I was honored at a Recovery luncheon today sponsored by Hazelden Foundation. The luncheon was held here in Naples, FL but it was in response to the work I have done for more than three and a half decades as the result of my own recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.
As I stood before the audience to accept my award, I could barely see through the tears as they flowed. How did this happen? All I can surmise is that it happened because of God’s plan for my life. That first drink at age 13 started me down a path that has landed me in the most beautiful position I can imagine, a life filled with friends whom I love and feel loved by; a husband who supports me in every endeavor, a family who has forgiven me my many transgressions and a blueprint for living one day at a time that will never lead me astray.
That’s what we are promised when we pass through the doors of a recovery meeting: friends, healed families and a way of life. The blueprint is simple, really. It consists of twelve steps that if followed will change every thing about how you live your life. How you see your life. And how you see every one else in your life. In other words, every thing changes when you make the decision to join this way of life, a way that means sobriety coupled with giving back to others what each of us has been so freely given.
This isn’t what I had envisioned for my life when I was young. If truth be known, I didn’t have much of a vision at all in my youth. College happened because my mom wanted it to. After that, I was primarily looking for the next drink or the next relationship partner or the next thrill, whatever it might be. No intention that I had was the right one, it seems. God’s intention for me was far better than my own. And in 1974 that intention led me into my first Al-Anon meeting and then in 1976 my first AA meeting. I have been a “double winner” ever since. And now I do have an intention: it’s to keep giving away what I have been given; it’s too honor all others, whether “in the rooms” or in the grocery or drugstore by giving them rapt attention. And it’s too remember that we are all here by divine appointment and who we meet has been sent. Our expression of love to each one of them is the gift that’s always the right one.
We were born to be healers. You and I. And every one we send our love to heals and enhances the love that is spreading throughout the universe. Our “assignment” here is real. It’s purposeful. It’s a decision. Let’s join our hearts together and make it.