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Motivational Meditation Monday: Keep Calm and Grow On

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keep calm and growThe essence of all growth is a willingness to make a change for the better and then an unremitting willingness to shoulder whatever responsibility this entails. – As Bill Sees it, p. 115


For most of us addicts and alcoholics, when we got clean and sober we saw how raw we actually were. We felt every bit of pain and didn’t know how to express it. Most of us were unwilling to feel our feelings for so long that we were unsure how to react when we did have them. We just wanted to feel better and we wanted to feel it now.

When we use statements like, “I just want to feel better,” we have to also question, what is better? It’s all about perception, and for the addict/alcoholic, we have a disease of perception that feeds our denial. Our perception is our greatest lie. Most addicts and alcoholics who have been through “life” in sobriety will share many times that the pain they experienced helped them grow closer to their Higher Power, fellows, and ultimately grow towards being a better a person. Their experience, both inside and outside the program, has helped them live life beyond their wildest dreams. You can’t connect with someone on the kind of level we do in recovery unless you have walked in their shoes. Most of us have the "beaten" up shoes to prove it.

If we came into the rooms perfect and all-knowing, even though that in itself is a character defect, we wouldn’t need a recovery program. We wouldn't be addicts or alcoholics; the problem wouldn’t exist for us. We wouldn’t need treatment, or 12 step meetings, or even our Higher Power for that fact. The truth is that most of us blocked ourselves from growing, because our ego and pride told us we had to know everything and be perfect all the time. If we wanted to grow, we had to admit that we didn’t have all the answers. That maybe we needed to experience pain to grow, but not always, we were told there was a better way if we were willing to listen. We could take the suggestions of those who have already gone through the pain before us and we can follow a different path. The choice was ours.

There is a saying in the rooms we hear often, “When it causes you enough pain, you’ll do something about it." For many addicts and alcoholics in recovery, the pain usually has to be unbearable before we take the leap of faith into doing something radically different.  We either grow or go! The longer we practice the 12 steps and principles in our lives, the less pain we actually can stand. We react quickly and work towards growth rather than relapse. It becomes a part of who we are. If we are not growing towards a better way to live, we are moving towards our last stop before recovery. Is whatever pain worth our lives today? We think not.

Written By: Watershed Ashling

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