Awareness in Recovery is Essential to find Long-term Healing from Addiction
by Gordon S. Bruin M.A., C.M.H.C.
“The past of each of us is now inflexible. We need to concentrate on what has been called “the holy present,” for now is sacred; we never really live in the future. The holy gift of life always takes the form of now.”-Neal A. Maxwell, “Why not now,” Ensign, Nov. 1974 p. 12
It has been estimated that the average life span is about 30,000 days. It is interesting to think of our lives in terms of a certain amount of days. What are we doing with the days we are given? Even though the average life span is around 30,000, it is not a guarantee. Some people are given 100 days, some 1,000, some 15,000 and so forth. We don’t know how many days we’ve been given. What if today was your last day on earth? Think about it because someday it will be true.
One of the greatest illusions of life is that the present moment is not the critical, decisive moment. This is why Awareness in Recovery is one of the major keys in the “Language of Recovery.” In recovery work of any kind, it is critical to stamp it on the heart that this next moment, the next hour, is the critical one, the decisive one.
The problem is that most of us aren’t aware enough of this reality to even notice it.
Most of us tend to drift through life and might think that we can take care of certain issues later on. Such thinking can lead to trouble. In increasing our awareness of what is really going on around us at all times, we can find safety and shelter from the ongoing storms of life. If we can remain humble and seek guidance, the Spirit can warn and teach us continually. “For the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls.” Jacob 4:13
The only way for the adversary to lead one into temptation is to get them out of the mindset that the present moment really doesn’t matter when, in fact, it is the only time we ever really have – the now. Staying in this reality takes awareness. It all begins with a choice, a choice to be more mindful and aware at all times and in all places. The outcome of our lives simply unfolds one choice at a time. Be honest with yourself. Where are you heading right now? Where are your thoughts leading you and do those thoughts come from a good source or not? We need to remember that the Lord is always there but at the same time the adversary doesn’t sleep.
We must learn to protect ourselves through an increase in awareness.
Elder James Talmage instructively stated, “It is not given to the rest of us, nor was it given to Jesus, to meet the foe, to fight and overcome in a single encounter, once for all time. The strife between the immortal spirit and the flesh, between the offspring of God on the one hand, and the devil on the other, is persistent through life.” In recovery, this means that only through persistent awareness to what is always going on around us at all times and then making wise choices is the way to stay out of trouble.
Practicing Awareness, the third key in the “Language of Recovery,” can keep us firmly grounded in gospel soil and keep us safe from addictions and the fiery darts of the adversary. Time is what all people have
in common. What sets one person apart from another is simply what we choose to do with this precious time. Albert Einstein made the following observation, “for us physicists believe the separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, although a convincing one.” All any of us ever have is today. The clock is ticking.