Thank you for joining in on another Grateful Heart Monday, a day always set aside for reflection on a piece of gratitude from my life, which for today is for “A”, a guy I met at the place I volunteer at, who truly experienced a spiritual breakthrough and offered me a priceless gift as well just over a week ago.
Every week, I volunteer at Rescue Crisis, a place where people come who are struggling with addiction, and/or mental and emotional imbalances. On Wednesdays, I run a 12 Step meeting there, mostly for those looking for help from alcohol and drug issues. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting “A” there, a man who at the start of the meeting was quite agitated and extremely vexed.
Ironically, I’ve really come to appreciate whenever I get clients like this, as I find them the most rewarding to work with, because the spiritual breakthrough tends to be pretty amazing to witness when I can find a way to connect to their heart. That being said, the first half of the meeting was spent with “A” being overly defensive and convinced that 12 Step recovery wasn’t for him, even though he admitted nothing else has worked for him over the years to remain clean and sober for any great length of time.
With about 25 minutes or so left in the meeting, and after several times of “A” angrily leaving the room, I questioned whether maybe I wasn’t going to get through to him, so I muttered silently to God for guidance to help “A”. Suddenly, “A” burst out and said, “You have no idea the pain I’ve had to go through in this life!” It’s then I told him that maybe I didn’t, but what I did know was all the pain I had gone through myself. He scoffed, as if saying nothing I had endured could match his. It’s then I felt God nudge me, as God usually seems to do in situations like this, to talk about all the painful things I’ve been through.
So, I talked about my parents’ tragic deaths and how it all began back in my early childhood with their alcoholism. I spoke about how I felt so alone because of it and constantly was bullied in school with no real friends around the same time too. Then, I mentioned how no one really paid any attention to me back then until I finally made a friend with one of the coaches on the swim and dive team I was a member of around the age of 12. When I revealed how that coach eventually violated and molested me after months of grooming me, “A” began to cry.
For the rest of the meeting, “A” became silent and kept nodding his head to the things I was saying. When the meeting came to an end, he apologized for how strongly he had acted in the beginning of the meeting and thanked me for my honestly. He also asked me for my number and gave me a fist bump just prior to us boarding the elevator. When I stepped off the elevator while he remained to head to the patient floor, he promised to call me, something I’ve come not to rely much upon over the years, as most never do. But, the very next day, my birthday, he actually did call me, not to ask for help though. Rather, he called solely to wish me a Happy Birthday, being that I had mentioned it during the meeting. Words can’t describe the feeling I had after that within me, but it most definitely was one that was filled with immense gratitude.
This is truly why I love 12 Step recovery as much as I do and why I love living out the 12th step itself. “A” is someone I will probably always remember, not only for the spiritual breakthrough his heart experienced during the meeting, but also for his thinking of me for my own celebration, a selfless gift from him that was truly priceless and well worth the subject for today’s Grateful Heart Monday!
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson