Addiction, NA, Narcotics Anonymous, Recovery, Spiritual Principles, Twelve Steps

Trust and Fall Colors

This morning I get to look out over the trees that line the Arkansas River, and am treated to a display of bold fall colors. Tulsa is in what is referred to as Green Country, so yes, there is still plenty of green. However, in addition to the green there are oranges, yellows, and reds!

Some of the leaves from the tallest branches have already fallen. I might not have noticed the missing leaves were it not for a bald eagle sitting perched high up on his usual branch. Leaves have obscured my view of him since last spring. It’s wonderful to see him once again.

When it comes to the great outdoors, nature can be trusted. Fully trusted.

During those dog days of summer, when the air is hot as blazes and thick with humidity, it can seem like fall will never come. Just the thought of wearing blue jeans outdoors, or donning my favorite sweater, can make me so uncomfortable. In the moment, my emotions try to trick me into believing fall will never come.

The funny thing is that before too long, cold temperatures will once again have us all dreaming of sunny beaches, or hot days by the pool. Though it may feel like those days will never return, we trust, know even, that they will.

Yes, nature can be trusted.

I’m not sure how old I was when I first learned that I could trust nature. I would see my winter boots sitting in the corner of the utility room of our home. I’d think of how much fun it would be to be outside playing in the snow. Only to open the door and find hot summer air taunting me.

Eventually I came to trust winter to return. There was no doubting it.

Learning to trust my recovery is like that too. Those dark days when I was holding on to each and every day clean for dear life, made it feel like recovery might not be for me. Or at least not for more that a few weeks at a time.

During those early “dog days,” it sometimes felt as though that next key tag in the collection would never come. Yes, I had made it to thirty days clean, but sixty days? I don’t think so.

Sure, I had seen others do it before me. I’d seen plenty stay clean through recovery for even longer periods of time. Despite the examples of others, I had yet to come to a point of trusting the NA program. Shoot, I didn’t even trust myself yet. It was all I could do to muster a little bit of hope.

Slowly, over time, I began to trust the NA program. I began to trust that the steps would work in my life just as they were working in the lives of other addicts seeking recovery. I began to trust the spiritual principles, as I began to apply them to my daily life, and reap the rewards of living in accordance with them.

Those different colored key tags began to accumulate. My collection of various colors told me that I must be doing something right. With this realization came more trust. One day, I became able to look at myself in the mirror and see a trustworthy individual looking back at me.

Others began to trust me as well. Amanda trusted me enough to say “I do.” My new employer trusted me enough to say “you’re hired.” Family and friends began to trust me enough to say “you’re welcome in our home.”

I am enough of a realist to know that there are those who will not be able to trust me again. Those for whom the painful memories of who I became and what I did in my active addiction are simply too great. The scars too deep. Those people give me an opportunity to practice trust in God. Trust in His will for my life. His good and perfect will. I can live at peace with those things in life that are broken beyond repair, knowing that God is at work.

The seasons of life are ever changing. I trust that changes will continue to mold and shape me for as long as I live. I also trust that through the program of Narcotics Anonymous, I can trust those changes to make me a better person. One who is able to trust, and who is trustworthy.

Have a remarkable day!


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