Dear Fellow Addict in Recovery

The only ones who can truly know how we feel and what we are going through are those that have been in our shoes. Often, I fear that those of us that have struggled with drug addiction or alcoholism feel like we are misunderstood or unheard. As if there is something inherently terrible in us that caused us to journey down that road.

Well…

I helped someone today or at least…I tried to.  

I am limited as to what I can do or make happen in their life. But if I were to write them a letter. And if I could enter their mind and heal their thoughts, this is what I would say. These are the truths I wish for them to know and believe:

I know your pain. You are fresh off the streets and you are clinging to what you know. But you are afraid. Your recovery is leading you to a better life. But it is a different life. It is a life you do not know. And it is the unknow that scares you.

Your old life was filled with a devil’s drug. It played tricks, lied to you, stole from you, and took from you, far more than it ever gave in return. But it was familiar. It was a game you played. And you had learned and accepted the rules. You are terrified of the unknown. And you cling to the familiar despite the whip in its’ hand.

People may wonder what holds you back. People may think that the choice is obvious. But they do not know your mind. Your mind and your ways of thinking are all you have ever known. If you let it go. You think, “what is left of me”?

But you do not know, do you? That so much of you has been left untouched, unconsidered, undiscovered. You need only step into the unknown to know that you can make the unknown become known to you. You make it yours. You make it what you wish for it to be.

I know you love the people of your past. And you hope with all your heart that they may keep up with you as you journey further in your sobriety. You take hold and take responsibility for what is next for you and you hope they do the same.

You have hit bottom. You have no further to go in the direction you have previously chosen. You take courage, seek help, and turn to faith to show you another way. You look to those of your past life and you cannot comprehend why they do not change direction with you.

But you see, although you have reached the end of this version of your life, and although you allow faith and hope to steer you to a different path…perhaps others have not reached their end. No one has the same end. No one is brought to their knees in the same way.

No ones’ story is written the same. And the only way for the story to continue and the only way for hope to breathe new life into a dark path is to never stop living YOUR story.

Actions speak louder than words. There is a leader in all of us. There is a leader in you. And it starts with leading ourselves. It starts with you. Take lead of your own life and trust that others will witness your faith, your hope, your audacity, and your conviction. They will be drawn to what they witness, and they will follow.

But right now. In this moment. This is your time for healing. You must focus on yourself. You are no good to others if you do not value yourself. If others are to follow, they must learn to love and value themselves. If they do not know how, then teach by example. Take care of yourself. Heal yourself. Love yourself.

Sincerely, TheDreamHustler

You Are Afraid of Freedom

You are afraid of freedom. You think this statement is absurd.

How can freedom be something to fear?

You think freedom is the very thing you need! You think it is your right! And it was taken from you against your will!

You did not show freedom that you wanted it. With Freedom comes responsibility. To deny one, is to deny the other.

You are afraid to take responsibility. Maybe you are still afraid.

And if you do not face that fear. If you do not face yourself.

You will forever deny responsibility to yourself.

You will forever deny your own freedom.

When will you grant yourself the freedom you seek?

Do not fall victim to the illusion of freedom being granted upon release.

You can physically be free and yet still be a prisoner.

Have you not been a victim of life? Have you not been a victim of your thinking?

You risk forever being a prisoner of your own mind.

You are in chains. And yet you have the key.

What will it take for you to release yourself?

External forces and occurrences come at you from the outside.

You think the meaning and effect of these forces and occurrences is already written.

But you are wrong. These forces are neutral. It is you that gives them meaning and power.

You may not be the creator of these forces. But you decide how it is written.

This is responsibility. This is freedom.

Many link freedom with the image of an Eagle.

You see the eagle breaking the chains of gravity.

You see it soar beyond the grasp of the earth.

And you think this power is of its own making.

Look closely. And reconsider the image that is formed in your mind. What gives the eagle flight?

It is the wind, and the updraft.

This same wind destroys trees, creates thunderous waves, and brings storms beyond reckoning.

But the eagle knows its own strengths. It shapes its wings and writes the story of the winds force, for its own making.

This is how the eagle breaks its chains from gravity.

It takes responsibility for the part it plays with the forces of the wind.

And so, it finds its freedom.

You are not the rabbit on the run. You are the eagle upon the rabbit.

Stop blaming the forces upon you. Stop blaming those that have wronged you. To blame these forces is to blame yourself.

Turn upon those forces, those evils, those wrongs that brought out the worst in you.

Face them and no longer allow them to limit you to a reactionary and angry state.

Re-write these forces for the greater good. Re-write these forces for the good of yourself and pay it forward for the good of others.

Now the forces, the occurrences, and the happenings come at you with immense power.

