Unleashing the River: A Call to People in Recovery

Compassion seeps up through the cracks of the broken. It pours out of the pores of those who have faced and overcome some of the most difficult obstacles, challenges and barriers the world has to offer. It has the power to unite, heal, forgive and create; the ability to transform, inspire, motivate and ignite. Compassion is love in its purest form, and what we know about love is that it seeks only to give of itself so that it may be received.

When I think about compassion and its transformative power, I can't help but think of the abundance of compassion bubbling up out of the millions of people in long-term recovery from addiction challenges.

I think of the unconditional love that is shared within the recovery communities, and I think of the ripple impact that already touches each and every individual attached to one person in recovery. I see how places that were once densely dark and full of despair go on to become vibrantly brightened by a light that serves as a beacon of hope and an instrument of love. Raging rivers of compassion overflow among the once broken heroic warriors that make up the recovery communities, and I can't help but wonder about what the world would look like if the dams were to truly break down.

What would the world look like if the wealth of compassion living and breathing in the recovery communities were to be allowed free flow out to the masses?
Some of this planet's greatest resources go underutilized and tapped far below their potential. Sometimes there is a valuable gem hidden right beneath our feet just waiting to be uncovered and mined. Compassion is one of those resources; it is a human capital commodity that the world so desperately needs more of. When I consider the fortune of compassion that exudes throughout the closed, shadowed places that stigma and discrimination have forced many people in recovery to dwell in, I see a missed opportunity for the world at large. I see a treasure that humanity as a whole would benefit greatly from were it to be fully unleashed and exposed. I say it is time we unleash and expose it. I say it is time that we break down the dams and allow for the love and compassion shared within the recovery communities to flood out to the world at large.

If you are a person or family member in recovery, you may find yourself asking, "How exactly do we do this?"

One very simple action that all of us can perform is to carry our light of compassion out beyond the recovery communities and into the world at large, and to let the world know exactly where that light came from. We ought to be unabashed in disclosing the source of that light, just as the world was well aware of what bore the darkness it replaced. We should be proud of our heroic journey of recovery, and in turn, show the world just how valuable the gifts of recovery are to humanity as a whole. As we touch all those we encounter with our transformative compassion, we ought to be sure to inform people exactly from where that gift originated. In turn, as we transform the world around us, we also transform the minds and hearts of those who have no idea just how much of a worthwhile investment recovery really is.

Yup, I say it is time we break down the dams and allow our compassion to openly spread out across and water the world. I say it is time that the world receives the valuable treasure we have to offer and knows exactly where that gift was uncovered. I say we unleash that river.