“Every new day is a chance to change your life” – Unknown
Most of us are impelled to better ourselves; to become what God would have us be. As we look back over our lives, we learn to trust the process of change that shapes our lives. We make peace with the fact that life is ever changing and despite outward appearances, always improving.
Over the years, I have noticed this progression in myself and I have seen it in others. First, our behavior, our circumstance, our situation calls for some adjustment and attention. The stages between that realization and the time we take action to change can take hours, days, weeks, or even years to transpire. Some of us proceed willing and others resist every step of the way.
Change often begins as a passing thought that lingers a little longer than the rest. A whisper of possibility calls from necessity, yet it at times it enters disguised as a choice. ”Maybe I’ll ….” surfaces fleetingly at first. A voice so soft we consider dismissing it.
Over time the frequency of thoughts and desires for change increase. The voice becomes louder and stronger. “Maybe I’ll . . .’ turns into “I guess I’d better . . .’.
We may not have the initiative to make changes when we first feel the stirrings within us.
We may try to convince ourselves we can endure a little longer, settle a little more, train ourselves to accept the unacceptable.
If we fail to take action, the pressure mounts. That inner voice calls with more force. A level of discomfort and even pain persists. Our response may sound more like, “I don’t really know what to do, but surely I must do something.”
Finally we acknowledge the urgency of the issue we are facing and the real necessity to change in order to get relief. Yes, we admit we have a problem and become open to what may take work better. Surrender opens large doors.
In terms of addiction the actions we take are critical. To replace our addictive behaviors with sobriety takes consistent effort and much support. It takes willingness to adjust to some measure of discomfort for the old must die to herald the new. We need commitment and faith.
The transition into recovery from chemical dependency is a major life change. No doubt it’s near the top of the charts in terms of the magnitude of shifts. In the 12 step program of recovery, the spirituality is the keel which steadies the ship as we navigate our lives.
At first the risk of returning to our unwanted behavior looms large in the background. The threat of relapse is ever present. Fortunately, at some point the threat is reduced.The promise of long term and contented sobriety happens if we do what is required of us.
We find over time our response to a personal crisis does not include entertaining a return to substance abuse for relief. We have a support system in place and resources available to help us maintain sobriety. We have a program of recovery to apply to our lives and recovery tools at our disposal.
Our belief in a Higher Power helps us to grow into the magnificent beings we are destined to be. We realize a Benevolent Universe wants our highest and best.
Our lesson is reinforced. Yes, we are safe and realize we are better off than before.