~~He said, "One life is on this earth is all that we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.~~ Frederick Buechner
I see that here. People who live life fully and bravely and beautifully as they can. Not that haven't had adversity...they have! Not that they haven't known sorrow. Not that they haven't been broken. Or depressed. Or stunned. Or shaken.
But still they go on. And they give of themselves here fully, too. They support. They share. They uplift. They care.
Not just the elders....but by gosh, the elders are true heroes in my eye!! They not only stay here after their quit but they share, they open themselves up, they listen, they seriously give their all here. Sometimes it's appreciated, sometimes they get slapped down, sometimes they get ridiculed....but still they stay. And I am honored to call many of them my friends.
And the newly quit? Oh, how they shine!! They are eager to share, they are enthusiastic learners, they are brilliant in their desire to know!! They, too, open up and share bits and pieces of themselves. They are quick to help others. And they care so very, very much!!
It doesn't matter if you are an elder or a new quitter. It doesn't matter if you have a quit clock that says 1 or 1000000000. It doesn't matter if you are starting or if you are solid in your quit.
It matters that you are here, period. It matters that you share so much of yourself. The still healing bits of your heart....the newly healed bits of your recovery....the broken pieces of your spirit. You share and that makes you a hero to me.
Because quitting isn't just laying down the cigarettes. If it were that easy, everyone would quit. Quitting is creating a lifestyle where you don't need cigarettes or any other addiction. Quitting means creating a life you don't need to run away from. And the best way to do that is to learn from those who have been there. The ill. The broken. The defeated. The lost.
And so, here we are learning from those who wear their scars like wings!! We are awed. We are humbled. We are appreciative. But in being human, we often forget these things and get defensive and angry and offended rather than treating these people with the kindness, the gentleness, the honor that they deserve.
And so I apologize for forgetting. And I acknowledge that I forget sometimes to empathize rather than react. Everyone here deserves respect. Everyone. And if I failed to show it, I am sorry.
I am always thankful for you all. And I come here when I need to smile. When I need a little spirituality. When I need comfort. Because all of that is found here with you. Every day. What a glorious way to keep a quit!!
We have some beautiful, brave people here who live life fully. And I am so grateful for each and every one of them!! You do more, much more. than just support my quit. You show me a better me. Thank you!