Life is so full of twists and turns, un-anticipated obstacles and those we can see ahead. There are challenges and there are joys, there are falls and there are opportunities that can lift us up and/or we lift ourselves up. What is it about this process though that can become so un-welcomed, even feared? Why is this process often perceived to be a burden? I admittedly have tired of having to pick myself up again and again. I have resented the fact that sometimes it has taken a lot of hard work to keep my head above water. Yet that's where it is, that is just the way it is - now what? It's that work within the twists and turns that lifts me higher, and higher, and empowers me to know how to do it during the next challenge. That work brings a sense of freedom, capability, an opportunity to gain wisdom, and experience that serves not just me but others too. That has a lot of value! And truth be told I was never promised that life would not have twists and turns, obstacles and challenges. I have been told though that life will have joys, and that in order to receive joy I must be open to it, seek joy, appreciate it and create some joy too.
In the world of addiction, times of joy can be very fleeting or perceived to be non-existent. We hear often that many are waiting for the next shoe to drop, the next relapse, unable to trust a loved one, unable to stop the worry, unable to get off the roller coaster. And this is how joy becomes a far distant concept ... Not only distant, but unattainable. Oh can you feel the stress of that? We anticipate not the good, but the ongoing pain of the past and project it right into the future ... and we follow this imagined future. However the problem is that we are in the present day and our souls know this. And that's why it feels so uncomfortable. Any day really is the only day truly available to us, and the discomfort of imagining a scary future is the signal that we're going where we really don't belong. We belong to this day with all its twists and turns, some we choose and some we don't, some we can control and many we can not. In my experience, I do know that playing the role of god and foretelling a painful future has brought me nothing but pain. As I move into anticipated fear, I am the creator of this pain. Good to know! Because if I am the creator of that pain, I can also be the creator of joy!
My beloved cat Max is so sick. He is 15 and has been my buddy all this time. Despite medication and care, his little body is weakening. I have often scared myself anticipating his continued deterioration, his death and all the pain I'm going to feel when that happens. When I accept the way of this, its natural process and my own process however that looks (and sometimes it doesn't look so pretty!), I can honor the grief. I also notice that this anticipation of pain disallows me from appreciating his life right here and right now! There are undoubtedly twists and turns of life, challenges, obstacles and things that we may wish wouldn't be happening. But, when I stop fearing it all and stop insisting it all go away or go my way in my time, I take care of the moments of grief and remember the moments of joy and create some too. I brush my dear Max, pet him, coo at him, speak with him, give him treats, refresh his water, look in his eyes, I appreciate that right now he is living, and so am I. I am living love. The love replaces the fear. And so it goes. It is a process of deliberate choice and application. But to stay in fear is a disservice to us both. It is a disservice to life today, to love today and to love eternal.
How important is it then that replacing our fears with love and coming back into this day gets done, and done for and with our loved ones who suffer? For if they do not know how to do this for themselves, we can do it and create a space to love them as they are. This kind of love will naturally uplift us because our truest nature is love - to be it, share it, to give it away ... not to get it back, just to give it, to be love itself. I have thought it is the experience of God through us, the experience of God within us to embody this kind of love. And sometimes it is going to take the deliberate choice and work to get to that place of unconditional love - a love without conditions, even the conditions of insanity. Who would I be without all those stories of the future? Right here, right now, a heart full of love, being love itself. I would see that each of us is this love despite the twists and turns, and because of them. Feel the love that you are, feel it lift your heart and send it out to the other hearts of love that may have forgotten who they are too. Re-Member, Re-Connect to Love (with you and with them). Drugs don't win here. Love does!
From my heart to yours, may there be peace ... and joy,
Weeds or Wishes ?