Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things. –Henry Ward Beecher

Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual progress.   This concept is discussed in AA literature, but it is most certainly a universal truth.  Pain is almost always what makes me stop and realize that I need a change.  It can be physical pain…  my back aches to the point that I must stop whatever physical activity I am doing.  Mental pain… everyone in my life irritates me to the point that I must stop and consider that I am the common denominator.  Emotional pain… I continue with my addictive behavior until the consequences are so painful, that I must stop and consider a new way of living.

No matter what kind of pain you are experiencing, there is an opportunity for growth, and an opportunity for learning.  There is no way I would wish for myself (or anyone else) the kind of pain that addiction brings, but I can say that I have learned a hell of a lot about myself, about the disease, and about how to deal with life on life’s terms.  And since I don’t get to choose whether or not to be an addict, I must learn to play with the cards I’ve been dealt, so I may as well learn what I can, and apply the knowledge going forward.

And now, when other kinds of pain come my way, I can recognize the potential for growth, and the potential to learn something new, even while I’m in the midst of it.

Here’s what else I’ve learned about pain:  you can try to ignore it, and hope it goes away on its own, but it does not.  In fact, ignoring pain tends to magnify it.  So, when I experience pain, I know I have a choice: deal with it now, or wait for it to get much worse.  Either way, I’m going to have to face it.

Today’s Miracle:

 Got up this morning at the usual time, but it was lighter and brighter, and it is only March 1st… spring is coming!!


Posted on March 1, 2013, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think what you say about the ignoring of pain magnifying it very wise…and quite true, in my own experiences. Turning a blind eye or trying to sweep something under the rug has been something that I tried over and over and again and got the same response – same pain, more consequences…especially when alcohol was in the mix.

    The one thing that I have come to see is that pain doesn’t have to be the touchstone for *all* spiritual growth. I agree that all pain can and does bring about growth and a stretching for us, especially if we deal with it the way that is honest and real, but many of my spiritual growth has come through positive loving ways – God’s will, usually. Doing service is a way that I grow spiritually. Working the steps and sponsoring gives me spiritual growth that isn’t often painful. And this is something that I recently came to grips with. And I see a balance here I never did see before – a yin / yang thing where all of the experiences that hove in my view are bound the grow me if I apply spiritual principles and/or actions to them that require me to get out of self. Or not, if I ignore it.

    Another, lovely and hopeful post from you – thank you so much for sharing 🙂




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