Many people ask me about how difficult it was to stop being an attorney and university instructor to studying to become a minister. I will say that the transition from active addiction to active recovery is perhaps the most challenging movement anyone can ever face in their lives. It is a traumatic upheaval that takes a lot of courage..and transformation- in much the same way as becoming a minister does. I love the image of the Phoenix arising from the flames of its old form emerging into its new life.
Many of you know how avid a gamer I am and have always been since junior high school when I programmed a simple text-based adventure on an Apple IIc. I loved that machine. I have recently been exploring the metaphysical ways that my love of gaming has informed my recovery. I had the absolute pleasure of running across Jane McGonigal's TED talk wherein she discusses the parallels between the top 5 regrets people had on their death beds (as compiled by Hospice providers) and the top 5 traits of people like me who have experienced Post Traumatic Growth. Her talk is 19 minutes- you should give yourself 19 minutes that could change your life.
The simple fact is that some people get stronger after trauma. One can use trauma as a springboard to unleash one’s best qualities to lead happier lives. People who have survived trauma and moved on to growth say the followings things defined their life post trauma: their priorities changed and they are not afraid to do what makes them happy. They feel closer to their friends and family. They understand themselves better and know who they really are. They have a new sense of meaning and purpose and are better able to focus on their goals and dreams. Ironically enough, the top 5 traits Post Traumatic Growth survivors experience are the exact opposite of the top 5 regrets of the dying.
This reaffirms the Unity understanding that an event is WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT. Nothing has an essential essence- you as the observer choose your reaction to it. My experiences of education and arrest and Missouri 13th Judicial Circuit Drug Court (Judge Christine Carpenter and Judge Kevin Crane) and the tremendous growth through my 12 step program all facilitate the emergence of the new I AM. Trauma may breed adversity or it may be the catalyst the most exciting and enlightening time of your life- which will you choose? :)