I believe in sharing what we believe, however and wherever we can. And if we don’t have a safe place to do that we should make it our life’s mission to find one. I believe that is the best gift we could give ourselves in this life. I believe once we find a safe place to reveal who we are and what we believe, life becomes full of hope and possibility.
I found my safe place through a painful journey affected by alcoholism and addiction as a family disease. And my specific story is not so special or more unique than millions of others. However, what I find so special (even miraculous) is that my journey lead me one warm spring evening ten years ago to an Alanon meeting. It was there that other people, just like me, shared their painful and hopeful stories in a loving circle as others, just like them, sat quietly looking with warm and knowing eyes even nodding there heads in affirmation and listened… just listened. There is no cross talk. While you are talking no one will talk over you or across to you, nor will they say a cross word to you…. I found a beauty and safety in that I had never experienced before.
You see… once I found a safe place to listen, to learn, and to share myself, it became possible for me to stop blaming other people or circumstances for my lack of happiness. Finding just one safe place to be…. paradoxically made the world a safe place to be. Finding one safe place to talk about my doubts, fears, and loneliness, became a place to find confidence, courage, and fellowship. Finding people who said to me “take what you like and leave the rest” allowed me to take it all, the good and the bad as a condition of my humanity… all humanity. When I read that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity and then it happened, I knew God was with me.
He always was.
I just needed to find a safe place to find him and believe again.
Want to know a little secret? Once you find just one safe place to be who you are and who you are called to be – you will find many other places as well.
In the last ten years I have found safety in the arms of true recovering friends through divorce, illness, and life as a single person and parent – I can’t wait for the next ten. I have found the center of life’s truth in a journey back to the religion of my youth (I am Catholic). I found a strength, courage, and safety in myself through my God that encourages me to take risks, be of service to others, and know I deserve good things. I believe this is possible not just for me but for every child of God on this earth.
This I believe.
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