January 6, 2011

Choose to Make a Difference

Day 6: 23.2 miles/1:26

 “You have an opportunity to use your gifts to make a difference in this world every day. Whether you choose to or not is entirely up to you. I choose to make a difference!”

Our gifts and our talents are not provided to us solely for our fulfillment; our gifts and our talents have been provided to us so that we can share them with others for their benefit.  Whether you believe it or not, your special talents have been given to you to share with others.  Not sharing, developing, or using them to their fullest is denying others the potential benefits that they were designed to receive from you.  Holding back is almost a selfish act.  Sharing and giving is a selfless act.

My attempts to help Brandon see the possibilities of realizing his promise through a series of small accomplishments are thwarted by his inability to find a historical reference point of when things were “normal.”  He is still in survival mode.  His life is defined simply by food, shelter, and, for now, sobriety.  Making or creating a future is not in his psyche.  .  Just like any other addict, he is simply attempting to get through the day.  Except right now, thankfully, he is working at being a recovering addict.  Just the same, the notion of finding energy through the sharing of his gifts is a distant, inconceivable activity.

Every one of us struggles with who we really are.  Many of us have crafted a role for ourselves that has now defined us.  Are we being who we are really meant to be; or, are we simply and very effectively acting out the role we created for ourselves?  Every one of us has an obligation to explore our lives and decide if we are providing the world with the best of our talents, our passion and our energy? Are we really being the person that we were meant to be?

Brandon sees himself as an addict.  He doesn’t see himself as a talented musician.  It is as if the recovering addict has to allow him to be a musician before he can become one.  It is not the case.  In reality, he will always be a recovering addict.  But, his real existence and purpose is to be the musical talent reflected in his gifts and passion.  Were he to allow those gifts to surface and begin to share them with others, he would find the light and the joy that may be able to help him redefine his role.  Until he does, he will simply be a recovering addict, fighting for survival.

It is not the role that defines who we are.  It is our gifts and our talents and our passion and our energy for them that enable us to make a difference in the lives of others.  Once we stop playing our roles and become who we were meant to be, we will find the joy and the excitement that many of us are missing out on.  While we may not be able to simply change the channel and do something different, we can begin to let our real light shine so that others can benefit from what we were destined to offer.  I choose to let my skills and passion live so that I can make a difference.  I hope you can, too!

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.