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Recovery – The Journey of Life

Wyatt Butcher

".....let us rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character, and character hope."

A person who is beginning to sense the suffering of life is, at the same time, beginning to awaken deeper realities, truer realities. For suffering smashes to pieces the complacency of our normal fictions about reality, and forces us to become alive in a special sense – to see carefully, to feel deeply, to touch ourselves and our worlds in ways we have heretofore avoided....suffering is the first grace. In a special sense, suffering is almost a time of rejoicing, for it marks the birth of creative insight.

Why start a discussion of recovery with a focus on suffering? At the heart of the recovery movement is a renaissance in understanding the place of suffering and pain in the journey of life and the formation of being.

In the post enlightenment era and the optimism of modernity and scientific progress the western world came to see suffering as a "disease" that would eventually be eradicated. As the twentieth century progressed optimism in humanities ability to cure all faded. In an era of fading hope the recovery ideal has emerged. The roots of this new idea can be traced to ancient philosophies and religion3; however it is only the scope of this essay to identify its recent development.

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