The Miracles Right in Front of Us
“Miracles happen every day, change your perception of what
a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.”
–Jon Bon Jovi
Easter is the time when most if not all Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus has always been widely known for performing miracles. While living in New Mexico and working with a melting pot homeless population you begin to see that religion and spirituality can take on many different meanings for different people. My decision was simple do I accept their differences? And well…..it was a very easy decision a resounding YES!!! As individuals we are not made to fit into a box. The point in being an individual is that you’re different from others. You are uniquely you.
The clients that I worked with came from many different walks of life and belief systems. I allowed them to be and feel accepted without judgment. Pretty soon a mutual respect was developed and connection with them was made. I’ve heard different stories about miracles happening mainly from religious people. Working with the substance abusing homeless populations sometimes the miracles were only for one or two to see.
Where 12-step recovery was really pushed there not all of the clients were accepting. This is when I began to see the importance of individuality in the counseling field. I also learned that the term “recovery” can mean different meaning for people. Some prayed to God, Allah, The Great Spirit, the earth, nature, the spirits, etc.
The miracles that I’m specifically talking about were maybe something like being able to have a genuine smile during a conversation. It might’ve been learning to trust someone who is white because of the transgenerational trauma forced on their people. It could’ve simply been someone treating them with respect rather than as a label. Or it could’ve been about someone willing to listen when no one else would. Nevertheless, for these clients miracles happened.
The detox center might have been the only place where the term “recovery” was ever mentioned to them.. There’s an obvious shortage in substance abuse treatment centers throughout the nation. But with the population that I worked with most had no insurance because they were homeless. This ensured them being discharged back into a very hostile living situation. Consequently, the rate of recidivism was very high. One thing I knew without a doubt is that they would call sometimes looking for something, as simple as, a warm cot and a sandwich.
I think a lot of times that “we,” as a society, have a definition of miracles where we expect people to walk on water or raise the dead so we can catch the proof on our IPhone. And many times life circumstances keeps us temporarily blinded to the beauty that sits before us. I’m certainly not an exception to that rule either. The weight of my trauma gets so incredibly heavy sometimes that the only thing I can see is the unfairness, despair and hopelessness related to it all.
The good days are the ones that drop by just like an intermittent reward system when gambling. You keep putting money in the machine and winning minimally or not at all. And then there’s the win, though not too big, that keeps the dialogue of “I’m close, I can feel it” continuing. If look at how the stars line up in our lives sometimes we realize that other painful situations had to happen for the miracle to occur. Here’s are a few of the miracles that I’ve noticed in my life. This list is by no means exhaustive.
1). It’s a miracle that I made it through my former marriage alive.
2.) It’s a miracle that Sarah Pardue and I crossed paths in a treatment center because I was a drug addict/alcoholic that was angry and running amuck in life.
3.) I was a miracle that I met my best friend and soul mate, Melody Landrum-Arnold, and I met each other through Sarah.
4.) It was a miracle that Mel and I ever left the deep south.
5.) It was a miracle that we met our therapist in Albuquerque. She turned out to be one of the very rare finds in that state. She was certainly the wind beneath our family’s wings.
6.) It was a miracle that both of our invitro babies Marshall, 6, and Copeland, 3, made it successfully to their forever home with two mommies.
7.) It’s a miracle that we made it out of New Mexico as a couple due to so many years of stress and a lot of it related to my mental illness.
8.) And how could I ever forget what a miracle it was to find a new coach that saw my anger and rage, knowing me very little, while on an inpatient unit and still willing to work with a group of broken children trying to function as a healthy adult.
9.) And well….leaving my two boys and my dear wife to go live in a state and sacrifice not having the time with them in order to work with my coach regularly in an attempt to save my own life….that too is a miracle.
At the detox center, I would work around the rules to get everyone who asked for help some type of help no matter the situation. And sometimes……they would show up hoping to see a friendly face and maybe experience another little miracle. And well…every encounter with them I experienced a miracle too.