By Mary Cook, M.A., R.A.S.
Addicts enter recovery as wounded warriors with unhealed traumas and deprivations, and swords and shields that they hope will protect them from further suffering. But the war is inside; between the defenses and dysfunction in the mind, and the heart pleading for mercy and grace, between the poisons in the body, and the spirit longing for peace and joy.
And the fear of letting go of all that we identify as ourselves and our lives is terrifying. And the fear of facing all the wounds that we sustained and perpetrated, is overwhelming. And the depth of the unknown truth, and absolute mystery of the next moment is incomprehensible. And the experience of being helpless, exposed and vulnerable stimulates all past trauma and pain.
Yet recovery offers a warm welcome into a fellowship where we are safe and surrounded by a state of grace, much greater that the war and fear within us. Everyone has value here and everyone has something to give. We learn that hope arises from helping others and peace arises from practicing patience. Healing is offered in exchange for swords. Courage is offered in exchange for shields. The pain of our defects and destructiveness now motivates us to serve the greater good in life.
We see how we are not separate from life but interwoven into the whole fabric of life. Each moment holds magnificent possibilities of learning, of letting go, of growing, and of being. We begin to feel our connection to the Source of pure goodness and mercy, and align our mind, heart, body and spirit to this truth. The greater vision is not war, but compassionate cooperation. The greater vision is not fear, but faith that we all can generously and joyfully contribute to the highest good for all of life.