Our Journey Through Time: Gifting Ourselves and Others With Hope
There is a saying that travels the globe which simply states “time is such a wonderful gift.”
Time can be our sweet companion, affording us moments of the past and present strung together like lights, highlighting a precious journey. It serves as an imaginary house of a foreseeable future. A future where our visions and desires manifest to create brighter days. The unconscious conversation usually goes, once _________ happens, then I will be happy.
We Must Dig Deeper
This idea that happiness comes someday down the road, is a part of the human condition. As we evolve, we learn to navigate challenges as a stepping stone to greater freedom. They can become our doorway to a freedom – more brilliant than we ever thought humanly possible for ourselves.
If you are anything like me, reading something like this sounds fine in theory, and also somewhat annoying. Why? Because when you are going through a hard time, theories don’t suffice. They are not enough. Hope is one thing, a necessary inner-experience threaded into a future that you can live with. But without a way to relate to the depths of your despair that offers some relief, theories are empty.
The reality is, there are times in our lives where we have to dig deeper than ever before. Taking a somewhat philosophical and non-tangible construct such as time, and using it for our personal growth is the equivalent to saying “yes” to life as it is. As soon as we start to fight reality, we lose. To get from one location on a map to another, we start from the current location. The same rule holds true in our life. We certainly do not have to like our current location, but we must accept it for what it is so we have a starting point based on reality.
Time and Addiction Recovery
Recovering from an addiction is like a crash course in looking at all the ways in which we have escaped ourselves and the pain we have carried. It is our emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical map, highlighting our past and present. As we begin to take the journey to a destination we desire, we have an amazing opportunity to create a future that aligns with our soul.
The number one requisite needed in order to use time as an ally is trust. If we can keep choosing to trust that things will happen in right timing, we have room to let things be what they are without attaching to the notion that they will always be the same. People, money, health, happiness, expansion and love all have a way of circling back. What we have control over is how we respond to ourselves and our circumstances, and how tightly we grip things. The more we can let go, the more space there is for grace to come in.
If you are traversing the world of recovery, you know that you had to take things one step at a time. You had to trust that as you put the work in, it would start to get better. You stuck your faith in tomorrow by putting your energy into today. This is how transformation unfolds. We accept things and we face them, and let time express our efforts as it sees fit. One of the most powerful questions we can ask ourselves is, “Given what is happening, where do I have control?” In other words, what can you do? Is there a small action step? Is there a conversation you can have with someone? Can you look at how you relate to yourself and start to practice speaking kindness to that face in the mirror?
Let Go in Service to Learning Bigger Lessons
If we could force things, life would be a lot different. It may seem this would be ideal, a catering to our ego’s every whim and attachment. But is this a good thing? I think not. There is a higher order and it asks us to let go in service to learning bigger lessons in life than having everything we want. I know this from personal experience. And I also know the suffering that comes with not accepting what is. I spent an entire year in bed sick. I felt like I was losing my mind. I had nothing left. I lost my savings. I had nowhere to live. I got to the point to where each day was something I was barely making it through and at one point didn’t care if I made it or not. But I did make it. And I learned things and developed capacities that have made me a strong woman because of it.
I learned that nothing can take away my joy. That when you travel to the darkest places, you carve out a space inside of yourself that reminds you that you can face anything. An inner-reserve of courage and depth is cultivated. There comes a point in which you see that all the suffering was a debris of sorts, laying on top of joy. As the debris gets cleared out, from dealing with it one moment at a time, what you are left with is a brilliant, radiant, wellspring of joy. I had to accept what was happening and for me, being as stubborn as I used to be, it took my body completely giving out on me to learn these things. My hope for you is that you can have a more graceful process.
Things resolved themselves in time. When I thought it would never get better, I had to hang on to the little thread of hope that I had. I clung to it like my life depended on it. And in some ways it did. When the current moment presents us with a state of hopelessness, it is a signal to reach out to someone that can offer a helping hand.
Our journey through time is not meant to be faced alone. I don’t believe that there is such a thing as being further along than anyone else. We are all just sharing what we have learned with one another, and in that sharing, we have the opportunity to gift ourselves and others with hope. It is in this hope that time is given space to exist as it is meant to.
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