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Coming to Terms with Our Complicated Histories In A Healthy Way

In a court of law, when someone is found guilty of harm, damages can be awarded from two perspectives. One is the perspective of pain and the other suffering. It's not uncommon for people to receive something like 50,000 dollars for their pain, but get 10 million dollars for their suffering. The reason for that is, pain is usually specific, measurable and clear. The suffering about our pain isn't. It's about the personal story that develops in our head, that's about dealing with our pain; and in a court of law that's why suffering is usually worth so much more.

That's what makes dealing with our personal histories and those who interacted with us slippery and complicated. Which perspective is being viewed, by ourselves and others? Is our history being used in a way that buries us in a coffin, or is it used in a way that allows for change and growth? How are we holding that within our present moment experience?

That said, there's a difference between knowing our past, and another thing all together to be forced to relive it over and over and over, as though it's a moment caught in an infinite loop, anchored and buried by it. Alert! Danger! Careful! We could be handling toxic material that has its own kind of radioactive nature that could harm and kill our present moment experience!Where does the past live?

There's another way of understanding our experience, especially when it comes to our complicated histories. We are the condensed version of our entire life... We are the condensed version of our entire life... We are the condensed version of our entire life.

That can be important to repeat, hear and feel; over and over. Our entire existence is within us... right here... right now... that's an undeniable fact. Who and what we are now are based on the jigsaw puzzle pieces, that our mind can hold out from us at a distance. How do we hold and harmonize these pieces in our present moment experience?

Recovery teaches us to do some excavation. The word recovery itself actually means not to "Cover," over something. It means recover... regain... heal... restore... awareness of the fact that we're not bad people trying to be good, we're good people that when misaligned can do painful things. That's one reason forgiveness... mercy... which is another way of saying "Love." Doesn't have to be taken off the table at any time. Recovery is defying the stigma's... the landmines of suffering about the pain that is addiction, that would place us in coffin's of unforgiveness. It's a medical fact that scar tissue is stronger than human skin that doesn't have any.

Just for today, I will pause, and pay attention. I will notice and acknowledge assimilate, and integrate my experiences; aligning head, heart, and feet as a unified Presence of Love. I will offer myself the gift of living in one place, and in one time... the Here and Now... fully whole, and wholly free, to the best of my ability, because we do recover and heal, no longer having to live beneath the burden of shame and guilt... Fore-given.

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Steve Slater
Steve Slater
Apr 08, 2022

Thank you for these offerings. These blog posts also give a glimpse into the thoughts and wisdom you put down via post-it notes, notebooks, and calligraphy. I'm highly curious if you'd say that putting things down, so to speak, is a central part of your practice?

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