The seven wonders of the ancient world were astounding man-made displays of human ingenuity and creativity in engineering, art, and architecture. They include the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes and others. Recovery, although not equal in scope, can feel like your own amazing achievement, accomplished with great skill, fortitude, and creativity. Yesterday I described three of seven amazing achievements resulting from a robust recovery. Below are the final four of seven wonders established through your long-term, ongoing recovery program.
4. Inspired Generosity
You now have an opportunity to contribute to others and give back to the recovery community. Your life may have been rescued by the generosity of others. Be willing to give back out of appreciation for the help and sacrifices others made for you. This is not a command but a chance to make a difference and inspire others to move forward.
5. Improved Health
Addiction wreaks havoc on almost every area of your life. You may have lost weight, lost your teeth, lost your job, and lost your home. Perhaps your relationships have been damaged and your emotional life beaten, bashed, and bruised. Ongoing sobriety is rebuilding, restoring and recovering what has been lost. Addiction steals and kills. Recovery protects and returns what’s been lost. You will likely find key improvements in your physical condition, emotional state, and spiritual life.
6. Reclaimed Respect
Long-term recovery is difficult and a major accomplishment for anyone who endures. It’s easy to fall down – most anyone can do that – it’s getting up again that is the challenge. When you do, take time to applaud yourself, and be proud of the turnaround. You may not receive the appreciation, esteem, and recognition of your hard work from others. Honor from others is a slippery thing that may not be easily captured. Don’t wait for affirmation that may never come, instead take personal pleasure and pride in your progress rather than endlessly regretting the past.
7. Restored Hope
Your new life of recovery has meaning and purpose. You can value yourself in the present moment and invest yourself into the future. Hope is the thought and belief that good things and better days are ahead. We are continually moving in the direction of how we think and believe. Hope for the future is made possible as you think positively and realistically about yourself. As you think and speak positively, you will move more confidently in a positive direction.
Proud and Grateful
Use these monumental achievements as your goodbye to the past, as inspiration to do the hard work today, and as encouragement and a promise for the future. I trust you will find the peace and fulfillment embedded in these seven wonders of recovery.
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the Ride!