Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Gift of Gratitude

Chris Newcomb, M.Div.

If you haven't been living in a hole in the past 24 hours, you've probably noticed that there has been a significant 'weather event' occurring on the East Coast of the U.S.  That's right, I'm talking about Hurricane Sandy, a mammoth 700 mile wide superstorm that has left 7.6 million people without power. 

Today I am full of gratitude.  For whatever reason, my house was spared and I have electricity.  I say that with a profound sense of thanks and not from a place of bragging.  You don't know what you've got until it's gone.  This storm has taught me that it is even better to remember what you have before it is taken away from you and you have to realize it then. 

Of course, this is a substance abuse blog so I do need to talk about that subject.  However, this weather incident fits right in.  It is the storms of addiction that decimate families and the individuals who suffer directly from the disease itself.  Pounded by waves of insecurity, low self-esteem, guilt, and shame, the beach of their life is turned and churned into a liquid wasteland.  And all hope seems to be lost.  Pretty depressing huh?!?

Never fear.  As a famous book once said, "Joy comes in the morning!"  And that is true.  There is hope for the alcoholic and the addict.  Recovery clears the clouds and the storms of addiction to reveal a new life. 

Just as people seek recovery from substance abuse, we also rise up in spite of Sandy's best efforts.  Now we will see humanity at it's greatest place: helping one another.  And, in turn, by helping each other, we increase our gratitude as well.

Today, at The Coleman Institute, we pause and reflect with gratitude the many gifts and blessings we have received especially in light of this horrific storm.  Our staff is safe and many of our clients have come through this storm ok.  Also, in our hearts, we are thinking of those still without power and in need of other assistance.  Let us all do our part today and in the coming days to show the best of our humanity and help those who cannot help themselves in the wake of the disaster this storm has caused!         


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