“The exquisite risk…[is near]…when the ache we’ve suppressed for weeks creeps into our throat, when silence appears at the edge of our exhaustion like an old friend we couldn’t find. Often, the exquisite risk is waiting on the other side of the curtains we draw and the invitations we decline. And sudden birds, if followed, will lead us there. If we only enter our picture of life and let go of the frame.”
Mark Nepo, The Exquisite Risk
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had some amazing moments of being present, of connecting with life, of entering my picture of life. I’ve been sad, glad, mad and afraid. But, I’ve seen the sudden birds and followed them. And in those moments, I experienced the exquisite risk of which Mark speaks. I felt so alive, whether in pain or overflowing with musical joy. I’ve sung Beatles songs and songs of praise in my helmet, riding on my motorcycle on the interstate at 65 mph. I’ve dipped my toe in the water of deep sorrow, pain and regret, cleansing my aching soul with tears. That is life as I want to live it. That is being, not doing.
And, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been human – broken and afraid, drifting back to comfortable patterns of running from the sorry, pain and regret. I’ve suppressed the ache, drawn the curtains and declined the invitations. But today, I celebrate those moments of weakness because despite them and through them, I’ve seen and accepted my humanness. With the grace of my higher power, I’ve gained insight and learning even through the “mistakes” I’ve made. The more authentically I embrace the exquisite risk, the more clear is the emptiness of the alternative choices. And for that clarity, I’m grateful.
I also choose to celebrate the gift of sobriety I’ve been given through those moments because despite returning to old patterns, I haven’t picked up a drink or a drug. I’ve used people, places and things to numb the pain, or to escape the reality of life on life’s terms. But, I’ve carried the lessons of my last relapse into each day and turned things over to my higher power, seeking enough strength amidst the escape to say no to mood or mind-altering substances. And for that gift of life, I’m grateful. It’s gift not of my strength, but of my weakness — not of my will, but of my submission.
Just for today, I will let it be. I will let go, and let God. I will enter my picture of life and let go of the frame.
- Letting Go Affirmation Statements (californiamoon.wordpress.com)