In working with people who are new in recovery, it is important to realize that our greatest asset – can also be our greatest downfall if we are not diligent in our own recovery. Our greatest asset is actually NOT our experience, strength and hope. We can share our experience, strength and hope and yet, be doing absolutely NOTHING to develop our spiritual growth, or if you will, “our own recovery”. Even more dangerous is that we may do our “song and dance” SO LONG that even “we” can no longer tell the true from the false of our actual circumstances.
Indeed our greatest asset is in striving to put into practice through our actions, the principles of recovery, which we stand before others and share about. I believe there is no more powerful a tool in this life than to have someone truly “LIVING” the “strength and hope” of what we share so much about. The new person who listens to our stories often lives in one of two camps: (1) The one that desires hope and wants to believe what they are hearing; AND (2) The one that fears hope and wants to find the lie, the hypocrisy and the impossibility of it all. Indeed our words are quite a powerful tool which can stir the hearts of those who will listen. But a MUCH more important task lies before us….that being “how we LIVE OUT our words in our day to day lives.” None of us can live out perfect recovery, but we certainly can actively strive to pursue the growth and development of our spiritual condition by means of: (1) Seeking daily the direction of a Power greater than ourselves; (2) Surrendering our will for that of a Greater will; (3) Seeking out opportunities to be of service to our fellows and (4) Holding ourselves accountable to someone of our choosing. YES our greatest asset is when our actions reflect our words!
Likewise, there is no greater disservice we can do to ourselves and to our fellows, (especially the newest among us), than for our actions to contradict our words. For it is in doing this, that the one who once found hope and belief upon hearing us speak…will likely endure the experience of disillusionment. Likewise the one so full of Doubt and Sinicism…will likely embrace the illusion confirming the impossibility that they held to so fearfully tight. Am I saying that ALL who experience this disappointment fall away into relapse or are never to be heard from again? NO…But am I saying that some will? Sadly the answer is “Yes indeed they will”.
Working with new people in recovery is an awesome responsibility and not to be taken lightly. Is it possible that we will ALL wander from time to time - our steps found to be somewhat lacking, perhaps even hypocritical as compared to our words? ABSOLUTELY! That is simply part of being human. It is not in our mistakes that we bring harm to others, because we all have the ability to attain reconciliation with those whom we find fellowship. Our strength will be found in acknowledging our shortcomings to those around us…especially the new person and from there proceed forward in our own journey. It is in this example of putting our words into action, that the new person see’s first hand that recovery is NOT about perfection…but about how to live with our imperfections.
© Rebecca Balko