Recently, a friend of mine shared how excited he was that a new lady he fancied had showed him she also had romantic interest in him. He gleefully recounted how amazing everything had been on their first meet-up. He also shared that both of them were engaged in addiction recovery and the she was quite serious about her sobriety. A week went by and they had a second date, but the second report was the polar opposite of the amazing first date story from the week before. My friend shared he was surprised when she told him she was not able to begin a new relationship right now, that he understood, but she continued to tell him she also could not even be friends with him right now due to her needs to focus on herself and her recovery.
This was not what my buddy wanted to hear at all. In our conversation that day, he said, “I bet her sponsor told her that stuff.” The good thing is my friend was able to find peace in the end of his new fling, but still seemed troubled by the “why” of her decision.
All of the sudden one of my favorite lessons from “The Magic Story” came to mind and I told it to my buddy.
Keep your pack light
When making a steep climb or long hike – keep your pack light.
Life shows up. When it does we all at times make choices or encounter situations that knock us off our forward path of progress causing a slide in the opposite direction. Sometimes the slide down can be so far and so dramatic that we say that person has hit rock bottom.
Whether at rock bottom or just way off course, you have traveled a path downward far from your original starting point. You know the path back because you were the one that took the trip to the place you are now. But the way back is up and likely a steep and challenging climb. What advice would you give to someone who is about to embark on a wicked challenging climb? Of all the advice I have heard one of my favorites is, “keep your pack light.”
This simple advice is open to interpretation and is impacted by each person’s determination of what is essential to be placed in their “pack.” As demonstrated in the song “Bag Lady” by Erykah Badhu, she sings, “No one ever told you all you need is you.”
When commencing a recovery climb it becomes more challenging the more you are carrying. I shared this all with my friend and he smiled and nodded his head as he processed what I was saying. His lady friend most likely was at a point in her climb where she needed to keep her pack very light and in her assessment she didn’t even have room or the capacity to “carry” a new friend.
Smiling my friend said, I understand now.
What’s in your pack? Have you done an assessment lately of what you are carrying?