But now you know the truth. Now you know the part you play in the dance and drama with these forces.

You know who you are.

You are the eagle.

You do not run and hide. You square yourself. You face the forces upon you.

You spread your wings and shape your own story.

You claim responsibility.  You claim your freedom.

And you soar.

Thanks for Reading.

Sincerely, Kurt Petersen aka TheDreamHustler

Achieving Authority of Self – Who Are You?

Authority of Self – Be Your Own Compass. Part of knowing where you are going comes from knowing who you are.

“To know yourself, you must sacrifice the illusion that you already do.”
Vironika Tugaleva, The Art of Talking to Yourself

I invite you to ask yourself the following question…

Who Are You?

Learning how to answer this question can be daunting at first.

But the search for these answers can be a worthwhile investment in your peace, happiness, and success.

I am an introvert. And, like any introvert, I prefer to be alone. However, because I was so misunderstood, and because I did not understand myself, I often felt alone in the world.  

To clarify…for me, loneliness has little to do with physically being alone. It is about feeling alone. This feeling of loneliness stems from not being understood by others.

Even as an introvert, I crave the human connection. This connection starts with an understanding and appreciation of each other.

But how can we ourselves be appreciated if we don’t know who we are?

I Don’t Know Who I Am…So What?

“Tell me about yourself”

“What do you like to do for fun?”

And worst of all….

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“What would you like to do next in your career?”

“What are your strengths? Weaknesses?”

I used to get a lot of anxiety from these questions. Correction, I can still get anxious from these questions.

But I have learned that my anxiety comes from Not knowing the answers.

This has not only affected my personal life.

It has limited my confidence at work and caused me to limit myself and to get in my own way.

I have lacked clarity and purpose in my life for many years.

I have allowed myself to be defined by labels because without self-awareness, I had no means of creating and defining the labels for myself.

It is time for a new mindset.

So…Where Do We Start?

Here are some key Questionnaires, Personality, and Career Models that I believe are worth looking at.

  1. Meyers-Briggs Test – MBTI

I have taken the Meyers-Briggs test. It was a great help and it gave me confidence by allowing me to clarify to myself and to others who I am.

I don’t believe the solution ends at identifying results from a test or questionnaire.

True learning and true achievement is found in the act of doing.

A great book that will enable you to bridge the gap between learning and doing something about it is the book, “Do What You Are” by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger.

  • Enneagram Model

I have not yet taken the Enneagram Model Questionnaire.

My research of the Enneagram Model identifies it as a great tool for discovering insight into motivation theory.

I will be taking the test this week and will be sure to share my results and feedback.

There is a great book on the Enneagram Model – “Understanding the Enneagram” by Don Richard Riso and Russ Hudson

It is my hope that this book again, is a tool that helps bridge the gap from learning to doing.

  • The book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard N. Bolles

A great book which enables us to identify our strengths.

This book helps us utilize our strengths in our current roles.

And, it can help us identify our future dream jobs and transition into them.

What Have I Learned So Far?

Learning about myself and taking ownership of who I am has allowed me to understand how and why I think or perceive the world around me the way I do.

It has allowed me to begin to see that I have a purpose and unique gifts to bring to the world that can add value to others. 

And yes, I have begun to learn the answers to those dreaded questions I listed above.

As I have begun to take seriously the task of learning about myself and who I am, there have been positive affects in my life I did not anticipate.

I developed confidence and my anxiety has become significantly reduced.

I have made the realization…

If we don’t know who we are, then how can we make sure that our actions are aligned with our beliefs?

My work with others…

It is how to work with others that is the secret equation that must be discovered.

This equation is different for each of us.

Whether we have developed the words for the question we are asking is irrelevant.

The question we are asking each other is, “how best do I work with you?”

“What do you need from me in order for this relationship, work/personal or otherwise to make this work”?

We are asking for parameters and understanding of each other so that we are comfortable with each other and can move forward in harmony. 

By knowing who we are, we allow for others to not take us personally. We learn to clarify what it is we need and provide for others, a basic understanding of ourselves.

This not only alleviates stress or anxiety in the other party. It alleviates a huge amount of stress and anxiety from ourselves.

Once I discovered this, I felt an immense amount of freedom for the first time since I was a child.  

A Call To Action – Discovering Who You Are…Finding Clarity and Purpose

“We have no greater leverage over our own lives than through the development of self-knowledge” – Charles D. Hayes, Proving Your Qualified

“The only way to be truly deliberate is to understand yourself” – Charles D. Hayes, Proving Your Qualified

What is your purpose?

What are you living for?

If you have the answers to these questions…you are well ahead of me.

But…

If you have any hesitation…

If there is the smallest piece of you, some corner uncovered…

I urge you.

We only live once. Get moving.

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