SERENITY AFTER THE STORM
|Someone who knew what he was talking about once remarked that pain was the touchstone of all spiritual progress. How heartily we A.A.’s can agree with him. . . .|
TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp. 93-94
When on the roller coaster of emotional turmoil, I remember that growth is often painful. My evolution in the A.A. program has taught me that I must experience the inner change, however painful, that eventually guides me from selfishness to selflessness. If I am to have serenity, I must STEP my way past emotional turmoil and its subsequent hangover, and be grateful for continuing spiritual progress.
One of the misconceptions I had when I got sober was that things wouldn’t always be fine and dandy. I saw all the smiles in the rooms, heard the laughter and assumed my life would become all rainbows and butterflies. When it wasn’t, I would lash out, saying “I thought things were supposed to get better.”
Things are immensely better today, but I am also trudging along a road that I paved. I didn’t always look forward with my past actions. Today I do, but when I was out I didn’t care how my actions might affect my future. I was too wrapped up in instant gratification (imagine that). I can share my experience, strength and hope honestly with people and we can all relate to the pain our disease caused us. I still have painful situations, but through Alcoholics Anonymous, I am able to get through them and find a lesson. While more will always be revealed, the pain I feel in any situation is only temporary. It’s okay not to be okay. It’s not okay to wallow. I’ve learned to feel, to feel deeply, then to let it go. Sometimes I have to repeat. Sometimes I repeat for weeks or even a month.
Growth sometimes hurts, but we never have to feel the way we did ever again and for that I am eternally grateful.
I found this on Lissabliss’s blog and it has carried me through so many situations:
“Honor who you are in each moment. Be aware of how you feel but know that your emotions, fears, and judgments are not you. Emotions are meant to fluctuate and change. Observe them, recognize them, validate them, and then let them go. Meditation is the best tool to use to develop this process of awareness and surrendering.”