Series One: Blog Ninety-Eight
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”- T.S. Eliot
Thresholds indicate a point of beginning. I will never forget when I stepped across the threshold of the first Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting I ever attended, in Tampa, Florida. Immediately I bumped into a woman whom I knew from church. Since I was one of the pastors in the church I was mortified. With trepidation I said hi and she responded “I won’t tell on you if you won’t tell on me”. Thresholds have been scary for me. Yet throughout the 30+ years of attending recovery meetings I must tell you thresholds in recovery have signaled beginning places for further growth.
I was taught to approach my recovery with a beginner’s mindset. Through the years this has been the most difficult mindset for me to harness in my daily life. By nature, I become like a robot and go through the motions of daily living and easily disconnect from the present moment. It has taken many thresholds to teach me the value of being in the present moment. I continue to cross thresholds each day in my life that remind and teach me the importance of being present in the moment, even when the moment is painful or dreaded.
Laramie Peak is the highest peak of the Laramie Range in Wyoming. It is a moderately steep hike to the top. I have hiked Laramie Peak several times. Once I searched for the easiest way to the top. While scrambling around the mountain looking for the easiest approach I was brought back to the trailhead. I recognized that in my attempt to avoid the established trail my search brought me back to the beginning. I decided to cross the threshold of the trailhead and head up the mountain. There have been many thresholds in recovery life that I have attempted to avoid. There have been many doors in recovery that I have been hesitant to open and walk through. Like circling Laramie Peak, looking for an alternative path, the journey in life always brings me back to the threshold of a core issue that must be addressed. I can make speeches, become industrious and make money, counsel other addicts, do weekend groups and write blogs, but spiritual growth requires that I burrow deep within and address core recovery issues. When I hesitate to cross the threshold, all other projects become a distraction from personal growth.
Life can become an illusion. Even for those who take recovery seriously. I can get all caught up with attending meetings, sponsoring others, being of service to others and still not enter the doors of truth about myself that only I can go through. There is a threshold for a new beginning awaiting me with an invitation to go deeper in spiritual growth than anything I have ever known previously.
Life has a way of bringing us full circle repeatedly in order to face the truth that is required for personal growth. Thresholds for personal growth continue to reappear, waiting for our readiness to cross over. Essentially, the thresholds don’t go anywhere. We do. Thresholds just wait for us to be ready to take in what is true about living.
You may have already learned a lot about living. How to make a living. How to be responsible to your family. How to remain sober from addiction. Yet, the force of life remains constant and will bring you back to the threshold you need to cross for your personal growth. When you slow the pace of your life from the busyness that comes from juggling the ball of activity in your life, what door keeps reappearing that you need to enter? Is there a threshold that you have been hesitant or resistant to cross? Do you experience painful relationship issues that loop and circle in your life? It could be that life force is telling you that now is your time to cross over this threshold and face what you have been avoiding. Likely, the only way out of your dilemma is to go through it. If we choose to listen and make the decision to be true to our heart it will always lead us to face the threshold that we have been resistant to cross. Eliot stated it concisely “we shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” What threshold are you waiting to cross?
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