My default instinct is to run from problems.
Because, often, I’m ashamed. I’m afraid of what the problem says about me. I feel like I really shouldn’t have this problem.
Even after 14 years in recovery, I still want to run, dig my head in the sand, and hope the problem will magically disappear. I hate to admit that. I’d like to think that I’ve grown enough spiritually that I can look a problem head on and face it. And of course, welcome the growth that will bring.
Well, actually, I can. And I do.
But as much as I grow spiritually, I still can’t escape being human.
And yet, I know – I’ve seen it happen too consistently not to – that every problem comes with a gift. And that gift is usually some kind of freedom from some kind of limiting belief.
Sometimes that gift comes with a heavy dose of humility, but it always comes, and the freedom it brings inevitably leaves me feeling much lighter.
So you’d think I’d embrace problems knowing there’s some kind of freedom waiting for me on the other side.
The best I can say is that the amount of time it takes to ‘eventually’ face my problems, and, more importantly, invite my Higher Power in, continues to get shorter.
But here’s the deal: one of my biggest problems when I first came into recovery was trusting my Higher Power would help me.
After I’d been in the rooms awhile, I trusted he could, I just didn’t trust he would.
And then life backed me into a corner. I was in an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage. But I was afraid to leave because leaving would create a lot of financial uncertainty in my life.
I grew up in a family severely affected by alcoholism, addiction and mental illness. As a consequence, I also grew up with lots of financial insecurity. And I was terrified of going back there.
But the choice was clear: either trust my Higher Power would take care of me and leave, or stay in a sh!# storm of pain.
I chose to trust.
Facing that huge problem in my recovery has absolutely been a gift that never stops giving (and I mean that, literally!) And what I learned about faith, and about my Higher Power’s love for me has just blown my mind!
I got an experience of a Higher Power who specifically cares about me, who cares in ways that are specific to who I am and what I need.
What I realized in that experience is that I had been creating a Higher Power in the image of all those who had abused me.
No wonder I didn’t believe he would restore me to sanity!!!
I got two priceless gifts from walking through that problem.
One, was one of the most moving experiences of what love really looked like that I’ve ever had.
And man, did I ever need that! I didn’t grow up with a ton of examples of that, unfortunately. And I struggled to allow people to be human because each manifestation of human shortcomings would just trigger the pain from past experiences. Not exactly a recipe for successful relationships, I must say.
The second, of course, was just faith in a loving God, no matter what.
I can’t say that faith is easy every day. It’s not. But each time I seek it out, I receive it. Man, is that ever freedom!
And I am forever grateful.
So, I’d love to hear from you. What gifts have you received on the other side of problem? Let me know in the comments. I read every one.