‘Tis the season
This is that special time of year when we dream about peace. We visualize prosperity and proclaim that old acquaintance be forgot. We experience the giving and receiving of gifts and most people find themselves feeling rather charitable. Yes, compassion fills our hearts and olive branches are extended. The world’s armies put down their guns and break bread with their opponents. We all come together and unite for a fleeting moment on Christmas Day.
Well, at least that is how all the songs and movies depict it anyway. What actually happens for many this time of year doesn’t quite fit the bill of “joyful and triumphant!” Many people find themselves stressed over the financial burden of the holidays or the pressure to purchase the perfect gift for their special someone. How could I not mention those in recovery and those who are still suffering with addictions?
This time of year can be very challenging to the newly sober person. There are Christmas parties where even casual drinkers drink too much. The expectation is to let loose and live it up. For a recovering person, this isn’t an option and most people can’t understand that. For those with addiction, one is too many and a thousand is never enough.
But the end of the year is a great time to reflect over the past twelve months. It is good to look at our lives from time to time and decide what is working for us and what is not. For many, we will look at our physical condition and decide that it is time to make some changes. Come January 2nd, the gyms, yoga studios, Pilates classes and the YMCA will be standing room only for three or four weeks.
Deep inside, all of us are yearning for the same things: happiness, joy, contentment, peace, and freedom. We just have no idea how to get it. Does it come from things? Does it come from others? If you love me, will everything be okay? Do we attain happiness from money, food, sex, drugs, being right? What is it? And why do we have such a difficult time finding it and holding on to it?
I believe we have set up a system of living that just flat out doesn’t work. Most would say, “If I had more money, I would be happy.” The facts simply don’t prove that. Very few people who win the lottery actually find happiness. Many end up in a deeper pit of despair in a very short time.
Happiness is a decision. Not a simple one, I might add, but it is a decision. And it would seem many of us are simply incapable of making that decision. Why do you think that is? Is it our ego? Are we hardwired for “my way or the highway”? Isn’t it time we break out of the “do it my way or else” paradigm?
I believe that we are becoming more conscious with time. I can look as far as my own life and see that my own beliefs have changed drastically since I was a child. I have expanded my view of the world and strive to continue to do so. I can also see in the children of today that they appear to be well-equipped to take us to a higher place.
I choose to believe we are going there. In fact, I believe we are already there; we just don’t know it yet. When asked, “Why do you strive to change the world’s view of God?” my reply is simple. It would appear to me that the world’s perspective of what God is and wants for us isn’t working. Now, I am not going to force my belief on anyone, but I do not hesitate to bring it up in conversation when I see the opportunity. I know my perspective of God changed, so why can’t others? Why can’t we all keep an open, flowing, and ever-willing-to-change view of God?
Let me ask you this: If given the opportunity to be right or be happy, which would you take? Now to take that one step further. If all you had to do was consider that what you believe to be true about God may not be the whole truth, and by doing so could bring you to a higher state of happiness, joy and freedom, would you take it?
(Kevin McCormack, C.A.d ,is a certified addictions professional and auriculotherapist. He is a recovering addict with 26 years of sobriety. Kevin is a practicing auriculotherapist, life coach, and interventionist specializing in individual and family recovery and also co-facilitates spiritual recovery retreats for the CWG foundation. You can visit his website here for more information. To connect with Kevin, please email him at Kevin@TheGlobalConversation.com)