The eagle feather
“Just over ten years ago I was asked if I would lead a meeting. In reality the question was phrased more like, ‘You’re leading next Sunday’s meeting’ and I said ‘Okay.’ So, on Sunday August 5th 2007, I opened the 7:00 AM meeting for the ‘A New Morning Group of Alcoholics Anonymous’ at the First Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, WA. I knew this day was coming so I had time to prepare and yet I was incredibly nervous. I was out of my comfort zone in so many ways.
“As customary I told my story, which included detailing the crazy and unfortunate sequence of events over the course of the many years that had led me to that room that day. Sitting in that chair and talking to that group of people was exactly where I needed to be. Especially since I was celebrating two years of sobriety on that morning.
“After I told my story my sponsor, Bud, volunteered his story too. Bud was an old timer with 39 years of sobriety and his story was inspiring. When he finished his story he presented me with my silver two year medallion. Also in attendance at the meeting was my uncle, who had 41 years of sobriety at the time. He told his story which was incredible and included many details that I hadn’t previously known about him. When he finished his story he presented me with an eagle feather which in Native American culture represents freedom, wisdom, honor, trust, and strength. It was an amazingly proud moment for me.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is to be grateful. While I had battled the challenges of addiction, there are many things in my life to be grateful for.
“The action I call you to take when facing life’s inevitable challenges is take some time to reflect on all of the many things, the many blessings you have to be grateful for.
“The benefit you will gain is ‘perspective.’ You will learn what things in life are really important and how the challenges you have faced, in their own special way, have brought some of your greatest blessings. Many of your challenges are sometimes not as great as they may seem.”
When you have come to the place that you are grateful for every breath you breathe, pleased with every sunset, thankful for every person past and present who has crossed your path, appreciative for every step on your journey that has brought you here and for the road you see before you ¬- you will be one of the richest people on the earth.
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