I am delighted to have Rose Lockinger write a guest piece for our blog. Her ability to relate in an open and honest manner will move you in your soul and push you to greater heights in recovery. Thank you Rose and I hope you enjoy this fantastic post.
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.
Pain is How the Healing Process Starts But It’s Not the End of the Story by Rose Lockinger
“The wound is the place that where the light enters you” –Rumi
I find that I try to organize my life in such a way where I feel the least amount of pain or experience the least amount of troubles. This seems to make sense as every person knows that feeling pain is a bad thing and having trouble is unwanted, but lately I have been thinking of this way of living and how it may not be the most prudent for spiritual growth.
When I got sober I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of something greater then myself. At first I didn’t really know what that thing was and I was just going along with what I was told, but in time my unknowing turned into true faith and my relationship with God began. I have often heard that willingness is a key aspect for recovery, along with open mindedness, and honesty they form a foundation upon which a new life can be built.
I decided that he should have all of me, not just the good parts or the bad parts, but all of me, even the parts that I couldn’t see just yet, but the longer that I have been on my spiritual path, the more I realized how I do not actually trust God in the manner that I say and there are many things that I still hold back.
For instance I semi-trust God with my finances, but I do not fully trust that he will take care of me in that realm. Same thing with romance, I believe that he has a plan in that department, but a lot of the time I do not trust this, and so I have found that I never truly relinquished total control, but merely only gave up control of things that I felt I could trust him with.
But what exactly does that have to do with the title? What does giving up control have to do with feeling pain in the healing process? Well, I believe it has everything to do it.
To start with, and to go to one of my favorite quotes, “Pain is the touchstone of all spiritual progress.” This means that we must feel pain in order to grow and the reason for this is fairly straightforward. Majority of the areas in my own life that I need to grow in are areas where I am damaged in one respect or another. Maybe I am damaged by some agreement that I made with myself as a child that I still believe to do this day, or maybe I am damaged by some trauma of the past, but the fact remains that there is damage and in order to uproot it, a spiritual surgery must be performed.
This spiritual surgery usually begins with me feeling pain, I guess to continue the analogy, you could say the pain is God getting out his scalpel in order to remove the wound that I am suffering from. This pain is usually my motivator for change, because let’s face it, if I am comfortable I usually will not change. This isn’t just a Rose thing, but a human thing. I mean if it’s sunny out, there’s money in the bank, and you’re in the arms of your loved one, you’re a lot less apt to attempt to grow spiritually then if you in the fetal position alone in your bed crying.
I find that the initial pain is almost always necessary for me to grow and heal and it is because, like I mentioned above, it motivates me to change, but also because it is a sign that all of that emotional pain that I pushed down is now coming back up to the surface and is ready to be dealt with.
Now when I feel this initial pain I really have two choices, I can either continue to try to hide the pain, by buying things, getting into a relationship, busying myself, and therefore not trusting God at all in the situation, or I can stand and face the pain and trust that God will carry me through it to the other side. The latter choice is usually never the one that I actually want to choose because like I said I do not like to feel pain. I want to go through life with the least amount of resistance and the least amount of discomfort, but knowing that out of pain comes growth, makes choosing to deal with it a little more palatable.
Once I make the decision to actually walk through whatever situation it is I am dealt I then usually drag my feet and kick and scream and cry, feeling like I am not healing but being torn apart, until something happens that brings me peace. This peace is usually only temporary and I go back and forth between pain and peace throughout the entire healing process, taking two steps forward and one step back, but moving in the right direction for the most part.
This usually continues until a level of healing occurs that allows me to experience peace more than pain and when I get to this stage in the healing process I usually feel like a completely different person. I feel stronger than I did before and I feel like whatever problem or trauma it was that I was processing has been dealt with. This can take days, weeks, months, or years to happen, but it does happen whenever I am willing to go out on a limb, experience pain and allow God to heal my wounds.
My therapist once told me that most people do not change because they are not willing to do the work necessary to change. That they only dance around true change and healing, because they do not want to be uncomfortable enough to experience these things, and when I heard this it really struck me. I realized that there were many times in my life when I did this and it answered the question I why I would wind up in the same situations, with the same emotions, over and over again. It was because I was afraid to feel the initial pain and discomfort required for me to heal and so today I try to lean in to the pain, let it hit me like a Mac truck, because I know what’s on the other side and I want so badly to heal.