In today’s world, it can seem like everything is going to Hell in a handbasket. News reports of violence and mayhem rule the airwaves; when coupled with social media, bad news travels faster than ever. Plus, providing substance abuse treatment adds to the appearance of total negative energy. Relapse is a constant reality and reminder that no one can let their guard down when trying to overcome the demon of addiction. Really, there are many times that I wonder if there’s any good left in the world. With all of the bad juju floating around, it seems like the forces of darkness are winning this Earth for their own gain.
But then, just when it looks like I should let my licenses expire and hang up the fight, something always happens that reminds me that the bad juju is the exception: The norm is that people are good-hearted and want to express love for each other. I’ve been working with a family for a few years now and I’ve learned more from them than I could ever hope to teach. Yet, out of the clear blue sky, they presented me with a beautiful acoustic guitar. Unbeknownst to them, I’ve been looking for a good steel-stringed instrument and just like snapping fingers, one appears.
When they presented the guitar to me, I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to say. I stared at them, mouth agape, blown away by their generosity. The family’s eyes sparkled with joy that they could give me such a huge gift. And their spirit shown through and in that moment, I remembered that, while there can be bad juju, there’s far more good and positive energy contained in our humanity than any dark force can overcome. The trick for me is to remember this fact; I should be seeing joy everywhere, because there’s that much joy buzzing around me.
I’ve been down a bit because I’ve attended several funerals, but even under those solemn and sad circumstances, I should be reminding myself of the love that’s emerging from the departure of loved ones. The separation leaves a vacuum, but the love we feel for those who have left lives on and will continue to live on in our hearts and minds. Yes, there is pain in loss and, yes; there’s little doubt that news and social media sensationalize tragedy and; yes, relapse is a frustrating part of recovery from substance abuse disorders. However, there’s far more love in the world. In fact, it’s humanity’s greatest natural resource. It’s so prevalent, in fact, that I think we’ve come to take it for granted. But really, love IS granted freely. Love flows in and out and through people on such a scale, everyday, that it’s almost become as much a part of our reality as breath.
It’s just that we’ve forgotten to remind ourselves of that free-flowing love that covers and guides almost every action we take. If we think about it, very little that we do in our day to day lives is motivated by anything other than love. Sure, news and social media may want to reinforce a negative message, but the truth is that love cannot be conquered. Miracles come to me every single day; I need to stop forgetting that. Every time I strum my new guitar, it will be a prayer of thanks that will remind me just how blessed my life, and really, everyone else’s life, really is.