The Lessons We Learn in Recovery Extend Far Beyond Addiction. Contrary to popular belief, addiction recovery is a blessing. It’s a challenging, deeply transformative experience that has extraordinary power to refine us in the fire of its trials. It opens the door to an inward journey of epic proportions. Here are just some of the lessons we learn in the process:
Life is an Initiation
Life is a series of challenges, and they present us with profound learning opportunities. When we learn to stay present during difficult times, we change how we react to situations outside of our control. Rather than getting caught in cycles of anger, self-doubt and frustration, we’re able to choose differently.
The Seeds of Your Bliss are Sewn in the Mud of Your Own Suffering
“Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness,” said the late teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh in his book, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering. While our culture teaches us to avoid suffering, the truth is that there’s beauty in our struggle; it’s how we metamorphosize.
Recovered alcoholic Mishka Shubaly echoes this in his advice for those in early recovery: “Be generous and forgiving with yourself as you ride out these extended unpleasant withdrawals. Be forthright with your peers if you can, and ask them to be generous and forgiving with you. Getting sober is to be admired and supported even in the ugliest phases.”
Consider Rumi’s point: “If you’re irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
There’s Value in Vulnerability
Addiction exposes our weaknesses, and approaching them with humility offers proof that we’re supported by, and accountable to, those around us. This reaffirms our human bonds. Sobriety gives you the opportunity to experience genuine vulnerability, as opposed to substance-fueled confessionals that feel like vulnerability.
You Can Undo Your Programming
According to Dr. Joe Dispenza, “Most people live by an unconscious program.” Addiction confronts us with the pressing reality that we must undo this in order to find our happiness.
Says recovered heroin addict Brian Pennie, “I unlearned all I knew. I knew nothing, but it felt exhilarating. Curious, passionate, and completely open-minded, I set out to learn all I could… I became a student of life, and went back to college to study psychology and philosophy.” Pennie reignited his zeal for life – all because his addiction made him challenge a belief system that wasn’t serving him.
You’re More Powerful Than You Ever Imagined
You are not powerless over your addiction – quite the contrary. The empowerment you’ll find in your recovery journey doesn’t just apply to your relationship with substances; it extends to all areas of your life.
Your challenges are tests, and you can prepare yourself to pass them, coming out stronger, braver and wiser on the other side. We’re all students of life, and together, we can use what we’ve learned to raise each other up.
When You’re Ready to Start Your Healing Journey, We’re Here to Guide You.
For more self-empowered wisdom, see The Sanctuary’s Kelley Alexander speak at Embracing Bliss 2019 along with Dr. Joe Dispenza and other inspiring healers at the Sedona Performing Arts Center on June 6-9. Please visit the event page for more information.
To find out how our Integrative Addiction Recovery program can help you embrace the challenges of recovery, call us at (877) 710-3385 or email us at [email protected] today.
He is the Founder, Administrator, Counselor at the Sanctuary at Sedona.
He has a BA in Political Science and is currently Senior teaching staff at Four Winds Society, an international school of energy medicine. His credentials also include being an Ordained Minister; a Certified Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator; a Founding Member Society for Shamanic Practitioners; a Member of Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology; a Member of the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. [email protected]