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.
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 12 step program, AA, Addiction, Alcoholism, Chronic pain, Conditions and Diseases, God, Health, Henry Ward Beecher, Pain, Physical exercise, Psychological pain, reocovery, Sobriety. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.