“You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness.” – Zig Ziglar
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. Below are seven wonders established through your long-term, ongoing recovery program.
1. Honorable Character
In and through your recovery you are now able to focus on your character and live according to your own values. Honesty and integrity characterize your attitude and actions. Rather than pretending, deceiving, or lying to your friends and family, you live in a law-abiding and authentic way. It is not only your change in behavior that is astonishing, it is your change in character that makes all the difference. You are kind, thoughtful, patient, creative, and strong, and your external actions are a vivid display of who you are on the inside.
2. Increased Productivity
You are living out your character, which allows you to dream big and do more that matters. I don’t see this as the goal, but rather a result of who you are. Your determination, perseverance, and ability to work hard are a result of your recovery.
3. Relational Integrity
You are becoming consistent in your relationships. Acknowledgement of the pain caused in the past makes rebuilding trust possible. Even when relationships with children, partners, friends, and family members have been damaged, behaving in a reliable manner will help rebuild trust. Goals such as raising your children, getting married, or restoring a relationship with your parents is made possible through your sustained recovery. Demonstrating love, respect, and consideration for others in a consistent manner will yield monumental results.
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, it is 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. Through your efforts, ongoing sobriety rebuilds, restores, and recovers what has been lost. Addiction steals and kills. Recovery protects and returns what has 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 the hard work. It is easy to fall down, most anyone can do that, it is the getting up again that is the challenge. When you do stand up again, take time to applaud yourself and be proud of the turnaround. You may not receive the appreciation, esteem, or 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 encouraging monumental achievements as your goodbye to the past, as inspiration to do the hard work today, and as a promise for the future. I believe you will find the peace and fulfillment embedded in these seven wonders of recovery.
Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the ride!