“…where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon,
Where there is doubt, faith,
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy.”
Prayer of St. Francis
My experience with this prayer continues.
Hatred, injury, doubt, darkness, sadness: I find these to be a very accurate description of my life in active addiction. How about you? Are you in recovery from one of the seven common addictions? Do these terms describe any of your realities? If you are not in recovery from one of the major seven, what is your addiction, obsession, or that aspect of your life which you know does not promote health of mind-body-Spirit, yet you continue to do? Some would suggest that we are all addicted to our own way of thinking! Regardless, we all seem to be on a path to peace, purpose, or connection to something or someone greater that our self. Do any of these realities resound in you?
Pondering these aspects of soul drives me deeper in love with the lifestyle of transformation. To quote a famous woman, “my soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.” I am brought in to this sense of wonder, awe, and greatness of my Higher Power when I recall my past. Life in my addiction resonated with hatred, injury, doubt, darkness, and sadness. These were all directed personally inward. My being was filled with each. I had no space of relief – UNTIL – step one. I was able to admit loss of control and an unmanageable life. That initial admission created just enough space for Spirit to begin transformation. Why? How?
Why? I had a choice to make: continue to walk in the death of addiction, or look for help outside of myself.
How? People made themselves available to me.
In each of these people, I experienced love, pardon, faith, light and joy. No. In each of you I experienced the space in your souls to manifest love, pardon, faith, light, and joy. Where did you get these gifts? You have been guide, teacher, presenter, and example of these gifts of life. My Higher Power’s presence is alive in your presence: in your admission of hatred healed by love, injury healed by pardon, doubt healed by faith, darkness healed by light, and sadness healed by joy. Each of you has made space in your soul by embracing your need for healing and then creating the space in your soul to allow your healing journey to begin.
You have offered your stories to me and others. Your courage has empowered me and others to proclaim the greatness of sobriety and the blessings of a sober lifestyle. Some follow the 12 Steps of Recovery. Some travel a Yogic lifestyle. Some share a Christian lifestyle. Others walk a nondenominational Spirituality path. Each of us has come to embrace a journey that offers freedom to people struggling to make the first step out of their misery.
Now, my space is growing with love, pardon, faith, light and joy. Others are noticing these gifts in me. We are on a journey of serenity, courage and Wisdom that is deeply needed in a world of denial, division, hostility, and doubt. We are offering the people we encounter a place beside restful waters. This is such a healing place and we are all needed to continue its existence.