Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Healthy Discomfort

"Healthy discomfort is the prelude to progress." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
All parents' lives at certain times seem like a series of alerts. These alerts may manifest as positive or negative although by strict definition and connotation the word alert brings to mind the dire, dreaded and undesirable. Whether our child is an addict, recovering addict or a budding Fulbright scholar, alerts, good and bad, are a part of life for all parents.

As parents of addicts and even recovering addicts we can fall into the trap of fixating on the negative alerts that can monopolize our lives.

If we separate the spurious alerts from those sent by the Universe as signposts on our journey life can become more manageable and complete. When we become mired with The Addiction and our children in the Theater of Certain Future Events, or find ourselves sitting in the boardroom of the Committee of Gloom we can fire the little bastard projectionist and dismiss the Board.

We can choose to ignore the fraudulent and concentrate on the Real, what is truly happening with ourselves, our children and our forever-joined lives.

Life's real discomforts are not meant to be ignored. Just as a muscle pull may prompt us to take time away from exercise to heal and recover we cannot ignore the discomforts sent our way by The Addiction and our children's ongoing hand-in-hand stroll with their counterpart. All discomforts, some more painful than others - some excruciatingly so - become doorways to new horizons for parents of children who have succumbed to the disease of addiction.

We can be doubled over, even felled - seemingly cut off at the knees. Then we realize we're still here, alive. The Addiction no longer has the power to to permanently take us down.

We're still standing. And we're stronger.

These discomforts, the authentic alerts manifesting through the Real, our children's negativity, the pills and paraphernalia left out in plain sight signal that things aren't going quite right - a deeper dive, a relapse out of recovery. The Real discomforts no longer originate in our deepest imaginations. These are our children we are witnessing as they stumble down diversionary pathways.

No longer inclined to follow them through the hedgerows, we have no other option but to look beyond to learn and see the next horizon the Universe has presented for us to explore. We feel a change, we grow and move on. We progress along our journey.

There is no predetermined outcome from any discomfort we feel, no correlative cause and effect from any particular set of observations. And that is the beauty of our journey. Each discomfort, every alert brings with it infinite possibilities for parents of addicts and the recovering.

The formula remains the same however.

The alert comes, we feel the love we have for our children and the pain of their stumble, then look for the possibilities:
The temptation is to become comfortable with the discomfort, to live with it, to believe remaining mired in the discomfort is what we are to expect for our lives.

This is old thinking.

When we realize this we know we are becoming self aware and actualized. We are now listening to our truest selves. It is a voice worth listening to.

Healthy discomforts are portals to possibilities of new venues and adventures our Great Creator wanted all along for us to witness.

And we can take comfort in this.

... keep coming back
"Life does not accommodate you. It shatters you. Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition." ~ Florida Scott-Maxwell

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Have Faith - It IS Always Darkest Before The Dawn

"Remember that the darkest hour of all is the hour before the day." ~ Irish Proverb, Songs and Ballads, Samuel Lover, 1858
It's one of those maddeningly counterintuitive aspects of our recovery. When we feel uncomfortable, when our lives seem to be unravelling as a result of something our children's disease has brought them to, something GOOD is looming just over the horizon.

The GOOD is there if we are willing to SEEK out joy, beauty, happiness and sunshine in the midst of seemingly insurmountable roadblocks and detours placed in our pathways by The Addiction.

How do we carry on? Why do we persevere as our children slide deeper into addiction's mire? We do this because we have learned, and have begun to TRUST this journey we have embarked upon is ours, not our children's. We understand that there are aspects of our lives that are a mystery because they are evolving each day. Events take place around us, the BAD and the GOOD, beyond our control. There is a force at work here bigger than any and all of us.

This is pretty heady stuff!

This stuff, is the Universe' plans for us. This is why we continue on. We know the dark clouds do not follow us forever. There are blue skies beyond that hill or hedgerow, the seemingly impenetrable mangrove or never-ending cloud forest. We have faith. We must. There is something at play here, a Power able to work miracles in our lives.
miracle (n): 1) an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs; 2) an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing or accomplishment ~ Merriam Webster 

When we TRUST in a benevolent Universe, Great Spirit, God or god, who, which can take our burdens from our shoulders and allow us to continue on our journeys we can again find that pathway to the light. We can begin to live our lives to the fullest even when our children are stumbling over disease-induced roadblocks. We cannot remove the barriers to our children's recovery. We are no longer immersed in their dramas. We no longer travel with them, we have our own marvelous and often perilous expeditions to navigate. Still, they see us striving as we also bear witness to their victories and failures.

Remember, we are two souls, travelers side by side yet on different pathways, theirs no less heroic than ours.

We must truly believe this. Our sons and daughters can be witness to our metamorphosis. The change is so dramatic one would have to be blind not to see it, yet while The Addiction is there it casts an opaque veil of distrust and anger upon our children. They become sightless to anything beyond the next high.

But this veil won't remain forever. This we must also believe.

It's through our example, not our admonitions or attempts to control this veil can be lifted. And it is often when we least expect the change when our sons and daughters might just emerge. By soldiering along our journey pathways our hearts might have softened enough to see a glimmer of our children's souls peeking through the mist. If we have seen our share of the magnificence the world offers us, if we have begun to live the lives our Great Creator meant for for us to live, no matter what has transpired to sidetrack us or cause us to incorrectly blame ourselves or our children for the disease that afflicts them, we WILL see at some point our babies reaching out for their chance at change and recovery!

We will be ready for this emergence if we simply continue the journey even when all seems lost and hopeless. We never know when we will be called upon to embrace our children even if just for a moment. Every moment is precious. Every moment is a celestial gift.

To paraphrase Tom Hanks' Chuck Noland character in Castaway, "So now, we know what we have to do. We need to keep breathing, seeking, striving and thriving. Because tomorrow the sun WILL rise. Who knows what (or who) The Universe will bring our way?"

... keep coming back

"Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach