I was recently gifted with a wooden toolbox used by my grandfather and my father. Grandpa McCann, a proud Irishman, built it 100 years ago from cast off wood. It has a sturdy handle with plenty of room for every variety of tool needed to get jobs done.
Its green paint is chipped, the lining is dirty and ripped from heavy use by both men, who were do-it-yourselfers before that became popularized on TV home flip shows.
It is a thing of beauty.
When something needed fixing, that toolbox was always handy for Grandpa and Daddy with just the right instrument for patching, plumbing, sanding and sawing.
It is a family heirloom I treasure.
In much the same way, over the years I have learned that a toolbox is always a good thing to carry on the journey of recovery for families impacted by the systems illness of addiction. That toolbox is filled with the practices and strategies necessary for managing whatever happens on our personal and family recovery journey.
These tools are limitless. We create them for our own needs and to share to help others. They can include: prayer and meditation practices, strategies for dealing with uncertainties, boundaries, communication skills, empathy and, of course humor.
My toolbox is as beat up as the one used by my beloved forebears. Time and again, I have pulled something out to deal with life on the terms that life dictates.
Prayer is perhaps my most utilized tool. It takes so many highly personal forms. Isn’t that the most amazing aspect of prayer?
What I love most about prayer is that the invitation to pray is as close as our next breath, because that is where God abides. No matter what.
Prayer can take place any time, any place, and in any circumstance for any length of time. It is truly the air that surrounds, a God-given gift to breathe in deeply.
What is in your toolbox?
Please share here. We can all be inspired by our collective experience, strength, and hope.
Nancy and her son, JP, are co-authors of Unchained: Our Family’s Addiction Mess Is Our Message. Their book tells the true story of JP’s descent into opioid and alcohol addiction and homelessness to recovery to become co-founder of a treatment healthcare system.
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