Taking Life On Life’s Terms

One of our Recovering Patients discusses Her Life (name withheld for privacy purposes)

When it comes to life, I embrace the twists and turns that come my way. I have to accept what life throws at me, whatever it is. Life can be unpredictable and I try to learn to take it as it comes.

Many of us in recovery meetings have come across the expression, “Accepting life just as it is.” It’s a phrase that emphasizes our need to adjust to things beyond our control and make the best of any situation.

At times it feels like life is playing a game with me and I’m never the one coming out on top. She sometimes sends challenges my way at a rapid rate, showcasing her superiority. It’s almost as if she wants to demonstrate that she’s not going to let anyone get off easy by playing to lose. As she continues to hurl obstacles in my direction, I’m increasingly aware that life must be lived according to her rules.

It is not as if we can pick and choose the illness we get, nor can we decide what job to lose. That’s not even taking into account the natural disasters with which we are faced; floods, fires and famines. We cannot handpick our families or the genetic pool from which we originate either, let alone control how our ancestors were treated.

Life can seem to leave us with no option but to surrender the game and walk away in a state of confusion and bafflement. As individuals in recovery, however, we carry something extra onto the court: belief in a Higher Power, as well as an understanding of what it means to give up control even when we feel overwhelmed.

We have faith that God of our understanding has put us in the story for a reason. Our aim is to impart hope into the bleakness, leaving things in an improved condition.

I’m realizing that living life means accepting it on its own terms – the tight area of existence we experience both pain and serenity. It is this narrow gap between tackling life and succumbing to defeat that serves as our residence.

Seeing life as something to be appreciated, rather than conquered, will foster a sense of harmony. As I learn to differentiate between what is and isn’t mine to take on, I’ll discover more freedom. Rather than constantly responding with aggression, I can make a change from a place of serenity and determination. Surrendering will prove more effective than struggling against the world around me.

There certainly is a place for persistence. We can use it when advocating for justice, working towards mercy, and being humble. However, if I am aiming for true calm and harmony in my life, I am going to have to take what comes my way.

When life throws one of its curveballs, I’m quickly reminded that my best bet is to accept the current situation and not fight it. Doing so brings more relief than pushing myself to compete with what’s before me.
Thank you to all at Houghton House & First Step I could not have got where I am without you.
God bless you all.

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