If there’s one thing that recovering alcoholics excel at it’s self-flagellation.
Maybe it’s not just recovering alcoholics, but any one of us mid-way through life’s journey lost in a dark wood.
It seems the first thing we ask is what can I change? Should I lose weight. Read more. Travel. Fix up the house. Find a companion. Find God. Be a better friend, sister, brother, mother, father, daughter, son, neighbor, citizen. Make amends till the stars burn out, leaving little else of ourselves but one fat I’M SORRY expanding with the cosmos.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Right? For all the numerous ways I was weak or not good enough. For everything I am not.
Don’t get me wrong. Change and accountability can be critical to the healing process and perhaps even critical to finding that holy grail called peace.
But what about all the things we should keep, not just all the things we should change?
KEEP. By definition as a verb, 1. Have or retain possession of; 2. Cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc.; 3. Provide for the sustenance of someone.
It’s a powerful word, keep. Stay the course, retain yourself, feed yourself, it says. Provide for the sustenance of someone and why shouldn’t that someone be you. You have always been there. Never lost. Just starved for awhile.
Keep the girl who sits in the grass feeding stray cats. Keep the girl who hides for hours on her hands and knees in the poetry section. Keep the girl who has built a stronghold from every stone that has fallen cruelly in her gut. Keep the boy who stops on the roadside to take pictures of abandoned cabins. Keep the boy who pours his soul out like water to strangers. A sea of pain and regret he spills and we get to watch as he becomes the lighthouse.
To keep is a sacrament, a remembrance.
Those beautiful human beings were there all along, their shallow breaths scarcely heard underneath the din of our self-improvement construction sites.
So, I think today on day 571 of sobriety I will remember to keep myself as my God has.
True wealth is interior and with it we can all build a life of value. A legacy of love is the most powerful and ever-lasting one there is.
Love and light my friends,