To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest…To live is to be willing to die over and over again.
-Pema Chodron

Entering into any form of recovery from serious addictions represents both a death and a birth. But first it’s a death. Even if we genuinely seem to want to rid ourselves of our addiction, there is always another part of us desperately afraid to let go. Our addictions stand as a misguided attempt to create a reliable experience of safety, even as they simultaneously tear our lives apart. So die we must. But once this death takes place, we become free to learn to navigate life fully. In recovery, we trade in our outdated dependence to an unrealistic attempt at emotional safety for the fortitude to stand upright and walk through life with confidence. We gain the ability to navigate life without requiring that it guarantee us the comfort that comes with predictable outcomes. This is how we become free. But to learn to do this we must learn to face the type of death that comes with truly allowing life to unfold as it does instead of how we would like it to. And we must allow ourselves to experience this kind of death over and over and over again.

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