But what positive purpose would that serve? For the past week and a half I have had this thought running through my mind...."What is your E,S,&H?" I have told my kids for years...."look for the good."
So here it is.....my E,S,&H.
Experience: Recently in a meeting someone shared about her wonderful childhood, where the adults in her life told her often and emphatically, how absolutely wonderful she was. A joy, a strong girl who could be anything and do anything. Then she married an alcoholic.....She was so shocked! "I'm not used to this sort of disregard, and drama, and stress. My mom told me I was awesome!"
I had a lightbulb moment.....my entire life has been affected by other people's addictions. Every moment, even before I took my very first breath of actual air, has been touched by the anger, the turmoil, the fear, the control, the chaos, the unpredictability, the need to find a way to survive and hopefully thrive, the need to be self reliant....all of the things that addiction bring with it, have been a part of my life forever. I shared in that meeting that unlike the speaker.....THIS is all I have ever known. So my experience has been one of full immersion in addicted life, without ever having taken a sip or a drag or a snort or a shot.
Strength: Letting go. Can it really be that simple? I think so....prying my white knuckles open, has given me the very things I was grasping to receive. It is one of the single most terrifying actions any of us are ever asked to take....but once we can let go, we find our freedom and our strength on the other side. Let go to get strong. I don't have to know the next step.....I can let go and believe that it will unfold as I need it to.
What I have learned for today is to STOP moving and talking if I am not sure of what to do next. Be still. Wait for some direction. I have shared this before.....if we get lost in the woods, we need to stand still, in the same place and wait for help to arrive. Not run around looking hither and yon, trying to figure out what to do next and using up all of our energy and resources. Worst of all we seriously stand the chance of missing the help that does eventually arrive because we are so all over the place.
Growing into letting go, not reacting, and being able to be still, more times than not, has given me the most amazing blessings. My life has calmed down. All of the exterior circus acts that are spinning on all around me are still in full swing....but my insides are calm. Ok, calmer. My spirit has calmed down. When I don't know what to do, I stop, I ask for extra time if need be and then I pray, I ask for guidance...sometimes things happen that have nothing to do with me but they provide the answer, the direction. I accept that I can't orchestrate an outcome. Sometimes I just know what my next step should be. I open my mouth and something sane and reasonable comes out....due to no wisdom or goodness of my own. I have learned that other people's reactions aren't any of my business. Everything isn't about me....that thought still boggles my mind! If not me, then who, dare I ask?! When I really focus on that idea though....what a relief it is. Everything is not on my shoulders anymore.
Hope: God. I know....cheesy, but it's more true today than at any other time in my life. I rely on Him daily, minute by minute. "Show me what my next step should be." I spent so many years, barreling ahead in my own strength with my own best thinking leading the way into all sorts of holy hell and hard feelings. Today, God is my hope. He can do what I can't do. He has far reaching eyesight and knows what lies ahead far more accurately than what I think I know. His love for me and mine (and you and yours) is deeper and more vast than what my simple mind can conceive. I don't have to have all of the answers anymore. I don't have to single handedly hold all of the pieces together anymore. Life will play out as it will, but I know that I am not alone.
Am I escaping, using a crutch? Probably.....but I don't care. I can't do this journey alone. I need a Higher Power and for me that is God. God is my hope. Something solid that I can stand on, rely on, and trust in. So there it is....in the middle of the 💩, God dwells there with me. He's not afraid, so I don't have to be either.
I want to hear your E,S,&H too. Please feel free to share away!
Much much love to all.....
PS: Wedding update: I bought a lovely fat dress, reservations are made for the rehearsal dinner, we have rented a condo that sleeps six, so anyone who wants to come with us, will have a bed. Flowers are in the works, succulents are growing for the favors....everything is coming along. We will be the down to earth non-drinkers wearing comfy shoes. LOL