In the spirit of the wildly popular Elizabeth Gilbert novel Eat, Pray, Love, I recently pondered the upcoming holiday trifecta of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the novel, the protagonist chronicles several seasons of her life in terms of her focus. She eats in Italy, prays in India and finds love in Indonesia.
Stereotypically, we associate Halloween with fear, thanksgiving with gratitude and Christmas with celebration. With little thought or effort I find myself settling into the rhythm of the holidays, easily transitioning from feeling to activity as habit and custom demand.
When I reflect on my journey through alcoholism and addiction and eventual recovery process, I can see parallels with the seasons of my life. Out of sheer terror came a willingness to surrender to a process that I didn’t really even believe would work. After several seasons within the seasons, my spirit was awakened and my life slowly began to come back together. Gratitude eventually became more of a fact and less of an elusive feeling. And finally, these days, more often than not, I am able to celebrate, sometimes quietly, and sometimes vocally, the absolute joy of living happy, joyous and free.
Unlike the Holiday seasons that are upon us, where we know what to expect, and anticipate a joyful happy ending, our lives are more filled with mystery and surprise. Through the process of recovery, I have seen, time and again, that any inkling I had of the future was overshadowed by the wonderful reality that eventually set in. My life, in God’s hands, is better than anything I could have ever imagined.
Marsha Stone, CEO