Before recovery, my relationships were lousy. I didn’t do very well on my job. I was enmeshed in my dysfunctional family. But at least I knew what to expect!
I want the second half of my life to be as good as the first half was miserable. Sometimes, I’m afraid it won’t be. Sometimes, I’m frightened it might be.
The good stuff can scare us. Change, even good change, can be frightening. In some ways, good changes can be more frightening than the hard times.
The past, particularly before recovery, may have become comfortably familiar. We knew what to expect in our relationships. They were predictable. They were repeats of the same pattern—the same behaviors, the same pain, over and over again. They may not have been what we wanted, but we knew what was going to happen.
This is not so when we change patterns and begin recovering.
We may have been fairly good at predicting events in most areas of our life. Relationships would be painful. We’d be deprived.
Each year would be almost a repeat of the last. Sometimes it got a little worse, sometimes a little better, but the change wasn’t drastic. Not until the moment when we began recovery.
Then things changed. And the further we progress in this miraculous program, the more we and our circumstances change. We begin to explore uncharted territory.
Things get good. They do get better all the time. We begin to become successful in love, in work, in life. One day at a time, the good stuff begins to happen and the misery dissipates.
We no longer want to be a victim of life. We’ve learned to avoid unnecessary crisis and trauma.
Life gets good.
“How do I handle the good stuff?” asked one woman. “It’s harder and more foreign than the pain and tragedy.”
“The same way we handled the difficult and the painful experiences” I replied. “One day at a time.”
Today, God, help me let go of my need to be in pain and crisis. Help me move as swiftly as possible through sad feelings and problems. Help me find my base and balance in peace, joy, and gratitude. Help me work as hard at accepting what’s good as I have worked in the past at accepting the painful and the difficult.
From the book: The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series
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