SEEDS OF GRATITUDE
It is unlikely that you would ever hear someone in recovery state that the journey is an easy one. Because indeed it is not! The path is filled with many contradictions good times and bad, laughter and sorrow, moments of hope and some of despair, frailty and strength. Every day is a beautiful challenge and persons in recovery learn to live one day at a time, being grateful for each successful sunrise and sunset that they get to experience free of addiction. This ability is a carefully crafted skill harnessed during treatment. Addiction treatment centers understand the importance of this process to clients and families in recovery. As such it is an essential building block in treating addiction. At Crossroads Centre Antigua, this process is defined as “Identifying Seeds of Gratitude” which our clients must nurture daily after this identification to encourage growth in their recovery. In this post we share three commonly identified seeds with you and ask our reader to also identify and share their stories of gratitude with us.
Honesty in Recovery
As a luxury treatment center, nestled by the sea, our clients are surrounded by the calming serenity of the ocean and the purity of the long stretched beach. This is a vast contrast to their chaotic, soiled addictive lifestyle that was left behind in order to begin afresh. The first seed of gratitude begins with honesty and recognition of this contrast. Clients are often grateful for this very moment, for this very chance to begin again. Here at Crossroads Centre, the environment soothes and feeds their empty souls, the ocean breeze calms the restless mind and healing begins.
Forgiveness in Recovery
With this healing process emerges another seed of gratitude – Forgiveness. Clients struggle with this seed throughout their recovery and many times it is not nurtured and must be replanted to grow. The reason for this challenge is that forgiveness, like recovery, has many triggers that encourage relapse. The most significant one is the difficult task of forgiving oneself first, before forgiving others or asking for forgiveness. Self-forgiveness reminds us of our flaws and no one wants to do this. We teach our clients to be grateful for these flaws, as they remind us of our humanity and of a world we chose to leave behind. Self-forgiveness restores empathy and is a sign that renewal of the soul has begun.
Surrender in Recovery
This renewal often ignites inspiration to conquer the world and it is here that many clients learn the need to plant another seed of gratitude, which is Surrender. It is difficult for many of us to accept that we are not in control. However we teach our clients to see the gift in this. Surrendering control means we never have the walk the pathways of life alone and we do not have to strive for impossible perfection. It also means that there is strength in unity and power in letting go and trusting the guidance of others, whether it is with members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), professionals in the recovery field, spiritual guidance, family or friend. We hold dear to this gratitude that we are never alone.
Have you likewise planted these seeds of gratitude? Please email me and share your recovery journey. Perhaps you are struggling to nurture the seeds you have planted, if so tell me your challenges, together we can find ways to conquer them.
Dr. Jean-Machelle Benn-Dubois
Director of Admissions & Continuum of Care Email: