The Evolution of Recovery Towards a Life Worth Living

There is one time you are truly given life; that is at birth.

After that, if we are lucky or blessed with amazing caregivers we learn we are lovable and taught how to love ourselves.  We are supposed to learn from this message how to make great choices that carry us through life.

What if our life throws us curve balls?  If the curve balls come early in life we are taught coping skills, true survival skills to make it out alive.  If they come later in life, coping skills can look like detachment in some way from the pain.  This can range from not really knowing what you feel to addiction or worse.

When survival becomes the goal of your life, when survival becomes a celebratory place or when you experience the emotion of relief as your end point or goal of life…there is no room for the concept of living a life that you choose to contribute to and thrive in, you are too busy surviving.

There are times when the world feels so dark, when the circumstances of life are really that bad. How do we laugh again after the death of a loved one? Or after we have been badly broken by someone close? There are definitely times where the depths of disappointment or betrayal is not explainable.

Challenge all assumptions that you make that are absolute beliefs. That you will never feel better… or have… or trust again. The hardest step to growth is confronting the self-talk. Embracing the challenges of our victim-hood can be on a difficulty scale of one to ten: 500. To walk back to life, we need to understand this step.

You are not the circumstances of your life / You are the life that rises out of your circumstances.

In our darkest moments, if we are willing to examine our thoughts and feelings truthfully, honestly, we may tend to feel our life is spiraling out of control.  You may see yourself in tremendous lack, questions arise like, “Is this all there is to life?”

The greatest danger in your life is not that you will fail or be disappointed, it is that you will stop trying and settle for what you think you deserve or what you think the universe will bring you.  Which usually, if you are depressed or feeling life has cheated you, it’s not much.

If you don’t play the hand you are dealt you don’t win or lose, you simply stare at the cards and begin to blank out.  Don’t get stuck in “safety;” You will begin to become complacent or fearful of playing your current hand.

Take what you have today and work with it, if you put your cards down, someone may reshuffle the deck.  You will never know what is possible in your life if you don’t participate in it.  Play one round, how we move from feeling not enough to I enjoy my life is breath by breath.

If you see your life as a race and you sprint you will get to the finish line, or not.  Either way, you lose the beauty you have run through to your life’s end.

Even if the beauty has stretches of brown dead grass, you miss the beauty in feeling crunchy grass under your feet. That feeling propels you to appreciate the softness of the patch that is right around the corner;  The patch that feels great, life-filled and soft.  If you are only willing to walk on the soft green grass, you have no perception or degree of appreciation for the beauty and relief you feel.  We can’t know peace without pain, we NEED contrast.

The choice is to embrace the contrast and keep walking, or rest in the comfort of a small patch of peace, when the pasture is a few steps away.

“The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity”

Think about it!

You may have great intentions, but if your intentions don’t move into action they get buried.

No one wants to see themselves as making a choice to be trapped.  “Why would I do that? I know I am good and worthy.”

“I believe I do not have a choice, I am doing the best I can with the life I have been given.”  These words are too commonly spoken and believed.

Wisdom is found in the seeking, keep moving.  There is a difference between immediate and urgent.  Self-maintenance and self-growth are very different.   Although maintaining your health is important, if you do not grow in your self-maintenance, you plateau.  The energy it takes to get over a plateau is much more life draining than the continuation of energy it takes to move slowly on your path.  Your body tells you this is true because the body’s version of a plateau, many times, can hit the immune system causing illness.

What is continually taken for granted will be eventually taken away…including your health.

Take responsibility for your walk – become aware, become connected so that you develop and are ready to receive the life you want.

Getting yourself to a place in life that feels like you are participating, enjoying and even thriving in your own life really does require self-awareness combined with action.  You need both. So the equation becomes

Self-awareness + Action = Courage

Courage + Consciousness = A life worth living

About Jean Wolfe Powers, LMFT