’
And the philosopher Nietzsche said,
‘You must become a chaos before giving birth to a shining star.’
These are not poetic elaborations. They are descriptions of how a metamorphosis works. First, things fall apart before they come together. Your next expression wants to be born. You’re uncovering a new way to breathe and feel safe in the world, even though you can’t imagine it. Change may wear a wolf suit. Still, don’t be fooled. It’s wild, abundant magic comes knocking on your door. I know this isn’t easy to do. But you can take the fun bus or the misery bus because either way, you’re going for a ride. If you want to thrive, this is your practice: Let go of how you think things should go right now. Taste the possibility that something wise and beautiful is taking place. It is.
As someone who has been hanging around recovery circles for some time now, I can say for sure that many of us, MOST of us, doubt our own process when it’s a tough slog. We think everyone else is getting it, everyone else is far up the road and we’re the only ones standing (or kneeling) in the dust. We even start to believe that we just can’t get there, it’s too hard or we’re too weak or too worn down or too miserable or too something or too little. It’s just all too much.
What we can’t see from that place of discouragement is the sacred ground we’re standing on, even then. Ground that has been hallowed by so many tears and so much struggling and so many start-overs. Ground that is far more well-worn that we can even imagine. But that’s not all we can’t see. We can’t see all the invisible folks struggling right there beside us, stumbling and getting back up, learning, growing, as Tama says: Falling apart and then coming together.
That’s what I love about this community. Those with years of solid sobriety who have achieved such a joyful sense of freedom from addiction are out here, willing to share their own struggles and the resources and strategies that helped them. Some had to start over and over and over for years, but they never gave up. We also have souls who are currently in that struggle stage but are brave enough to step into the light of day and openly share the messy stuff when they are drowning in darkness and discouragement. They have no idea what a gift that is to those who are hiding in the shadows, too ashamed to share what’s really going on until someone opens up that space and then they chime in, “Me too! I thought I was the only one.” We also have friends who are close to us on the recovery path, keeping a similar pace, cheering each other on, but also taking turns picking each other up and dusting each other off. As Tama said, we are there to remind each other at those times “that something wise and beautiful is taking place.” Because it is.
Just for today, let’s level the playing field and say that everyone is Sober Since Right Now. Let’s do the zen of sobriety, no past and no future. Just this fresh and beautiful day of being open-hearted and clear-headed. The Sobriety Bus is fueled up and headed for your door with the greatest bunch of traveling companions you could possibly meet anywhere on the planet.
Holler a big YES! if you plan on joining us!
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“I must go forward where I have never been instead of backwards where I have”.
Winnie the Pooh