Cultivating Healthy, Healing Relationships in Recovery
Developing positive, healthy relationships are the one of the cornerstones in our recovery process. One’s earnings or the size of one’s bank account doesn’t define success in recovery, though that doesn’t stop us from placing the expectations of monetary success upon ourselves. It’s not unusual to get sober and equate success in recovery with what we have, whom we date, where we live, what we drive, et cetera. In time, however, it is our cultivation of healthy relationships with those around us that are the true markers of success. Think about it this way: if the things we have define the quality of our lives, what happens if our accumulation of stuff is abated? Are we left empty and bereft of joy? I think not. Instead, we must find a way to enjoy the skin we’re in, sans outside pleasures and impermanent pleasure
When we fixate on accumulating stuff rather than cultivating strong, supportive relationships with those around us, we may find we’re not as happy as we want to be. The more we ignore that which causes us pain, and the more we attempt to fill ourselves with stuff, the more uncomfortable we’re apt to become. We tend to place undo importance on what we have during our lives but speak primarily about the quality of relationships with family and friends at the end of our lives. When we face our mortality, the issue of “stuff” isn’t high on the list of important topicsOne of the most important relationships we learn to cultivate early on in recovery is with a sponsor. The only guideline we have is to find someone who “has what we want.” That doesn’t refer to the kind of car they drive; it refers to the quality of their program, if they’ve worked the steps, and if they are spiritually sound. Unfortunately, we often times are influenced by someone’s outsides rather than what’s important for our insides. The moral of the story is this: cultivate your relationships with others the way you would nurture a burgeoning garden or pot of coffee. You know I know how important coffee is in recovery!