When I was asked to write an article commemorating the first year anniversary of the launch of RecoveryView.com – I wrestled with finding a topic that was “holiday related” as this was the initial request. I thought of writing about what a tumultuous year it has been in the world AT LARGE with so many extraordinary events taking place – beginnings, endings, miracles and mayhem. But then I thought why not write a letter of congratulations to RecoveryView.com for their tremendous launch and ongoing development this past year. Being one who enjoys complimenting and supporting others, this was an easier exercise. Funny how I was searching “out there somewhere” for a “seasonal” topic when this opportunity was sitting right out in front of me!! That’s how life often is, isn’t it?
When Josie and I began speaking over a year ago and the idea of creating this wonderful website began to percolate I remember how exciting it was bouncing ideas back and forth about what “need” existed in the community, about the many exciting possibilities that this website could foster and really who better than Josie to put this in motion! Connected, passionate, informed, humanitarian in spirit — she was the PERFECT person to create and execute such a vision! An now a year later it seems as if it has been in existence for a much longer period of time. When a much-needed product is created and visionary idea is made manifest, we often find it hard to believe that no one had though of the idea before. And so it is!
The creation of RecoveryView.com should inspire each of us, and serve as a beautiful reminder that need and opportunity are everywhere but few will meet the challenge. Many folks will articulate “wouldn’t it be great if…?” but few will step up and say “if not me…then who, and if not now….then when?” I have become aware recently of opportunities that I NEVER noticed before — and have had to face the challenge of asking myself these exact same questions. And I would bet some if not many of you are finding yourselves in the same situation. These difficult times in the world require innovative thinking, passionate dreaming, collaboration like we have never seen before — and a fortitude to meet these challenges that is not for the tame-hearted.
Consider for a moment the tremendous needs of our veterans returning from the war. Consider the multitude of suffering experienced by those who endured catastrophic environmental tragedies. And consider the desperation felt by our wounded and heartsick brethren who move through this world with the weight of illness and addictions. Many search for answers to questions for which no answers exist. Many search for “love” over and over again, only to come up short time after time. And many are simply paralyzed and overwhelmed by the gravity of their circumstances. It is not difficult to find tremendous need in the world; and while most of us care greatly, we may still become befuddled while analyzing just how to start “cleaning up the mess!”
Certainly spending time with those less fortunate than ourselves always provides an opportunity for perspective and appreciation of the little things we may have taken for granted…but so often I find folks just “waiting….and waiting…and WAITING” for things to get better, waiting for “someone to do something”, waiting for life to be wonderful again (or maybe even for the FIRST time). Perhaps over this past year you became aware that your “purpose-driven life” has become mundane and stagnant, that you are “clocking your hours” being fastidious in the pursuit of your goals, only to find that your spirit has become somehow numb to the moments passing by. The striving for maximal efficiency and/or proficiency has left you few idle moments – seconds of repose in which the “breath of life” is illuminated, that love is noticed, and that dreams are born.
I for one have led a hurried life brimming with enormous self-imposed expectations and urgencies – attempting to “do good in the world” but often at the cost of nurturing my own soul. In the last few years, I have intensified my quest to lead a simpler life, trying to enjoy rich and satisfying moments measured on a gentler scale. Becoming increasingly aware that one of the greatest gifts I have to offer is the sharing of my time and attention with others, I am bearing better witness to the journeys of my comrades, more mindful and sympathetic of the crosses they bear, of the unfulfilled dreams deep in their bellies, and of the often cruel nature by which they may self-govern. I see in them what I have seen in myelf. Somewhere a lesson was learned that chastising and belittling oneself was the right way to change behaviors rather than fostering and nourishing the kernels of joy so far and few between. Is it ANY wonder that we feel confused and disillusioned, cut off from our creativity, and disempowered around the possibility of change?
Josie saw an unmet need and realized that by meeting that need “helpers would be helped” and the magnitude of their works multiplied you know, like a generous return in an annuity plan – only one that consistently goes UP, paying wonderful dividends and providing manifold returns year after year! God bless her for her forthright charge, her vision, her discipline, and her execution of this dream. She inspires us to become active and involved, ot see the needs right before us, and to, as the saying goes, “be the change (we) want to see in the world)” — fearless and determined that with god on our side, “all things are possible.”
Thank you, Josie, for showing us how to manifest a dream so beautifully, and for reminding us what a difference a year can make. Thinking about the incredible possibilities and challenges that lay ahead of us in the year to come, may we ask for God’s blessings as we remember to smile more easily, to be loving and grateful, to be impeccable with our word and gentle in our judgements. May we notice that our lives ARE wonderful — not “waiting to be wonderful”. May we compliment easily and encourage often. May we notice the “moments” and focus on the aspects of others “trying to get it right.” And may we not forget to dream DELICIOUS dreams – for who knows what is in store for us just around the bend. I hope I will find you smiling when we meet there!
May you have a safe and blessed Holiday Season and a New Year that exceeds your wildest imagination.