Spring is here, my favorite season of the year as the days turn longer, flowers start blooming, rain clears the air and warm breezes fill the air. I’ve always had a hard time with Winter because of the colder days that are short in daylight hours but recently have found more beauty in it. As I think about these seasons and how they relate to my own life, I want to talk about aversion and acceptance.
After a turn of events that led Jamie to choose rehab, I had a severe aversion to alcohol. The smell of it coming from a wine glass, walking past it at a grocery store, watching it pass the lips of friends and family all made me shudder and sick with nausea. Big emotions have a physical response. I would tell myself that it was my problem, not theirs. That consuming alcohol is very much a part of the everyday adult life for most. That I too, had just been doing the same thing for many years, even before my adult life as a way to fit in, let my socially awkward guard down. But now the very shield I often used to hide behind, was causing me to become physically ill. It was the cause of my pain, not the suffering of going through this difficult time in my life. It made it hard to let the light of others come in. I was in my own winter. I would often make polite excuses to leave early. While this aversion helped me keep boundaries for myself and for Jamie, I never felt safe in talking to anybody about it. Was afraid that the already declining invitations to hang out or have dinner etc, would be even less.
Aversion, can put you in a lonely place. But during this time, I learned to start listening to my heart, my body, my soul. Slowly as my heart began to heal, I became more comfortable around alcohol. Now I even occasionally drink a glass, I don’t just hold it for appearances.
“Love your suffering. Do not resist it. It is aversion that hurts, nothing else.” Hermann Hesse
I have now fully accepted where I am, where my relationship is, where we are as a family. This of course is dynamic and consistently comes with new challenges.
I can honestly look back and say I loved this time of suffering. I have accepted it fully. And now I am working on continuing to live in the present moment and seeking to strengthen and renew relationships, build new ones and to be my best self, minute by minute, day by day, season by season.