"The hardest thing in the world for a parent is to let our children be who they are." ~ Al Anonymous
Life can teach us things. Lives lived as parents of children who have spiraled into addiction are full of lessons. Paramount among these are the lessons of gratitude and humility. As we recover our lives and progress along our journeys, in our euphoria and emerging spiritual growth, we are reminded that these gifts from the Universe are meant as a warm blanket to be draped upon our shoulders whenever we unburden ourselves of those things we do not, CAN NOT, own. Gratitude keeps us going. Humility keeps us centered.
It can be humbling to be humbled.
Events, stumbling blocks, tests from our children who are addicted and even those who are not, challenges that seem to come out of nowhere from the Universe all remind us that though we have come so far, we have so much further to travel.
This recovery thing is a lifelong endeavor.
That's the good news. It is the glass-half-full part of the process. Recovery opens up doorways and presents to us vistas and horizons we could never have seen had we not taken the time to look deep within and witness the endless possibilities ahead.
The not so good news is that we will always be tested. We will not always pass with flying colors. We may barely squeeze by. We may fail. It is the newly acquired self awareness that allows us to even realize we are at a crossroad, that we are or have been challenged to a greater purpose, a better end.
It is all about what we do at the crossroad or with the challenge we encounter that makes the difference.
These challenges often will test our resolve, "How conceited am I to actually believe I can live a fulfilled and happy life. My son is in trouble. My daughter has relapsed. I lost it and raged out - again."
We may be tempted to abandon our journeys, to put aside projects and newly adopted life pursuits that not only benefit us, but also our family, friends and those lives we can't even imagine we have touched by our recovery.
It is important to remember we are human, we are parents who have never been given a "how to" or owner's manual.
It is important to be humble and realize we are not perfect - far from it.
I have often said that with recovery comes relapse. We've lapsed once. We'll lapse again, and again and once more, and even more. This applies to our children and to ourselves. All journeys require stumbles to achieve progress, defeats to achieve victory, bearings lost to find our way. We can remember that we're not alone in our journey. We can rely on the Universe to guide us, to redirect our misdirection.
We can only allow this if we are humble enough to say to ourselves or to someone who will truly listen to us, "I am not perfect, I need help. I cannot, once again, do this alone. Please, take this burden from me."
We can literally visualize lifting the "failure" off our shoulders. walking down that Wizard-of-Oz-like central passage way and saying, "Here, take this from me."
What a relief!
As parents, sometimes when things are going as well as they can be, it's devastating when we experience those almost inevitable and seemingly insurmountable roadblocks to our recovery.
And these roadblocks, mudslides, tree falls and flash floods traversing our sometimes uneven byways to recovery are messages from the Universe that we are strong enough to figure it out, to find a way, to continue.
We can, and we must.
"I just want to tell you [all] good luck. We're all counting on you." ~ Paraphrased from Leslie Nielsen's Dr. Rumak in Airplane