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It's A Matter Of Perspective

As I'm typing this, the National Cherry Festival is ramping up its annual presence in Traverse City Michigan. The city's population just about triples during this time, making things somewhat congested while locals and tourists alike wrestle through crowds of people to enjoy the many events and junk food the festival has to offer. As a born and raised local boy, I can tell you this town has two kinds of people. Thinking about this brought up a thought about some pivotal moments in my own journey through early recovery.

See this town has the first type of person, people that love the festival seen. They get all up in those crowds of people enjoying every minute of the parades, rides, carnival foods, concerts, etc. The loud jets flipping overhead, and gut-wrenching tilt-a-whirl get these people more excited than a 60% off Samsung TV black Friday sale. That's the first kind of person.

The second type of person in this town avoids the crowds and runs from the hustle & bustle the biggest event this town has to offer during our summers here in Northern Michigan. They hide in their homes, going as far as to stock up on groceries and other amenities before the crowds descend on our quaint slice of upnorth paradise. They only come out of their temporary summer hibernation for necessities or the much-desired elephant ear and Gibby's french fries.

"A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart." — Johann Wolfgang Goethe

The parallel I'm trying to present here is that during my pathway through recovery, I've hit different points where I had to choose to live my life in a state of go-with-the-flow gratitude, accepting things I cannot change, instead of sitting in a woe is me toxic state of victimhood or avoidance behaviors. Choosing to see my blessings and even seeing the struggles I've been through as teachers instead of just bad things that have happened to me broke my life, happiness, and ability to live a sober life in recovery completely open for me. It was the first level, the foundation of the life I love that I'm still building on today. My very earliest step was daily affirmations. New opportunities arose from there.

So, to wrap things up, even though I have evolved into a local man who balances between the two types of people I've mentioned above, what really stood out to me was that even if you don't enjoy something that's happening in your surroundings, If it's something you can't change (like AA's serenity prayer states), being negative about it isn't going to make any of it better for anyone. Complaining on your local area's FaceBook page really doesn't affect your inner peace in a positive way.

Today, I choose to have peace in the "madness" I have to put myself in, and pat myself on the back at the end of the day knowing I kept the best attitude I could in a possibly stressful situation. Share your smile whenever someone looks like they may dropped theirs this week.

Until next time.

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