March 4, 2011

The Greatest Gift

Day 63: 22.8 miles/1:27

“The best gifts sometimes come in the ugliest paper.” ~ Nicole Bandes

My gratitude to Nicole for sharing this quote with me yesterday and including the 100 Pedals story in her blog post today.  I have known Nicole for nearly four years and we have enjoyed many great, inspirational, and insightful conversations.  We were catching up on the experiences of 100 Pedals and how this commitment has been so valuable to me in my journey.  Like me, Nicole is a firm believer that there is opportunity to learn, grow, and discover opportunity even in the worst of situations.  This quote offers a wonderful perspective on that belief.

It has been incredibly difficult to find any joy in all that was going on in my life last year.  I fought for control of Brandon’s addiction, for a way to simply make business happen, and struggled to find peace in all the chaos.  Fortunately, I was continually surrounded by and introduced to people and friends who were in a position to share wisdom, insight, support and love.  Every conversation, even if I was not receptive to it at the time, was a learning opportunity for me.  Every struggle, even if I was not enjoying it, provided me a lesson for my life.  While I was not enjoying, celebrating, or necessarily internalizing all the experiences in a developmental way at the time, what I was going through was a gift that I would be able to appreciate at some point in the future.

When I started my journey of 100 Pedals, all those lessons, experiences, messages, stories, and insights started to come together with great clarity and purpose.  What this entire package has now provided me is a gift that energizes me, inspires me and gives me peace and faith even though all my challenges and obstacles have not been solved or overcome.  Solving my problems is not the issue—managing them, learning from them, and trusting that there is a purpose behind those challenges is the real journey.

The gift I have been given has been delivered in a package that is wrapped in very ugly paper.  However, the gift has transformed my life and continues to push me to grow and develop even more.  I cannot ask off this journey, for it is the one that has been chosen for me.  I cannot give the ugly package back, for it is the gift I will value and cherish the most even if I don’t realize it right now.  The best thing I can do is continue to embrace and celebrate the opportunities that this journey has presented to me and appreciate and share the value of this gift for the rest of my life.

Peace to all who are looking at their lives wrapped in very ugly paper – trust that there is a wonderful gift in there and embrace the opportunity within.

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.