Insights into business, society, and life in general

Archive for October, 2010

Life is One Big Miracle

It’s true! Miracles really do abound! They surround us, ever present, always waiting for us to simply see them. Shhhh — you’ve got to be quiet. You’ve got to clear your head of the twirling and whirling of a mind mired in yesterdays and tortured by tomorrows. The thing is, the yesterdays and tomorrows don’t exist; there is only this moment — this very one that exists while you are reading this. If you look around you and see, REALLY see, they’re there. The miracles.  

Granted, sometimes life seems to intervene in our thoughts and the Tasmanian devil emerges from its abyss. But it can be sent back to whatever miserable dark corner it came from.

A story in kind: Once upon a time there was a family that for many, many years was embedded in some really yucky, serious dysfunction the likes of which is not relevant here. But what is relevant is that this dysfunction resulted in enabling, splitting, and general ugliness among all the  family members. This family  certainly had its issues with the recent death of the mother of the adult only child daughter, and the subsequent marriage of her father to a former family friend which resulted in a mass of the issues just described.  In particular, the daughter of the only child daughter began to drink. She drank for days at a time, becoming buried in her bed, never bothering to use the bathroom, not eating, and only emerging to stagger to the liquor store down the street. As her mind became pickled by alcohol, her behavior became horrendous. Always her grandfather’s favorite, at the age of 20, she convinced him to support her, and from that time on, it all went downhill. As a result, other family relationships became distorted, strained, and otherwise relegated to a pickle jar filled with rotten vinegar. And while this family began to fall apart, this young woman began her incredible journey from detox to rehab to hospitalization and back to begin the cycle again until within one year, she had been to 16 facilities. Many times her mother had to call 911 because she slurred that she had mixed drugs into the vodkaa cocktail. Her breathing would become erratic and she would slip in and out of consciousness. Once her blood alcohol was .3.

Hospital emergency rooms became a standard routine, and the young woman’s mother came to know many of the EMS techs. This was not the way she wanted to meet these wonderful people. And so, time after time, the young woman said, “Never again, this is it,” and time after time, she would be found drunk yet again amidst a pile of filth in her bed. It was so bad that even her therapist, who she would see sporadically if she wasn’t immersed in a binge, said told the mother to prepare for her daughter’s death, that she had never seen such a virulent case of alcoholism and that quite frankly, she was not very hopeful about the outcome. And so, the young woman’s body began to break down — gastro-intestinal bleeding, anemia, and liver problems. While this was happening,  the family continued on their dysfunctional journey. Particularly acrimonious was the relationship between the only child daughter and her father, for reasons that were what they were and that resulted in complete disengagement.

But then something happened. The grandfather’s new wife suggested that the family go to a counselor since everyone was so distraught about the seeming hopelessness of the alcoholic young woman. Everyone agreed. The sessions began. People cried, people came together, a bond was formed, the pain and anger melted into understanding and love. The grandfather saw it — to the complete exultation of the other family members, he saw it — he understood — he owned the damage that he had done with his enabling and constant support of his grandaughter despite her lies and manipulation. And so, it stopped. The rent he paid for. The cell-phone he had on his plan. The car insurance. The cash handouts here and there. All of it, stopped, finished, done.

And so this is the miracle. The f ire in the souls of the family stopped its burning and charring and turned into a gentle, calming, and  life-sustaining warmth. The bond, which began oh so tentatively, grew into a strong, nurturing and united front. The family began to love again and thus the miracle happened.

It’s fun ny how life works. And it’s even funnier how miracles work. The point here is that if this family had allowed itself to remain mired in the darkness of the young woman’s soul and alcoholism, it never would have seen light or felt the warmth of a true deus ex machina.

Amen