There’s a story that turns up regularly in books about Buddhism and other Eastern religions. It seems that a king was intensely interested in understanding his faith, so he was in the habit of calling a wise old monk to his chambers when he had a burning question.
One day the king summoned the monk and asked, “Venerable One, what holds up the Earth?”.
The monk replied, “Highness, the Earth rests on the back of a turtle.”
The king thanked his mentor, and sent him away.
A month later, the monk was summoned again. The king said, “Venerable One, I have pondered long on what you said, and I must ask: What holds up the turtle?”.
[Now if I were telling this story aloud, I’d go through a couple more iterations of summoning and turtles before the punchline, but in the interest of brevity…]
The monk replied, “Highness, it’s turtles all the way down.”
Silly, but this story is a good analogy for recovery. We are tempted to think of recovery as a fixed goal: if I do this and this and this for long enough, and do them right, I’ll be sober. But in reality, recovery is a never-ending process, not an event. There is no such thing as perfect recovery, only progressive recovery.
We don’t have to settle for “good enough.” Recovery is the unfolding of a new human being, made of the same parts, the same trials, the same pain, the same triumphs as the old, but at the same time more than that. It is a never-ending journey of discovery and excitement, if we choose to make it so.
Like the turtles, it goes all the way down.
You’re welcome, as always.
Trudging the road of happy destiny. I have been stopping myself lately, when I find myself thinking, “If only I were…then life would be better.” I remind myself that overall I’ve got it pretty darn good. No, it’s not perfect, but what in this world is? Thank you.
Love this 😊