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Inspiring Success on the Road to Recovery

Thursday, September 4, 2014

You are the Hero

by Dr. Dina Evan

 In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, we can easily lose sight of and connection with the wise woman or man inside who has all of our answers. It’s easy to begin looking for a guru, a master teacher or anyone else who will just provide us with the solutions we seek.
When intense feelings arise it’s easy to want to turtle in and ignore them. And then there are those of us who sit with our feelings, we invite them in and negotiate a détente. We agree to stop those feelings from leading us around by the nose. After all they are just feelings. The feelings are not our enemy, how we handle them might be. Those people who manage their feelings are the heroes and heroines of our time. 

There are many kinds of heroes and heroines, like the woman whose 12 years of sobriety we celebrated in my office this week. She had a horribly abusive mom. Out of the love she felt for her own children, twelve yeas ago, she checked her self into St. Luke’s determined to never cause her children the kind of pain she had endured as a child. She hasn’t had a drink since. Heroes and heroines are those people who stop drinking once or once again, and again until the alcohol and shame are no longer running their lives. The wise mind inside of each of these people knew what to do.

Some heroes and heroines are the parents of children who have been lost to diseases or accidents. One mother, who has also remained sober since the loss of her teenage son, celebrates and mourns the loss of him from the accident in which a drunk driver hit and killed him. Every year she sits with me, her heart continues to break and she recommits to living clean and sober beyond the pain.
Two, among the bravest I know, balance grief and gratitude with such grace every minute of their lives. Each day they get up and face the world and the reality that they will never again in this lifetime hold their teenage daughter who lost her fight with cancer. And their daughter, Samantha, was an amazing heroine in her own right who left them at age eighteen.

Our heroines and heroes are not always in the headline ticker tapes that stream across the bottom of your TV screens. They start newspapers like this one. They hand out water to the homeless in the dead heat of summer. They pull people out of cars engulfed by rushing waters. They sit in chemo rooms. They face life’s most momentous challenges.
They also face life’s lesser tests. They bring up uncomfortable issues to find resolutions. They risk being the voice that is different so they can stay aligned with their own principles. They pay their bills on time and stop making excuses. They let go of resentment and simply ask for what they need and stop expecting others should intuit their needs. They make sure they give as much as they get in the way of support, understanding and acceptance. They stop being a victim and they create relationships that are balanced and equal.
They give back the extra money they accidently get from the cashier. The catch their judgments mid-thought and turn them into loving blessings. They notice when they have emotionally shut down and gone away and they address the fear that motivated that and they get back to presence and connection.
As Kermit the frog might say, “ It’s not easy being a hero or a heroine.” But it’s what we need right now.     

There is no one that knows more than you do. There is no one other than you who has your answers. Inside each of us there is a wise master just waiting to be heard. He or she knows exactly what you need to do and how you need to do it. That hero or heroine wants us to stop playing small — stop pretending we don’t know what is right.

Most of us are silent heroes and heroines. We don’t talk about our acts of courage, large or small. So here is to all of you who are changing the world in not so outrageous, but incredibly profound ways. Thanks for being the real heroes and heroines and please keep doing the amazing things you do. After all we are in this all together.