EVERY EXPERIENCE IS OFFERING THE NEXT “RIGHT” LESSON AND THE RIGHT PARTNER TO LEARN IT WITH. This idea can be exceedingly comforting.  The past is not a pretty sight for many of us who finally wander into the rooms of recovery.  My early life was replete with experiences that were ugly, oftentimes dangerous, and according to others, on the edge of insanity far too often.  But I survived them all and I have a story that has, on occasion, been helpful to some one who has come to me for guidance.  I developed hope eventually, hope that my life could be as sane as the lives of those men and women who carried their message to the meetings we shared.  The hope I developed from listening to others is what I now freely offer to the “wanderers” who come my way until they have the capacity to create hope for themselves.

It’s such a blessing that until we can ignite hope for our own lives, we can observe how it has played out in the lives of others, and those examples serve us well.  Having hope is akin to finding food when you are starving.  It allows you not only to continue living but to have the strength to do what had seemed impossible only days or perhaps even moments before.  Hope is a powerful elixir.  Without it, lives remain unchanged and that which is ours to do, remains undone.

Returning now to the principle of this essay, no matter what experience seems to be catching our attention, it allows for greater peace of mind to believe that it’s the next, necessary thing on our plate or it wouldn’t have shown up.  It’s as simple as that.  And the person who “carries” the experience to us is part of the lesson we have been waiting for. We can trust that we have been fully prepared for the lesson and the “carrier.”  Nothing comes to us that we aren’t ready for.  We may want to resist what has come, but this is where hope can play a role.  Knowing that what has selected us is by design, diminishes our fear and releases in us the hope we need that we can fulfill the responsibility that has come calling.

In some instances this may seem easier to believe than in others.  A lost job often opens the door to a better one.  We have  seen this played out many times with others.  An unwanted divorce might be accepted in time as having been necessary too. Our next partner was already waiting.  But it’s hard not to feel that the experiences of servicemen who have been killed or gravely injured or abused children or youngsters who are caught in the line of fire and die, can’t possibly be classified in the same way.  It’s not my intent to do that but to offer a possibility for how to accept the “unacceptable.”

We simply don’t know what the design is for any one else’s life.  We don’t know the specifics of any one’s journey.  That’s between each person and his Creator.  What can be known, however, is that we can all gather around the injured parties, offering our love and support.  We can pray for their loved ones to remain strong and faith-filled.  We can pass on hope to those who have no capacity for feeling it in the moment.  And every time we experience hope for any one, it strengthens it in all of us. It’s a relief knowing that what comes every day is part of “the plan.”  It takes the worry out of the day and makes room for the hope that’s necessary to move forward.


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