“Monks, we who look at the whole and not just the part, know that we too are systems of interdependence, of feelings, perceptions, thoughts, and consciousness all interconnected. Investigating in this way, we come to realize that there is no me or mine in any one part, just as a sound does not belong to any one part of the lute.” -Samyutta Nikaya, from “Buddha Speaks”

i had the good fortune to travel to chicago this weekend for the frankie knuckles tribute at millenium park on june 3 2014. it was, for me, a homecoming to the 3rd degree. i spent time with old friends, had dinner a lot, laughed a lot more, and slept way too much. the event itself was overwhelming in a very understated way. there were thousands of chicagoans and frankie fans who milled through the park over the 3 or 4 hours in which the event took place. all colors, all ages, all economic backgrounds were represented. there were no arguments, no fights, no busts, no outbursts of any mention which is said to be a tribute to character of frankie and his vibe-whom everyone was proudly there to honor.

my friends are on different pages in their lives than i. it was apparent that we have changed. it was also apparent that we still cared for and respected each other. i learned that i am truly growing up. i have more to do, but i am starting to feel comfortable with my friends being happy without it effecting my own happiness. this is major growth.

i have given notice at my work. i am so relieved to have taken this action. i have been feeling disconnected with the direction the philosophy seems to be taking. disillusioned would be the kindest way to express my state. it has become increasingly evident that i need to believe in what i am doing on a daily basis in order to stay connected to it. my role seemed to be shifting from care giver to sentry and it was feeling toxic. best to go while i can still tell it’s toxic.

the fear of not knowing what is next is supreme. during my process i discovered that i prolly needed to trust my own abilities and my own life to support me, if my actions were to match my rhetoric. i love my life. i love my recovery. i am over the moon with the abundance that engulfs me. i have every reason to believe that these will continue. and i am willing to work for them.

i will miss some work mates. i will definitely miss the clients. all of them. even the challenging and resistant ones. i will miss the opportunity to talk with them about success and change.  i already miss feeling inspired. i am grateful for the time i had there. i have participated in a wonderul opportunity. i felt heard and i felt connected and though it didn’t last, it did feel authentic and it felt meaningful. i was generously given the opportunity to watch a light go on in several clients’ eyes as they got to consider their journeysfrom a different and valued perspective. and those lights that went on inspired a surveyor from the joint commission to remark in her assessment-

“Now let me talk about something I rarely ever do. In over 400 surveys, this is only the second time I am recommending this and do not do so lightly. I would strongly encourage  you submit to the Joint Commission Library under best practices  (I intend to support your submission in my report to the Joint Commission) regarding the truly amazing work you are doing to incorporate “peer recovery” program into the work you are doing here. Never have I seen the involvement of former patients so ingrained in the day to day operations of an ORT program. I interviewed many of these volunteers and you and your staff are leading the way on what a program like this should actually be modeled after… You have no idea how special and unique this is, but having reviewed programs both nationally and internationally I have never seen this. Keep doing what you are doing and I will look forward to your submission to our library of best practices…”  

my work is done here. i am sad to leave and angry that i let it go this long. but going i am. and i do trust in myself and my life. and i hope i am leaving this spot in a better condition than i found it. just as frankie left our world- in a much better, more accepting, more tolerant, and more enriched state.

Let’s go fly a kite Up to the highest height Let’s go fly a kite And send it soaring Up through the atmosphere Up where the air is clear Oh, let’s go fly a kite Let’s go fly a kite!

#tribute #secondstagesobriety #addictionscounselor #chicago #emotionalsobriety #frankieknuckles #stage2recovery #80schicago #buddhism

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