Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Monday, October 25, 2010

In recovery we can sometimes learn lessons from the world around us. This came to mind when I was thinking about resentments while watching two dogs playing. They were chasing each other around the yard, play fighting over a bone. Then one of them nipped the other one too hard and a fight broke out. They made a lot of noise for a few minutes, rolling around on the ground, biting each other and growling with what seemed like serious intent.

Finally, though, the fight stopped. The two combatants stood up, looking angrily at each other for few moments. Then they each went to a separate part of the yard. It looked as though they had fractured the relationship for good. Within a few minutes though they were playing again. It was it was as if nothing had ever happened.

While I know that we can't reliably compare animal behavior to human behavior, I believe there are lessons we can learn from animals and children. They have disagreements. They have fights. But wouldn't it be wonderful if we adults could get over our resentments and make up as quickly as animals and children? The world would be a much better place.

In my own recovery I know that I've kept some resentments for years. I'll be sailing along and up will pop a resentment against someone or about something that I thought I'd long forgotten. Maybe the way animals and children deal with one another is a survival skill. But as recovering people our lives would be much simpler and serene if we could take these examples and apply them in our own lives.