Getting Down To The Nitty-Gritty – Tina’s Tales

By: Tina Cook

I realize more and more how maintaining my life both in Christ and in recovery hinges on my ability to utilize fundamentals. My past mistakes and failures have actually become beneficial as being some of my greatest learning tools today.

As I have progressed in my recovery and matured in my relationship with God, I have come to really appreciate the basics. For example, when I go through a growth spurt and change is upon me or when fear, worry, doubt, and temptation come my way, I have specific scriptures that I meditate on such as: John 16:33, Ephesians 6:10-20, or Psalm 139, to name a few. I also have essential techniques that help me focus on keeping my mind and spirit uplifted, like putting on my earbuds to listen to a meditation or contemporary Christian music and supportive people that I can reach out to for added encouragement, such as my sponsor, my spiritual mentors, a 12-Step meeting, or someone/anyone who is in need. These nitty-gritties make up the foundation that support the rest of my life.

I find that each of the maturity levels are essentially the same in that regard. Each phase has certain criteria that must be established and followed in my life. It is not enough to simply know what needs to be done and how to do it. I must also practice fleshing it out each day. On those occasions when I am having difficulty doing that, I can reflect on similar struggles in the past that I have overcome or take a step back to a safe place while I regain my balance. Then I can begin moving forward again. Ideally, we all go through life with a support system. This is a core group of people who have a vested interest in our lives. It is a give-give, win-win relationship that aids all involved toward greater maturity. An example of this is a 12-Step sponsor and sponsee; most sponsors will assure you that they learn more from the experience than the sponsee does. These intimate connections are lifelines that keep us afloat when times are trying; they also help propel us even further in times of growth.

Life is a journey toward a destination. The adventure is along the way. We travel at the speed we need to in order to fully take in the scenery of the trip. We may have to revisit certain areas because we traveled too quickly when we passed through them before, or perhaps our vision was obscured for some reason. Ultimately for me, once I finally grasped that it was my own life I was walking through each day, I began to do things differently in order to move toward my full potential and purpose. I had to slow down and truly embrace what I was experiencing along the way so I could utilize it in the continuation of my voyage toward becoming.
Director, Athens-Limestone County Family Resource Center