Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mastering the Art of Recovery

“You can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.”  
~Anne Lamott  
There are many thoughts that come to people’s minds at the notion of ‘recovery’. There’s the day-to-day recovery of fatigue completed by sleep, recovery from injury, and even recovery for fatigue of the mind, heart, soul, and spirit.
But what’s in the frame is perhaps the most obvious form of recovery. We all have things we need to recover from: an addiction, a dependency, our grief; any bad land of the soul that, with resilience, we can push truthfully past, and enter new life.
Everyone who’s successfully recovered from anything, or, perhaps more aptly put, are successfully in recovery from, know that from within them there is mastery for having successfully endured the pain required of recovery. New life they’ve tasted.
That Necessary Pain
Nothing worthwhile in this life is enjoyed without the pain implicit of the work needed to be done. Whilst that might be a sad fact for so many, it proves inspirational to any who push on past their present difficulty and find eventual new life.
There is no new life that is not significant.
But to get through to that significance, the vestiges of life we have a vision for, for we may often feel ‘life must be better than this’, the necessary pain of early recovery, of getting used to how things need to be, is the work to be done. Nobody likes this work. Nobody wants to be shackled to an agenda not their own. Nobody enjoys having to relinquish their control; surrendering it to their Higher Power.
The most poignant of all our pain is the characterisation of the emotions. Early recovery is the emotional turmoil of hell on earth. But this emotional turmoil is an important touchstone if we can have a steadiness within us to just hold it. That doesn’t seem much, but holding our emotions, and being real within them, is a tremendous achievement for anyone.
The Significance In New Life
There is no new life that is not significant. Having endured the relative torture in doing the work of recovery, especially in the early going, as we trudge in faith, holding our emotion world together as much as possible, owning it, we enjoy later highlights of confidence. We are doing this thing!
That is the new life; doing this new thing.
In leading a life beyond the entrapment of the former thing, we redeem a vast quantity of personal control. We feel God’s blessing resting upon us. We feel literally reborn.
To master the art of recovery we necessarily need to continually practice it; to work toward becoming recovered, which in some cases may never actually occur. Sometimes there is just more work. But that is okay, for recovery is a million times better than the old life.
We cannot truly be said to have recovered unless we stay recovered.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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