The best teachers are the ones who allow you to discover the truth for yourself. The best gurus lead you to water and stand back while you get to choose if you are going to take the satisfactory drink or not, without influencing you one way or the other. The best pastors are the ones who lead with compassion rather than trying to mold a congregation into a single-minded group of followers. Now that I am an adult separate from the influences of other people, and standing on my own two feet without a chain linking me to someone else’s beliefs and ideas, I am able to walk in the way of my own understanding. There was a lot of fear surrounding my addiction, so I went to treatment to learn how to remain sober. Once I got myself sober, I continued walking through my fears because this was the only way I was going to be liberated in my life. Of course to stay sober, you have to follow certain guidelines and get support and be honest. There is a program of recovery suggested to follow, and I surrendered to it all because I was at a place where I needed help.
In treatment I was mercilessly stripped down to the bare nothings in who I thought I was, and all of my beliefs, ideas, opinions, childhood conditionings, and my speculations about life were demolished. Even my spirituality was questioned to the point of me letting it go for a time. And for me, this was brutal. Because I was so willing to remain sober, I let the spiritual aspect of my life go and spent several months in complete rawness of myself and world around me, without any thought toward God or ideas about how the universe works. For those of you who follow my blog, you know this must have been a time of desolation for me. To some degree it was, but I trusted that it was part of me remaining sober. If I had to spend the rest of my life in one-dimensional reality to remain sober, I was willing. At the time, I was surrounded by peers who kept me in the raw world, and this was good for me. This built me a very strong foundation in my recovery because I wasn’t lost in a realm other than the one that was occurring right before my eyes.
As time went on, I felt much more confident about who I was and in my recovery. After questioning everything about myself, I began to understand exactly who I was. I was noticing for myself, that there was no room for exploration in the one-dimensional kind of thinking. I began to question how people thought about things, and how their reality reflected that kind of thought process. For example, in my group of people there was one particular person who was afraid to spend money because they believed it was irresponsible at their age to do anything but save money. This person worked two grueling jobs and never did anything except for save money and work. In the years that I spent observing this person, nothing changed for them, and honestly, they seemed quite unhappy. In other situations, people had ideas about how being successful meant working hard, so they spent their life working themselves to exhaustion, and they were never happy. There was a person who had a very negative view on life, and life kept throwing them lemons. Then there were a few people who didn’t think they could afford a place to live in the city we were in, so they limited themselves to looking in the seedy areas outside of the city, believing that this is all they had as an option. I’ve been pretty “poor” my whole life and I’ve never lived in a seedy area because I’ve always trusted that I could find something nice in my price range. I always have, so after a time of observing how people’s ideas and thoughts reflected their reality, I decided it was time to go out on my own limb.
Fear came up for me a lot, but I decided to be aware of it instead of buying into it. I made a clear path of what I wanted for my life and began following that path. Everything that did not enhance or harmonize with the vision I had for myself, got tossed aside in my thoughts and in my reality. If someone in my world was pulling me in another direction, I let them go. If a job came up that took me away from that path, I didn’t take the job. When there were choices to make and I was confused, I sat quietly with myself and allowed things to pan out for themselves with my eye focused on the reality I wanted to create for myself. This has been my path for about two years now, and not only am I still sober, but I am incredibly happy and fulfilled. I’m closer to my dreams than I ever have been, and I continuously get confirmations from the universe (i.e. coincidences) that tell me I’m being supported along the way.
As a young girl, I thought about things deeper than a lot of people I knew. Because of this, I didn’t fit in, so I molded myself around other people’s thoughts and ideas about life so that I could be “part of.” This obviously did not work for me. Instead of trust my own inner compass, I disregarded myself and became someone who was acceptable to others. I think we all do this to some degree. Recovery has brought me back to myself – back to that child who is a deep thinker. I do not reject her anymore. I simply found a place to live near like-minded people. At a young age, I did not know I was an artist. In fact, I didn’t consider myself an artist until a few years ago. Now I know why I think differently than a lot of people. Artists have an abstract view of life. I’m following my own understanding of life now, and things are unfolding for me like never before. I question everything and don’t limit myself to believing life is one way. There are endless possibilities, but it all begins and ends with the way we think, the way we observe and how we perceive our surroundings.
I don’t believe the way I think is “right.” I simply feel that we can think anyway we want, and that our reality will unfold for us in that mindset. If you want greater things in life, then you must think bigger. If you buy into fear, then you will never know freedom. Your reality is a reflection of your way of thinking, so allow yourself to explore and discover what the world has to offer. Be a dreamer and follow that path. This is a universe of abundance, of love, of grace and of harmony. If you think it otherwise, you will discover otherwise. If you think you don’t deserve certain things, then you are closing yourself off from receiving. It is a playful reality we live in, which is why I have decided to play and to explore, rather than buy into one mindset. Recovery doesn’t have to be a strict path we follow. If we follow certain principles, like being honest, we can learn to dance freely in our sobriety. We are not limited in our lives simply because we cannot drink or use drugs. Recovery is a gift of life – it brings us back to ourselves – to the one we left behind when we were uncomfortable in our own skin. It is a liberating state of being. Don’t just buy into what people tell you – question it. Question the ground you walk upon. Question your fears, your ideas, your beliefs. Question religion and keep questioning. This will lead you to amazing discoveries, and I promise you life will never be boring again. I think that was what got to me the most when I thought about sobriety. I thought it would be boring. Well, it isn’t. Especially when you are living life as an explorer, rather than a limited thinker. Have fun today (and tomorrow and for eternity)! Think beyond your ideas about life, and life will gladly allow you to walk in it’s vastness.