Wisest Person in the Room…

– Michael, Pavillon Alumni

“The wisest person in the room at any given time just might be the one who has made the most mistakes.” ~Anonymous

What a positive–and finally liberating–way to view our pre-Recovery lives.

I discovered the hard way, quite some time ago, that continuing to beat myself up for the way I used to be was never, ever going to lead to a new and lasting change in who I am, to say nothing of who I’m aspiring to become in the future.

I think one of the hardest habits to break, after one masters the habit of drugs and alcohol, is the truly harmful repetition of punishing ourselves. One of the greatest–and, for me, hardest to believe–Ninth Step Promises is “we will no longer regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.” I think most of us could easily add to this thought, “because in our spotted histories we will have found our best and most valued teachers.”

All the remaining Steps (and Promises, for that matter) can help us discover the whys and wherefores of our behaviors and choices but this work of accepting and building on the painful past is likely the only pathway toward a future that matters.