Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Decisions and Attitude In The Season of Peace and Light

"I worried about it, but if you turn on the lights, it's no big deal." ~ Kevin McCallister - Home Alone
We've all seen the television commercial with the four kids running from the murderer. Ultimately they head for the cemetery, a perfectly convenient ending for the hockey goalie masked antagonist who probably cannot believe his good fortune. The voiceover rings true: "If you're in a horror movie, you make bad decisions."

Our lives have at times seemed like a horror film, an out-of-body experience, roles played on a stage unimaginable years before. We found ourselves overly preoccupied with The Addiction, thinking by controlling outcomes we could cure what we did not cause. The Addiction kept us distracted from our recovery journeys mired in a spate of poor decision making.

Looking back we can all remember when we should probably have gotten into "that running car" as portrayed in the commercial, yet we remained embroiled in The Addiction's pursuit for our energy and attention.

The chase became the thing. Our lives became secondary.

As I have described before we at some point did (or will) make a decision to no longer be the unwilling play toy of The Addiction. We accepted we were beaten. With nowhere else to go we surrendered to a Power greater than ourselves. We relinquished control of our child's journey.

And so began our transformation.

There is more to this, our stories of transcendence from victim to victor and certainly more required to continue, to maintain our sanity and stay the course along our recovery journeys.

This more, the energy drink or protein bar essential to remain nourished along our pathways is a positive attitude and a shift in our mindset from prey to protagonist of our own prosperity. We can make a decision that our lives will change, our opportunities only limited by our point of view.

The etymology of the word attitude (sorry, but this important and almost eerie) goes back to the Latin aptus, meaning "fit", and the Italian attitudine, a word for fitness and posture. Our attitude is the springboard to our spiritual, emotional and physical well being and our ability to persevere along an often difficult journey. Attitude can be everything, a defense against the constant body blows of negativity, depression and hopelessness The Addiction will throw at us to keep us down and out.

We are at a juncture where as parents of addicts we are not only besieged by the melancholy of our children's addictions but the seeming constancy of evil in the world that monopolizes our conversations, thoughts and outlook. It can seem inescapable, as if the world's troubles are are piling on upon our children's struggles, the desperation of the times engulfing us in darkness with little hope of escape.

Yet amid the darkness there is light if we are willing to let go and accept its presence.

As I am writing this we are a month past the Hindu "festival of lights" or Diwali, a spiritual celebration of hope overcoming despair, light over darkness, good transcending evil, knowledge rising above ignorance. We are also in the third day of Judaism's Hanukkah, celebrating the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC and the miracle of a single day's supply of oil for the Temple menorah lasting for eight days. Christians are in preparation for its annual festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. Central among the images of this observance is a star that led the Magi to Bethlehem.

We can shift our attitude, allow ourselves to accept this convergence of three theologies and other beliefs and life ideologies. We can make a decision. We can continue to seek out the pervasive darkness or embrace the NOW at a time when we sorely need it. This long Season of Peace and Light reminds us to accept when the Universe provides us with a perfect storm of hope to buoy us beyond times like these where evil and despair seem inescapable.

In this season, and at other times, we are reminded The Light exists and is prepared to overtake the darkness from whatever source. Whether The Evil originates from those who would distort a gentle and loving belief system into one of hate and violence or from The Addiction that has similarly contorted the the lives of our children, we can and must be drawn to The Light that exists beyond the darkness. The festivals of light and the story of the star in the East are in-your-face reminders of this. As parents of children who have the disease of addiction now is the time to decide. We can decide to Seek, See and be guided by The Light. We can change our attitude. We can embrace the positive and concentrate on the wonders of our recovery journey.

My wish for all of us is for a joyous and light-filled holiday season as we all journey on. We can love our children while we continue to hate the darkness of The Addiction. It is our decision. We can start with a smile and go from there. The signposts of the Season and the Universe are pointing the way.

Mele kalikimaka!

... keep coming back
"The most important lesson that man can learn from his life is not that there is pain in the world, but that it depends upon him to turn it into good account, that it is possible for him to transmute it into joy." ~ Rabindranath Tagore