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Dr. Flores asked last week how I felt about everything. He meant the last 3 months where I truly had to face myself, the last 9 months since I got completely sober, the last 4 years since I entered recovery and the knowledge of why I drank away the last 20 years. I replied, “If the cost of all I have gone through is the man that is sitting here today, I would gladly pay it again.”
This is the healthiest – physically, mentally, spiritually — I have ever been.
Patanjali tells us in Yoga Sutra II.21,
Tadartha eva drsyasyatma
The seen exists only for the sake of seer. (Sri Swami Satchidananda )
Nature and intelligence exist solely to server the seer’s true purpose, emancipation (Iyengar)
What Patanjali is saying here is that the universe exists to help us find our true self. We just have to be willing.
We can learn and be shaped by our experiences or we can succumb and give up. Only after I stopped trying to escape from life was I able to begin to learn about myself. I had to listen and surrender to the lessons I was being taught. I had to face hard facts, take action, and ask for help. I had to do the work. I have to continue to be refined.
My studies in chemistry tell me the universe will always spontaneously move towards disorder and chaos, and only by putting in energy in can you reverse it. This has been my experience. Once I started putting the work in through therapy, yoga, philosophy and loving others has the chaos begun to subside.
My life is not what I thought I wanted 20 years ago or 3 months ago, but I would not trade who I am today for anything. I was selfish then. I am grateful now.
“Yes, getting your wish might have been so nice. But isn’t that exactly why pleasure trips us up? Instead see if these things might be nicer — a great soul, freedom, honesty, kindness, saintliness. For this is nothing so pleasing as wisdom itself.” Marcus Aurelius Meditation 5.9
Today I choose wisdom, good character, sobriety and kindness. Last weekend, I made a new friend, began to heal an old wound, and fully experienced meeting my friends’ child. Before I was sober, this level of joy would not have been possible.