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Seeing Reality as It Is – Awareness Holds the Key to a New Way of Life

BALM | November 19, 2018

We moved to Texas six months ago. This weekend, for the first time, we began putting up our paintings and photos around the house, as if to claim the house as our home.

We waited this long because when the movers brought in the box with my favorite painting in it on June 1, I heard glass breaking under the surface of the box and knew that my treasured large contemplative painting that held two views, desert and ocean, side by side, might never be the same.

So, I left it sitting in the box along my dining room wall, along with 6 other boxes filled with paintings and a bureau filled with framed photos dating as far back as my grandparents’ engagement picture, taken in 1920.

Once everything was put up, I found that my favorite painting still had its meditative quality, and while I saw it as looking damaged, others around me said it had a look of being a distressed painting – as if the scratches and knicks had been put there on purpose to create “a look”. The glass was gone of course, but other than that, it could and can still put me into a state of awe, and so, it stays up.

We divided the photos into categories of size, frame color, age, and theme and put them up in groups along a large wall in our family room. How wonderful to see so many beloved relatives, dead and alive, right there in front of me, on demand. And yet, the number now in the deceased category appears on the wall to almost outnumber those still alive.

I woke up this morning in shock about that and began downloading my contemporary relatives and friends’ family pictures from FaceBook, with a plan in place to begin printing them bit by bit and rotating the photos on the wall to allow for a variety of visits over the days, weeks and years (hopefully) to come both for us and for our  five year old granddaughter, who we are introducing to so many faces of relatives she has never actually met, as well as some she has.

It has been important for me to invite her to bridge those worlds, past, present, and future, creating a sense in her of rootedness, of belonging to a family and a heritage beyond the day-to-day. She recognizes her great grandparents now and associates their faces with the funny and poignant stories we have told her about them.

When I was growing up, we knew and visited our cousins often as most of them lived within a day’s drive. Not so in our family today.  Adding more contemporary pictures will undoubtedly broaden her known world, always worthwhile in a child’s life I think. How good it will be when she does meet them, to recognize them from both pictures  and stories.

But back to the idea of facing the reality of loss as a fact of life, which is really what all of the work we did on the walls led me to this weekend. This weekend, I found myself working on being able to balance the sadness along with the joy, the loss as well as the gain, the tapestry of life and all that it brings.

Indeed, these are the gifts that life offers us each day.

I have a choice at any given moment in time, to tilt the balance in either direction. Certainly there is time for sadness, loss and loneliness to have their due.

When I find myself sitting in that aura of pain, aware that I am in it, rather than just being in it without awareness, that is often a moment when I am being given an opportunity to pivot to another perspective:

– Gratitude for those still alive, for my life, for the people and opportunities that lie ahead.

– Mindfulness to increase my inner peace and awareness in each moment

– Curiosity about what else in life I might learn or pursue, who else I might meet and get to know, how I might go about rebuilding and serving anew.

– Reaching first within for the wisdom and love always there to guide us, and then outward for ways to connect with others and serve.

Many of us impacted by our own or another’s use disorder have felt the deep hole of loneliness within ourselves from time to time.  Recovery is about making contact with the deepest part of ourselves and that of others, one day at a time so we can build powerful meaningful memories of love and connection that will stay with us well beyond the physical presence we may be privileged to share for a time with those we love.

Each time we reach within for wisdom, and outward with understanding and love, we break down the inner and outer walls separating us from others so we can enjoy and share the light of recovery through the power of our being, thus increasing the peace within ourselves, our families and our communities.

Be A Loving Mirror!


Be A Loving Mirror!
Beverly A. Buncher, MA, PCC, CBC, CTPC
Certified BALM Family Recovery Life Coach/CEO
Family Recovery Resources, LLC
786 859 4050


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