February 23

HOPE MONTH: DAY 23: “Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” ― Stephen King

What is generally believed about death is that when something dies (or someone), it and all its energy is gone forever. I no longer believe this as deeply as I once did. Imbued with spirit, there is no way to kill energy. It can be displaced or re-arranged in some conditions, but not disappeared.

I like this. I love having hope, and I believe that the spirit of hope we engender in others lives on forever. I get to experience this with the people with whom I have worked over the years. I have had clients and inmates who approach me in different settings and tell me that I gave them something 15 or 20 years ago that they never forgot.

I don’t always remember them. At one point in time, I figured that there were somewhere between 2500 and 3500 people a year that I worked with or sponsored. That is a lot of people. Some of them are indelibly traced into my memory. Others not so much. Some I have been in touch with over the years. But once in a while I get a blast from the past in an unexpected way.

I do a lot of work in jails and prisons. I hate finding someone there who was once a client and had a situation that incarcerated them. But, this is way too often the case. Happened to me last night. One guy in the prison remembered me from another prison about 20 years ago. And another one was an old client who relapsed and did what we do when we relapse. Not everyone goes to prison, but he did. For a very long time.

But, I carry hope with me. There are a couple dozen of the lifers I have known in one prison who are living in the world again today. A lot of people are being shifted into a new paradigm. Sadly, not many of them are doing the recovery thing. They get busy with jobs and life and forget how they got out. I hope and pray that they do not return to the life. I know what happens. I have seen it far too often.

But, I carry hope with me. That is the message I have from having worked these steps deeply and with intention many, many times. I see the life I get to have. And I can hold that out as an attraction, because they see and feel my love and how excited I am for them.

We cannot transmit something we haven’t got. When someone who is whiney and miserable tries to carry a message, no one believes them. I have seen this a lot too. We have to embody this recovery thing. They have to FEEL our love and our joy. Otherwise, we just carry a shitty attitude and complaining.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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