“You’re at where you’re at for a reason.” ~Unknown
Have you ever had a time in your life when it seemed like the “stuff” fairy decided to move in? Maybe you had a series of events that made you question the grand scheme of things and you looked to the sky while wailing, “Why me?” I know I have. I did just that after my house fire, when both of my parents fell ill, the days and weeks after my divorce, and other times. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I heard this quote that my thinking changed.
In my early days of recovery, I woke up and realized all the things I said and did while I was in active addiction. I thought of myself as a monster. After my 2nd relapse, I saw myself as a failure. At that time, a couple of dear friends, who were also recovering addicts, lived across the street from me. I often found myself going over there to chat over a cup of coffee because they understood how I felt.
One time in particular, after doing some soul searching work on myself, I went over there. I told them about feeling like a failure and a monster. I told them what I was like before and during addiction and how awful I felt because of the things I said and did. Next thing I know, the one I called my bff put her hands on my shoulders, looked me in the eye and said, “You’re at where you’re at for a reason.” At first I didn’t understand what she meant but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
Can you recall a time in your life when you come across someone who is going thru something you’ve gone thru? Maybe this person is going thru a bad break up and they come to you for guidance. The two of you didn’t go thru the same exact things but there were some similarities. You share with this person stuff that helped you get to the other side of that event in your life. Or perhaps a situation happens in your life that either guides you or teaches you a lesson in some part of your life.
I’m a firm believer that “stuff” happens in our life and people are put in our path for a reason. That reason isn’t always apparent to us when this person enters our life or when we’re up to our eyeballs in “stuff”. However, when we get thru it and reflect on it, we may realize the reasons for our trials.
Since those days, this theory has proven true to me time and again. My house fire was to get me to break certain ties with certain people who were toxic in my life and jeopardized my friendship with another. Other people have come into my life have taught me valuable lessons and people have left to make room for others. My most recent move and the circumstances around that were to help me downsize my life as my health declines. Even my time in active addiction and my relapses have taught me lessons or helped me to help others better.
More importantly all of these experiences have helped me to be more empathic. I can identify with just about anything that almost anyone has gone thru whether or not they are an addict. Those people and situations have helped me to better understand what others have gone thru and I am better able to help another person with their situation. Here are just a couple of examples.
My client that I work for has a lot of fear and anxiety. She recently discovered a spot on her leg that could be skin cancer and has been understandably worried. As an addict I’ve learned that worrying is a lack of faith. I also have learned the importance of focusing on Just for Today instead of projecting the future. I shared what I’d learned with my client to ease her fears.
In my early years of recovery I wanted to learn all I could about addiction so I read a lot of different literature and watched a lot of TV programs on addiction. Because I only used one drug one particular way, I learned what addiction to other drugs and using them other ways was like. This has helped me to understand other addicts I meet and has enabled me to help someone better.
When my parents as they aged and fell ill, I’d learned a lot more than what I already knew about health care. This has helped me to help others who go thru similar situations with their parents.
Those are just a couple of examples of how some of my trying times have taught me experiences that I can pass to others.
Sometimes we look back on our lives with regret. We might regret saying or doing things that have hurt others or ourselves. We might also regret zigging when we should’ve zagged. Instead of looking to the sky wailing, “Why me? Why me?” try saying, “Why not me?“Why me? Why me?” try saying, “Why not me? What is this here to teach me?” If you look at it that way, you might be surprised by what you learn.
Thought for the day: Before moping around full of regret, try looking at your situation as a teaching tool instead of a punishment.
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