Facing the new and the uncomfortable can be hard and terrifying work! This life in recovery has so many blessings and rewards, but it’s not always easy to walk the path in front of you in order to reach deeper understanding and more beautiful moments of growth in life. We must move through the hard and uncomfortable, knowing it is temporary, to keep growing spiritually and enjoy the blessings that await.
I made a goal this summer to face some of that hard stuff and get to know myself again. Being newly divorced and with kids who are basically self-sufficient, I was finding myself isolating a bit and confused as to what the heck I should be doing now? For the last 2 decades I have either been Mom, wife and employee or dark in the throes of my addiction to alcohol that I completely lost sight of who I was. Aside from these labels, I had to ask myself, what do you like to do? What makes your soul sing? What is out there in this world that drives you to a place of peace, contentment and joy? What excites you? I can’t lie, I really didn’t have an answer! I love being a Mom and working in the Womens center at the Retreat, they fulfill me in the hours that I am occupied by them in a way that cannot be measured. However, there is more to living and being than parenting and working. I found myself off balance and a little discontented. I didn’t know how to hang out with just myself and practice healthy self-care. I wasn’t sure who I was outside of my responsibilities to my kids and my career. But more than that, I had this unrelenting and nagging heart’s desire to enjoy this world and my time in it, but I didn’t know how. I had lost track of the adventure of life!
So, I started chasing waterfalls! I made a conscious decision at the beginning of this summer to be brave and step out of my comfort zone and adventure alone. That being said, I must mention that in recovery, for me, the most important aspect of accountability and support is my community and the wonderful people I share my journey with on a daily basis. I DO NOT do this road of sobriety alone! This adventuring alone was not meant to replace my sober community, instead it was meant to enhance to the fullness of my life.
So I set off on that first attempt on my own for a day trip to a waterfall. I cried for the first hour. I sent a text to both my sisters and they cheered me on. I forced myself to not turn around. I was so uncomfortable. But I knew deep in my soul, that if I was going to gain a new knowledge of myself and experience my days, I was going to have to press through the pain and uncomfortable and make a go of it. So with a prayer to my higher power for a blessed day and an ounce of courage, I turned the radio volume up and cranked down the window and forged ahead. And I had the best day! Step 1 down, the next time would be a bit easier. That first trip was one of 10 that I took this summer. The last one being an overnight up on the North Shore, in a small canoer cabin, without running water. Each trip out a little easier and definitely more daring and more fun. The hiking, sunshine and rushing water had me embracing my relationship with my higher power in a deeper and richer way. Each time spent with myself, I healed from the pains I was carrying and got to know and love myself more. It was life changing. Something this simple, a decision made to venture through the muck, resulted in a re-discovery of myself and all this life has to offer. I can’t wait for the next chapter of adventure!!
The point is not to necessarily encourage you to go view waterfalls, although it is great fun and I do highly recommend! But rather to encourage you to press through the uncomfortable in your life, forge through the hurts you are carrying, take some baby steps and try and try again. Risk doing something new and different. Explore your spirit with strength and bravery. Have faith in your Higher Power to be the one to guide and heal. Because eventually, the wounds do begin to heal, the confusion turns to insight and the light begins to shine through. But the best part, is that in the process, you find the greatest gift of all. A new found love and respect for yourself and a life of being authentic and full of joy. Whatever it is that is tripping you up, whatever roadblock lies in front of you, no matter how scary or uncomfortable it is, press through the pain and fear. There is no pain or fear that is permanent if you face it head on! Learn and grow from it. Get to know yourself more and more and soon, you will see, the beauty that has always lied within. The beauty of you!