Get Real


a poem by Wendell Barry

lonelyroadIt may be when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work, and that when
we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.

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The fear of not knowing what to do and the uncertainty of where I needed to go was paralyzing. What would happen if I made a mistake? What would ‘they’ think of me? My value as a husband, father, son and as a person, depended on the outcome of my decisions. The outcomes were uncertain. Therefore, my value as a human being was always in question. The constant pressure to manipulate life around me to meet my expectations prevented me from ever finding the solace I needed. 

I have learned in recovery that I don’t control the outcomes of my actions. Rather, I do my best to ensure my actions are guided not by my self-centered ego but by the spiritual principles I’ve learned by working a spiritual program. My value as a person isn’t based on the events surrounding me but, instead, by the principles I use to guide my actions.

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