Life is not to be endured; life is to be enjoyed and embraced.
The belief that we must square our shoulders and get through a meager, deprived existence for far off rewards in Heaven is a codependent belief.
Yes, most of us still have times when life will be stressful and challenge our endurance skills. But in recovery, we’re learning to live, to enjoy our life, and handle situations as they come.
Our survival skills have served us well. They have gotten us through difficult times – as children and adults. Our ability to freeze feelings, deny problems, deprive ourselves, and cope with stress has helped us get where we are today. But we’re safe now. We’re learning to do more than survive. We can let go of unhealthy survival behaviors. We’re learning new, better ways to protect and care for ourselves. We’re free to feel our feelings, identify and solve problems, and give ourselves the best. We’re free to open up and come alive.
Today, I will let go of my unhealthy endurance and survival skills. I will choose a new mode of living, one that allows me to be alive and enjoy the adventure.
All animals except man know that the ultimate of life is to enjoy it. — Samuel Butler
If we take time to watch animals, we see that they have a zest for life that seems to engage them totally in whatever they are doing. A cat chasing its tail, a dog going after a ball, a horse running along the shore, a dolphin leaping and diving – all are actions that reveal energy and delight in simply being alive.
Life, we say, is to be enjoyed, but how many of us manage to put this theory into practice? We often associate pleasure with guilt or with acting out or with hurting or being hurt, and so we stand back from the full enjoyment of our power to be really alive.
Letting go of our shame and feelings of unworthiness will help us to let go and live. If we can tap into the spontaneity that runs through the animal kingdom, we will rediscover the sheer joy of being alive.
I’ll try to take time to watch animals at play and learn from their vitality and enjoyment.