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The Freedom of Courage

“We are here to let Spirit move through us so powerfully, that the impossible becomes the ordinary. Being human is being an instrument of the Divine." ~ Panache Desai

I'm not sure I ever liked being told what to do, and it wasn't just because I was a rebel. Somewhere within my being, I suspected that there was more to life than following rules, but I can't tell you where I came up with that idea. Perhaps it was in my home, where my mother and father demonstrated powerlessness instead of courage and action, even when they followed the rules of society and our church. Something was missing, and I was after that elusive something. I had the courage to want to be powerful and happy, well before I knew that it would take everything to get to both.

In the meantime, I followed almost all of the rules, brilliantly. I'm not sure what I thought that would net me, it's just that I didn't want to break ranks too early, or lose the good opinion of others before I knew what I was looking for. I bothered my mother terribly with my incessant questions about why things were the way they were. She never gave me a satisfactory answer, but I never stopped asking the questions. I flourished in law school because why and how were part of the equation; there we explored the reasons for the rules and how to apply them. And yet, that was not enough either, and it felt like just mind stuff. I was searching for something deeper, more mysterious, and I finally realized that it was the mystery that was seeking me too. Something that animated and liberated everything, beckoned me and I knew it was the mystery because I began to follow it when I was lifeless and in bondage to despair and fear. I needed that mystery, which is both power and grace, like a woman with her hair on fire needs water. It was then that I began to know a new freedom and a new happiness, in spite of what looked objectively like whopping limitations.

And that freedom came from me being hollowed out, so I could feel God's power and grace within me, and by releasing my attachments to everything, so my happiness was no longer dependent on anything but God. I began facing my fears pretty regularly, and living through each showdown, stronger. Thank God, because I needed another power than my own to recreate a life; one that I wanted to wake up to because it mattered.

People in early recovery talk about a "pink cloud" that they are on; usually in a disparaging tone because they just know it won't last. Generally, I support that they know peace or serenity at all, and encourage them to continue the inner work of recovery. We simply don't get through the long haul without mini weigh stations like the pink cloud, because inner work means facing some painful truths. But it is that very process of facing pain and fear and not running from it, that makes us strong and healthy and free. Then, the real and profound joy truly awaits; a true partnership with God, the source of everything.

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