When I was little, I used to sit on the floor and watch my Grandma sew. She’d guide the fabric with expert skill until pieces of cloth became dresses that would rival those hanging in fancy stores. But, what was most impressive to me were the patterns she used that she followed from start to finish: They were her roadmap. My Grandma would buy and collect dozens of these patterns that would become dresses for her many clients. She would study them and then work fabric through her magic sewing machine along the paths the patterns set. She had no doubt about the product, even before she bought the first piece of cloth.
In our lives, we all need to create our own roadmaps to what or who we want to become. Like dress patterns, we first must see the outcome we wish to achieve and then walk, step by step, along a path that will lead us to our desired outcome. It’s simple: If we don’t know how we want to be in our lives, we run the risk of wandering aimlessly until we have no more life left to live.
In recovery, too often the substance of abuse is the focus. Rather than saying, “I’m not going to use,” I think someone should say, “I want to be a better husband.” Then, he can go out and reflect and learn what it means to be a better husband. Once he knows, he can then walk a path, step by step, being a better husband. If he does, I can say without a doubt that if he continues on his path he will be a better husband. His use will diminish as a result of naming his goal, and then acting upon it.
Or, we can all do nothing. Either way, life is a choice. We can exist until the day we die, or we can choose to live. In the end, it doesn’t matter how someone dies, all that matters is how he or she lived. I think we should sew our lives from the finest fabric.