Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Being Willing

"The hard, is what makes it great." ~ Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own
I often find myself mired in negativity though I've always thought of myself as one who trends to the bright side, the glass half full, a positive soul. I've always been one of those awful morning people to the deep despair of my family, none of whom share that seemingly recessive trait.

In a way, a positive outlook has been forced upon me.

Move, or die.

The journey I traverse has spanned almost a decade, though I have only known it, felt it, experienced it for half that time. It has been a wondrous, incredible blessing that reminds me daily that this journey is a gift that keeps on giving if I persevere. There have been victories achieved, new horizons approached, talents rekindled and joys accepted.  And then, there are times when my son's addiction seems to surround, hover and attack from all sides.

Because we love our children this can weigh heavily on us. We have all experienced negativity and doubt even as we progress boldly along our pathways to recovery.

Committed as we are to our improvement, to achieving a life we had perceived as unattainable and undeserved, we cannot help but catch glimpses of our children in the distance. We see our children stumbling, failing, continuing to travel those roads fraught with danger and setbacks, switchbacks and mudslides.

It's hard, but we have to remember …
"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard everyone would do it. The hard … is what makes it great."
When I lose sight of my own journey, when I doubt the wonder of my recovery, I stumble into my own negativity. I find myself taking the negativity into the most meaningless of decisions and observations. My vision becomes clouded. My answer to everything is "No," my desires, my horizons become limited. The accomplishments and journeys of others are silly, meaningless and unsophisticated. I become judgemental, lose sight of my journey and self. I fixate on everything but my now and my possibilities.

I find myself like so many of our politicians who seem to be against everything and for nothing, This as we know leads to business as usual. We diminish ourselves and lower our expectations. We have all diverted our journeys down this road. Everything seemed fine then boom, there we are, in the ditch of negativity or sliding down that fifty degree rocky hillside.

It's like the board game Chutes and Ladders without the ladders.

When this occurs we have choices. We can continue to plummet, to be smugly stuck, or we can make an active decision to pursue a course antithetical to our current pathway of negativity.

We can simply be willing.

We can incorporate words like OK, let's do it, and why not? into our vocabulary. This may require us to force ourselves into positivity, digging our heels deep into that rocky hillside to stop the slide back to the sludge of our childrens' addictions we have worked so hard to escape.

We can be open. We can open our hearts, again, to new possibilities, directions, adventures and thoughts. Most importantly and often the hardest, we can stop fixating on others, stop the judging, stop the comparisons and concentrate on that next small step in our own journey.

We can be inclusive, considerate and welcoming.

As we embrace willingness and leave negativity behind we may begin to grow a little, or a lot. We can certainly devote a lot more time and energy to our journey when we cease concentrating on the perceived shortfalls of others.

This is not meant as an invitation to accept everything as right for us as we resume our travels. We can be vigilant to filter out The Bad in our environs and recognize our own shortcomings. We've grown, we can sift The Good from The Bad, the beneficial from the dangerous and detrimental. We can eschew negativity and now trust we can recognize the signposts leading us away from our chosen pathways.

Strangely - and this is a long, strange and wonderful trip we're on - we will find as we become willing we become more resolute in our journey.

We can commit to ourselves a solution to negativity. We can say out loud, "I'm not going down that road. I've been there and that's not the direction I'm going!" We move on, back on pathways true to ourselves. Guided by the Universe to our next victorious plateau we will see previously unimaginable vistas and possibilities.

Being willing is simply, being. A willing soul, a willing presence is the enemy of fear, prejudice, distrust and hatred. A willing heart is the enemy of Addiction. A willing spirit is an adventurous spirit nurturing us to take leaps into the unknown and confident treks down roads less often taken.

And this my friends, can make all the difference.

… keep coming back
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - |  I took the one less travelled by  |  And that has made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken