Recovery and Thanksgiving
Welcome! This is my first blog post for Wildwood Farm and I couldn't think of a better day to start this new effort. Here I've placed a picture of the midfield with the chicken coop to the left, the activities barn and the back of the farmhouse. I am very thankful this holiday that Wildwood Farm has opened and become home to LGBTQ individuals seeking to restore their lives and establish themselves in their own recovery. There are many things to be thankful for and so for this first blog I choose to reflect for a brief moment on the essential place of thanksgiving in recovery.
Each year Thanksgiving helps our nation refocus on the importance of gratitude. Opposed to the daily grind of the workday, the topic of the day in the news cycle, and all of life's other distractions, today we are called to appreciate our blessings and good fortunes. Gratitude for the fundamental gifts of life, liberty and a land of many opportunities has become our Thanksgiving standards. As profound and important as these sentiments are, Thanksgiving takes on a different hue for those in recovery: "We not only give thanks, we feel grateful. As an emotion-virtue, gratitude dispossess morally to act right and emotionally to feel right, to do good as regards others and to do well as regards our mental condition" (Ray A., Practice These Principles).
Gratitude for the person seeking a sober path leads us into "acting right" and in turn finding greater emotional maturity that escaped us while drinking and drugging. We could call this experience of change the schooling of gratitude. In other words, I will grow as a better person the more I find gratitude in my heart. As Bill W. wrote years ago: "I try hard to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one's heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion we can ever know."
Perhaps that's the core of attraction so many of us have for the Thanksgiving holiday, in giving thanks for our blessings and gifts we are more able to love others. This love born of gratitude is one of the most powerful forces in lives of individuals and families living with addiction as it offers a path to hope that things will get better! Being thankful then is found to be part of our human dignity and serves as a hallmark of a solid and healthy recovery from addiction.