"Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final." ~ Rainer Maria RilkeI am reminded from time to time of the struggles our family has been through as we have, each in his or her own way, grappled with The Addiction and its hold on all of us.
Both hateful and insightful words have been uttered, such as, "It used to be so wonderful here, what happened," to "Yeah, you might be a good parent now but where were you ten years ago?"
True that - all of it.
Where was I? I was in the bog, in the cloud forest trying to fight off The Addiction in my mistaken belief that my Anger and self loathing could defeat it.
We all learn, we all ... get better. We all eventually keep moving and with the help of the Great Creator, The Universe, God or god, angels and signposts along our recovery pathways, assemble the counterintuitive weapons of hope, self worth and joy, not in a misguided attempt to defeat the Beast, The Addiction, but to render it powerless, useless. No longer able to syphon our energies from our hearts, bodies and souls, The Addiction slinks away, and disappears.
For many of us, having emerged long ago from the darkness of whatever hellish circumstance we allowed our children's addiction to place us, we can look back and see it. Whether we are on a hillside after recently escaping the dankness of the bog, the darkness of the rainforest or the unforgiving heat of the desert, or on the mountaintop, triumphantly looking back at numerous victories over our worst tendencies along with those times we failed and tumbled back to exactly where The Addiction wanted us, we can see it - the desolation left behind.
In our minds eye we can recall those times when we confronted The Addiction in misguided attempts to control, fix, cure. It's a scorched earth landscape, our actions having temporarily destroyed life beyond the immediate, our not so finest hours spread out from our self-centered centroid affecting our lives and the lives of everyone we hold dear, and perhaps others of whom we were not even aware. We can recall the tears, the anger, the glances that only conveyed one message: "Why?"
But like any aftermath of a destructive force, if we look carefully we can see green emerging from the destruction. Life, finds a way.
It is all part of the process, these missteps and failures. We've come out of the forest better for it, and looking back doesn't mean we beat ourselves up about the missed opportunities early on in our journey. What we have done is hard. What we will continue to do is harder. We are constantly reminded to recall what got us back to the slime and how we crawled out. We can see the saving grace that living our lives brings to our quest to become REAL. Our families, friends and even acquaintances will see the change and most importantly so will our children in various stages of their own pilgrimage.
Looking back affords us an opportunity to grieve for the lost time and energy and the hurt we placed upon those we love, while reinforcing our resolve to keep moving, to improve, to Live, Love and Laugh as a beacon for our children in the vortex with The Addiction and those bravely facing the headwinds of recovery.
Ok, that's enough looking back.
What's that up ahead? Hmmmmm.
"Remember, you have two lives. You get your second life when you realize you have only one." ~ Frank Liddy