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The Guiding Light of Hope

By: Margi Taber

Margi Taber’s life work is about hope and healing. Her career path has focused on adolescent and family work in the field of addiction and social work. She is on the leadership committee of NAADAC's Adolescent Specialty Committee and is the vice president of programs and operations at RSSS.

A Guiding Light of Hope is inspired by the many people she has met who are on a mission to increase awareness, provide education, and promote health and healing regarding this ever-challenging disease called addiction that is destroying lives on a daily basis.

Ready, set, jump!

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Dec 17, 2014

I spent time recently reflecting on a quote I saw posted on social media: Some days you just need to jump into the vortex and let the universe do its job!  I wish I knew who the author was to give him or her credit for such a profound thought!  

In the next month, I will find my career at a major turning point because of recent budget cut ,and I am eagerly anticipating this as an opportunity knocking at my door. That was the gist of my first thought when I read this quote: “Yes!  I’m jumping!  It’s exciting to see where the vortex will lead me to!”  

Yet I quickly became aware of the nonsense chatter that started to surface in my thoughts.  You know those thoughts; the ones that originate from growing up in a family system where I am the oldest child, the only girl and where there is a history of generational untreated alcoholism in the family.   That very programming was ingrained in me from early childhood.  Messages that reinforced that I am to be the “responsible one”, the one who had been silently assigned the unofficial “charge” to take care of others no matter what the cost.   The nonsense chatter that generated thoughts like:

  • “It’s not NORMAL if you jump into the unknown.  So don’t do it!”
  • “You have responsibilities to tend to and the vortex might take you to a place where you won’t be able to fulfill those responsibilities!”
  • “What if it’s a ‘bad decision’?  Others might judge you and think you’re foolish.”
  • “You should be afraid of that which you cannot see.”

And on and on and on …

Who the hell was I kidding?  I wasn’t jumping eagerly into the vortex by listening to that programming!   Yet that was the very programming that defined so many of my choices for a long time until I started to learn about what it means to grow up living in a family system where alcoholism has run rampant and most times without even being acknowledged that the disease existed.   Those were the things you “just don’t talk about.”   Or so I thought.  

Those nonsense thoughts are just lies that produce guilt, low self-esteem, insecurities, fears and more; nonsense thoughts that we end up believing to be truth.  They are nothing that fuels one to reach for their dreams or even believe they can have dreams.   It definitely took some work for me to be able to see through those lies.  I was blessed with things like therapy that I didn’t run away from, supportive friends, family doing their own healing, and 12-step groups which have helped me to break down that “nonsense chatter” in my head and gain better insight into the real truth of my life, my history and especially who I am.  

Don’t get me wrong, just because I’ve done this work, doesn’t mean I’m “cured”.   My current work situation is reinforcing that now in my world.  Stressful or traumatic situations can be the very thing that challenges us to put our learning into action.   I am aware more through this time, how the stinking thinking can rear its ugly head in an attempt to infect the healthy sense of self I spent all these years building.  

Having a tool box is pertinent to fight back against those negative energies that want to break us down.  To be truthful it’s more than having a tool box, it’s really about having the willingness to open up that box and use the tools to keep pressing forward in order to live the life we truly desire.  

So just for today, one thing I’m embracing that was not always easy for me to do is to reach out and let in those people in my life who are comfortable enough with their own stuff to walk through this emotional roller coaster I am on as I search to maintain my light.  Today am I ever so grateful that I have people who are willing to walk this journey with me while encouraging me to know that one of the best things I can do is to jump into the vortex and let the universe do its thing!

 

Other articles you might be interested in... 

Journey to recovery, steps 4 and 5 

Giving thought to the power of the mind 

Debunking the addiction story 

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