Our stories, our journeys, and the experiences we’ve endured and embraced; all hold a lot of power. In remembering, we can experience the power of joy and of pain. In retelling, we can experience the power of authenticity and freedom while others glean from and are empowered by it. The recovery journey is much more than letting go of “things;” it is the vision of what can be. It is a journey that embraces rest, redemption, restoration, and renewal.
Last we talked about the practical approaches we can take as we work to reframe our days and remove our crutches. But what’s equally, if not even more important, is the vision for where recovery leads.
As I have said many times before and will repeat on my podcast this week, I am on my own recovery journey.
If you didn’t know, the “Fortune 1000 Leadership Consultant and Author of The Connected Leader,” Karen J. Hardwick, is in recovery. And it’s important to me that I keep repeating that for a few reasons:
- I want to do my part in breaking the stigma.
- I know it’s essential to step out of the shadows because we are only as sick as our secrets
- I desire to align my public persona with the real me
- I want to live with honesty and humility
- I am committed to promoting bravery under my umbrella of influence so that others might find freedom, share their stories, and embrace their journey without fear, shame, or condemnation
As I lean deeply into the power of connection in recovery, I have learned that the vision we hold for our future days constantly needs reinforcement. When you begin a recovery journey, the shame of your past choices, mistakes, addictions, trauma, missed opportunities, and fractured relationships; will work to try and tether you to that broken place. But recovery is about relieving ourselves of the pain and embracing newfound freedom. Loving reminders, in the form of humans, help remind us of who we are and where we’re heading.
I promise that the community of those who have gone before you is much bigger than you think. Our ability to draw from, learn, and leverage the stories of others is paramount. And as you journey onward, you will find new truths that lead to life. For me, some of these embraced truths are:
- I am learning to live from a place of joy and gratitude at all times. This practice renews my mind and reframes my days.
- I have the power to share my story candidly. In doing so, I become more authentic and vulnerable, and I help others discover their own stories.
- I have more questions than answers, and I have come to terms with the fact that life is messy.
- I am walking a spiritual path and am more aware of God’s presence everywhere I go. I move my feet forward to do hard things and anchor myself in a loving God who rides shotgun with me, present at all times, regardless of my awareness or lack thereof.
- I believe leadership is a sacred calling, and we are all called to lead in all parts of life.
- I believe in the power of “we.” We are not designed to do life alone, and there is a profound and healing bond in hearing the words “me too.”
- I understand that acceptance is a superpower that allows others to walk their path.
- I love and have a deep value for the power of the table celebrating communion (the sharing of our lives,) which leads to redemption.
We all want to come home and be welcomed. We all want to find our way back to our true selves, to uncover the light within us. We all want to be forgiven and to be seen. We want to be appreciated, valued, included in the celebration, well-loved, and connected. And these are the roads to which recovery leads us. Grace, hope, and freedom await you. You can begin to carry a new vision for your future days in connection with community, family, self-awareness, and God.
Remember: The recovery journey is much more than letting go of “things;” it is the vision of what can be. The homecoming of your truest self; healed, at peace, whole.
I just released a 3-week journaling workbook called, My Connection Manifesto. It’s a gift to you this season to help you dig deeper and begin to understand the importance of connection within, connection with others, and how you carry a vision of your life with a connection at the forefront. If you’re looking to launch your journey forward, self-awareness and reflection is a wonderful place to start. Simply click here to download for free.