August 6, 2012

Reflections From My Journey

I am officially in day twelve of my nineteen day journey.  This trip has taken me across the country from Phoenix to Detroit via Albuquerque, Amarillo, Tulsa, Lake of the Ozarks, Effingham, and Columbus.  With the exception of Lake of the Ozarks and Amarillo I have enjoyed a bike ride in each city.  Despite the fact I didn’t ride in Amarillo, I was able to enjoy and celebrate a very unique twenty mile ride about 75 miles east of Amarillo in McLean, TX.

The trip to Detroit represented a series of one night stops for seven days. My daily routine was pretty much like this — arrive, unpack, sleep, ride my bike, pack, drive to the next stop.  When I finally arrived in Detroit (Novi), I was both relieved and exhausted.  It was a great journey.  I had my lonely moments.  I had my celebrations.  I had my reflective times.  I spent a great deal of time in my head, in my heart and thinking about all I am grateful and thankful for — health, strength, and the ability to make a trip like this — especially the unique bike rides.

The most enjoyable experience of this journey has been the people.  Along the way to Detroit, and here in Detroit, I am continuously reminded of the importance of the people in my life.  I have reconnected with old friends and family, and made new friends and new contacts.  In each interaction I am reminded of the incredible influence of those who enter into our lives.

Whether they are here for a long time or briefly pass through, the people we interact with are placed in our lives for a reason and the experience of that engagement leaves a lasting imprint even if we are not aware of it at the time.

When I left on this journey, I was afraid and hesitant.  I wasn’t sure what the purpose was or how this trip would go.  I was leaving on an undefined adventure for which the outcome was unknown.  There were times that I felt alone, that I doubted the wisdom of my challenge, or that I really didn’t understand why I was on the journey in the first place.  I was also exhausted at times.

It wasn’t until I started to embrace and celebrate the relationships, the connections, and the experiences they brought me did I really begin to appreciate the incredible gifts being offered on this journey.  Everyone we interact with offers us something.  These interactions offer us the opportunity to celebrate our friendship, the gift of family connections, the lessons from their pain, or the joy of a newly found bond.  I drove over 2,200 miles, stopped in seven cities, and biked 170 miles in six different states.  Every aspect of that part of the journey offered me a great experience.

Nothing compares with the conversations, the memories, the relationships, or the lessons of the personal interactions — new or old.  Look at your life.  Are you embracing the gift of those in your life?  Are you making yourself freely available and open to them?  Are you celebrating what they have to offer you?

Appreciate and celebrate the relationships and connections you have.  Become aware of the potential to form and create more.  Embrace the opportunity to discover the gifts and experiences of others.  Make yourself openly available to share your gifts with others, as well.  The impact of these experiences will last forever.  The energy of these experiences also will inspire and educate you.  Most importantly these interactions and these connections will make your life richer for them.  Enjoy!

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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.