Tag Archives: CoDA

Musing on Forgiveness

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Forgiveness cannot be forced.
When my family fell apart
I tried to rush to forgiveness,
thinking that it would speed up
the healing process.
But I was just engaging in
spiritual bypassing—
using my spirituality
to circumvent the messy trenches
of deep grief and traumatic loss.
I prayed to God to show me the way,
hoping I could fly over
the dark valley and avoid
what lurked there in the shadows
of my deepest, darkest memories.
I read books and listened to speakers,
I attended meetings,
I thought I knew what I was doing,
but I was really attempting
to avoid the inevitable.
Finally I discovered
that what I really needed
was to allow myself to feel.
I had to go through the grieving process.
I had to face the loss of the life I knew,
I had to take each day
one at a time.
Some days the pain was so intense
I didn’t think I could live through it.
People would tell me
It won’t be like this forever;
I didn’t believe them.
Over time, as I remained clear
and focused on my goal
to find a place for me and my kids,
I noticed the fog was lifting;
I felt more like myself
with each passing day.
Looking back I see
that it was my effort to heal
that blocked the healing.
It was my belief
that things should be a certain way
that kept me from embracing things
as they were.
And now I’m still working on forgiveness,
but at least I have the sense now
to allow that grace to come, naturally,
when the time is right
and my heart is ripe
for such sweetness…

Telling My Story

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I shared my story tonight,
was witnessed by my recovery family
as I told the tale of the last
two and a half years of my life.
There were moments where
I thought I might not make it through,
so overcome was I by emotion.
But I breathed, I paced myself,
I spoke through the emotions,
I let my family see me.
Afterwards, these beloveds gave me hugs.
they told me they were proud of me,
of how far I had come.
They told me they were inspired by my story,
my willingness to be vulnerable,
to speak my truth, to be seen so deeply.
Life is a mystery;
it can only be understood looking backwards.
As I look back on the last two years,
I can see that the worst day of my life
was the greatest gift—
of freedom, of authenticity,
of finding my true power,
and expressing it out in this world.

Fellowship In The Trees

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Grace brought me serenity
in the woods today.
I was surprised to come upon
some paintings on the trees
with plaques freestanding
and words
about human strength
and hope…
words about
going through the twelve steps
of recovery,
finding light in the darkness,
coming together
as a group
to provide support
to one another.
I thought of my own fellowship,
a weekly meeting
of souls who gather
to share their experiences,
to listen without comment
to the experiences of others.
We left the grove of paintings
and walked our regular circuit
in the almost freezing dusk.
Periodically I’d hug a tree,
and as I leaned against its length,
I looked up at its branches
and told it a bit of my story.
The trees listened and stood tall
and radiated their silent strength.
Back at the car, fingers numb,
children hungry and ready for supper,
I found myself looking forward
to my CoDA meeting
at the church tonight,
being with adults
who listen and hold space.
Then my son cut his finger
and had to go to urgent care;
he hopped in the car with his dad,
who was just back from work.
I stayed home with my daughter
and remembered the paintings
and the words in the woods,
grateful for the
grace
provided me earlier,
grateful for the fellowship
in the trees.