Pretty much what is asked and required from all of us in this life...we have to continue to be willing to grow, change, adapt, move, jostle and acquiesce to life’s insistent and never ending demands.
Oddly, I didn’t learn this from life. I learned it from almost dying. My life before recovery was a better example of sustained destruction. Pretty much everything I worked so hard to achieve, I then tore down leaving my life in tattered ruins all around.
But recovery taught me to just keep moving toward the light. Even when I can’t see it. Doubt that it is even there. Not possible to rekindle. Just do it anyway. I have to keep trying, lest I perish.
And that has turned out to be a pretty good mantra for my life. I just keep trying, using the same framework over and over again trusting that I will always be led to the greater will if I am willing to bend my own will towards that of the Divine.
My exertion has to be personal and it has to be sustained over time. I do not ever get to let up on the spiritual program of action. My whole problem all my life had been the misuse of willpower. I was always bombarding my problems with this amazing will I have instead of bringing into any agreement with perhaps my Higher Power’s will for me.
So it has taken a great deal of sustained exertion on my part to continue to trudge along and move myself forward. This is most especially true when I find myself in places where the person that I think I am, turns out to not be the person I want to be at all.
I will admit, I am not sure who I even am anymore. I feel mostly like a 51 year old teenager. I am prone to emotional outbursts, I do not get enough sleep, my diet sucks and I am experimental in my thoughts and sometimes conduct. Seems like my prolonged adolescence to 25 should have given me a long enough time to act out...but apparently I am not done yet...still have some more work to do...again...still.
That pretty much sums it up for me, sustained exertion is really again...still. I must continue to do the work, see the places within myself that scare me, cause me to act out in fear and then turn towards the only solution I have ever known and be willing to unearth some new things about myself that I do not like, wish were different and set about getting down to causes and conditions and moving toward some unknown direction that only God knows about. Often it feels like wasted effort. Often it seems like I have done enough work and I can now just relent. But I know that the only way that I have ever made any progress at all is to move forward sustaining effort over time.
Sometimes I sustain better than others and sometimes my exertion looks a lot like inaction. But, nevertheless, I am doing it. One day after another, never giving up, never being willing to settle into complacency or allowing the self destructive core to take over. I am not sure that I am ever going to get to a place where I really love me. But I know that progress can be made because I have seen it happen and it has become my own experience.