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, November 18, 2013

Carrying the Message

"You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.“ Mother Theresa

A longtime manager became overly upset at a client who'd disappointed him. Over the years he'd invested a lot of emotional energy in helping the client. But it seemed to him that the client was as ungrateful as the day he arrived.

In fact, the manager was so upset that he questioned how long he could keep doing this kind of work.

One counsel I give our managers is that our job is to simply carry the message. The results and the outcome are up to God.

Sometimes our ego whispers to us that we can change people. But I learned a long time we don't have a shred of power when it comes to changing others. We simply carry the message. What they do with our gift is up to them.

One thing I keep in mind is that we addicts and alcoholics have left a trail of disappointed people behind us. Parents. Wives. Children. Employers. Many of them thought they could change us if they only gave us enough advice or money or love. And they were baffled and confused when their efforts failed.

While I appreciate it when a client uses my suggestions, I don’t become upset when they don’t. After all, they might have a better idea of what’ll work for them.

Or they might not be ready to take a chance on an unknown joy, preferring to remain with the familiar misery they know.

Because I want to stay healthy I’m not attached to the outcome.