For instance, when someone says to you, "I love you," how do we interpret the expression? Certainly the answer depends on who is saying it. Even if we trust the person, how does that simple but so important expression affect our inner being. As a person who is and always will be in recovery, and someone that has decided to express words and post them on this blog, how do I really know that what I am trying to say is really being felt by you, the reader? How do I have any assurance that another can trust these words I write? Well, as in many things in life, I have to have faith that there are people out there that are getting something from this. And, as far as trusting the content of these paragraphs, well I simply have no control over those personal interpretations each of you may have when reading this. I have often wondered how can a person move beyond the 'veneer' of their statements and convey the entirety of their feelings beyond the words themselves?
The best I find I can do right now, in this moment, is to feel the meaning behind the words I type. Surely, I can say that I am feeling a lot right now as I write this, but that easily begins to just 'beg' the question. So, let me try this. At this time of year we will hear much about being 'thankful' for what we have in our lives, for the food we have on the table, for the people we know and share our lives with, for the family that we have, for our spouse and loved ones, to be employed, to be breathing, etc. And, each of these we should be thankful for. But often this attempt at trying to get us to see the thankfulness and gratefulness we should have in our life gets quickly altered within the dialogue of our own mind. We may in fact feel no reason to be thankful or grateful for anything at all. Maybe we are experiencing profound sadness at this time of year, overwhelming regret and trepidation, anxiety about what lies beyond Thanksgiving and moving directly into the 'holiday' season.
And, for those of us who chose to not run off to a bar or liquor store, or call one of our old connections to get a fix, or if one's parents have their medication under lock and key, whatever the situation may be - where do we turn within if we are not feeling anything positive at all and the 'words' of giving thanks and being grateful in life enter into ourselves and are kicked around and expunged as soon as we hear them. And, with the good practice that most of us have learned, we can nod in agreement and smile our perfunctory smiles while experiencing an imprisoned world within that seems to have little semblance to the good ole holiday cheer.
So, it is difficult to trust words because we often do not see the actual interpretations of those words - a large hidden chasm of alternative implications and meanings loom just beyond the surface. And, worse yet, the pain and suffering of our souls can go unnoticed by others -- even those closest to us. After all, as recovering addicts and alcoholics we are quite familiar with saying things we don't mean and finding that trust again within ourselves and with others takes time, patience and forgiveness.
The best practice I have found during my years of recovery is trying to blend the outside world with my inner being. Better yet, I endeavor to integrate who and what I am inside with how I express and interrelate with others in my life. Simply stated, I begin with complete honesty - honesty with myself and honesty with what I express to others. It is the best I can do and it is a very important aspect of staying on the path of recovery. And, if we even for a moment take that word 'recovery' out of the equation, this is a tremendous start for anyone in life - unconditional honesty.
Trust can only begin with believing in the honesty of our own thoughts and expressions. This may in fact be a giant step of faith for us. We may have been accustomed to living around others we never were able to truly trust or have grown unsure of our own words -- especially during early recovery. Our addictions created incredible deception with those around us and it should be a fairly easy feat for us to understand that the road back to being trusted and trusting ourselves in not a quick journey.
Words will become safer for us and easier to utter as we practice unconditional honesty. I know that when we begin to finally have confidence in our own honesty will we attract others in our life that we can also trust and believe in. Words that we hear and see each day will still need to be interpreted in our own minds and it may be that many of those expressions will be disregarded because they are the articulations that come from someone with an agenda and may be deceptive, and not to be trusted at face value.
This is why I have so cherished being around the many people in recovery these last three years of my life. The words and feelings that I have heard from people struggling to free themselves from the throes of addiction have been so very powerful and moving. I am grateful to be with such people. And why have I come to emphatically trust so many of these expressions from others? Because I know in my own heart and mind that they are real and sincere. I trust such words unconditionally and I thank the people in recovery I have had the great pleasure of sharing my struggles, triumphs and thankfulness with.